ST. JOHN’S, NL — Led by a 34-save shutout performance from Michael Hutchinson and a scoring-by-committee effort, the St. John’s IceCaps pounded the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 5-0 Tuesday night to advance to the Calder Cup finals.
The IceCaps, who closed out their Eastern Conference final series in six games with the win, now await the winner of the Texas Stars-Toronto Marlies Western Conference final series.
Eric O’Dell, Adam Lowry, Blair Riley, Zach Redmond, and Jason Jaffray scored for the IceCaps, while Brenden Kichton and Jerome Samson each chipped in with two assists.
O’Dell put the IceCaps on the board with just over two minutes left to play in the opening frame, the 14th time in 16 games this post-season St. John’s has scored first. With the IceCaps pressuring on the power play, Kichton sent a shot-pass to O’Dell in the slot, who tipped it past Peter Mannino to make it 1-0.
In the second, Lowry extended the IceCaps’ lead to two at 3:24. After Josh Morrissey wheeled his way out from behind the net and into the corner, he fed a cross-ice pass to Lowry in front that he redirected blocker side.
St. John’s picked up where it left off in the final frame, getting a goal from Riley – his first of the post-season – at 2:23. After Kichton blasted a shot from the point, Riley tipped it through the five-hole of Mannino while falling down to give the IceCaps a three-goal cushion.
Then, just under three minutes later, Redmond took a feed from Patrice Cormier before wristing a shot from the point that beat Mannino over the glove.
With 48 seconds left to play, Jason Jaffray put the exclamation mark on the win with an empty-netter to make it 5-0 and punch the IceCaps’ ticket to the Calder Cup finals.
Tickets for the Calder Cup championship series go on sale tomorrow, June 4, at Mile One Centre, beginning at 12:00 p.m. Confirmed dates for the series will be announced following the conclusion of the Marlies-Stars series.
NOTES: Not dressed for St. John’s: Ryan Olsen, Will O’Neill, Cody Lampl, JC Lipon, Ryan Schnell, Julian Melciori, Brandon MacLean, Austen Brassard, Jussi Olkinuora, Eddie Pasquale… St. John’s went 1-for-5 on the man advantage and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill… The IceCaps finished the series a perfect 32-for-32 on the penalty kill… Andrew Gordon saw his three-game assist streak come to an end… Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. Michael Hutchinson 2. Eric O’Dell 3. Josh Morrissey… Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: Zach Redmond.