© — Telegram file photo
The St. John’s IceCaps Kael Mouillierat will miss the remainder of the American Hockey League regular season after he suffered an unspecified injury Friday against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Mile One Centre. The 26-year-old was leading the IceCaps with 49 points in 56 games.
IceCaps lose leading scorer to injury, return for playoffs uncertain
There was some good news coming out of the St. John’s IceCaps’ practice Tuesday morning as Carl Klingberg skated before the team hit the ice, meaning Klingberg is listed as day to day after suffering a leg injury Friday night against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
But that tidbit of information, however, overshadowed news that the IceCaps’ leading scorer, Kael Mouillierat, is done for the season.
Mouillierat suffered an unspecified injury Friday against the Sound Tigers and like Klingberg, was scratched from the lineup the next night. Following practice Tuesday, St. John’s coach Keith McCambridge confirmed the 26-year-old Edmonton native is done for the remainder of the American Hockey League season, saying only that surgery is not required.
The IceCaps have not yet officially clinched a playoff spot, so McCambridge could not speculate if Mouillierat will be available if St. John’s secures a ticket to the Calder Cup post-season dance.
“Injuries happen and you have to deal with it,” shrugged McCambridge.
Mouillierat is leading with IceCaps with 49 points through 56 games, six more than captain Jason Jaffray and rookie Brenden Kichton. His 18 goals trail Andrew Gordon and Jerome Samson, who each have 19. Mouillierat was one of the IceCaps’ most consistent skaters this season, witnessed by the fact the longest he went without registering at least one point was four games. And that was back in November.
“He’s been a real key part of our team this season,” said McCambridge. “We’ll certainly have to make adjustments to our power play. He was a key fixture on one of our power play units, so we will have to reconfigure that.”
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The loss of Mouillierat means players who have been in and out of the lineup — namely rookie Austen Brassard, Ryan Schnell, who’s been injured and hasn’t played since Jan. 26, and Josh Lunden, who missed 47 games to a concussion — will now get a chance to play, barring the IceCaps bringing in a player to replace Mouillierat.
The IceCaps brought Mouillierat in from the ECHL on a tryout contract in early December, 2012. He produced 11 goals and 42 points in 50 games last season, good enough to put him third in team scoring and earn him an AHL contract.
“The players know by this point of the season what the expectations are from the coaching staff,” said McCambridge when asked if some of the veteran IceCaps will be asked to shoulder a greater workload now that Mouillierat’s gone.
“They’re playing pro hockey, so they realize that if they’re getting bigger minutes on the power play, they have to make the most of it,” he said.
The IceCaps refused to make Mouillierat available to The Telegram.