ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - IceCaps heads coach Keith McCambridge isn't getting discouraged about his team's performance on home ice against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Zach Sill scored the go-ahead goal in the third period and Brad Thiessen made 29 saves as the Penguins forced a Game 7 in St. John's by defeating the IceCaps 4-2 on Friday in American Hockey League playoff action.
Both teams are 1-2 in home games this series, which will be decided at St. John's Mile One Centre on Saturday night.
?This is why you play all season long, you play to have Game 7 on your home ice,? McCambridge says. ?We have that opportunity tomorrow.?
Jason Williams, Cal O'Reilly and Paul Thompson also scored for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Patrice Cormier and Ray Sawada replied for the IceCaps, with both goals coming on the power play in the second period. Eddie Pasquale stopped 27 of 31 shots for St. John's.
?They have a little bit of momentum right now, but I thought we played a pretty solid game besides special teams," said St. John's defenceman Paul Postma. "We took a lot of penalties we didn't need and they capitalized on the power play. I thought 5-on-5 we played pretty well.???
The Penguins opened the scoring on the power play at 9:48 in the opening frame when the puck deflected off a Williams blast from the point. Wilkes-Barre scored the first goal in all three games in St. John's during the series.
Cormier brought the game level on the power play at 4:31 into the second when he tipped a booming point shot from Postma past Thiessen.
St. John's pulled ahead at 11:09 with Sawada camped out screening the goalie. Derek Meech's point shot gave a big rebound for Sawada to capitalize on.
Sawada says the teams are evenly matched and Friday night was closer than the score indicated.
???All three games that we had there were really close and it's been a dog fight. (It) might not look that close in the box score, but for the most part it was really close all game.???
The Penguins tied it with the game's fourth straight power-play goal. With eight seconds left in the period, O'Reilly capitalized on a rebound off a Pasquale save.
"I thought the power play goal against at the end of the second (period) was a tough one, a momentum killer for us," said McCambridge. "Overall, some penalties that you just can't take this time of the year.???
Sill put Wilkes-Barre/Scranton ahead for good at 5:41 in the third period with the first even-strength goal of the game. Pasquale saved a poor-angle shot, but the puck found its way to Sill, who whacked it into the net.
The Penguins scored an insurance goal at the 16:30 mark in the third. Thompson streaked down the left boards with the puck and put home an unassisted, short-sided goal.
St. John's went 2-for-5 on the man advantage while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was 2-for-6.
Postma says emotions caused some of the penalties and that the team has to play smarter on Saturday.
???Obviously emotions run high in playoffs and guys do whatever it takes to win, but at times you can't take those kinds of penalties,??? he said. ???You have to be using your head out there. There are a few specific penalties that you can look back on that you just can't take.???