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St. John's IceCaps come alive in third, down Norfolk 5-3 for 2-1 series lead

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NORFOLK, Va. - The St. John's IceCaps got third-period goals from four different skaters, and weathered a Norfolk offensive storm to earn a 5-3 win over the Admirals for a 2-1 lead in their American Hockey League Eastern Conference playoff series.

Josh Morrisey, Ben Chiarot, Jerome Samson and Adam Lowry scored in the third for the IceCaps, while Eric O'Dell scored in the opening frame.

Jesse Blacker, Max Friberg, and Josh Manson scored for the Admirals.

Game 4 is Monday at Norfolk.

Norfolk led 2-1 going into the final period, after Friberg and Blacker scored within 1:42 of each other in the first period. The Admirals, who have struggled offensively all season, had been outshot 14-6 up until that point.

After a scoreless second period, Morrisey tied the game 2-2, 39 seconds into the third on a shot from the blue-line behind two screening teammates.

Chiarot's goal, also scored from well outside, gave the IceCaps a 3-2 lead eight minutes later.

Manson replied 47 seconds later, scoring from the right faceoff circle over a sprawling Michael Hutchinson in the St. John's net. The IceCaps' Zach Redmond pushed Norfolk's Matt Bailey into Hutchinson, knocking him down and clearing the way for Manson's shot.

That tie was short lived, though.

Samson scored from short range at 10:05 to give St. John's the lead, which it nursed the rest of the way. Lowry scored into an empty net.

Hutchinson turned back 25 shots for his fourth win of the playoffs.

Admirals goalie Brad Thiessen made 26 saves. Thiessen, a playoff veteran with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for four seasons, but the backup since coming to Norfolk in November, was thrust into the starting role after the Anaheim Ducks recalled John Gibson to replace the injured Frederik Anderson.

Gibson, who was 4-2 in the playoffs with a 1.45 goals-against average and a 0.955 saves percentage when he was called up, started for Anaheim against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

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