Begin six-game swing with three-in-three weekend
The IceCaps left St. John’s early Thursday morning for the first of four tough American Hockey League road trips this season that will see the team play three games in three days six times.
The team flew to Boston yesterday, and then bused to Manchester, N.H., where the IceCaps meet the Monarchs tonight and 3 p.m. Saturday. Sunday, St. John’s is in Providence, R.I. for a 3 p.m. date with the Bruins.
St. John’s has two days off before a Wednesday night matchup in Lewiston, Maine against the Portland Pirates. The road swing clews up next weekend against the Pirates and the Sharks in Worcester, Mass.
The IceCaps have three such road trips on their schedule this season, plus another two trips that include three games in three days and one with a three-in-three and two-in-two on the schedule, with a four-day break in between.
“It is what it is and you can’t change it,” IceCaps coach Keith McCambridge said. “But you definitely have to be aware of it, so you have to keep your players as fresh as possible.”
St. John’s hasn’t played since last weekend, when the IceCaps split with Hershey. In fact, since the season opened Oct. 4, the IceCaps have played only on Friday and Saturday nights.
“This one isn’t as big a factor,” McCambridge said. “What gets me are the games during the middle of the season, and I believe we have three of them, where we travel (by bus) over two-and-a-half to three hours after the Saturday night game. Those are the ones that I don’t like.
“It’s different being in St. John’s because our day starts on a Thursday at six in the morning. We travel by air, bus and play the Friday game, play the Saturday game and now you’re rolling in for a 3 o’clock Sunday afternoon game against a team that’s played Friday at home, Saturday on the road, but only had a 90-minute bus ride from their beds at home.
“But what can you do? It’s part of being in the minors.”
Making the trip with the IceCaps is all-star defenceman Zach Redmond, who has been sidelined this season with an undisclosed injury. Redmond skated for the first time with his teammates Wednesday, albeit in a red non-contact jersey.
McCambridge hopes Redmond will be ready for the Wednesday game against Portland.
Veteran Jerome Samson, injured Saturday night against the Bears, won’t travel, although rookie Adam Lowry is making the trip. Lowry sat out the series against Hershey.
Also, defenceman Kris Fredheim, a three-year AHL veteran with Houston, is good to go tonight. Fredheim has yet to play this season due to injury.
With Samson hurt, and Patrice Cormier on recall, the IceCaps have signed forward Ian O’Connor to a professional tryout. O’Connor, 26, has appeared in one game with the ECHL’s Reading Royals this season. He has skated in 19 career AHL games with Worcester and Manchester.
IceCaps (2-3-1) at Monarchs (5-0-1) TONIGHT AND SATURDAY;
at Bruins (2-2-0-2) ON SUNDAY
Game times: 8:30 (NL time) tonight, 3 o’clock Saturday afternoon; 3 o’clock Sunday afternoon
Media: All games will be broadcast on CJYQ Radio 930AM and streamed on stjohnsicecaps.com, with Brian Rogers calling the play-by-play.
ST. JOHN'S ICECAPS
Andrew Gordon (10), Eric O'Dell (14), Jason Jaffray (15), John Albert (16), Jerome Samson (17), Kael Mouillierat (21), Blair Riley (25), J.C. Lipon (34), Ryan Schnell (38), Josh Lunden (42), Ian O’Connor (45), Adam Lowry (47), Carl Klingberg (48), Ian O’Connor
Kris Fredheim (7), Brenden Kichton (8), Ben Chiarot (18), Zach Redmond (24), Will O'Neill (27), Jordan Hill (29), Cody Lampl (32), Julian Melchiori (44), Travis Ehrhardt (49)
Jussi Olkinuora (31), Eddie Pasquale (40).
Linden Vey, Hunter Bishop, Andy Andreoff, Tanner Pearson, Brandon Kozun, Sean Backman, Jordan Weal, Brian O’Neill, Scott Sabourin, Tyler Toffoli, Robert Czarnik, Nick Shore, Maxim Kitsyn
Jeff Schultz, Andrew Campbell, Derek Forbort, Nick Deslauriers, Vincent LoVerde, Colin Miller, Andrew Bodnarchuk
Martin Jones, Jean-Francois Berube
Matt Lindblad, Rob Flick, Tyler Randell, Alexander Khokhlachev, Craig Cunningham, Anthony Camara, Alexander Fallstrom, Seth Griffith, Justin Florek, Carter Camper, Jared Knight, Ryan Spooner, Matt Fraser, Nick Johnson
Ben Youds, Tommy Cross, David Warsofsky, Chris Casto, Joe Morrow, Mike Moore, Kevan Miller, Zach Trotman,
Niklas Svedberg, Malcolm Subban
In the stats department, Eric O’Dell leads the IceCaps with four goals and five points, while Kael Mouillierat has the most assists with five. Ben Chiarot has a team-leading plus-seven, while Patrice Cormier, on recall to Winnipeg, leads the parade to the penalty box with 13 minutes. Eddie Pasquale has a 2.61 goals against average and .914 save percentage ... The Ontario Reign, the IceCaps ECHL affiliate, blanked the Bakersfield Condors 3-0 last Saturday night before a sellout crowd of 8,953 in Ontario, Calif., outside L.A. ...