It’s easy to point at scoring as the deciding factor, but the Albany Devils secured their 4-2 victory by killing off a minute and 24 seconds of 5-on-3 hockey during the third period. St. John’s threw everything at the Devils net. The penalty kill unit, backed stopped by Keith Kinkaid, protected Albany’s two-goal advantage.
After dropping Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, 2-1, the Albany Devils return to the ice Saturday for a 7 pm outing against the St. John’s IceCaps. The contest is the final at Times Union Center before the series shifts to Mile One Centre for the remainder of the round.
Tale of the Tape
Players To Watch
Jon Merrill/D 2g-8a in 15 GMS
Reid Boucher/LW 22g-16a in 56 GMS
Jerome Samson/RW 27g-29a in 68 GMS
Zach Redmond/D 6g-19a in 40 GMS
Game 1 Notes
Ben Chiarot netted the game-winning goal with just 23.1 seconds remaining, giving the IceCaps a 2-1 win Friday at Times Union Center. The goal came after Joe Whitney tied the score, 1-1, with a power-play marker at 2:13 of the second period. St. John’s Eric O’Dell opened the scoring at 4:29 of the first period.
ALBANY, NY —Ben Chiarot‘s point shot with just 23.1 seconds remaining sailed past Albany Devils netminder Keith Kinkaid, giving the St. John’s IceCaps a 2-1 victory during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
“A loose rebound just sort of laid there in front of Keith,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “When everybody went to the net, he lost his stick and I don’t know that he ever really recovered. [The play] went to the top; it was a knuckler that kind of handcuffed him. We weren’t able to get in the shooting lane. It’s a tough one.”
The Devils were making their first Calder Cup Playoff appearance since 2010 and 6,572 fans were on hand at Times Union Center. It was the largest postseason crowd in Albany since Game 1 of the 1995 Calder Cup Final.
St. John’s Eric O’Dell took the audience out of it early, opening the scoring 4:29 of the first period. A Devils miscue in the defensive end led to Jerome Samson finding O’Dell cutting to the net.
In the second, Joe Whitney tied the game with a power-play goal. Jon Merrill and Mike Sislo assisted on the tally, which came from a wrister in the slot at 2:13.
Albany, which averaged 25.4 shots against during the regular season, was outshot 32-26.
“Tonight’s over with,” Whitney said. “We played the game, gave everything we had and it wasn’t enough. We hit the reset button. We’re back at it tomorrow; maybe execute a little more and put a few more pucks into the net.”
Kinkaid finished with 30 saves in his Calder Cup Playoffs debut. At the other end, Michael Hutchinson made 25 saves.
“A loss is a loss,” Kinkaid said afterwards. “It could’ve been 7-2 or it could’ve been 2-1. A loss is a loss and you have to move on. It’s best of five for a reason.”
These two teams will meet for Game 2 Saturday at 7 pm at Times Union Center. Fans not in attendance can follow the action online or on mobile devices at ahllive.com.
Game 1 seemed to be heading into overtime until St. John’s won an offensive-zone battle and Ben Chiarot sent a knuckleball past Keith Kinkaid with just 23.1 seconds remaining in regulation. Before the IceCaps worked the puck to the point, Kinkaid lost his stick, handicapping the Devils netminder.
Tale of the Tape
1. Ben Chiarot
2. Michael Hutchinson
3. Joe Whitney
Collision of the Night
Image of the Night
The Devils celebrate Joe Whitney’s second period power-play goal.