The St. John’s IceCaps took another step closer to the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday night with a 5-1 win over the Norfolk Admirals in Game 4 of their best-of-seven series at Norfolk Scope.
With a 3-1 series lead, the IceCaps can advance to the conference finals for the second time in three seasons with another victory in Norfolk on Tuesday.
Jason Jaffray tallied three points and Michael Hutchinson made 28 saves for the IceCaps, who have scored 10 goals in two games since Norfolk lost standout goaltender John Gibson to recall by the parent Anaheim Ducks on Saturday morning.
Held without a point through the IceCaps’ first seven playoff games, Carl Klingberg got St. John’s on the board first at 4:11 of the first period in Game 4 when he parked at the top of the Norfolk crease and deflected a Will O’Neill shot past Brad Thiessen.
It was the seventh time in eight postseason contests in which the IceCaps scored first.
Working on a power play at 14:39 of the first, St. John’s made it 2-0 on another deflection, this time with Jaffray redirecting Josh Morrissey‘s shot past Thiessen.
The IceCaps pulled away with two goals in 1:28 early in the second period, doubling their lead to 4-0. Jerome Samson skated down the right wing and snapped a shot short-side over Thiessen’s glove at 2:37, and Eric O’Dell found the loose puck during a goal-mouth scramble and scored at 4:05.
Norfolk got one back at 8:36 of the second as Andre Petersson zipped a shot from the right-wing faceoff dot over the shoulder of Hutchinson to cut the deficit to 4-1.
O’Dell picked up his second goal of the night and third of the series for St. John’s with 5:03 remaining in the third.
Eastern Conference Semifinals – Series “I” (best-of-7)
4-St. John’s IceCaps vs. 8-Norfolk Admirals | Series Snapshot
Game 1 – Tue., May 6 – Norfolk 3, ST. JOHN’S 1
Game 2 – Wed., May 7 – ST. JOHN’S 2, Norfolk 1
Game 3 – Sat., May 10 – St. John’s 5, NORFOLK 3
Game 4 – Mon., May 12 – St. John’s 5, NORFOLK 1
Game 5 – Tue., May 13 – St. John’s at Norfolk, 7:15
*Game 6 – Fri., May 16 – Norfolk at St. John’s, 6:00
*Game 7 – Sat., May 17 – Norfolk at St. John’s, 6:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern