In either case, St. John's will have home-ice advantage
The St. John's IceCaps won't know just who they'll be facing in the second round of the American Hockey League Calder Cup playoffs until tonight, but they do know they'll have home-ice advantage in what will be a best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal.
Calder Cup logo
St. John's, the fourth seed in the conference, advanced Friday night with a 4-1 win over the Albany Devils at Mile One Centre, taking the best-of-five-round series 3-1.
The IceCaps will meet either the Norfolk Admirals or Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins next, with the exact opponent to be determined by the result of the last remaining opening-round series, which will be decided tonight in Springfield, Mass., where the second-seeded Falcons host the No. 7 Providence Bruins. That series is tied 2-2.
Norfolk and Wilkes-Barre, two lower seeds, also moved on Friday. The Admirals, the eight-ranked club, knocked off the No.-1 seeded Manchester Monarchs 3-2 in Manchester, N.H., to take that first-round series in four games. At Wilkes-Barre, Pa., the sixth-seeded Penguins defeated the No. 3 Binghamton Senators 4-1 for another 3-1 series win.
If Springfield wins tonight, the IceCaps will play the Penguins in Round 2. If Providence prevails, St. John's will be the top remaining seed in the conference and square off against Norfolk, the farm team of the NHL's Anaheim Ducks.
If it turns out to be the Admirals, it will mark the second straight series the IceCaps will be taking on unfamiliar opposition; they didn't face either Albany or Norfolk in the regular season. The IceCaps and Penguins split their 2013-14 seaaon series 2-2.
The exact schedule of the conference semifinals won't be known until after tonight's game in Springfield, but Game 1 in St. John's could come as early as Tuesday night.
Tickets for the IceCaps' home games in the next round can be purchased in person at the Mile One Centre box office, by phone at 709-576-7657 or online at www.mileonecentre.com.
Prices are $21, $28 and $31 per game, plus taxes and service fees. Mile One box-office hours are noon to 5 p.m daily.
Of the five remaining contenders in the conference as of this morning, Springfield, the AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and St. John's, the farm club of the Winnipeg Jets, have parent teams not participating in the NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs.