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Admirals Finish Off IceCaps

St. John's swept in Eastern Conference Finals by league's top team

Wednesday, 23.05.2012 / 9:35 AM / St. John's IceCaps
St. John's IceCaps

The St. John’s IceCaps 2011-12 season come to a crashing end with a 4-0 loss to the Norfolk Admirals in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals Tuesday night at Mile One Centre. With the win, the Admirals swept the IceCaps in four straight games to advance to the Calder Cup Finals for the first time in team history.

Dustin Tokarski recorded his second straight shutout while Tyler Johnson had a goal and an assist for the visitors, who controlled the game from the outset. Eddie Pasquale put in yet another heroic effort, making 38 saves in a third-star effort, but it wasn’t enough.

“We’re disappointed in the outcome of this series and ending the season right now,” assistant captain Jason King told the media afterwards. “None of us want the season to be over. In saying that, this is the start of something good. No question.

“But give them credit. Their record speaks for itself. They’re a good team in all aspects. I don’t think we played the way we can play, which is disappointing, but after all is said and done, there are definitely a lot of positives from this season.”

Norfolk outscored St. John’s 14-2 in the series, totally dominating from the outset. Yet while there was disappointment in the end result, head coach Keith McCambridge had words of praise for his team and the accomplishments from this season.

“Any time you can only score two goals in four games – one on the power play, you’re playing against a very good opponent,” McCambridge said following the contest. “You have to give credit with regards to their performance on the ice. I thought Norfolk was obviously a really good opponent.

“I’m really proud of what we accomplished as an organization here, what the players accomplished on the ice. We had a new product here, a product returning back to Newfoundland and Labrador. Overall we’re really happy with the regular season, happy getting to the final four.

“It’s not the ending we drew up going into the playoffs. Obviously we’d like to be pushing on here.”

Facing elimination, the IceCaps had some jump out of the gate as they looked to get off to a fast start. The home side played a physical first half of the opening period but fell behind at the 15:15 mark of the frame on a goal by Evan Oberg.

Alexandre Picard’s pass from behind the net found Oberg at the left point, and the defenceman snapped a hard shot that beat Pasquale on the glove side for a 1-0 lead.

Just 2:32 later, the Admirals struck on the power play to increase their lead to two. After a Paul Postma slashing minor, Tyler Johnson flipped in a loose puck after Ondrej Palat’s pass attempt was slowed by the skate of Arturs Kulda. The goal gave Norfolk a seemingly insurmountable 2-0 lead after 20 minutes of play and silenced the capacity crowd at Mile One Centre. Norfolk outshot St. John’s 18-7 in the opening period.

The second period was more domination by the Admirals. Just 1:41 into the frame, Pierre-Cedric Labrie, Monday’s overtime hero, spun and fired a shot towards the net from the top of the right circle that was deflected off the post and in by Trevor Smith to give the Admirals a 3-0 advantage.

In the third, Norfolk added to the lead midway through the period on another power play. This time, Brandon Segal banked a shot off Pasquale and in from the side of the goal for his third of the playoffs, giving the Admirals a 4-0 lead.

Despite the inevitable loss, the fans at Mile One showed their appreciation for the tremendous inaugural season by getting on their feet with more than three minutes left in regulation and remaining that way until the players left the ice, long after the final buzzer.

“To look around Mile One and not an empty seat in the building, and to see everybody standing, not one person left this building, and to give a standing ovation to this team,” McCambridge stated, “is really the stamp on everything we’ve seen here all season long, with the sellouts, with the buzz in the city here. During the playoffs it’s been unbelievable. We can’t say enough things about it. We really wish we would have been able to give our fans a different result.”

The Admirals advance to the Calder Cup Finals to play the winner of the Toronto Marlies-Oklahoma City Barons series. The Marlies currently lead the best-of-seven series two-games-to-one, with Game 4 set for Wednesday night in Toronto.

Notes:
The IceCaps ended their season going 158 minutes and nine seconds without scoring a goal. Their last tally game 1:51 into the second period of Game 2 in Norfolk when John Albert beat Dustin Tokarski on a backhand rebound….The Admirals set an AHL record for fewest goals allowed (two) in a four-game playoff series….St. John’s went 0 for their last 18 on the power play and 1-for-25 overall in the series….Eddie Pasquale faced 42 shots Tuesday, marking the fourth time in 15 games he has faced more than 40 shots….The Admirals are the ninth consecutive East Division team to reach the Calder Cup Finals….With Tuesday’s sellout, the IceCaps sold out all 46 games at Mile One Centre this season….Wednesday’s 50/50 payout was $22,600.

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
B. Wheeler 82 28 41 4 69
B. Little 82 23 41 8 64
D. Byfuglien 78 20 36 -20 56
A. Ladd 78 23 31 8 54
O. Jokinen 82 18 25 -8 43
M. Frolik 81 15 27 8 42
E. Kane 63 19 22 -7 41
M. Scheifele 63 13 21 9 34
T. Enstrom 82 10 20 -9 30
J. Trouba 65 10 19 4 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Montoya 13 8 3 .920 2.30
O. Pavelec 22 26 7 .901 3.01