Maine Hockey Journal

IceCaps shut down Pirates

(PHOTO: Rosina Vacchiano)

(PHOTO: Rosina Vacchiano)

One night after scoring a season-high eight goals, the Portland Pirates couldn’t find the back of the net against the St. John’s IceCaps as Connor Hellebuyck stopped 35 shots for a 1-0 victory Saturday evening in front of 5,713 at the Mile One Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Pirates’ GM/Coach Ray Edwards said it was not for a lack of chances.

“When you get eight like that you say ‘gosh, we should have saved a few’ and it was exactly that,” he said. “We had so many chances tonight and to come away with zero is hard to take. I loved the way we played. We marked 19 (scoring) chances for and 11 against. In a game like that to lose 1-0, it’s a tough game to swallow.

It was only 24 hours earlier the Pirates defeated St. John’s 8-1.

“The execution was better tonight,” said IceCaps’ head coach Keith McCambridge. “The timing was better with our passes. There was a commitment to doing all the things you need to do to win. Last night was nowhere near good enough to win. The details were real strong tonight.”

The lone goal came at 7:45 of the second period when former UMaine defenseman scored a power-play goal for the IceCaps, ripping a shot from the point, beating Pirates’ goalie Mike McKenna.

Hellebuyck, who was pulled 17 minutes into Friday night’s loss, took over from there stopping all 35 shots for his fourth shutout of the season.

“He’s a really good goaltender,” said Edwards. “I give them a lot of credit. They competed hard tonight, but we still had plenty of opportunities.”

Pirates wrap up their seven-game road trip next weekend with a stop in Pennsylvania, facing the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Hershey Bears.

NOTES: Justin Hodgman returned to the lineup after missing Friday’s game due to a one-game suspension.

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