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PREVIEW: IceCaps and Pirates engage in three-game battle Posted by IceCaps on

Portland G3 web (8 of 26)Wednesday, March 12, Friday, March 14 and Saturday March 15
PIRATES (21-28-2-8, 52 PTS | 5th Place, Atlantic) at ICECAPS (36-19-1-3, 76 PTS | 2nd Place, Atlantic)
Puck Drop: 7:30 PM NT | Watch: AHL Live | Listen: stjohnsicecaps.com, 930 AM

The St. John’s IceCaps continued to extend their franchise-record winning streak with a pair of wins against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this past weekend and will hope to push that figure into double digits when they host the Portland Pirates for a three-game set starting on Wednesday at Mile One Centre.

The record now sits at eight consecutive victories for the IceCaps, who have not lost since Feb. 16. They will get a great chance to extend the streak against a Portland team which has lost three straight, including their most recent game, a 9-3 drubbing at the hands of the Springfield Falcons.

The IceCaps have scored a whopping 40 goals in eight games vs. the Pirates this season (5.0 goals/game) and have recorded at least six in each of their last three meetings.

LAST GAME: Adam Lowry was sent in alone thanks to a tape-to-tape pass from Patrice Cormier in the final minute of overtime and made no mistake as he flipped a backhand shot behind goaltender Kevin Poulin to give the IceCaps a 3-2 overtime win over the Sound Tigers at Mile One Centre on Saturday.

The win stretched the IceCaps’ franchise record winning streak to eight games but it didn’t come easily as the IceCaps didn’t hold a lead in regulation.

Scooter Vaughan opened the scoring seven minutes into the contest with a shot that beat IceCaps’ starting goaltender Michael Hutchinson between the pads.

It took the IceCaps only 5:48 to get the goal back as Eric O’Dell notched his 16th of the season to tie the game.

Bridgeport surged ahead again less than a minute later as Aaron Ness scored a shorthanded goal to give the Sound Tigers a 2-1 lead heading into the second period.

Andrew Gordon scored the last goal of regulation at 5:36 of the second period to tie the game as the IceCaps outshot the Sound Tigers 36-15 after 60 minutes.

Hutchinson earned the victory with a 15-save performance, while Poulin finished the game with 34 saves.

NOTES FROM LAST GAME: Scratched for St. John’s: Kris Fredheim, Kael Mouillierat, Ryan Schnell, Carl Klingberg, Eddie Pasquale… The IceCaps went 1-for-7 on the power play and killed off 2-of-3 shorthanded situations… St. John’s outshot Bridgeport 37-17 in the game and 76 to 41 in the series… Jason Jaffray has recorded two assists in each of his last two games… Molson Canadian Three Stars: 1. Andrew Gordon 2. Kevin Poulin 3. Jason Jaffray… Mary Brown’s Hardest Working Player: Will O’Neill.

TRANSACTIONS: March 6:  John Albert (C) Recalled from loan by Winnipeg (NHL).

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QUICK HITS: Adam Lowry’s overtime winner was the IceCaps’ second overtime victory this season. The first took place on Nov. 13 against the Sharks when Jerome Samson scored the game winner in a 3-2 game. The IceCaps have only lost one game in overtime this season, on October 4 against the Providence Bruins in their first game of the campaign… The depth of the IceCaps has been a main factor in the team’s recent record-setting winning streak. During the streak, seven different players have scored the game-winning goal (Albert, Klingberg, Cormier, O’Dell, Samson, Riley). Only Kael Mouillierat has multiple game-winning goals during the streak and he earned them in back-to-back victories on Feb. 23 and Feb. 28. Mouillierat leads the team with five game-winners this season… The IceCaps may be looking forward to Wednesday night’s game the most. The IceCaps have played five games on Wednesday nights this season and have won all five contests… After this weekend’s slate of games, Michael Hutchinson has now recorded enough minutes to qualify among the league’s leading goaltenders. His impressive play since being recalled in January has him sitting third in SV% (.927) and fifth in GAA (2.20).

PREVIOUS MATCHUPS: To say that the IceCaps and Pirates are familiar foes is an understatement. The teams have already faced off eight times this season, with the IceCaps holding a commanding edge, winning seven of the eight contests.

The IceCaps have won their last four meetings against the Pirates, who haven’t earned a win against St. John’s since a 5-4 victory at Mile One Centre on Jan. 6.

After this weekend’s games, the teams will face off again one more time on April 19 in Portland, the IceCaps’ final game this season.

HEAD-TO-HEAD LEADERS:

STJ: x John Albert 12 PTS (7G, 5A) | Andrew Gordon 12 PTS (4G, 8A) Eddie Pasquale (4-1-0, 1.88 GAA, .943 SV%)

POR: Lucas Lessio 8 PTS (5G, 3A) | x Brandon McMillan 8 PTS (2G, 6A) | Louis Domingue (1-2-0, 2.86 GAA, 0.915 SV%)

RECENT ACTION: MAR. 9: SPR 9 POR 3 | The Portland Pirates suffered their third straight loss last Sunday night as they dropped a 9-3 blowout to the Springfield Falcons in front of their home fans at Androsgoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.

The Falcons jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the opening period thanks to goals from Patrick McNeill, Sean Collins, Dana Tyrell and Darryl Boyce.

Portland’s Brett Hextall stopped the bleeding early in the second period but Springfield’s offense roared back as Michael Chaput, Andrew Joudrey and Austin Madaisky all scored before the end of the second, giving the Falcons a 7-1 lead.

Jack Skille added a pair of goals in the first two minutes of the third to give the Falcons an eight-goal advantage.

Portland’s Tim Kennedy and Brandon Yip added third period goals but the damage had already been done.

Mike McKenna earned the victory between the pipes for the Falcons in making 27 saves, while the tandem of Louis Domingue and Mark Visentin combined to allow nine goals on 30 shots.

TRANSACTIONS: March 9:  Andy Miele (C) Recalled from loan by Phoenix (NHL). March 8: Justin Weller (D) Reassigned by Phoenix (NHL) from Gwinnett (ECHL). Sam Klassen (D) Signed to PTO. March 7: Brandon Gormley (D) Recalled from loan by Phoenix (NHL).

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