NORFOLK, Va. - First-period goals by Carl Klingberg and Jason Jaffray led the St. John's IceCaps to a 5-1 win over the Norfolk Admirals and a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven American Hockey League playoff series Monday.
The IceCaps added goals from Jerome Samson and Eric O'Dell in the second period and another by O'Dell in the third. St. John's will have a chance to advance to the Eastern Conference finals Tuesday in Game 5.
St. John's, which finished fourth in the East during the regular season, is the highest-seeded team left in the conference after all three division winners ? Manchester, Binghamton and Springfield ? were ousted in the opening round.
Klingberg set up shop in front of the Admiral net, screening goalie Brad Thiessen and in position to tip in a shot from the blue-line by Josh Morrissey to earn a 1-0 lead just 4:11 into the first period. The play ? screening the goalie, shooting from the outside ? replicated one that earned St. John's two goals only two nights earlier in Game 3.
Jaffray's goal came when he was at the net to tip in a shot by Morrissey with 14:39 played.
That goal was the IceCaps' fourth with a man advantage in the past three games. It was scored against what was the AHL's best penalty-killing unit during the regular season, but one that has struggled during the playoffs.
Samson scored from the right faceoff circle to make it 3-1 in another third-game replica. He had the winner in Game 3 from the same spot.
O'Dell's goal came when he managed to nudge the puck through and under a seven-player pileup in the crease that included Thiessen. His second goal was easier, scored after Thiessen rejected a shot by Jaffray, but left the puck on the doorstep. O'Dell skated past, stopped and reached back to tap it into the net.
St. John's goalie Michael Hutchinson gave up only a second-period score by Norfolk's Andre Petersson from among the 29 shots mustered by the Admirals. Thiessen meanwhile stopped 23 shots.