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Hutchinson comes up big as IceCaps beat Penguins 2-1 to even AHL series

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ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Michael Hutchinson felt he played below his personal standard's in Saturday's Game 1 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. In Game 2 Sunday, he redeemed himself.

The IceCaps goalie stopped 34 shots as St. John's evened its American Hockey League Eastern Conference final at a game apiece with a 2-1 victory over the Penguins.

"I felt pretty good about my game tonight," Hutchinson said. "Last night I wasn't overly thrilled with my performance and I knew I wanted to come out and play better for the guys in the room tonight. I tried to come in and make the saves to hold the team in as much as I could and then we got the lead."

The IceCaps started the game according to plan Sunday, carrying a lead into the first intermission.

"Our focus was on getting the first goal in the first period and getting a little momentum on our side to get the crowd behind us," said Kyle MacKinnon, who scored the first goal of the game.

Carl Klingberg also scored for the IceCaps, while Anton Zlobin replied for the Penguins.

St. John's held Wilkes-Barre/Scranton scoreless in six power-play chances to help the team hold onto the lead.

"It was unbelievable," Hutchinson said. "All the players block shots and clear the puck to make my job a lot easier. When I have to make a save, it has to get through a lot of bodies before it makes it to me."

"You never want to go down two games in a series, especially on home ice," Hutchinson added. "(Winning tonight) feels good and it is a confidence boost for us. I thought we played a lot better tonight than we did last night."

MacKinnon opened the scoring for the IceCaps when he finished off a breakaway with a quick, high wrist shot after catching a Blair Riley stretch pass entering the blue-line 13:54 into the game.

The IceCaps extended their lead when Klingberg got a stick on a Will O'Neill slap shot from the point through traffic, finding the high right corner of the net at the 6:24 mark of the second period.

Hutchinson kept the Penguins scoreless with a sprawling pad save to stone Harry Zolnierczyk on a breakaway with roughly six minutes left to play in the second period.

With 1:04 left in the game, a cross-ice pass found Zlobin wide open in the left face-off dot, and he buried the puck top shelf over a sprawling Hutchinson to get the Penguins on the board.

Penguins goalie Peter Mannino made 27 saves.

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