(CP) — Mike Kostka scored two goals and Dustin Tokarski made 29 saves as the Norfolk Admirals routed the St. John’s IceCaps 6-1 on Thursday in the opening game of the American Hockey League Eastern Conference final.
Zach Redmond scored the lone goal for St. John’s.
Norfolk got power-play goals from Kostka late in the first period and Ouellet early in the second to take a 2-0 lead. The Admirals had been struggling on the man advantage, going 7-for-60 through two playoff series.
Kostka followed with his second goal of the game at 11:04 of the second and Cote only 2:38 later doubled the lead.
To that point, St. John’s had only two shots in the second period.
Cote’s goal also chased St. John’s goalie Eddie Pasquale, who had played every second of the IceCaps’ 11 playoff games coming into the finals. Veteran David Aebischer came on to finish and was touched for third-period goals by Palat and Aulie.
Redmond scored a third-period power-play goal as St. John’s connected once on seven chances with the man advantage.
The beneficiary of the offensive largesse was Tokarski, who won for the fifth time in seven playoff decisions.
Game 2 is Saturday at Norfolk.
Eastern Conference Finals – Series “M” (best-of-7)
1-Norfolk Admirals vs. 2-St. John’s IceCaps
Game 1 – Thurs., May 17 – NORFOLK 6, St. John’s 1
Game 2 – Sat., May 19 – St. John’s at Norfolk, 8:00
Game 3 – Mon., May 21 – Norfolk at St. John’s, 6:00
Game 4 – Tue., May 22 – Norfolk at St. John’s, 6:00
*Game 5 – Sat., May 26 – Norfolk at St. John’s, 6:00
*Game 6 – Tue., May 29 – St. John’s at Norfolk, 7:15
*Game 7 – Wed., May 30 – St. John’s at Norfolk, 7:15