Teams did not meet during AHL regular season
It will be anything but a familiar foe for the St. John’s IceCaps in the opening round of the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup playoffs.
The IceCaps will face the Albany Devils in a best-of-five AHL Eastern Conference quarter-final, beginning Friday in Albany, N.Y., and that game will mark the first time the teams will have faced off this season.
Calder Cup logo
The Devils were one of three Eastern Conference clubs — the Adirondack Phantoms and Norfolk Admirals were the others — who didn’t play St. John’s during the regular season.
St. John’s, which closed out its regular-season schedule with a 5-4 win over the Portland Pirates Saturday night in Saco, Me., locked up the fourth seed in the conference last week and will have home-ice advantage in the series with fifth-seeded Albany.
Games 1 and 2 are at the Times Union Centre in the New York state capital Friday, April 25 and Saturday, April 26. Games 3, 4 and 5 — the latter two if necessary — are set for Mile One Centre in St. John’s on Wednesday, April 30; Friday, May 2 and Saturday, May 3.
The games in Albany will start at 8:30 p.m. Newfoundland time, while those in St. John's will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Albany — the farm team of the New Jersey Devils — shot up to take the fifth seed by winning its last five regular-season games, including a 5-2 decision over the Springfield Falcons Saturday, the final day of the AHL regular season.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins could have secured the fifth seed by earning a point against the Utica Comets on Saturday, but lost 2-0. The Providence Bruins, who had been St. John’s other potential first-round opponent entering Saturday, also lost, falling 2-0 to the Worcester Sharks.
As a result, here are the other first-round match-ups in the Eastern Conference, with seeds in brackets:
Manchester Monarchs (1) vs Norfolk Admirals (8)
Springfield Falcons (2) vs Providence Bruins (7)
Binghamton Senators (3) vs Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (6)
Note: St. John’s finished ahead of Binghamton in the overall points standings (99-96), but the Senators earned the third seed by finishing first in the East Division (the division winners in each conference earn the top three seeds for the playoffs). The IcCaps finished second to Manchester (105 points) in the Atlantic Division.