St. John’s IceCaps Season Review

A season to remember

It began as an all too regular regular season for the St. John’s IceCaps.

Up until January 2014, the IceCaps had a 16-13-3 record, including a mediocre 4-5-1 October record. It certainly didn’t give any indication that this team would play in the Calder Cup just a few short months later.

New Year, New Team

I’m not sure what they had to drink on New Year’s. But it worked.

Compiling a 30-10-4 record from January to April in the regular season (9-3 January, 8-3-1 February, 8-3-1 March, 5-1-2 April), the IceCaps secured fourth place in the Eastern Conference with a total of 99 points and a record of 46-23-2-5. They were headed back to the Calder Cup playoffs for the second time in their three year history.

Team Leaders

Goals: John Albert (28), Jerome Samson (27), Andrew Gordon (23)

Assists: Jason Jaffray (*41), Brenden Kichton (38), Andrew Gordon (34)

Points: Jason Jaffray (59), Andrew Gordon (57), Jerome Samson (56)

Wins: Michael Hutchinson and Michael Hutchinson (17/each)

GAA: Tyler Beskorowany (2.20)

Save %: Tyler Beskorowany (.932%)

Notes:

IceCaps rookie defenceman Josh Morrissey played well in his short time. He played just eight games during the final stretch of the season after reporting to the club from his junior team, and in 20 Calder Cup games he had 9 points….Eddie Pasquale was the starting goaltender up until February after having hip-surgery….Pasquale was traded on June 28th to the Washing Capitals….Michael Hutchinson poised to make the NHL. Was the starting goaltender for the IceCaps during the Calder Cup playoffs and after returning from the Jets call-up in April.

FULL TEAM STATS


Playoff Powerhouse

The IceCaps received the unknown team card in this year’s playoffs. St. John’s did not play three-of-four post season opponents during the 2013-2014 regular season. They defeated the Albany Devils in four games in the first round and moved on to defeat the Norfolk Admirals in six games. Round three saw the ‘Caps prevail against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in six games, however not without a fight. It was a penalty-filled series that included the Penguins first-ever post-season fight, and even a suspension of IceCaps defenceman Will O’Neill.

Goaltender Michael Hutchinson was the talk of the playoffs, posting an AHL-best 1.95 GAA, .938 save % and three shutouts. The IceCaps had played their second conference final in three years.

They had become the Eastern Conference Champions for the first time.

Just one series left to play. Just one series.

Almost, but not quite

For the first time since 1992, an AHL team from St. John’s, Newfoundland was back in the Calder Cup Finals, and they would be against the Texas Stars, the first place team in the entire AHL.

And much like the ’92 St. John’s Maple Leafs, it didn’t end the way they wanted.


“This one’s going to sting. This one’s going to hurt for a long time.”
–IceCaps Head Coach Keith McCambridge


Behemoth Nemeth

Lead by AHL MVP (regular season and playoffs) Travis Morin, and rookie Brendan Ranford, the Texas Stars defeated the St. John’s IceCaps in five games. With just 5:30 remaining in the first overtime period of Game 5, Stars defenceman Patrik Nemeth deked past Jordan Hill and finished off the series with a nifty top-shelf backhander over Michael Hutchinson’s glove. His first goal of the playoffs, his 5th career AHL goal.

And that was it. The AHL season was over.


 


Records set this season

Most points, one season: Jason Jaffray, 59

Most assists, one season: Jason Jaffray, 41

Highest Plus/Minus: Ben Chiarot, +29

Most PIM, one season: JC Lipon, 136

Most team wins, one season: 46

Most points: 99

Most Goals-For: 258


 


 

 


 

Notes: 
The Jets have a number of other players signed to entry-level contracts but who will not be age-eligible to play in the AHL next season. This list includes defenceman Josh Morrissey, goaltender Eric Comrie, undrafted forward Axel Blomqvist, and high-scoring WHL forward Nic Petan.

Scott Kosmachuk, Connor Hellebuyck, and Ryan Olsen will play with the IceCaps next season and make their pro-debuts.

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Prospects Josh Morrissey and Eric Comrie have reported to IceCaps

The Winnipeg Jets have assigned prospects G Eric Comrie and D Josh Morrissey to the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League from their respective junior teams.

As reported earlier this week after being eliminated in the WHL playoffs, Josh Morrissey will play for the IceCaps and will don jersey #6.

Comrie, 18, went 26-25-4-5 with the Tri-City Americans in the WHL this season with a .925 sv %, 2.57 GAA and 4 shut-outs.

The IceCaps are currently using 3rd and 4th string goaltenders Jussi Olkinuora and Tyler Beskorowany, after Eddie Pasquale had season-ending surgery, and Michael Hutchinson was recalled by the Jets.

Beskorowany, signed as a PTO, has been outstanding with the IceCaps with a record of 5-2-1, .935 sv% and 2.10 GAA.

Jets Prospect Josh Morrissey Assigned To IceCaps

Winnipeg Jets thirteenth overall draft pick from Josh Morrissey will soon see his first action in the American Hockey League.

With Wednesday’s night 6-2 loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings, the Prince Albert Raiders were eliminated from the WHL playoffs. And with that, D Josh Morrissey was sent packing. But he’s not going home just yet. Via Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press and TSN 1290, Josh Morrissey will report to the St. John’s IceCaps.

On Friday, Morrissey will turn 19 years old.

With 158 points (53G, 105A) in 202 WHL regular season games, the IceCaps strong defensive corps will add yet another d-man.

But will he see action?

It’s hard to know whether or not the IceCaps will play Morrissey as regular, extra or scratched d-man; the chemistry between IceCaps players is working perfectly – they have just two losses in their past fifteen games. With the likes of Brenden Kichton, Zach Redmond, and J.C. Lipon playing strong, the highly touted Morrissey will need to work his way into the fourth place IceCaps lineup. With just ten games remaining in the AHL season, Morrissey should see a fair amount of time on the ice going into the playoffs.

We’ll quickly see if coach Keith McCambridge puts Morrissey in as they play Friday, his birthday, in Binghamton and Saturday in Hershey.