|Penguins on the losing end of the handshake line. Good season guys!|
Nothing to hang your head about fans. These Penguins battled back from a 3-1 series deficit and took this series the distance. They never gave up in the series and played hard until every last second ticked off the clock tonight in Newfoundland.
Aaron Gagnon scored his second goal of the night 57 seconds into the third period, and the Penguins couldn't tie up the game after Colin McDonald scored his team leading 6th goal of the playoffs. Only fitting this series came down to a one goal game.
Tough way to end the season for the Penguins. I'm sure the what if's and what could have been are swirling in everyone's minds right now.
I want to thank everyone who has read the updates on this blog over the course of the season. I also want to take the time now to let you know that although the season may be over, the daily updates and original content is just beginning. Here's what I plan to do in the very near future:
The Playoff Grades for every guy who suited up for a playoff game in a Penguins uniform will post either tomorrow evening or Monday morning. I'll have another post looking at the roster and who's signed through next season and who the free agents will be. I'll probably have multiple looks at it over the summer. I'll also be doing full season recaps of all the players over the summer as well.
So stay tuned! It was an awesome first full season covering this team and big things are planned and already in the works for the off-season and the 2012-13 season.
The goalie matchup was the same. Brad Thiessen vs. Eddie Pasquale. No changes for WBS, with Kevin Clark for Karl Klingberg the only change to the STJ lineup. You had to know the IceCaps were going to make a statement in the opening period, now with their backs to the wall and in front of a sold out home crowd.
While the Penguins had their chances on the game's first power play, the IceCaps controlled play the rest of the period. The IceCaps took a 1-0 lead at the 11:52 mark on a Ray Sawada goal, his third of the playoffs. John Albert got the lone assist with a great pass to Sawada on an odd man rush. From there, the Penguins started to gain back the momentum until a Philip Samuelsson hooking minor with 1:23 left put the Pens on the PK. Luckily they got out of the first period only down 1-0. Shots were 10-7 in favor of St. John's after 20 minutes.
Robert Bortuzzo, who was drilled by Patrice Cormier in the first period, did not return to the game and was taken to the hospital for observation. Hope he's okay. The Penguins had a much better start to the period and team captain Ryan Craig tied the game at 1 with a breakaway goal 6:43 into the middle frame. Eric Tangradi got the lone assist.
But a Brian Gibbons interference call with 9:15 left in the period switched the momentum to the IceCaps, as they capitalized on the power play courtesy of Aaron Gagnon. Sawada picked up his second point of the night. Jason King also got on the scoresheet with 8:25 remaining in the period. Gagnon was attempting a pass across the top of the crease and the puck deflected off Alexandre Picard's skate and into the net between Thiessen's pads.
From there the Penguins drew a penalty on the next shift after the goal but unable to score on the man advantage, their third of the game. The IceCaps took the 2-1 lead into the 3rd period. They got an early goal in the third period and held off the Penguins late surge to secure the series win.