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IceCaps, Heat clinch playoff spots

The St. John’s IceCaps and Abbotsford Heat added their names to the postseason dance card by clinching berths in the 2014 Calder Cup Playoffs on Tuesday night.

Eight of the 16 playoff spots are now secured, with just 11 days left in the regular season.

The IceCaps qualified for the playoffs for the second time in their three-year history with a 3-1 victory over Hamilton at Mile One Centre. Patrice Cormier broke a scoreless tie just nine seconds into the third period and Tyler Beskorowany finished with 35 saves for the IceCaps, who reached the Eastern Conference Finals in 2012 before missing the playoffs last year.

The Heat are heading to the AHL postseason for the third time in five years thanks to Milwaukee’s 3-1 win over Rockford on Tuesday. The IceHogs’ loss guarantees playoff hockey in Abbotsford for the first time since 2012; Abbotsford has reached the second round in each of its two previous postseason appearances.