LEWISTON, Maine – The St. John’s IceCaps scored six goals in the second period Tuesday night on their way to a 7-5 win over the Portland Pirates.
John Albert had two goals for the IceCaps, including the game-winner, and Michael Hutchinson made 24 saves to earn the win.
The Pirates jumped on the board first when Rostislav Klesla tallied his second goal of the year just nine minutes into the contest. Brandon McMillan made a cross-ice pass to Klesla who wound up and beat Hutchinson with a well-placed shot. But the lead was short lived as the IceCaps tied the game just two and a half minutes later when Kyle MacKinnon jumped on a loose puck that Visentin had lost sight of.
In the second, the IceCaps surged ahead, planting two pucks in the net in the opening minute and a half. First, Zach Redmond was able to beat Visentin with a shot from the point just 23 seconds into the period followed by Brenden Kichton’s power play goal at 1:24.
Andy Miele responded for the Pirates, scoring on the power play to cut the lead to one. With Miele’s goal, the Pirates have now scored a power play goal in each of their last eight home games.
The IceCaps retook their two-goal advantage at the 8:37 mark when Eric O’Dell slid a puck past Visentin as he skated across the goal mouth. The IceCaps extended their lead at 13:17 with a goal from Andrew Gordon.
Again, the Pirates answered, scoring 20 seconds later when Lucas Lessio ripped a shot off the crossbar and in. But, the IceCaps responded with John Albert scoring shorthanded at 16:04 and again at 18:42, giving the IceCaps a 7-3 lead heading into the final period. The 6 goals allowed in the period set a franchise record for the Pirates.
In the third, Lessio scored his second of the game on the power play to cut the deficit to three and give some much-needed life back to the Pirates. The Pirates scored again at 14:02 when Hextall buried his eighth goal of the year, tying a career high, off of a nice feed from Daine Todd.
However, the Pirates best efforts at a comeback were stymied by the IceCaps as St. John’s was able to fend off the Portland attack and hang on to their lead.
The Pirates will return to action Saturday when they travel to Manchester to renew the VIP Cup Series, presented by VIP Tires & Service, with the Monarchs. The Monarchs currently hold a 5-2 lead in the season long series.