IceCaps close out regular season by edging Pirates

Brendan McCarthy
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Lunden scores twice for St. John's

St. John’s IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge and his staff look like they could be facing some tough lineup decisions in advance of their first-round American Hockey League playoff series against the Albany Devils (see accompanying story).
Forward Josh Lunden may very well have contributed to those difficult deliberations Saturday by scoring two third-period goals, including the game-winner, as the IceCaps edged the Portland Pirates 5-4 in their final game of the 2013-14 AHL season.


Lunden had missed much of the season with a concussion, but returned to action eight weeks ago and registered six goals in his last 13 games, and three in the last two, including Friday’s 6-0 shutout of the Worcester Sharks.

Jerome Samson added a goal and two assists on Saturday for the IceCaps (46-23-7) who finished the season with team records for wins and points (99).

Kael Mouillierat, with his 20th of the season, and John Albert, with his team-leading 28th, also had goals for St. John’s. They also each chipped in with an assist.

Brandon Yip scored twice for the Pirates (24-39-13) who finished in last place in the AHL’s Eastern Conference and out the playoffs.

Yip’s second goal, at 13:38 of the third period, came on a penalty shot after the Pirates’ forward was hauled down on a break. That tied the game at 4-4, but Lunden put the IceCaps back in front for good just 36 seconds later.

Brandon Gormley and Tobias Reider scored to give Portland a 2-0 lead through 20 minutes, but Mouillierat and Albert tallied in the middle frame to draw St. John’s even.

Yip scored a shorthanded marker — the 16th St. John’s has surrendered this season —  later in the middle frame, but Lunden’s third-period tallies proved to be the difference.

IceCaps’ goalie Michael Hutchinson made 27 saves for the win, while Louis Domingue had 31 stops for the Pirates.

Saturday’s game was played at the MHG IceCenter, the Pirates’ practice facility in Saco, Me., just south of Portland. Because of a dispute (since resolved) with the operators of the Cumberland County Civic Centre in Portland, the Pirates had played their home games this season at the Colisée in Lewiston, Me., but that facility was unavailable Saturday because it had been booked for a circus.

An announced crowd of 550 took in Saturday’s game at the IceCenter, whose seating consists of bleachers at either end of the ice.


Players not dressed for the IceCaps Saturday included forwards Ryan Schnell, Adam Lowry, Brandon MacLean and Austen Brassard; defencemen Ben Chiarot, Julian Melchiori and Cody Lampl; and goalie Eric Comrie… St. John’s team captain Jason Jaffray fled all IceCaps with 59 points this season, a new club record... Five St. John’s players scored 20 or more goals in 2013-14. They are Albert (28), Samson (27), Andrew Gordon (23), Carl Klingberg (22) and Mouillierat (20) … After struggling on the power-play for a number of games, the IceCaps scored man-advantage goals in their final three games, including one by Samson Saturday … St. John’s thought it might have had a second PP marker against the Pirates, but what would have been teenage defenceman Josh Morrissey’s first pro goal was waved off in the third period because of incidental contact with Pirates’ netminder Domingue … The Molson Canadian three stars Saturday: 1. Lunden 2. Yip 3. Gormley… Brian Rogers’ choice as the Mary Brown’s hardest-working IceCap: Samson …



IceCaps 5 at Pirates 4

Saturday, at the MHG IceCentre, Saco Me.


First Period

1. Portland, Gormley 7 (Miele, Murphy) 6:54 (pp)

2. Portland, Rieder 28 (Martinook, Miele) 14:43.

Penalties — O’Dell SJs (high-sticking) 3:08; Lunden SJs (hooking) 6:44.

Second Period

3. St. John's, Mouillierat 20 (O'Dell, Klingberg) 4:46

4. St. John's, Albert 28 (Mouillierat, O'Neill) 15:39

5. Portland, Yip 13 17:32 (sh)

Penalties — Miele Por (interference) 10:10; Lipon SJs (roughing) 14:22; Gormley Por (roughing) 14:22; Szwarz Por (slashing) 15:59; Hextall Por (unsportsmanlike conduct) 19:39

Third Period

6. St. John's, Samson 27 (Albert, Jaffray) 1:10 (pp)

7. St. John's, Lunden 5 (Kichton, Samson) 8:42

8. Portland, Yip 14 13:38 (penalty shot)

9. St. John's, Lunden 6 (Lipon, Samson) 14:14

Penalties — Murphy Por (hooking) 0:25; Riley SJs (high-sticking) 10:29; O'Neill SJs (fighting) 14:14; Lessio Por (fighting) 14:14; Szwarz Por (roughing, misconduct - unsportsmanlike conduct) 14:14.

 Shots on goal: St. John's 12-12-12-36; Portland 10-10-11-31

Power plays (goals/chances): St. John's 1/5; Portland 1/3.

Goaltenders: St. John's, Hutchinson 17-5-1 (31 shots-27 saves); Portland, Domingue 9-18-2 (36/31)

Referee: Dave Lewis

Linesmen: Jeremy Lovett, Joe Ross

Attendance: 550

Organizations: IceCaps, Worcester Sharks, Cumberland County Civic Centre Colisée Molson

Geographic location: St. John's, Portland, Saco, Me. Lewiston, Me.

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