Thursday, April 24, 2014
By Paul Betit
LEWISTON — The St. John’s IceCaps scored six goals in the second period Tuesday night for a 7-5 win, ending the Portland Pirates’ two-game win streak.
SATURDAY: Pirates at Manchester Monarchs, 7 p.m.
SUNDAY: St. John’s IceCaps at Pirates, 4 p.m.
Eric Gordon and John Albert each scored two goals as the IceCaps snapped a two-game losing streak before a crowd of 1,688 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
St. John’s, which is 6-1 against the Pirates this season, finishes a six-game trip Sunday against the Pirates at the Colisee. In those seven games the IceCaps have outscored the Pirates, 34-20.
“They’re just a good team and we haven’t played well against them,” Pirates Coach Ray Edwards said. “I went through the games and I think five of the games we haven’t played well. That’s a big credit to them. They force you to play fast and we weren’t fast tonight. They beat us to every puck.”
St. John’s broke open a close game in the second period.
“We got dominated,” Edwards said. “They were really, really good and they were fast. They executed and we had no answer for it.”
The score was 1-1 at the end of the first period.
Rostislav Klesla, a veteran NHL defenseman from the Czech Republic who was assigned to the Pirates in November, opened the scoring nine minutes into the game by putting in a blistering shot from the top of the left circle for his second goal in 15 games.
Less than three minutes later, Kyle MacKinnon scored the tying goal by putting in a rebound for his fifth goal of the season after goalie Mark Visentin stopped a shot from Blair Riley during a scrum in front of the net.
The IceCaps took a 3-1 lead when Gordon and Zach Redmond converted the first two shots of the second period into goals.
After Andy Miele scored his team-high 20th goal on a power play, the Pirates went more than 11 minutes without a shot on goal.
During the spell, St. John’s moved into a 5-2 lead when Eric O’Dell and Gordon scored goals.
With fewer than seven minutes left in the period, rookie Lucas Lessio finished off a rush down the left side with a goal to make it 5-3, but Albert closed out the period with a pair of goals to send the IceCaps into a 7-3 lead.
Eight minutes into the third period, Lessio scored his 16th goal to make it 7-4.
The Pirates’ Brett Hextall put in a shot from the top of the slot for his eighth goal with fewer than six minutes left.
NOTES: The Pirates played without veteran left wing Kyle Hegal, who was handed a suspension for two games for his actions during a brawl during the final 22 seconds of the Pirates’ 2-0 victory at home in a game against the Adirondack Phantoms on Sunday.
The AHL also suspended Adirondack center Kris Newbury for four games, Adirondack goalie Cal Heeter for three games, Adirondack left wing Zack FitzGerald for two games, and Adirondack forwards Ben Holmstrom and Tye McGinn for one game each.
The teams combined for 299 penalty minutes – 179 against Adirondack.