WILKES-BARRE, PA – The St. John’s IceCaps played a flawless road game and pounded the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 5-0 in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Final series at Mohegan Sun Arena Wednesday night.
With the win, the IceCaps took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Andrew Gordon had three assists and Eric O’Dell notched a goal and an assist, while Michael Hutchinson stopped all 30 shots he faced for his second shutout of the postseason. Jason Jaffray, Kael Mouillierat, Zach Redmond and Patrice Cormier also scored for St. John’s.
The IceCaps opened the scoring at 11:24 with the first power play goal by either team in the series. With time ticking down on the man advantage, Josh Morrissey made a great feed through the slot to Cormier, who redirected it past Peter Mannino for his first of the playoffs to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Less than two minutes later St. John’s extended its lead to two on Jaffray’s third of the postseason. Gordon forced a turnover behind the Penguins net and fed Jaffray near the right hash marks. The captain wired a one-timer that found the twine for a 2-0 IceCaps lead.
Just 1:35 into the second, O’Dell notched his eighth to give the IceCaps a three-goal advantage. After some forechecking by Mouillierat and Carl Klingberg, the puck squirted out front to O’Dell, who was in position to wrist one past the glove of Mannino.
St. John’s kept coming after the Penguins found themselves in penalty trouble. With a full two-minute 5-on-3 power play following some undisciplined play by the Penguins’ Zach Sill and Tom Kostopoulos, Mouillierat was the recipient of a nice cross-ice feed from Gordon and ripped home his third of the playoffs to make it 4-0.
With time ticking away in the second, the IceCaps extended their lead to five. After the Penguins iced the puck with close to five seconds left in the frame, St. John’s controlled the faceoff and Redmond fired a slap shot from the point that snuck through Mannino and trickled over the goal line, giving the IceCaps a commanding 5-0 lead after 40 minutes, ending the netminder’s night.
St. John’s shut down W-B/Scranton in the final frame to earn the victory.
Game 4 is scheduled for Thursday night at Mohegan Sun Arena (8:35 p.m. NT). Catch all the action with broadcaster Brian Rogers at www.stjohnsicecaps and 930 AM, or watch online at www.ahllive.com. Pregame show gets underway on the radio at 8:00.
NOTES: Not dressed for the IceCaps: Kris Fredheim, Jerome Samson, Ryan Olsen, Cody Lampl, Julian Melchiori, Ryan Schnell, Brandon MacLean, Austen Brassard, Eddie Pasquale, Jussi Olkinuora… The IceCaps have scored first in 11-of-13 games this postseason, winning nine… St. John’s has scored five goals in a game in four of their last seven contests… The IceCaps busted out of a slump with the man advantage, scoring their first power play tallies of the series (2-for-5). The penalty killing unit was a perfect 6-for-6 and now stands at 14-for-14 overall in the series… Kyle MacKinnon failed to extend his point streak to five games… Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. Michael Hutchinson 2. Andrew Gordon 3. Eric O’Dell… Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: Patrice Cormier.