St. John's wraps up regular-season schedule against Pirates tonight
Jerome Samson came up with a four-point night on a goal and three assists and Michael Hutchinson made 23 saves for the shutout as the St. John’s IceCaps blanked the Worcester Sharks 6-0 in American Hockey League play at Worcester, Mass., Friday night.
It was the second-last game of the regular-season for St. John’s (45-23-7), which closes out its schedule with a matchup tonight (8:30 p.m. NT) against the Portland Pirates.
No matter what happens tonight, IceCaps will finish as the fourth seed in the AHL’s Eastern Conference and will face the fifth seed in the best-of-five first round of the Calder Cup playoffs. Just who that fifth seed will be will be determined by other results tonight (see accompanying story).
Friday night at the DCU Centre in Worcester, Eric O’Dell, Ben Chiarot, Kyle MacKinnon, Josh Lunden and Carl Klingberg also scored for St. John’s, while rookie forward JC Lipon contributed three assists.
O’Dell and Chiarot also had helpers for two-point games.
Hutchinson registered his second shutout for St. John’s in his first action since being returned by the parent Winnipeg Jets.
The IceCaps will be playing tonight at the Pirates’ practice rink, a 400-seat facility in Saco, Me., south of Portland. Because of a dispute with the operators of the Cumberland County Civic Centre (CCCC) in Portland, the Pirates had been playing their regular-season games at the Colisee in Lewiston, Me., but that facility has been taken over by a circus this weekend.
By the way, the Pirates will return to play at the CCCC next season.
Samson’s goal was his 26th of the season. John Albert leads the team with 27 … Samson finished the night with a plus-four rating, as diid Lipon. Zach Redmond, Brenden Kichton and Lunden each were plus-three … Klingberg’s 22nd goal of the season came on the power play, meaning St. John’s went 1-for-5 in man-advantage situations Friday. The IceCaps went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill … Not dressed for St. John’s Friday were defencemen Julian Melchiori, Will O’Neill and Cody Lampl, goalie Eric Comrie and forwards Ryan Schnell, Brandon MacLean and Austin Brassard … MacLean, who spent most of the season with the ECHL’ s Florida Everblades, was signed to a PTO by the IceCaps this week. Meanwhile, forward Colton Beck as released from his amateur tryout, allowing him to return to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks to clew up matters related to his college education … Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, signed to an entry-level deal by the Jets earlier this month, has joined the IceCaps, but only for practice purposes. Hellebuyck, who was named the top goalie in the NCAA while playing for UMass-Lowell this season, will join Team USA for the world hockey championship early next month … The Molson Canadian three stars Friday: 1. Samson 2. Hutchinson 3. Chiarot … The Mary Brown’s hardest-working IceCap: O’Dell ….
IceCaps 6 at Sharks 0
Friday at the DCU Center, Worcester, Mass.
1. St. John's, O'Dell 17 (Lipon, Samson) 11:56
2. St. John's, MacKinnon 12 (Chiarot) 14:15
Penalties — Mouillierat SJs (roughing) 5:26; Hill SJs (hooking) 17:12
3. St. John's, Lunden 4 (Samson, Hill) 11:13
4. St. John's, Chiarot 6 (Lipon, Samson) 13:58
Penalties — Doherty Wor (hooking) 0:10; Pelech Wor (cross-checking) 3:17; Riley SJs (hooking) 15:54; Carpenter Wor (hooking) 16:42
5. St. John's, Klingberg 22 (O'Dell, Hutchinson) 7:29 (pp)
6. St. John's, Samson 26 (Lipon, Klingberg)16:04
Penalties — Acolatse Wor (hooking) 6:56; Kichton SJs (elbowing) 18:36; Pelech Wor (roughing, roughing, misconduct) 18:36
Shots on goal: St. John's 8-11-9-28; Worcester 8-8-7-23
Power play (goals/opportunities): St. John's 1/5; Worcester 0/3
Goaltenders: St. John's, Hutchinson 16-5-1 (23 shots/23 saves); Worcester, Sateri 18-24-2 (28/22)
Referee: Darcy Burchell
Linesmen: Todd Whittemore, Ed Boyle