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In the Pipeline: Melting the IceCaps

by Mike Lewis / Florida Panthers

Catch up with the surging Portland Pirates and their sweep of St. John's, World Junior Champion Juho Lammikko and more in this week’s prospect report.

Photo Courtesy of Mike McSweeney


20-13-1-0, 41 points
(Second in Atlantic Division, Fourth in Eastern Conference)


Dec. 27 – Portland Pirates at Springfield Falcons (5-1 W)

Dec. 29 – Portland Pirates at Hartford Wolf Pack (5-2 L)

Dec. 31 - Portland Pirates at Providence Bruins (4-3 W)

Jan. 2 – Portland Pirates vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms (4-3 W [OT])

Jan. 3 – Portland Pirates vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms (2-1 L)

Jan. 8 – Portland Pirates at St. John’s IceCaps (5-1 W)

Jan. 9 – Portland Pirates at St. John’s IceCaps (4-1 W)


The Pirates completed a Friday-Saturday sweep of St. John’s on Jan.8-9, outscoring them with a combined total of 9-2. The sweep was Portland’s first against St. John’s in 20 years, dating back to Nov. 16-17, 1996 when the Pirates swept the St. John’s Maple Leafs according to With the sweep, Portland has won ten of their last 12 games.

Photo Courtesy of Mike McSweeney


Pirates forward Rob Schremp was recently named to the 2016 AHL All-Star Classic in his hometown of Syracuse, NY. After spending the previous four seasons overseas, the 29-year old leads the Pirates in points (30) in his first season back in North America. Schremp has recorded six points (2-4-6) over his last five games, including a three-point night on Jan. 8 vs. St. John’s.


It’s been a great start to a pro career for Kyle Rau. The first year forward leads the team with 15 goals and ranks tied for first in the AHL for goals by rookies. The former University of Minnesota captain capped off a career-high five-game point streak (3-3-6) with two goals on Jan. 2 vs. Lehigh Valley, including the overtime game-winner. Rau’s two-goal night was the third of his career and his fifth career multi-point game as well.


John McFarland continues the pace of what is shaping up to be a career year. With six goals in the month of December, McFarland topped off 2015 with a three-game goal streak. On New Year’s Eve vs. Providence, McFarland scored a goal that was not only a game-winner, but his 11th tally of the season, setting a new personal best for goals in his AHL career. With 13 goals on the season and 19 points, it isn’t too far off to say McFarland could pass his career-high 24 points (10-14-24) set back in 2013-14 and then some.

Photo Courtesy of Mike McSweeney


-Goaltender Mike McKenna was presented his CCM/AHL Player of the Week award (for the week ending 12/20/15) on Jan. 3 vs. Lehigh Valley...The Week: On Dec. 16 vs. Springfield, McKenna made 30 saves to lead Portland to a 5-2 win. Stopping 24 shots in his Dec. 19 start against the Sound Tigers to pick up the win, McKenna ended the week with a 23-save shutout vs. Bridgeport (Dec. 20), to earn his first shutout of the season.

-Jonathan Racine recorded his first professional career goal on Dec. 27 vs. Springfield.

ICYMI: Racine gives WCSH-Portland a tour of his home.

-Rocco Grimaldi has recorded points in three of four games in 2016 (1-2-3).

-Michael Matheson leads Portland with a +12 rating.


Jan. 15 – Portland Pirates vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (7:00 p.m.)

Jan. 16 – Portland Pirates vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (7:00 p.m.)

Jan. 17 – Portland Pirates at Providence Bruins (3:05 p.m.)



Juho Lammikko and Team Finland were the last team standing at the end of the 2016 World Junior Championship, defeating Russia 4-3 in overtime. Relied on for his two-way ability, Lammikko played in all seven games for the Finns, finishing with a plus-two rating and nine shots on goal. Finland’s Championship win marks its second World Junior Title in three years.


Lawson Crouse finished the tournament with five points (2-3-5) in five games for Team Canada, tying for second on the team in scoring. Canada was defeated in the quarterfinals by Team Finland 6-5.

For the second consecutive World Juniors, Denis Malgin ranked as the top producer for Team Switzerland. Malgin recorded nine points (1-8-9) in six games for the Swiss.



Michael Downing helped his University of Michigan Wolverines shut down their rival Michigan State Spartans in a home and home series this past weekend. Michigan won in a dominating fashion at Michigan State with a final score of 9-2 on Jan. 8. The following night at Yost Ice Arena, Downing scored his third goal of the season in Michigan’s 6-3 win.

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