Jussi Olkinuora registered his first shutout as a pro as the St. John’s IceCaps blanked the Hamilton Bulldogs 3-0 Saturday night at Copps Coliseum, giving the IceCaps their first three-game win streak of the 2013-14 American Hockey League season.
Olkinuora got the start after No. 1 goalie Eddie Pasquale suffered an injury in practice on Friday and the rookie from Finland responded, making 30 saves in a first-star performance. Sixteen of those stops came in the first period.
Kael Mouillierat and Carl Klingberg scored in the second period for St. John's (15-10-3), while Eric O'Dell added his team-leading 12th goal of the season in the third.
IceCaps rookie defenceman Brenden Kichton had two assists and was the game's second star.
Hamilton (12-12-3) goalie Dustin Tokarski, who faced 39 shots, was the third star.
The IceCaps close out a quick trip to Ontario this afternoon (4:30 p.m. NT) when they face the Toronto Marlies (13-9-1) at the Ricoih Coliseum. It will be the 12th game in 24 days for St. John's, which then begins a 10-day Christmas break before resuming its schedule Dec. 27. in Worcester, Mass.
After two losses in regulation and another in a shootout, Olkinuora has won his last four starts …Pasquale's injury meant the IceCaps summoned goalie Michael Hutchinson from the Ontario (Calif.) Reign of the ECHL to act as Olkinuora's backup. Hutchinson arrived on redeye flight from Los Angeles at 7 a.m. Saturday. The 23-year-old Hutchinson, who spent most of the last three seasons in the AHL with the Providence Bruins, was signed as a free agent by the Winnipeg Jets over the summer … Klingberg has five goals in his last six games ... Besides Pasquale, scratches for St. John’s Saturday were defencemen Julian Melchiori (injury, day-to-day), Cody Lampl and Travis Ehrhardt, and forwards Josh Lunden and Austen Brassard. Neither Lunden (concussion) or Brassard (personal matters) is with the team … The announced attendance Saturday was over 3,100, but a snow storm that hit southern Ontario meant the actual number of people in the stands at Copps Coliseum numbered in the hundreds … The IceCaps went 0-for-6 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill… Brian Rogers' choice as the Mary Brown’s hardest-working IceCap: Andrew Gordon.