Ice Caps to play preseason game in Clarenville
In what’s becoming an annual preseason partnering of the St. John’s Ice Caps and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s American Hockey League farm teams, the Ice Caps will host the Syracuse Crunch for three exhibition games late this month.
The contests – two at Mile One Centre in St. John’s (Sept. 26 and Sept, 29) and another at the Clarenville Events Centre (Sept. 28) – will come during the Ice Caps’ training camp, which will be held Sept. 23-29 in St. John’s.
This is the third straight year that the Lightning’s AHL affiliate has provided preseason opposition for the Ice Caps. In 2011, the Norfolk Admirals, then Tampa Bay’s affiliate, met the Ice Caps in games at Gander, Grand Falls-Windsor and at Mile One.
A year ago, it was the Crunch who travelled here after the Lightning made an offseason affiliation switch to Syracuse. At that time, preseason contests were held in Corner Brook, Stephenville and Clarenville.
In those cases, the Ice Caps based their training camp outside of St. John’s – in Gander in 2011 and Corner Brook in 2012.
Glenn Stanford, the Ice Caps’ chief operating officer, sees the team going outside St. John’s for training camp again next year, in what would be a two-year cycle.
Stanford said “Taking our team outside of St. John’s to other parts of Newfoundland is important to us.
“We believe going out the central or the western part of the province every two years is something we can do. More than that, we think it is something we should do and something we need to do.”
The Ice Caps-Crunch pre-season gettogether has succeeded partly because the Lightning see the trip to Newfoundland as an excellent bonding experience for its farmhands at the start of the season, but came about largely because of the relationship between Tampa Bay assistant general manger Julien BriseBois and Ice Caps’ chief operating officer Glenn Stanford, who had once worked together on the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs.
Stanford added the Ice Caps had looked at the possibility of bringing in the Bulldogs, the farm club of the Montreal Canadiens, or the Toronto Marlies, the Maple Leafs’ AHL team, this year before sticking with the Crunch.
Start time for the Sept. 26 game at Mile One will be 7 p.m., while the Sept. 28 matchup in Clarenville is at 5 p.m. The Sept. 29 contest at Mile One has a 4 p.m. start.
A select number of tickets will be given away through a contest conducted by Mary Brown’s, sponsors of the Mary’s Cup, which the Ice Caps and Crunch will compete for in their series. Norfolk won the Cup in 2011, with Crunch maintaining the visitors’ hold on the trophy last year.
The Sunday, Sept. 29 contest has been designated as a ‘school game’, with all tickets being distributed to St. John’s metro region junior high students. Ticket purchase will take place within the school system.
Tickets for the Clarenville contest are available exclusively through Mary Brown’s. Fans can secure free tickets by entering online at ‘www.winwithmarybrowns.com’ or by visiting their local Mary Brown’s restaurant for more information.
The Ice Caps’ NHL parent, the Winnipeg Jets, haven’t announced its training camp dates yet, although it is known the Jets will play eight exhibition games between Sept. 14 and Sept. 27.
The Ice Caps open its 2013-14 AHL regular-schedule at home Oct. 4 against a yet-tobe-determined opponent.
St. John’s Telegram