Sep 25, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; A general view of the pucks used for warm ups before a game between the Buffalo Sabres and the Columbus Blue Jackets at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

St. John’s Ice Caps Take 3-1 Series Lead With 2-1 Game Four Win


The St. John’s Ice Caps are one win away from the Calder Cup Final, after a dramatic win on the road against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Thursday night.

Will O’Neill’s first Calder Cup Playoff goal broke the ice in the second period, and Josh Lunden followed suit with his first of the playoffs at the 9-minute mark of the third period, which ended up being the game-winner.

“It feels nice to get a goal, but it feels great to win” – Will O’Neill

The Penguins scored their first goal in nearly two games just minutes prior to Lunden’s game-winner, but have not had a lead in the series since winning Game One 3-2 on Saturday.

Special teams was again a factor for the Ice Caps, scoring both goals on the power-play (2-for-9), and killing all 6 penalties. The Ice Caps are now 20/20 on the penalty kill in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Penguins’ six minor penalties in the second period resulted in a 19-2 shot total in favour of the Ice Caps.

O’Neill commented on his 5-on-3 goal:

“We were getting a lot of chances, it was just a matter of time before one went our way. We had a 5-on-3, had good traffic at the net and we buried one.”

Michael Hutchinson padded his already-solid stats with a 17-save performance in the win. At the other end, Peter Mannino stopped 29 of 31.

Andrew Gordon‘s assist gave him his 14th point of the playoffs in Game #14, currently a team-high.

O’Neill was without defence partner Josh Morrissey on Thursday night, after the rookie was a late scratch following the morning skate.

The game ended up much closer than Wednesday night’s blowout by the Ice Caps, after the Penguins were missing many of their key components, some of which returned for Thursday’s game.

The Penguins will fight for their playoff lives at home on Saturday night, in Game Five of the series. Puck drop is at 7:05 PM Eastern Time.

 

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