Newspaper article The Canadian Press

After Semifinal Appearance, IceCaps out to Prove They're Not a One-Season Wonder

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

After Semifinal Appearance, IceCaps out to Prove They're Not a One-Season Wonder

Article excerpt

IceCaps ready for another deep playoff push


ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Making the playoffs in a team's first season is usually a sign of success, but the St. John's IceCaps wanted to do more than make a token appearance in the American Hockey League post-season.

The IceCaps wanted victory, and they came within a series of going all the way to the Calder Cup final. St. John's advanced to the semifinals before bowing out to the powerhouse Norfolk Admirals.

IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge says the team has sampled playoff success, and now they're ready to show they're not a one-season wonder.

"The whole city, ourselves included as the staff, got a real taste for playoff hockey this year," McCambridge said.

"We would like to, again, push hard and deep into the playoffs to be one of the final four teams and then some."

McCambridge, who is entering his second year as head coach, knows a lot of things need to go right if the team is to repeat last year's efforts.

"It's a long season, there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle that need to stay in place," he said. "Injuries obviously are one. When the NHL is moving, call-ups get factored in too.

"To look at your team on paper is one thing, but when they are on the ice those intangibles hop in. We have to see what our identity is going to be."

Carl Klingberg, who scored 15 goals as a rookie last season, says a large returning cast gives the IceCaps the promise of another playoff push.

"We have basically a lot of the guys from last year," he said. "We have an opportunity, we have a lot of new veterans, I think we have an even better team this year. Every other team has it too because of the lockout, so it's hard to tell. Start with the first games and try to win those."

Klingberg says the team has a rare locker-room atmosphere, led by veterans Jason King and Jason Jaffray, where everybody gets along.

"A lot of the base guys are still here," he said. "We have a good atmosphere in (the locker-room). Lots of good, hard people. In teams, sometimes people hate each other, and can't stand another guy. On this team, everybody likes each other and that's what makes us so good I guess. …

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