Pirates come away victorious over IceCaps Posted by IceCaps on
Photo: Portland Pirates/Ron Morin
St. John’s can’t contain Portland, lose 5-2
The IceCaps saw their modest two-game win streak snapped by the Portland Pirates Friday in a 5-2 loss at Cumberland County Civic Center.
Jordan Szwarz scored twice while Mark Visentin stopped 31-of-33 shots to pick up the victory for Portland.
Aaron Gagnon continued his hot streak, picking up a goal and an assist, while Eric O’Dell scored the other goal for St. John’s. Mark Dekanich got the start between the pipes and made 24 saves.
Gagnon got the IceCaps on the board midway through the first on his seventh goal of the season. Tomas Kubalik made a great pass from behind the net to Gagnon near the left hash marks and the B.C. native whistled a one-timer past Visentin to give St. John’s the opening goal and a 1-0 lead.
Portland tied it late in the first after a scramble in front of Dekanich. Nick Johnson got the puck out to Alexandre Bolduc to the right of Dekanich, and the Pirates centre jammed in his 23rd of the season to equalize the score at one heading into the first intermission.
Portland took the lead in the second period on a penalty shot goal by Szwarz after he was hauled down on a shorthanded breakaway. Szwarz moved in on Dekanich and made a nice move the forehand, snapping a shot high on the glove side and beating the IceCaps netminder to give the home side a 2-1 advantage.
The Pirates made it a two-goal lead on a power play late in the second frame. Brandon Gormley one-time a shot from the point that was tipped in front by Chris Brown to give Portland a 3-1 lead.
Portland went up by three in the third on Andy Miele’s 14th of the season. Chris Connor sent a backhand pass into the slot off the rush and Miele redirected it home to put the Pirates up 4-1.
O’Dell notched his team-leading 22nd of the season with a power play marker in the third. O’Dell one-timed a feed in the slot from Gagnon at 9:01 of the final frame to close the gap to 4-2.
However, Portland put the game out of reach on Szwarz’s second of the night. Szwarz buried a rebound to Dekanich’s left to put the Pirates up 5-2, a deficit too much for St. John’s to overcome.
The IceCaps and Pirates tangle again Saturday night for their sixth of eight meetings this season and final matchup at Cumberland County Civic Center. Catch all the action with broadcaster Brian Rogers at stjohniscecaps.com and on 930 AM, or watch online at ahllive.com. Puck drop is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. with the pregame show getting underway at 8:00 (all times Newfoundland).
Aaron Gagnon extended his team season high point streak to eight games with two points (1G, 1A). Gagnon has 11 points (6G, 5A) in his last eight contests… Eric O’Dell notched his team-leading 22nd goal of the season and extended his point streak to four games (4G, 3A)… Coach Keith MeCambridge went with 11 forwards and seven defencemen… St. John’s went 1-for-8 on the power play while Portland went 1-for-3.