IceCaps to face Norfolk Admirals in second round

Brendan McCarthy
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Once again, St. John's meeting a playoff opponent it didn't face during the AHL regular season

Bring on one more unknown quantity.
The St. John’s IceCaps will take on the Norfolk Admirals in the Eastern Conference semifinal round of American Hockey League’s Calder Cup playoffs.

 

The conference’s semifinal match ups were decided Saturday night in Springfield, Mass., where the Providence Bruins defeated the Springfield Falcons 6-3 in the fifth and deciding game of their best-of-five opening-round series.

That means the fourth-seeded IceCaps will square off against the No. 8 Admirals in a best-of-seven affair that will begin with games Tuesday and Wednesday nights at Mile One Centre in St. John’s.

The IceCaps and Admirals — the farm team of the Anaheim Ducks — haven’t yet played each other in 2013-14, meaning St. John’s will once again prepare to meet a team it didn’t face in the regular-season. That was also the case in the IceCaps’ first-round series, which saw them defeat the Albany Devils in four games, capped off by a 4-1 victory Friday night at Mile One.

Norfolk and Albany were two of three Eastern Conference clubs who didn’t play St. John’s in the regular season, the Adirondack Phantoms being the other.

The IceCaps are the highest remaining seed in the conference as all three division winners — No. 2-seeded Springfield, the Binghamton Senators and the conference champion and No 1. seed Manchester Monarchs — were knocked off in the opening playoff round. Norfolk upset Manchester in four games, while the sixth-seeded Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins did the same to the No. 3 Senators.

That means St. John’s would retain home-ice advantage in the conference final, if it advances that far.

The Penguins and seventh-seeded Bruins will meet in the other conference semifinal.

The IceCaps-Admirals series will be have a 2-3-2 makeup, meaning the middle three games will be played in Norfolk, in southeastern Virginia, beginning next weekend, possibly on Saturday, although that was waiting to be confirmed. Games 6 and 7 would, if necessary, would be played in St. John’s on Friday and Saturday, May 16-17, although that was dependant on the exact dates for the games in Norfolk.

The IceCaps and Admirals faced each other in the 2012 Eastern Conference final, which saw St. John’s swept in four games by the eventual Calder Cup champions. However, at that time, Norfolk was the affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning.

Of the four competitors remaining in the race for the Eastern Conference title, the IceCaps — the farm team of the Winnipeg Jets — are the only one whose parent club is not involved in the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs.

 

Notes

Ticket sales for the IceCaps' home games in the next round are already underway. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Mile One Centre box office, by phone at 709-576-7657 or online at www.mileonecentre.com. According to Glenn Stanford, the club’s chief operating officer, their are many good seats still available for the series versus Norfolk. Prices are $21, $28 and $31 per game, plus taxes and service fees. The Mile One box-office hours are noon to 5 p.m daily … In Saturday’s game at Springfield, the Falcons led 3-1 through the first 11 minutes, but Providence responded with five unanswered goals, including three before the end of the first period. It was the second comeback by a Bruins team on Saturday as in an afternoon game in Boston, the NHL Bruins spotted the Montreal Canadiens a 3-1 lead in the third period only to score four goals for a 5-3 win that tied their opening-round NHL playoff series at 1-1 … The last remaining AHL conference quarter-final will be settled this afternoon in Rosemont, Ill.,  where the Chicago Wolves host Kilbride’s Luke Adam and the Rochester Americans in Game 5 of the Western Conference quarter-final …

 

bmcc@thetelegram.com

 

 

 

Organizations: IceCaps, Providence Bruins, Binghamton Senators National Hockey League Tampa Bay Lightning Winnipeg Jets

Geographic location: Norfolk, St. John's, Springfield, Mass. Albany Wilkes-Barre Southeastern Virginia

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