NORFOLK, Va. – Alexandre Picard scored twice to take over the scoring lead in the playoffs as the Norfolk Admirals defeated the St. John’s IceCaps, 3-1, in front of an AHL Admirals playoff record crowd of 6,249 at Norfolk Scope Arena. Norfolk takes a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals into Monday's Game 3 at Mile One Centre in St. John's, Newfoundland.
Richard Panik also scored. Dustin Tokarski (6-2) stopped 30 of 31 shots and has now turned aside 59 of 61 St. John's shots in the series. Norfolk's penalty kill stopped all five IceCaps' shots.
Like in Game 1, the Admirals struck first in Game 2 – this time just 51 seconds into the contest. Trevor Smith found Richard Panik in the high slot, and Panik sent a quick wrist shot past Pasquale’s blocker. The Admirals were on a three-on-two rush when Smith connected with Panik, putting Norfolk up 1-0.
The second period saw the IceCaps even the score at one goal apiece 1:41 into the period. Garth Murray won a faceoff, sending the puck back to Paul Postma at the left point. Postma sent a shot through traffic that hit Tokarski. John Albert found the rebound and backhanded it into and the net to get St. John’s on the board.
The alternating scoring continued later in the second period when Picard made the score 2-1 in favor of the home team. Brandon Segal started the play when he collected his own deflection in the right circle and passed the puck back to Mike Kostka. The puck came to Kostka at the right point where he would shoot it, sending it off the glove of Pasquale. The rebound went behind the net, ricocheted to Picard on the other side, and with Pasquale still on the other half of the crease, Picard sent it into the cage before Pasquale could dive back to stop it.
In an attempt to tie the game, St. John’s pulled Pasquale for an extra skater with time winding down in regulation. After Jean-Philippe Cote forced a turnover at center ice, Picard took the puck down the right wall and hit the empty net to cement the victory for Norfolk, 3-1. Picard now has an AHL-best eight goals and 14 points in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Eddie Pasquale (7-6) stopped 35 of 37 shots for the loss.
Both teams were 0-for-5 on the power play.
Game 3 of the series takes place on Monday, May 21st, from Mile One Centre in St. John's, Newfoundland. The puck drops at 6:00 p.m.
Big Woody’s Bar and Grill will show Game 3, Game 4 and (if needed) Game 5 of the series at their Chesapeake Square Mall location. The Chesapeake Square Mall location of Big Woody’s Bar and Grill is located at 4200 Portsmouth Boulevard in Chesapeake, Virginia.
In addition, A Step In Time Chimney Sweeps is having an Admirals Party for Game 3 only at the Virginia Beach Town Center location of Guadalajara on Monday night, May 21st. Watch the game live at 6:00 p.m. and cheer on your Admirals. In addition, there will be a free buffet, happy hour drink specials, and cornhole with prizes available. The Virginia Beach Town Center location of Guadalajara is located at 4611 Columbus Street in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Game 3 will also be shown on Monday, May 21st, at the Hits at the Park Restaurant during the Norfolk Tides game against the Pawtucket Red Sox. You must have a ticket to the Tides game to be admitted into the ballpark.
All games can be heard at 102.1-FM, 1490-AM and 1021TheGame.com. You can also watch on a pay-per-view basis at AHLLive.com.
1. Alexandre Picard – NOR
2. Dustin Tokarski – NOR
3. Eddie Pasquale – STJ