02/17/2013 10:00 PM
The Portland Pirates finished off their slate of regular season games at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in convincing fashion, defeating the St. John’s IceCaps by a 6-1 score in front of a sold out crowd of 3,750. Rookie Mike Lee continued his impressive play in only his sixth AHL appearance, stopping 31 of 32 shots to remain undefeated at 5-0.
After an uneventful fifteen minutes in the opening frame, the Pirates came alive late. Mark Louis injected some life into the team at 15:11, dropping the gloves with fellow heavyweight Ryan Schnell. 24seconds later, Rob Klinkhammer found Phil Lane, who beat IceCaps’ starter Chris Carrozzi for his fourth goal of the season. After a Julian Melchiori high sticking call, Chris Brown tipped home a Michael Stone slap shot on the power play for his 15th goal of the year at 17:57. A little over a minute later, Evan Brophey collected his fifth goal of the season to send the Pirates into the first intermission with a 3-0 lead.
The Pirates started the second on a four minute penalty kill as a result of a double minor penalty to Boris Valabik at the end of the first. As he has done consistently in his brief stint with the Pirates, Mike Lee impressed in the second. Lee made a stellar save on IceCaps forward Eric O’Dell, stopping O’Dell’s initial shot and sprawling out to turn away the rebound. The Pirates not only killed off the Valabik penalty but maintained the 3-0 lead thanks to the play of Lee in the second. Lee put an exclamation mark on the period by sliding across his crease and robbing Carl Klingberg of a backdoor goal.
The Pirates’ turned up the heat again in the third, and tempers flared for bothteams. Captain Alexandre Bolduc energized the team, scoring a shorthanded breakaway goal, his team leading 19th of the season. Chris Brown extended the lead to five at 7:40 of the third, snapping a shot over Carrozzi for his second of the night and 16th of the season. A melee broke out at 14:13 of the period, with Louis and Andy Miele as the prime combatants for the Pirates. In total, 66 minutes in penalties would be assessed in the third. Brendan Shinnimin closed out the scoring for the Pirates at 17:53 for his ninth of the year, giving the pirates a 6-0 Pirates lead. Jason Gregoire ruined the shutout for Lee with only 29 seconds remaining in the game, putting the only blemish on an otherwise stellar night for the rookie goaltender.
The Pirates improve to 30-18-1-1 on the season and remain a point back of the Providence Bruins for first place in the Atlantic Division. Mike Lee moves to an impressive 5-0-0-0 in his 6 career AHL games. St. John’s falls to 22-28-1-2, while Chris Carrozzi drops to 1-1-0-0.
The Pirates return to action against the Worcester Sharks on Friday, February 23rd at the DCU Center in Worcester.Puck drop is set for 7 PM and the game can be heard on 95.5 and 95.9 WPEI in the Portland area, 92.7FM and 100.7 FM WOXO FM in the Lewiston/Auburn area, and online on the WLOB radio player and AHL Live. The pregame show starts at 6:40 with Jeff Mannix.