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IceCaps’ win streak snapped at nine Posted by IceCaps on

Comeback falls short as St. John’s loses to Portland 7-4

ST. JOHN’S, NL — Fending off a furious third-period near-comeback, the Portland Pirates held on to defeat the St. John’s IceCaps 7-4 Friday night at Mile One Centre to snap the IceCaps’ nine-game winning streak.

Lucas Lessio scored the game-winner for the Pirates, while Louis Domingue made 26 saves to post the win.

Adam Lowry, Will O’Neill, Patrice Cormier, and JC Lipon replied for St. John’s, which was down by four goals after the opening frame but battled back to within a goal early in the third. Michael Hutchinson made 25 saves in a losing effort.

The Pirates opened the scoring 7:50 into the first period, when Tobias Rieder notched his 23rd of the season. After Jordan Szwarz poked the puck free into the neutral zone, Rieder picked it up and rushed into the IceCaps zone, before cutting to the middle and wristing one through a screen that eluded Hutchinson under the blocker.

Portland jumped out to a 2-0 lead at 11:20, this time on a power-play goal from Brandon Yip. Taking the feed from Brendan Shinnimin, Yip fired a shot from the top of the circle that beat Hutchinson clean over the glove.

Just over two minutes later, the Pirates extended their lead to three. With Portland pressuring in the IceCaps’ zone, Szwarz redirected Jordon Southorn’s slap shot from the point high over the shoulder of Hutchinson to make it 3-0.

Then, with 57 seconds left in the opening frame, Darian Dziurzynski pounced on the rebound in front of the goal before wrapping it around the pad of Hutchinson, to send the Pirates to the dressing room with a 4-0 lead after 20 minutes.

In the second period, Lowry put the IceCaps on the board at 5:11. Breaking into the Portland zone on the rush, Lipon sent the puck the puck to Lowry in the high slot, who wristed it past Domingue to cut the deficit to three.

With the IceCaps on the man advantage, O’Neill scored just over two minutes later to cut Portland’s lead in half. Set up in the Pirates’ zone, Andrew Gordon dished it to O’Neill who made no mistake in one-timing a blast from the top of the circle past Domingue to make it 4-2.

Portland jumped ahead to a 5-2 lead 1:06 into the final frame, however, on a power play goal from Lessio. Wheeling behind the goal, Lessio finished off the play with a wraparound that fooled Hutchinson.

Just over a minute later, however, Cormier replied with a shorthanded tally for St. John’s to make it 5-3. Fighting for the puck in the corner, Lowry sent the puck out front where Cormier was waiting to fire a wrister top shelf, glove side, past the Portland puckstop.

The IceCaps added another tally at 5:18, this time from Lipon, to bring them within a goal of evening the score. Rushing into the Portland zone, Domingue made a poke-check save on Carl Klingberg before Lipon jumped on the rebound and fired it upstairs to make it 5-4.

With St. John’s mounting furious pressure to tie the game, Phil Lane took a pass from Rieder breaking in on goal and wristed it past Hutchinson to made it 6-4 at 12:08. Then, with 36 seconds remaining in the contest, Jordan Martinook scored the empty-netter to secure the victory for Portland.

The IceCaps look to take two-of-three from the Pirates with a win Saturday night (7:30 p.m. NT), when the two teams play the last game of their series at Mile One Centre. Catch all the action with broadcaster Brian Rogers on Rogers TV, and 930 AM, or watch online at Pregame show gets underway at 7:00.

Notes: Not dressed for the IceCaps: Kris Fredheim, Kael Mouillierat, Ryan Schnell, Jamie MacQueen, Eddie Pasquale… Jason Jaffray continued his hot streak with an assist, and now has seven points in his last four games… MacQueen was signed to a professional tryout (PTO) prior to Friday night’s game… Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. Brandon Yip 2. Patrice Cormier 3. Tobias Rieder… Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: JC Lipon.

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