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.