Game 4 Preview: IceCaps vs. Admirals
The St. John’s IceCaps attempt to stave off elimination when they take on the Norfolk Admirals in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals Tuesday night at Mile One Centre.
Norfolk defeated St. John’s 1-0 in overtime Monday night in Game 3 on the strength of Pierre-Cedric Labrie’s game-winning goal and a 25-save performance by Dustin Tokarski. Labrie notched the winner on a breakaway just 1:37 into the extra frame, giving the Admirals a commanding 3-0 series lead and a chance to earn a berth in the Calder Cup Finals with a win Tuesday night.
“I thought overall it was the best game we played in the series,” head coach Keith McCambridge said. “The guys gave everything they had.”
One of those guys was goaltender Eddie Pasquale, whose efforts between the pipes cannot be understated. Pasquale made a game-saving stop on Trevor Smith late in the third period to preserve the 0-0 tie and give the IceCaps life heading into overtime. Unfortunately, there was nothing more Pasquale could do.
“Obviously we’re not in a position we want to be in right now, going into (Tuesday),” Pasquale said following the loss. “We have a lot of fight left. The last time our back was against the wall was in Game 7 (of the last round) and we came out hard for that. Hopefully, that’s what happens (Tuesday). It’s not over. It’s a best-of-seven and they still have to beat us one more game.”
“I can tell you one thing about my team,” McCambridge stated. “My team has a lot of character. And I know that team digs in and gives everything they have. If anybody can dig themselves out of this hole, it’s that group in there.”
QUICK HITS….St. John’s is 1-0 when facing elimination this postseason, having defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in Game 7 of the conference semifinals. Norfolk has yet to face elimination but is 2-0 when its opponent is on its last breath….The IceCaps have lost four straight games just once this season, from March 17 to March 23….Both teams’ power plays have been dismal this series. St. John’s is just 1-for-18 while Norfolk sits at 2-for-17. The Admirals’ penalty kill is ranked second overall at 93.0%, trailing only the Toronto Marlies (94.5%)….Paul Postma (1G, 9A, 10PTS) and Derek Meech (4G, 5A, 9PTS) are 1-2 in scoring amongst defencemen in the postseason. Norfolk’s Mike Kostka (3G, 6A, 9PTS) is tied with Meech but has one fewer goal….Of Garth Murray’s 29 penalty minutes this playoffs, 23 have come in the three games against the Admirals…. St. John’s leads the AHL in total attendance for the 2012 Calder Cup playoffs at 44,009.