Josh Lunden scored twice in the third period, including the winner, as the St. John’s IceCaps shaded the Portland Pirates 5-4 Saturday night at the MHG Ice Center in Saco, Maine.
Jerome Samson added a goal and two assists for the IceCaps who finished the season with a team-record 99 points and will face the Albany Devils in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Kael Mouillierat, with his 20th of the season, and John Albert each had a goal and an assist for St. John’s.
The Pirates opened the scoring on the powerplay at 6:54 of the first period as Brandon Gormley’s point shot beat IceCaps netminder Michael Hutchinson. The Pirates extended their lead by two at 14:43 of the first on a one-timer from Tobias Rieder.
Mouillierat was the first IceCap to beat Pirate goaltender Louis Domingue, at 4:46 of the second period. Eric O’Dell and Carl Klingberg were awarded assists. St. John’s tied the game at 15:39 on Albert’s team-high, 28th goal of the season. Mouillierat and Will O’Neill had helpers. The Pirates regained the lead at 17:32 of the middle frame when Brandon Yip capitalized on an IceCaps turnover and scored shorthanded on a breakaway.
Samson tied the game 3-3 at 1:10 of the third period on a 5-on-3 powerplay. Albert and Jaffray had assists on Samson’s 27th of the campaign. Lunden gave the IceCaps their first lead at 8:42 from Samson and Kichton. However, the Pirates tied the game at four when Yip was hauled down, awarded a penalty shot and his ensuing deke found the back of the net at 13:38. That set the stage for Lunden’s heroics at 14:14. Lipon and Samson had assists on Lunden’s game-winning goal.
Game One of the IceCaps best-of-five opening round Calder Cup playoff series will start 8:30 p.m. Friday night in Albany at the Times Union Center. Catch all the action with broadcaster Brian Rogers at www.stjohnsicecaps.com and 930 AM This is Newfoundland Labrador, or watch online at www.ahllive.com. Pregame show begins a half hour before puck drop.
Not dressed for St. John’s: Ryan Schnell, Julian Melchiori, Adam Lowry, Brandon MacLean, Austen Brassard, Cody Lampl, Eric Comrie and Eddie Pasquale …Jason Jaffray finished with a team-high 59 points, a new club record... Five IceCaps scored 20 goals (Samson, Mouillierat, Albert, Klingberg and Andrew Gordon)…St. John’s outshot the Pirates 36-31… The IceCaps went 1-for-5 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill… Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. Lunden 2. Yip 3. Gormley… Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: Samson.