‘I’ll take anything right now’

Robin Short
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Snake-bitten Albert doesn’t care how the shots go in, as long as they start going in

Considering the fact the St. John’s IceCaps are 8-4 in the Calder Cup playoffs, and in the American Hockey League’s Eastern Conference final, it’s hard to find fault with the team.
But it would be nice if the club started enjoying some balanced scoring through the lineup.
Of the 33 goals the IceCaps have scored in the post season — the fewest of the four teams still playing — 15 have come off the sticks of two players, Andrew Gordon and Eric O’Dell.

The St. John’s IceCaps’ John Albert(16) falls after a missed scoring opportunity on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins goaltender Peter Mannino in Game 1 Saturday at Mile One Centre. Albert scored a team-high 28-goals in the regular season, but has lit the lamp just once in the IceCaps’ 12 playoff games to date.

Rookie J.C. Lipon, Patrice Cormier, Blair Riley and Josh Lunden, who has been in and out of the lineup in the playoffs, are still looking for their first goal.

Jason Jaffray, the IceCaps’ scoring leader during the regular season, Kael Mouillierat, who led the team in scoring through much of the year until he was hurt, and 22-goal scorer Carl Klingberg all have only a pair of goals apiece.

John Albert, who potted 28 goals during the season and got his first recall to the Winnipeg Jets, has only one playoff tally.

“I think our line is doing a pretty good job,” said Albert, who centres Jaffray and Mouillierat. “We’re pretty solid defensively. We haven’t given up too many chances, and we’re getting pucks to the net.

“I think I’m playing a pretty solid game right now. The chances are coming and once a puck goes in, you get one and then you get two.”

In fairness, Albert is getting his chances, and he remains one of the IceCaps’ go-to players on the penalty kill.

But when you’ve scored 28 in the regular season, one in the playoffs doesn’t cut it.

“It’s funny how this game works,” he said. “Sometimes all it takes is a puck to go in off you, and I’ll take that.

“I’ll take anything right now.”

Coach Keith McCambridge was typically tight-lipped on his lineup for Game 3 of the East final tonight (8:35 p.m. NL time, 930AM, stjohnsicecaps.com).

Forward Jerome Samson was a healthy scratch in Game 2 of the series Sunday night in St. John’s. Samson, who netted 27 goals during the regular season, has three in the playoffs. He was minus-two in Saturday night’s 3-2 Game 1 loss.

In a strange move, Samson wasn’t made available to the media following practice Tuesday, meaning he probably will not play tonight.

That’s reinforced by the fact Josh Lunden was used on the power play during drills in practice.


Organizations: IceCaps, Winnipeg Jets

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