Thursday, 1 December 2016

IceCaps 3, Syracuse Crunch 2 (SO)

I really like that RDS is broadcasting some of the IceCaps' games this season.  The product is a little amateurish, seeing as Stéphane Leroux and Norman Flynn aren't at the game in St. John's, but rather are calling it from a video feed in a studio, but it's great to see the farm team, the prospects with our own eyes.

I'm looking forward to enhanced coverage when the team moves to Laval next season.

--Unfortunately, Gabriel Dumont is injured, and Michaël Bournival just got called up to Tampa Bay, so we won't see them in action tonight.

I wish it would have worked out in Montréal for these boys, I liked them as players and as people.

--Jacob de la Rose had three assists in two games last weekend, and gets a good scoring change on the powerplay, getting off a dangerous shot from the slot midway through the first.  There's been some handwringing in his case, but I'm not too worried.  He's got a full year to work on his game in St. John's, and maybe even next season, since he won't be eligible for waivers next fall.  So let's be patient, let the big boy play in the AHL until he figures it out.

--Speaking of the powerplay, it's clicking along at 25% right now, so at least something is going right with the IceCaps.

--Nikita Scherbak was in the lineup provided prior to the game, but hasn't been on the ice yet, the announcers don't have any info as to what's going on, whether an injury or if he's being benched.

Although as they discuss the matter further, they mention that he was slated to skate with Mark MacMillan and Connor Crisp on the fourth line according to their game notes, so there's probably some kind of coach's decision at play here.

--Nikita is on the ice with Mike McCarron and Jacob de la Rose to start the second, so I guess there was a sanction against him for the nebulous 'violation of team rules', or a message being sent.

--And it looks like the message got through.  Nikita scores the IceCaps' first goal late in the second on a semi-screened wrist shot top corner gloveside, and very very late in the period, picks up an assist when he flings the puck at the net and it is tipped in by Markus Eisenschmid.  The horn to end the period sounded simultaneously, so the refs had to go to video review to allow the goal.

2-1 IceCaps after two periods.

--An unexpected spectacle during the second: Daniel Audette, all 5'7", 159 lbs of him, involved in a furious scrap with a Syracuse player.  And he didn't do too badly too, stayed upright and threw a lot of punches, until the end when he kind of tapped out, turned away, and let the linesmen come to his aid.

--Not to obsess over Nikita Scherbak, but about five minutes into the third, he got rocked by a solid bodycheck on the boards, and struggled to defend as play continued in the IceCaps zone.  He coasted off the ice when the zone was cleared.

--A few minutes later, as the announcers bemoaned the IceCaps' apathy as the Crunch pushed hard to tie the game, and bottled up the 'Caps in their zone, Yann Danis was beaten on a shot from the point he never saw, being completely screened.

Score is tied 2-2

--Halfway through the third, the main thought that occurs to a Canadiens fan is how few gamebreakers there are on this team.  It doesn't help that Charles Hudon and Mark Barberio are called up, but really, this game, the only trio that threatened the opposition net consistently was the line of Andrighetto, Eisenchmid and Scherbak.

It pains me that Mike McCarron is essentially invisible in this game.  Which is quite the feat when you think about it.

--Overtime:  Jacob de la Rose and Daniel Audette do well as a duo, set up a few chances for each other.

Nikita Scherbak also looks great.

Max Friberg makes a nice defensive play and gets a near breakaway as a result, almost scores.

Nice end-to-end action.

--Stéphane Leroux: "La première période au Crunch, la deuxième aux IceCaps, la troisième au Crunch, la prolongation aux IceCaps."


Daniel Audette, couple of head fakes, wrist shot glove side off the post and in.

Corey Conacher, tries the blocker side, short side on Yann Danis, easy save.

Sven Andrighetto, comes in slowly, weaving, blisters a wrist shot also post and in, also glove side, top corner.

Tanner Richard, not sure what he was trying to do, did a whole bunch of fakes and weaving as he coasted in with his head down, tried to tuck it in five-hole on the backhand, easy stop again for Yann Danis.

IceCaps 3, Crunch 2 (SO)

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