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The St. John’s IceCaps let a clinching opportunity slip through their fingers in Game 5 and now get a chance to finish the series on home ice in Game 6 Friday night at Mile One Centre.
LAST GAME: The Admirals defeated the IceCaps 3-2 in overtime at The Scope in Norfolk on Tuesday night to send the series back to St. John’s.
Eric O’Dell opened the scoring on Tuesday, beating Admirals’ goaltender Brad Thiessen just 6:36 into the contest.
Norfolk would tie the game heading into the first intermission as Max Friberg picked up his third goal of the playoffs with just under two minutes to play in the first period.
After a tightly played scoreless second period, the Admirals jumped ahead and earned a rare lead as Shea Theodore picked up his first of the postseason just 48 seconds into the third period.
The Admirals continued to control the play throughout the majority of the final frame and just as it appeared the game would be settled in regulation time, O’Dell notched his second of the game with just under three minutes remaining to send the game into overtime.
The Admirals came out flying in the extra frame and peppered IceCaps goaltender Michael Hutchinson with 14 shots. He was able to stop the first 13 but Andre Petersson’s power play blast from the point snuck by to give the Admirals their second victory of the series.
Thiessen earned his first win of the series and finished the night with 36 saves. Hutchinson was saddled with his third loss of the playoffs, despite a strong 34-save effort.
NOTES FROM LAST GAME: Not dressed for St. John’s: Kris Fredheim, Ryan Olsen, Cody Lampl, Ryan Schnell, Josh Lunden, Julian Melchiori, Brandon MacLean, Austen Brassard, Eric Comrie, Jussi Olkinuora, Eddie Pasquale… Game 4’s attendance was announced at 1736… St. John’s went 0-for-4 on the power play and 1-for-5 on the penalty kill… … Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. Andre Petersson 2. Shea Theodore 3. Eric O’Dell… Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: Ben Chiarot.
GETTING HOT AT THE RIGHT TIME: IceCaps forward Eric O’Dell scored in the team’s opening game of the playoffs against the Albany Devils, then fell into a slump and failed to record a point over his next five games. He seems to be heating up as O’Dell has recorded five goals on his current AHL-best three game goal streak.
STREAKY D: After being a healthy scratch during the IceCaps first two postseason games, defenseman Will O’Neill has quickly become one of the team’s most reliable offensive players. With an assist on O’Dell’s opening tally on Tuesday night, he extended his assist/point streak to five games. He has failed to record a point in just one of the seven games he has played and sits tied for second in assists amongst all skaters with seven. Rookie defenseman Josh Morrissey has also been on the right end of some streaky play as he had a five-game point streak of his own snapped on Tuesday night. Morrissey’s six points (2G, 4A) are good for fifth in defencemen scoring and ninth in rookie scoring this postseason.
NO JIVE IN GAME 5: The IceCaps have now only twice appeared in a Game 5 in their playoff history, with both games ending in a 3-2 overtime loss. Before Tuesday night’s overtime loss to the Admirals, the IceCaps dropped a 3-2 decision to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on May 8, 2012. They would go on to win that series in seven games.
LIGHT HISTORY IN GAME 6: The IceCaps have only appeared in one Game 6 in their playoff history. On May 11, 2012 at Mile One Centre, the IceCaps dropped Game 6 of their second round series to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins by a score of 4-2. Ironically, current Admirals starter Brad Thiessen earned the victory for the Penguins in that game.
SERIES HEAD-TO-HEAD LEADERS
STJ: Will O’Neill 6 PTS (6A) | Eric O’Dell 5 PTS (5G) | Michael Hutchinson (3-2-0, 1.92 GAA, .934 SV%)
NOR: Andre Petersson 4 PTS (2G, 2A) | Max Friberg 3 PTS (2G, 1A) Brad Thiessen (1-2-0, 3.44 GAA, .885 SV%)