Andrew Gordon found a way, or found three ways, to score and helped the St. John’s IceCaps eliminate the Albany Devils from the Calder Cup playoffs on Friday.
The No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, the IceCaps pinned a 4-1 loss on the No. 5 Devils in Game 4 of the best-of-five first-round series. Gordon scored an even-strength goal, added a short-handed goal and completed the hat trick on the power play.
They were Gordon’s first goals of the series after finishing the season with 23 goals and 34 assists. He and linemates Jason Jaffray and John Albert entered Game 4 with an assist apiece, but with Albert scoring the fourth IceCap goal, they accounted for all the scoring in the series clincher.
Albany coach Rick Kowalsky summed up the Gordon line’s game while describing the second goal. After the short-handed IceCaps won an offensive zone faceoff, Gordon shot from the slot. His rebound came right back to him in the high slot and he fired past Albany goalie Keith Kinkaid for a 2-0 lead.
“We lose the draw, but kind of go right by Gordon. He shoots it, he gets his own rebound and there’s three of us standing there,” he said. “It’s kind of one of those nights where they seemed to want the puck, get the puck more than we did.”
The Devils drew within a goal at 9:17 of the second period on Jon Merrill’s shot from the right point.
The Devils were more intent on shooting after passing up on some opportunities in Game 3, but Michael Hutchinson made 39 saves in the win.
“I liked our attitude and the feeling on the bench after we got that goal from Jonny to make it 2-1,” Albany’s Tim Sestito said. “I thought we made a pretty good push. We’ve had chances all series long. We just couldn’t finish, and in the end, I think that’s what doomed us.”
Albany 0 1 0 — 1
St. John’s 1 3 0 — 4
First Period — 1, St. John’s, Gordon 1 (Jaffray, Redmond), 3:47. Penalties — Matteau, Alb (slashing), 6:46; Chiarot, StJ (boarding), 11:54; St. John’s bench, served by O’Dell (too many men), 14:10.
Second Period — 2, St. John’s, Gordon 2 (Cormier), 7:58 (sh). 3, Albany, Merrill 1 (Gelinas, Pesonen), 9:17. 4, St. John’s, Gordon 3 (Morrissey, Samson), 14:28 (pp). 5, St. John’s, Albert 1 (Riley), 17:15. Penalties — Timmins, Alb, major (fighting), 3:02; Jaffray, StJ, major (fighting), 3:02; Albert, StJ (goaltender interference), 6:06; Merrill, Alb (slashing), 13:50; Cormier, StJ (holding), 17:39.
Third Period — None. Penalties — McPherson, Alb (tripping), 7:30; Samson, StJ (goaltender interference), 8:13; McKelvie, Alb (high-sticking), 16:20; Riley, StJ (slashing), 19:11.
Shots on goal — Albany 12-17-11 — 40. St. John’s 6-13-14 — 33.
Power-play opportunities — Albany 0 of 6; St. John’s 1 of 4.
Goalies — Albany, Kinkaid 1-3 (33 shots-29 saves). St. John’s, Hutchinson 3-1 (40-39).
A — 6,287. T — 2:26.
Referees — Graham Skilliter, Geno Binda. Linesmen — Todd Horwood, Jim Vail.