Baie-Comeau – As the old saying goes, “you’ve gotta be good to lucky, and lucky to be good.” That phrase could be painted on the Sea Dogs bus after a dramatic, unbelievable, and unlikely 3-2 shootout victory over Baie-Comeau on Friday night.
Michael Kirkpatrick scored the tying goal with 3.6 seconds left on the clock to send the game into overtime. The 19 year-old forward also won the game in the shootout.
Scoring for Saint John was Kirkpatrick and Zack Phillips while the Drakkar replied with goals from Simon Olssen and Guillaume Goulet.
Baie-Comeau dominated most of the game. The goal by Kirkpatrick had News 88.9’s Tim Roszell busting up my speakers on the call.
Both teams got off to a sizzling start with each goaltender standing tall in their crease. Karel St. Laurent was a bit shaky on the first shot but did recover.
Zach Phillips had a great chance early on but hit the crossbar. That was followed by the Drakkar’s David Cliché going in on a shorthanded breakaway that was quickly broken up by Mike Hoffman.
Than the Drakkar’s leading goal scorer Guillaume Goulet was stoned on a two-on-one by St. Laurent mid way through the period.
Saint John finally found the back of the net after a solid first period. Phillips made an inside out move around a Baie-Comeau defenseman and chipped the puck up high to make it 1-0. The goal, assisted by Stephen MacAulay, is the Fredericton natives third of the season.
The Sea Dogs were outshot by the Drakkar 10-5 in the entertaining first period despite having the better scoring chances.
The Drakkar had a dominating second period. They tied the Friday night affair at 5:14 on a goal from former PEI Rocket Simon Olsson. With Pierre Durepos in the box for a high stick, Goulet’s original shot was deflected to Olssen who shot a blast off the left post and in to make it 1-1.
Shortly after the goal Sea Dogs forward Olivier Ouellet went hard into the Baie-Comeau net but was okay with no penalties on the play.
It was a back-and-forth beginning of the second period with Phillips having another great chance off a turnover. Then the Drakkar took their first lead of the game at 12:19. The puck bounced over the stick of Nathan Beaulieu at the blue line and caused an odd man rush the other way. Goulet made no mistake and made it 2-1 with his team leading 13th goal of the season.
Ouellet was robbed by the glove of former Sea Dogs goaltender Nathan Dunnett with a few minutes remaining in the second. Gabriel Bourque laid out Mike Thomas along the boards to end the period.
Baie-Comeau had a strong second stanza but were outshot 9-8 by the Sea Dogs. The Drakkar took a 2-1 lead into the final period.
The Sea Dogs just could not get anything going offensively in the third period. Saint John head coach Gerard Gallant had to juggle his lines to try and get the scoring factory back up and running.
Nathan Dunnett continued to rob his former team making a great toe save off of Ottawa Senators draft pick Mike Hoffman. With under two minutes remaining the Sea Dogs trough everything they had, including the kitchen sink, at Dunnett but could not score.
With Karel St. Laurent on the bench, Michael Kirkpatrick took the game into his own hands. With 3.6 seconds left on the clock, Kirkpatrick tied the game right off the face-off that went through the legs of David Cliché and Dunnett to tie the game 2-2. The goal caused absolute delirium among Sea Dogs fans far and wide. “Kirky’s” third goal of the season went unassisted.
After overtime proved useless the two teams were forced to take part in the breakaway challenge. After four periods, shots were tied 28-28.
Neither goaltender was solid in the shootout. The first three scorers for both trams all scored to cause sudden death. Nicholas Petersen and Marc-Olivier Mimar were both stopped and then Kirkpatrick found the spotlight yet again. The veterean alternate captian made a nifty forehand to backhand move and roofed it over Dunnett to give the Dogs the lead. St. Laurent then stopped David Cliché to cap off the comeback.
Karel St. Laurent played very well all game and improved to 5-2-0. Saint John stays in first place in the Atlantic and keeps pace in the overall standings as well. The win is the Sea Dogs 7th consecutive victory which ties a franchise record that was set last season.
NOTES: The attendance was 1,666… the three stars are chosen for regulation play but Michael Kirkpatrick was left out for some reason… Tom Roszell’s goal call on News 88.9 FM has to be one of the best in Sea Dogs history… Jonathan Huberdeau is a perfect 3/3 in the shootout this season… the Sea Dogs are staying the night in Baie-Comeau and travelling to Rimouski tomorrow… Tomas Jurco returned after missing four games due to chicken pox… Nicholas Pard and Gabriel Bourret were both healthy scratches… it was “Pink in the Rink Night” in Baie-Comeau but the pink sweaters were worn only in the pre-game warm-up for some reason… the three officials working tonight’s game were the same as Thursday’s game in Chicoutimi… way off topic, but remember to set your clocks back one hour on Saturday night or you will be early for Sunday’s broadcast!
NEXT GAME: Saint John Sea Dogs vs Rimouski Oceanic. Sunday, November 1, 2009, at 5:00 pm at Rimouski Colisee.