St. John’s spots Providence an early lead, loses second straight after opening road trip with win
The St. John’s IceCaps once again spotted the opposition a couple of goals Sunday, and again fell short on the scoreboard at the end of regulation time, this time by a 5-2 count to the Providence Bruins at the Dunkin’ Donuts Centre last evening.
The loss drops the IceCaps to 3-5-1 on the American Hockey League season, and 1-2 on their current six-game road trip through New England.
Saturday, the IceCaps surrendered the first four goals to the Manchester Monarchs, and ended up losing 5-3 at the Verizon Wireless Arena in New Hampshire, after edging the Monarchs 3-2 the night before to open the road swing.
“When you’re a visitor, and the home team scores first or goes up a couple of goals, it’s tough to get that energy level up again,” said St. John’s coach Keith McCambridge. “You’re on the road, you’re working hard and doing the right things and the home team gets the first couple of goals. It’s a tough to dig out of that hole.”
Sunday night, the Bruins scored the game’s first two goals, by Seth Miller and Matt Fraser in the first and second periods. After Jason Jaffray got the IceCaps on the board at 17:51 of the second, Providence responded with another two goals five minutes into the third to seal the win.
Fraser finished the night with two tallies. Joe Morrow and Nick Johnson also scored for the winners. Eric O’Dell, with his fifth on the year, had the other St. John’s goal.
“I liked the fact we had a good intensity early on, and I liked our energy,” McCambridge said. “And our power play clicked (two-for-five) whereas we weren’t as effective the night before in Manchester (one-for-eight).
“What I didn’t like was we gave up too many odd-man rushes. And the direct result of that is too much time in our own zone, which can wear you down.”
Niklas Svedberg, the AHL’s top puckstop last season, stopped 32 of 34 shots for the win. Eddie Pasquale, who has started seven of nine games this season for the IceCaps, made 33 saves.
McCambridge said the IceCaps are hopeful of getting Zach Redmond back in the lineup Wednesday against the Portland Pirates in Lewiston, Me. Redmond, an all-star last season, has yet to play this year because of injury.
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“He would help in our back end and on the power play,” McCambridge said of Redmond, “but our defencemen have been fine moving pucks. There are no shortcomings on that end.
“But (Redmond’s return) would give us more options on the power play.”
Not to mention a glut of defencemen — nine, to be exact. Kris Fredheim, who returned from injury to play his first game of the season Friday, joins Ben Chiarot, Julian Melchiori, Will O’Neill, Jordan Hill, Travis Ehrhardt, Cody Lampl and rookie Brenden Kichton.
Keeping with injuries, Adam Lowry has not played in five games, but McCambridge has the rookie forward projected to be in the lineup Wednesday.
Monarchs 5, IceCaps 3
Following a scoreless opening 20 minutes of play, the Monarchs scored four times on 10 shots on rookie Jussi Olkinuora — two by Tyler Toffoli — in the second period to cruise to victory.
The IceCaps tallied three goals by Kichton, Andrew Gordon and Kael Mouillierat in the opening 5:43 of the third to make a game of it. However, Tanner Pearson scored late in the period to cap off the Manchester win.
Nick Shore and Linden Vey also scored for the winners.
Martin Jones made 21 stops for the win. Olkinuora faced 31 shots in the IceCaps’ net.
Ian O’Connor, a product of the Manchester Junior Monarchs, registered his first career AHL assist on Gordon’s goal. O’Connor was signed to a PTO by the IceCaps last weekend.
IceCaps 3, Monarchs 2
Jaffray’s goal at 9:20 of the second period stood as the winner.
After Vey opened scoring 4:09 in, Carl Klingberg scored his first of the year 39 seconds later and Gordon staked St. John’s to a 2-1 lead with a power play marker at the 10:53 mark.
Pasquale won with a 25-save effort. Jones stopped 28 pucks.