ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- The Portland Pirates surged to a four-goal lead in the first period and never looked back, snapping the St. John's IceCaps' nine-game winning streak with a 7-4 decision Friday night in American Hockey League action.
IceCaps forward Patrice Cormier blamed the loss on the slow start and a lack of focus early in the game, but he also said the team will move on.
"It was a pretty awful start and they scored four," Cormier said. "OK, we had a bad start, who cares? The only thing we can do now is keep playing (our game). We know how to play -- don't start being selfish.
"We started to chip in and chip out (the puck) and doing the little things."
The IceCaps played better through the second period, leaving Cormier to believe a comeback was possible.
"We knew when it was 4-2, coming into the third, that we had a chance," he said. "We were right there, it was 5-4 with 11 minutes left. I would take that any day after starting (down) 4-0."
Jordan Martinook had a goal and two assists, and six other Portland skaters found the back of the net in the dominant Pirates win.
Tobias Rieder and Jordan Szwarz had a goal and an assist apiece for Portland (22-29-10), while Brandon Yip, Phil Lane, Lucas Lessio, and Darian Dziurzynski also scored.
Cormier, Adam Lowry, J.C. Lipon and Will O'Neill replied for St. John's (37-20-4).
Rieder opened the scoring for the Pirates at the 7:50 mark of the first period, cutting across from the right faceoff dot to beat IceCaps goalie Michael Hutchinson under his blocker arm.
Yip added a goal for the Pirates from the left faceoff dot, scoring on a strong wrist shot high glove at the 11:20 mark of the first period.
Jordon Southorn sent a slapshot from the point, which Szwarz tipped home for Portland at the 13:24 mark of the first period.
The Pirates scored again, through Dziurzynski, who found the puck behind the net and scored on a wraparound, past a sprawling Hutchinson with 57 seconds left in the first.
IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge said the key to was to score one and go from there.
"You've got to look to get one," McCambridge said. " You're in your home building and you have to build off that momentum.
"We didn't have the sharpness we needed in that first period. We knew they were going to come out (hard). We were on our heels in that first period."
The IceCaps found the scoresheet 5:11 into the second period, as Lowry broke into the zone and toe-dragged in the slot before scoring a high wrister.
O'Neill scored a slapshot for the IceCaps from the point on the power play, 7:13 into the second period.
Pirates forward Lucas Lessio scored a wraparound at the 1:06 of the third period, on the power play.
Cormier brought the IceCaps within two, scoring from in the slot. He spun around and roofed a wrist shot 2:09 into the third period.
Lipon cleaned up a loose puck in the slot, scoring on a high wrist shot 5:18 into the third period for St. John's, but the Pirates re-took a two-goal lead when Lane trailed in and scored in the slot at the 12:08 mark of the third period.
Martinook added an empty netter for the Pirates with 36 seconds left.
Louis Domingue made 26 saves for Portland. Hutchinson stopped 26.