© — Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram
With Albany Devil netminder Keith Kinkaid out of position and defencemen Eric Gelinas and Adam Larsson left to tend to the crease, the St. John’s IceCaps’ Andrew Gordon (10) scores his first of three goals as teammates Jason Jaffray and and John Albert look during Game 4 of the teams’ Eastern Conference quarter-final Friday night at Mile One Centre. The IceCaps won 4-1 to close out the best-of-five series and advance to the second round of the AHL Calder Cup playoffs.
Andrew Gordon scores hat trick as St. John’s beats Albany Devils 4-1 in Game 4 at Mile One Centre
The two-time Calder Cup champion took the St. John’s IceCaps on his back Friday night and carried the team into the second round of the Calder Cup playoffs.
Andrew Gordon scored even strength, shorthanded and added a power play goal for the hat trick as the IceCaps trimmed the Albany Devils 4-1 at Mile One Centre to win the American Hockey League’s best-of-five, first-round Eastern Conference quarter-final 3-1.
Gordon, the IceCaps’ MVP this season, won back-to-back AHL championships in 2009 and 2010 with the Hershey Bears.
Who the IceCaps play in the next round is unknown, but it’s likely the next series will start Tuesday night at Mile One.
John Albert also scored for St. John’s, which received another brilliant netminding performance from Michael Hutchinson.
Hutchinson finished the night with 39 saves
Jon Merrill scored the lone Albany goal.
For the fourth straight game, it was the IceCaps getting on the scoreboard first, thanks to some hard work by captain Jason Jaffray.
Jaffray tried to jam the puck in at the side of the net, and poked at it several times before it squirted loose and rolled across the crease.
That’s where Gordon swatted the puck into the net for his first goal of the series.
Hutchinson was busy in the first, making 12 saves, while Keith Kinkaid stopped five shots.
The two goalies had been lights out in the series with Hutchinson posting a 1.69 goals against average and .940 save percentage, while his counterpart boasted a 1.68 GAA and .949 save percentage.
Gordon gave the IceCaps a 2-0 lead at 7:58 of the second with Albert in the penalty box for goaltender interference. The speedy St. John’s forward wired a shot on Kinkaid, picked up the rebound and made good on the second chance for his second of the game.
Undaunted, the Devils responded with a strong shift following Gordon’s second goal, and made good when Merrill’s shot from the point eluded Hutchinson 1:19 after the Gordon goal.
But Gordon struck again at 14:28, batting a loose puck mid-air past Kinkaid as the IceCaps enjoyed a rare successful power play.
Albert netted an insurance marker at 17:15 of the second period.
Kinkaid, who was outstanding for the Devils throughout the series, stopped 29 shots.