LEWISTON — The Portland Pirates are still searching for that elusive first home win of the season after another setback at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Friday.

Four different players scored and eight had points as St. John’s completed a two-game sweep of the Pirates with a 4-2 win, sending Portland to its fifth consecutive home defeat to begin the season.

“We’ve got to start winning some games here in Lewiston,” Pirates’ forward Brandon McMillan said. “We can’t do this right now, these points, they add up at the end of the year, and we need to start winning games at home.”

Mark Visentin again got the call in the cage for the Pirates, but he lasted only a period before being pulled with the team trailing 3-0 in favor of Louis Domingue, the former Quebec Remparts goalie called up this week from Gwinnett when Mike Lee went down with an injury.

“Part of it is, we have to do what we can to give our team the best chance to win,” Pirates’ coach Ray Edwards said. “That was our mindset putting Louis in there at that time. It gives your team spark, maybe, changes momentum for the other team.”

The move seemed to rally the Pirates’ bench for a while in the middle frame, and they started to mount a comeback. Brendan Shinnimin scored twice in a 6:15 stretch, including one shorthanded, to draw the home team within one at 3-2.


But the IceCaps struck back with a late-period goal off the stick of Eric O’Dell to push their lead back to two goals.

“We’re playing hard, we’re just making those small mistakes right now and they’re ending up in our net,” McMillan said. “We just have to play that full 60 minutes. It seems like if we end up down in a game, we’re working and working, and we can’t find that game.”

“The first thing you have to have is a standard of work,” Edwards said. “The other night we didn’t have it, (Friday) we did. The execution was poor. At the end of the night, I think we’ve out-chanced that team by a few, but we’re not finding a way to score. We’re getting the opportunities but they’re not going in for us. We just have to keep working at it.”

The Pirates also potentially lost another player to injury. Newly-acquired defenseman Randy Jones, playing in his first game with the team, was hit by a slapshot early and never returned. Phil Lane was shaken up by a hit in the third frame and he remained on the bench.

“We’ll have to look at that (Saturday),” Edwards said. “(Lane) should be fine, but Jones, we’ll have to see (Saturday).”

A pair of fights highlighted the early going, but neither team took advantage of any extraneous momentum.


The IceCaps scored first, though, after a turnover in the center zone. O’Dell took a feed from Kael Mouillierat and led the charge up the left side. As he ran out of room to the right of Visentin, O’Dell flipped a pass to the low slot, where JC Lipon snapped the puck high glove on the Pirates’ keeper.

The Pirates appeared to gain the momentum in the later part of the frame, earning a power play with 5:34 to play in the first. But it was St. John’s that capitalized. Zach Redmond gathered the puck in the center zone and broke into the Portland end. He put a move on Visentin, and the Portland keeper made the initial save, but Jason Jaffray followed up and tapped the puck over the line for a short-handed tally and a 2-0 IceCaps lead.

The IceCaps benefited from their own power play late in the period, and made the Pirates pay, as Redmond fired a one-timer past Visentin on a point-to-point feed from Brendon Kichton for a 3-0 advantage.

Domingue replaced Visentin at the start of the second, and the Pirates played a steadier game in front of the rookie keeper. They also netted their first goal of the game at the 8:12 mark of the middle period when Shinnimin stole the puck in the center zone and raced toward the cage in a 2-on-0 with McMillan. A pair of passes back and forth drew St. John’s keeper Eddie Pasquale out of position and Shinnimin finished his first of the year to draw the home team within two at 3-1.

The same pair of players hooked up for another goal to pull Portland within one. McMillan intercepted the puck near the red line and broke in 2-on-1 with Shinnimin, waiting for his trailer to reach the net front before lofting a saucer pass to him at the left post. Shinnimin buried his second of the night past Pasquale at 14:27.

O’Dell grabbed his own rebound off Domingue’s pads with 2:59 to play in the second to reestablish for St. John’s a two-goal advantage. Former UMaine defenseman Will O’Neill assisted on O’Dell’s goal.


Slaney honored

The Pirates honored assistant coach John Slaney before the game started Friday. Slaney, a native of Newfoundland — home of the IceCaps — was announced earlier this season as an inductee into the American Hockey League’s hall of fame.

Slaney began his AHL career with the Baltimore Skipjacks in 1992. With the Skipjacks in 1992-93, Slaney set league records for goals (20) and points (66) in a season by a rookie defenseman, and he had 27 points in 29 games with the Pirates in 1993-94 before spending the rest of the season with the parent Washington Capitals.

Over the next five years, Slaney spent the majority of his time playing for Washington, Colorado, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Nashville in the NHL before signing with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1999. With the expansion Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 1999-2000, Slaney saw time both at defense and forward and had a career year, leading the team with 30 goals and 60 points in just 49 games while quickly becoming a fan favorite.

Over the next eight seasons, Slaney was a solid AHL defenseman and made several All-Star appearances. At the time of his last game, Slaney’s career totals of 166 goals, 353 assists and 519 points were all career records for an AHL defenseman.

Pink jerseys up for auction

The Portland Pirates’ 2013 Pink in the Rink Jerseys are now available for bid on eBay. The team released them earlier this week for bid, and they will be available through Nov. 7. The Pirates wore the special jerseys on Oct. 19 against the Hartford Wolf Pack. All 23 game-worn and game-issued jerseys have been autographed, and each comes with a pair of autographed, Pink in the Rink socks and a letter of authenticity.

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