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After suffering a heartbreaking overtime loss in Game 2, the St. John’s IceCaps had almost a week to refocus and regroup as they prepare to face the Texas Stars in Game 4 of the Calder Cup Finals at Mile One Centre on Monday night.
LAST GAME: Travis Morin scored the overtime winner at 12:40 of the extra frame as the Stars edged the IceCaps 2-1 in Game 3 at Mile One Centre on Wednesday night.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net through the opening period but Texas controlled the pace of the game and led 12-7 on the shot clock.
Brett Ritchie opened the scoring at 15:54 of the second period as he slid a rebound under the pads of IceCaps goaltender Michael Hutchinson.
The Stars continued to pour on the pressure and fired 26 shots on Hutchinson through two periods.
The IceCaps surged back in the third period to tie the game as Kael Mouillierat deflected a Zach Redmond point shot behind Stars goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp with just over eight minutes remaining, forcing overtime.
The IceCaps had several chances to close out the game in overtime but were unable to capitalize. Josh Lunden appeared to have won the game for the IceCaps as he knocked in a puck that had squirted free from the grasp of Nilstorp but the referee had already blown the play dead.
As Patrice Cormier was exiting the penalty box after serving a two-minute minor for hooking, he collected a loose puck and went in alone on Nilstorp who came up with the big save to help set up Morin’s heroics moments later.
Nilstorp had a strong game between the pipes for the Stars and earned the victory with 31 saves.
Hutchinson settled for the loss with a 34-save night.
NOTES FROM LAST GAME: Not dressed for the IceCaps: Ryan Olsen, Jordan Hill, Cody Lampl, J.C. Lipon, Ryan Schnell, Julian Melchiori Brandon MacLean, Austen Brassard, Jussi Olkinuora, Eddie Pasquale… Michael Hutchinson has made a combined 80 saves in his last two games, allowing just three goals… St. John’s went 0-for-5 on the man advantage, and killed off 3-of-3 shorthanded situations… Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. Cristopher Nilstorp 2. Michael Hutchinson 3. Travis Morin… Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: Zach Redmond.
OVERTIME RECORD: With the overtime loss to Texas in Game 3, the IceCaps are now 0-2 in extra time in the 2014 playoffs. Their previous overtime loss was a 3-2 decision to the Norfolk Admirals on May 13. In their brief history, the IceCaps are 3-2 in playoff overtime games. Texas improved to 4-0 in overtime this postseason.
THREE’S COMPANY: The IceCaps’ loss Wednesday night was their first loss in a Game 3 in the 2014 Calder Cup playoffs. They won Game 3 in each of their first three series.
HEATING UP: With his goal in Game 3, IceCaps forward Kael Mouillierat now has goals in all three games of the Calder Cup Finals and sits third on the club with six this postseason.
BOUNCE BACK GAMES: Through 19 playoff games, the IceCaps have yet to lose back-to-back contests.
PLAYOFF LEADERS: Thanks to his big game in Game 3, the Stars’ Travis Morin remains on top of the playoff scoring race with 19 points (7G, 12A). The IceCaps’ Andrew Gordon failed to record a point in Game 3 and currently sits in a tie for second place with the Stars’ Mike Hedden with 17 points.
St. John’s: Kael Mouillierat (3GP, 3-0-3) | Eric O’Dell (3GP, 0-2-2) | Michael Hutchinson (1-2, 2.58 GAA, .926 SV%)
Texas: Travis Morin (3GP, 3-1-4) | Scott Glennie (3GP, 2-1-3) | Cristopher Nilstorp (2-1, 1.94 GAA, .938 SV%)