IceCaps find spark to snap 7-game home losing streak
Eric O'Dell scored 3 goals and added an assist for the St.John's IceCaps over the weekend, as the IceCaps snapped their 7-game losing streak, winning 4-2 against the Toronto Marlies in AHL action Feb. 13.
For St.John's, it was a much better result than their Feb.12 loss to the Marlies, as they dropped further in the standings and away from a playoff spot, with a nasty 6-2 final score for the visiting Marlies.
Overall, the weekend showed that there may be hope after all for the struggling IceCaps, though the team is still four points back of a playoff spot (sitting in 13th in the East). Ben Chairot ate up large minutes on the blueline and showed his physical side. On Friday, Head Coach Keith McCambridge said the 22-year-old was adapting well to the larger role, although he needed to crank up his physicality further. Looking up Winnipeg's depth chart, McCambridge added, there is a lot more opportunity in the future for a defensive-minded, hard-nosed D-man than for an offensive threat on the blueline.
With Mark Dekanich sidelined with an injury, the IceCaps will be hoping Eddie Pasquale will return to winning ways, in the same fashion that has endeared him to fans in the first place ("Eddie, Eddie" chants, anybody?) This might be the perfect chance for Pasquale to run with the starting job (after this weekend he has played 10 more games then Dekanich, but hasn't won the number one job outright). Both goalies have had good nights and bad nights, and neither should take any particular blame for the IceCaps current low standing in the East.
If there is any blame for the IceCaps poor standing (though McCambridge surely won't accept it as an excuse), it has to be injuries. All year the Caps have been plagud with the injury bug. At points it got so bad that even Shawn Weller, who was brought in to help out because of all the forwards injured, was himself injured.
The lockout ending, contrary to what seemed like concensus belief, has at the moment hurt the IceCaps as much as anyone (maybe save the Barons), as St.John's has lost 3 of their top 4 d-man (Postma, Meech and Redmon) as well as forwards Maxime Macenauer and Spencer Machacek. Shortly some of the players will be returning though.
Whichever way it's sliced, the IceCaps split the weekend and will be happy for it. Toronto Marlies coach yesterday said after the win that the Marlies had no intentions to split the weekend, but that is the way the cookie crumbles... And, for once in what feels like quite some time, the IceCaps were handed a share of the spoils.
Note: Feisty ball-of-energy Kevin Clark added two goals for the IceCaps in their Feb.13 win, and many will be hoping he can continue to execute and convert great hands into goals.