ST. JOHN’S, NL — Anchored by a 32-save performance from Michael Hutchinson and power-play goals from Josh Morrissey and Jason Jaffray, the St. John’s IceCaps trimmed the Norfolk Admirals 2-1 to even their Eastern Conference Semifinal best-of-seven series at one game apiece.
Chris Wagner scored the lone goal for the Admirals, while John Gibson made 39 saves in the loss.
After a scoreless opening frame, Morrissey put the IceCaps ahead 1-0 2:48 into the second on the man advantage. Breaking in on the rush, Morrissey wristed a shot from the circle that squeaked under the arm of Gibson for his first professional goal.
The IceCaps converted on a second-straight power play just under three minutes later, this time on a goal from Jaffray. Stripping the puck free, Jaffray spun and fired it past Gibson to extend the IceCaps’ lead to two.
Then, with less than four minutes to play in the period, Hutchinson made a sprawling glove save on Nic Kerdiles to help send the IceCaps to the dressing room with a 2-0 advantage.
Wagner cut the Admirals’ deficit to one midway through the final frame on the power play, when he followed up on Dave Steckel’s shot in the crease and poked home the rebound. That’s as close as Norfolk came, however, as the IceCaps finished strong to even the series 1-1.
The best-of-seven series now shifts to Norfolk for Games 3, 4, and 5, with Game 3 set for Saturday night (9:30 p.m. NT) at the Norfolk Scope Arena. Catch all the action with broadcaster Brian Rogers on www.stjohnsicecaps.com and 930 AM, or watch online at www.ahllive.com. Pregame gets underway at 9:00.
Notes: Not dressed for the IceCaps: Kris Fredheim, Ryan Olsen, Cody Lampl, Ryan Schnell, Josh Lunden, Julian Melchiori, Brandon MacLean, Austen Brassard, Eric Comrie, Jussi Olkinuora, Eddie Pasquale… Michael Hutchinson drew an assist on Josh Morrissey’s second-period tally, his second of the playoffs… St. John’s has outshot Norfolk by a combined 84-59 through two games… St. John’s went 2-for-6 on the man advantage and killed off 5-of-6 shorthanded situations… Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. Michael Hutchinson 2. John Gibson 3. Jason Jaffray… Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: Jordan Hill.