ST. JOHN’S, NL — Led by Andrew Gordon’s hat trick and a 39-save performance from Michael Hutchinson, the St. John’s IceCaps defeated the Albany Devils 4-1 to close out their best-of-five quarterfinal series in four games.
John Albert also scored for the IceCaps, whose Eastern Conference Semifinal opponent and schedule is yet to be determined.
Gordon put the IceCaps ahead 1-0 just 3:47 into the opening frame, when he notched his first of the playoffs. After Jason Jaffray followed up on his shot from the side of the goal, the puck squirted through the crease before Gordon pounced on the loose disc and fired it into the open goal.
In the second period, Gordon potted another – this time, a shorthanded marker – to extend the IceCaps’ lead to two at 7:58. After Keith Kinkaid made the stop on his first attempt, the rebound bounced back out to Gordon who made no mistake in firing it high over the blocker to make it 2-0.
The Devils cut the deficit to one under two minutes later, however, when Jon Merrill blasted a shot from the point through traffic that eluded Hutchinson glove side.
The IceCaps restored their two-goal lead on the power play, when Gordon picked up the hat trick by notching his third of the game at 14:28. After Josh Morrissey charged in from the point and threw the puck on goal, Gordon swatted the puck out of mid-air past Kinkaid to make it 3-1.
Then, with 2:45 remaining in the middle stanza, Albert put St. John’s ahead 4-1 when he charged in on goal, picked up the rebound of his own shot, and fired it stick side past the Albany netminder while falling to his knees.
In a scoreless final frame, Hutchinson – turning aside all 11 shots he faced – stood tall to backstop the IceCaps’ to the game and series victory over the Devils.
Ticket purchases for all home games in the second round can be made in person at the Mile One Centre box office, by phone at 709-576-7657 or online at www.mileonecentre.com. Tickets prices are $21, $28 and $31 per game, plus taxes and service fees. Box office hours are 12noon – 5pm daily.
Notes: Not dressed for St. John’s: Ryan Olsen, Cody Lampl, Ryan Schnell, Josh Lunden, Julian Melchiori, Adam Lowry, Brandon MacLean, Austen Brassard, Eric Comrie, Jussi Olkinuora, Eddie Pasquale… Gordon’s hat trick was the first by an IceCap in playoff history… With the assist, Zach Redmond tied an IceCaps playoff record for consecutive games with an assist (four)… St. John’s went 1-for-4 on the power play and 6-for-6 on the penalty kill… Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. Andrew Gordon 2. Michael Hutchinson 3. John Albert… Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: Ben Chiarot.