It only took one line for the St. John’s Ice Caps to take over Game Four, and their entire second-round series against the Norfolk Admirals, after a 5-1 win on Monday night, that will have the Caps looking for the kill on Tuesday.
A newly formed line of Eric O’Dell, Jason Jaffray, and Carl Klingberg took control of the game, scoring four goals and a combined 7 points as the Ice Caps won their second straight game of the series in Norfolk, pushing the Admirals’ backs to the wall with a 1-3 deficit facing them.
Klingberg scored just four minutes into the first period of the game, when he tipped Josh Morrissey‘s point shot into the net. The top line would connect with Morrissey’s defense pairing again on the power-play, when Will O’Neill‘s shot was deflected by Jaffray, giving the Ice Caps a two-goal advantage 15 minutes into the game.
Jerome Samson would score a quick goal in the second-period, his second in as many games, and two minutes later, it was O’Dell finding the net, finishing a passing play from both line-mates.
The Ice Caps dominated play in the remainder of the second period, and after some back-and-forth play in the initial minutes of the final frame, O’Dell put the game out of reach with his second of the night at 14:57.
Hutchinson was near-perfect in the win, stopping 28 of 29 shots for a blistering .965% save percentage. He made 14 saves in the first period, before the Admirals’ offense lost their fire in the final 40 minutes.
Brad Thiessen was in goal for all five Ice Caps’ goals on 28 shots. The Admirals certainly missed the presence of John Gibson in net, who was recalled to the Anaheim Ducks, where he has already posted a shutout and two wins in the Ducks’ playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings.
The Ice Caps officially have the series by the neck, but O’Dell says closing it out won’t be easy against a feisty Admirals squad.
“I think they’re going to be fighting hard, the start we have in the next game is going to be huge for us. If we can get a quick lead, they’re probably going to be out of the game, which we can take advantage of.”
O’Dell was named the game’s First Star, with Jaffray and Klingberg following up with Second Star and Third Star honors, respectively.
Zach Redmond was a +3 in the game, despite not recording a point, while O’Neill and Morrissey both recorded two assists. The 2013 Jets first-round pick now has six points in eight playoff games.
The Ice Caps will look to close out the series on Tuesday night back at the Scope Arena in Norfolk. Game time is 7:15 PM Eastern Time, 6:15 PM Central Time.
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