'Hutch' is clutch as IceCaps down Binghamton for a second straight game

Brendan McCarthy
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St. John's goalie makes 42 saves in 1-0 win at Mile One

They weren’t close to being at their best, but the St. John’s IceCaps found a way to win Saturday night.
“The way” wore pads, a mask and jersey No. 33.

St. John's IceCaps  goalie Michael Hutchinson saves a shot from Binghamton Senators forward Darren Kramer during AHL action Saturday at Mile One Centre in St. John's.

Goaltender Michael Hutchinson made 42 saves — many of them outstanding, including a few in the final minute — as the IceCaps won their sixth game in row, blanking the Binghamton Senators 1-0 in American Hockey League action at Mile One Centre.

Eric O’Dell scored the only goal of the night as St. John’s posted their second win over the Senators in as many nights; the IceCaps (34-19-4) started a seven-game home stand by downing Binghamton 6-2 on Friday.

O’Dell scored his 15th goal of the season at 11:41 of the first period, taking an out-of-the corner pass from linemate and IceCaps leading scorer Kael Mouillierat and quickly snapping a shot past B-Sens goalie Andrew Hammond.

It was all the home side needed as Hutchinson, making his 17th start in St. John’s last 19 games, posted his second shutout of the season and improved his IceCaps record to 12-4-1.

Hammond made 24 saves for Binghamton (33-19-4), which lost for a fourth straight time.

The Senators arrived in St. John’s with the highest-scoring offence in the league, but were stymied by Hutchinson, who totalled 70 saves in the two games, and was assisted by some fearless shot-blocking by his teammates.

Hutchinson’s best save on Saturday night probably came midway through the second period, as he slid across the crease to make a left-pad save of Corey Cowick’s one-timer on a cross-crease pass. However, when it came to clutch stops, none were better than two diving saves on the B-Sens’ Cole Schneider in the waning moments of the contest, with Binghamton on a power play and Hammond on the bench for an extra attacker.

The result gives St. John’s 72 points, two more than the Senators, but Binghamton officially remains in third place in the AHL’s Eastern Conference standings, with St. John’s in fourth. That’s because the Senators lead the AHL’s East Division, and the division leaders in each conference occupy the top three spots in the standings, regardless of record.

St. John’s is in second place in the Atlantic Division, eight points behind the conference-best Manchester Monarchs. The IceCaps have three games in hand on the Monarchs.

 

Notes

The IceCaps used the same lineup as they had on Friday, which meant defenceman Cody Lampl and forwards Ryan Schnell, Josh Lunden and Austen Brassard are scratches, along with goalie Eddie Pasquale and defenceman Kris Fredheim, both injured … The biggest change for the Senators saw Hammond getting the start in goal after Nathan Lawson went the distance Friday night … The IceCaps had seven power-play opportunities Saturday, but didn’t generate much offence with the man advantage, include a one-minute, 42-second five-on-three chance in the opening frame. Binghamton went zero-for-six on the PP. In fact, some of the best scoring chances in the two games came from penalty-killers on both sides … St. John’s continues its home schedule with games against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (farm team of the New York Islanders) Friday and Saturday … The IceCaps hold their annual FanFest 1 p.m.-4 p.m. today at Mile One … The Molson Canadian three stars Saturday: 1. Hutchinson 2. O’Dell 3. Binghamton forward Stephane Da Costa… The Mary Brown’s hardest-working IceCap: Julian Melchiori.

bmcc@thetelegram.com

Organizations: IceCaps, American Hockey League

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