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.
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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.
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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.
- Jon Merrill and Mike Sislo assisted on Whitney’s goal.
- Keith Kinkaid finished with 30 saves, including 13 in the first period, 10 in the second and seven in the third.
- Albany allowed more than 30 shots for just the fourth time since Mar. 2. St. John’s owned a 32-26 shot advantage.
- The Devils went 1-2 on the power play and 4-4 on the penalty kill.
- Rod Pelley led the Devils and tied a game-high with five shots.
Regular Season Breakdown
|St. John’s IceCaps||76||46||23||2||5||99||0.651|
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.
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.