Dekanich, IceCaps deny Pirates Posted by IceCaps on
St. John’s slips past Portland 3-2
ST. JOHN’S, NL – The IceCaps edged the Portland Pirates 3-2 Tuesday night in the first of two meetings at Mile One Centre between the Atlantic Division rivals.
Mark Dekanich was the story for St. John’s, making 30 saves and shutting the door on the Pirates in the closing minutes of regulation. Ray Sawada scored the winner midway through the third while Cody Sol and Josh Lunden added tallies for the home team.
Dekanich helped the IceCaps hold Portland’s power play at bay, which went just 1-for-6 on the night. St. John’s managed a goal on five opportunities with the man advantage.
St. John’s struck first on a goal by Sol, his first career AHL marker. Sol got the puck at the point and stepped into a heavy shot near the top of the left circle, sneaking the puck through Pirates netminder Mark Visentin to give the IceCaps a 1-0 lead.
Early in the second on an IceCaps power play, the home side converted to make it 2-0. Kael Mouillierat made a nifty backhand pass out front to Lunden, who deposited his fourth of the season 1:04 into the frame to make it a two-goal advantage for St. John’s.
Portland cut the lead in half with 8:42 left in the second on a nice goal by Phil Lane. The big winger gathered the puck in the neutral zone and busted in off the left side, going backhand and beating Dekanich to make it 2-1.
The Pirates pulled even with 9:37 left in the third on their fourth power play opportunity of the game. Brendan Shinnimin took a pass near the top of the left circle and let a shot go that squeezed through Dekanich to make it a brand new game at 2-2.
St. John’s came right back to retake the lead at the 12:34 mark, a goal that would stand as the winner. After some great work in the offensive zone with the teams playing four-on-four, Travis Ramsey hammered a shot from the point that was tipped in by Sawada for his 12th of the season to put the IceCaps on top for good 3-2.
The IceCaps and Pirates clash again Wednesday night for the eighth and final time this season with Portland holding a 4-2-1-0 edge in the season series. Catch all the action with broadcaster Brian Rogers at stjohnsicecaps.com and on 930 AM, or watch online at ahllive.com. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. NT with the pregame show beginning at 7:00.
The IceCaps and Statoil paid tribute to the Heroes of Tomorrow with a pregame ceremony to recognize 30 volunteers – nominated online on the IceCaps official website – who have helped make a difference in their communities… With his assist in the second period, Eric O’Dell passed Spencer Machacek for the single-season scoring record (51 points)… Rookies Vinny Saponari and Matthew Kirzinger notched their first pro points on Cody Sol’s first career AHL goal in the first period… The IceCaps reached 73 straight sellouts Tuesday… Mark Dekanich has won six of his last eight starts.
Photos (Jeff Parsons)