IceCaps bring heavy artillery against Pirates
Split two-game series with convincing 5-2 win
By Chris Doyle
The St. John’s IceCaps showed no ill effects of a grueling three-game weekend Sunday in Portland. The IceCaps defeated the Pirates 5-2 to split the two-game series and head home for the Christmas break having recorded five of a possible six points this weekend.
Patrice Cormier scored twice and Paul Postma recorded three assists to extend his team-high point streak to eight games. Carl Klingberg, in his first game action since being reassigned to St. John’s Friday, had a goal and an assist while goaltender Eddie Pasquale made 27 saves for his first victory since Nov. 12.
After a hard-fought game Saturday night that saw Portland come away victorious in a shootout, the IceCaps jumped all over the Pirates in a three-goal second period and extended their road point streak to a league-high 13 games. The win allowed the IceCaps to keep pace with the Manchester Monarchs, who defeated the Worcester Sharks Sunday afternoon and have a one-point advantage for first place in the Atlantic Division.
St. John’s got on the board first when Cormier converted a rebound of a Klingberg shot for his eighth of the season at the 5:46 mark of the first. The Pirates drew even at 13:13 of the opening period when Brett MacLean slipped a rebound past Pasquale for his 11th of the season and third in two games against St. John’s this weekend.
Jason King put the IceCaps on top early in the second when he found himself in the right place at the right time after McElhinney made the initial stop on a Kenndal McArdle shot. King potted his team-leading 10th of the season to give St. John’s a 2-1 lead at 4:31 of the middle frame.
The IceCaps kept things rolling at 14:47 of the period when Klingberg tied King with his 10th of the season, a power play goal that gave St. John’s a 3-1 lead. Klingberg tucked home a rebound after Postma’s shot was turned aside by McElhinney.
Less than two minutes later, Cormier netted his second goal of the night when he deflected a Spencer Machacek blast past McElhinney. Dating back to Dec. 6, Cormier has scored five goals in his past seven games and sits second on the team in goal-scoring with nine.
The three-goal second stanza essentially knocked the wind out of the sails of the Pirates. Portland managed a short-handed marker by Patrick O’Sullivan to make it 4-2 early in the third, but Kevin Clark provided the dagger less than a minute later after a nice setup by Garth Murray for his fifth of the season.
After losing three straight at home last week, the IceCaps quickly turned things around and have now won two-of-three heading into the Christmas break. The team’s next game action is on Dec. 28 when they visit the Bulldogs at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton.
Catch all the action with broadcaster Brian Rogers at www.stjohnsicecaps.com or on 930 AM This Is Newfoundland Labrador. Pregame show begins a half hour before puck drop.