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IceCaps clinch playoff berth Posted by IceCaps on

Albert, Beskorowany lead the way as St. John’s downs Hamilton 3-1

ST. JOHN’S, NL — John Albert scored the game-winner and Tyler Beskorowany stopped 35-of-36 shots, as the St. John’s IceCaps clinched a playoff berth by beating the Hamilton Bulldogs 3-1 Tuesday night at Mile One Centre.

Patrice Cormier and Will O’Neill also scored for the playoff-bound IceCaps, who sit fourth overall in the Eastern Conference standings. Andrew Gordon added two assists for the home side.

After two periods of scoreless hockey, Cormier put the IceCaps ahead 1-0 just nine seconds into the final frame. With the IceCaps breaking into the Bulldogs’ zone on the rush, Devan Dubnyk made the initial save on Blair Riley before the puck bounced out to Cormier in the slot, who then made no mistake in firing it into the yawning cage.

The IceCaps extended the lead to two at 12:10, when Albert notched his team-leading 24th goal of the season. After Andrew Gordon picked the pocket of the Hamilton defender, he dropped the puck back to Albert, who one-timed a blast from the high slot top shelf over the blocker of Dubnyk.

O’Neill made it 3-0 with 3:59 remaining in the period, when he took the feed from Jason Jaffray and fired a shot from the point that eluded Dubnyk five-hole.

Hamilton broke the shutout bid just 46 seconds later, however, when Connor Crisp followed up the Bulldogs’ drive to the net by firing in his first tally of the season past Beskorowany to make it 3-1.

With Dubnyk pulled for the extra attacker in the final minute, the IceCaps held off the Bulldogs’ surge to secure the victory and lock up the second playoff appearance in the franchise’s third season.

The IceCaps look to extend their win streak to three Wednesday night (7:30 PM NT), when they close out their series with the Bulldogs at Mile One Centre. Catch all the action with broadcaster Brian Rogers on Rogers TV, www.stjohnsicecaps.com and 930 AM, or watch online at www.ahllive.com. Pregame show gets underway a half hour before puck drop.

Notes: Scratched for the IceCaps: Kael Mouillierat, Ryan Schnell, Austen Brassard, Eddie Pasquale… The IceCaps equaled their franchise best win total of 43, set in the team’s inaugural season (2011-12)… John Albert has scored in each of his last three games, picking up four goals along the way… Jason Jaffray now has six assists in his last three games… St. John’s went 0-for-3 on the power play, but killed off all five shorthanded situations… Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. John Albert 2. Tyler Beskorowany 3. Devan Dubnyk… Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: Patrice Cormier.

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