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Hutchinson solid in IceCaps 5-0 win over Penguins; St. John's leads series 2-1

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WILKES-BARRE, Pa. - At the risk of jinxing his red-hot teammate between the pipes, St. John's IceCaps forward Patrice Cormier kept his comments about the play of goaltender Michael Hutchinson understated Wednesday night.

"Hutchinson was again pretty good," Cormier said. "Knock on wood."

Only superstition stopped Cormier from handing out more effusive praise.

Hutchinson made 30 saves to record his second shutout of the playoffs as the IceCaps routed the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 5-0 on Wednesday in Game 3 of the American Hockey League's Eastern Conference final.

The IceCaps lead the series 2-1. Game 4 will be played Thursday night in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

"We had a couple early power plays that sort of got us going," said winger Andrew Gordon, who had three assists. "Maybe they didn't execute quite to the level that they're used to in this building, but we had a real good effort. Sometimes you get rewarded."

Eric O'Dell had a goal and an assist. Jason Jaffray, Kael Mouillierat, Zach Redmond and Cormier all scored as well.

Hutchinson raised his post-season record to 9-4 with a .945 save percentage.

The IceCaps scored on consecutive shots less than two minutes apart in the first period to take a 2-0 lead.

Josh Morrissey, on his 19th birthday, took a cross-ice pass from Gordon in the right face-off dot and put a puck on the stick of Cormier in the slot for a re-direction goal on the power play at 11:24.

Gordon intercepted a pass by Penguins winger Spencer Machacek behind the net and fed Jaffray in front for a goal at 13:15.

"They outplayed us all over the ice," Penguins winger Tom Kostopoulos said. "They capitalized on their chances. They were clearly the better team."

After killing a 65-second five-on-three Penguins power play late in the first period, the IceCaps forced another turnover on the forecheck early in the second, and O'Dell buried at loose puck at the left post to make the score 3-0.

"If they score (on the five-on-three power play), you're like, 'Uh oh, it's a game,'" Cormier said. "Kill that and I don't want to say we've got momentum, but we go into the second feeling good."

Mouillerat scored from the goal-line on a five-on-three advantage at 6:24 and Redmond sent a slapshot on net from the blue-line that hit the glove of goalie Peter Mannino and trickled over the goal-line with a second left in the period to give the IceCaps a 5-0 edge going into the third.

"I think there were a couple goals today that were backbreakers," Gordon said. "That one with a second left, that hurts. I've been on the other end of those a few times and that hurts. Timely goals today were probably a momentum killer for them."

Mannino, who played every minute of the Penguins' first 13 playoff games, was pulled after stopping 19-of-24 shots in the first two periods. The Penguins are 0 for 13 on the power play in the series.

Matt Murray stopped all eight shots he faced in relief.

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