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Power play sparks IceCaps to fifth straight win Posted by IceCaps on

Photo: Ron Morin/Portland Pirates

Photo: Ron Morin/Portland Pirates

St. John’s scores five with man advantage in 7-4 win over Portland

Afforded a season-high 10 opportunities on the power play, the St. John’s IceCaps capitalized with five tallies to defeat the Portland Pirates 7-4 Friday night at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewsiton, Maine.

Jerome Samson notched a pair while John Albert registered a goal and two assists as the IceCaps rolled to their fifth straight victory and fourth in as many tries on their five-game road trip.

Brenden Kichton added a goal and an assist and Andrew Gordon, Kael Mouillierat, Ben Chiarot and JC Lipon all notched a pair of helpers. Michael Hutchinson was busy in making 33 saves for his fifth win in six games this season.

Portland got off to a blazing start with the game’s first goal just 18 seconds after the opening faceoff. Tobias Reider raced in and fed Phil Lane, who zipped one over the shoulder of Hutchinson to give the home side an early 1-0 lead.

Kichton tied things up for the IceCaps late in the period during some four-on-four action. After winning the draw, Cormier headed to the front of the net and screened Pirates netminder Mark Visentin, allowing Kichton’s shot from the side boards to find the back of the net for his ninth of the season, sending the teams to the dressing rooms tied at one apiece.

On a power play early in the second, Samson converted his 15th of the campaign – tying him with Gordon for the team lead – with assists to Lipon and Mouillierat, to give the IceCaps a 2-1 advantage.

Later in the frame on their seventh power play of the contest, Lowry converted to extend the lead to two. After shots by Lipon and Mouillierat were denied, Lowry was on the doorstep to pot his seventh of the season, making it 3-1.

Jordan Szwarz drew the Pirates to within one at 13:55 of the second. After a huge save by Hutchinson on a Lucas Lessio breakaway, Portland was able to sustain pressure and Szwarz eventually capitalized, snapping a shot home from the bottom of the left circle to make it 3-2.

The Pirates evened the score shorthanded at 16:44. Portland won the faceoff, and Mathieu Brodeur’s point shot bounced to Brandon MacMillan in front, who knocked in the rebound to tie things at three.

However, on the same man advantage, Jaffray restored the lead for St. John’s. Gordon fed a wide open Jaffray in front of the net, and the All-Star captain turned and shovelled a backhander past Visentin to put the IceCaps on top 4-3.

After Lessio tied it for the Pirates on a power play of their own, Albert replied with yet another power play tally for St. John’s. Albert wound up and blasted one over the shoulder of Visentin to give the IceCaps the lead once again, this time for good.

Samson potted his second of the night less than two minutes later after displaying some persistence in front, notching his team-best 16th of the season. Then, with 2:16 to go, Will O’Neill took a pass at the point from Albert and ripped one through Visentin for the IceCaps’ fifth power play marker of the night to put the game out of reach.

The IceCaps head to Manchester Saturday for yet another divisional matchup versus the Monarchs, looking to tie a club record with their sixth win in a row. Catch all the action with broadcaster Brian Rogers at www.stjohnsicecaps.com or watch online at www.ahllive.com. Puck drop is set for 8:30 p.m. with the pregame show beginning at 8:00.

Notes: Not dressed for St. John’s: Austen Brassard, Josh Lunden, Ryan Schnell, Kris Fredheim… The IceCaps’ five power play goals were the most in a game in team history. St. John’s went 5-for-10 overall with the man advantage and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill… The IceCaps were outshot 37-33 overall… Paul Postma, assigned to the IceCaps on a conditioning loan by the Jets, made his first appearance in an IceCaps uniform since Jan. 5, 2013 and notched an assist… Defenceman Julian Melchiori returned to the lineup after missing the previous eight games due to a lower body injury… Will O’Neill extended his point streak to five games… All-Star Brenden Kichton has seven points (2G, 5A) in his last three games… Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. Jerome Samson 2. Ben Chiarot 3. John Albert… Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: Kyle MacKinnon.

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