Sunday, November 8, 2009


Saint John – According to Wikipedia, 11 “is the natural number following 10 and preceding 12 and, it is the first number which cannot be represented by a human counting his or her eight fingers and two thumbs additively.” The number 11 is also the amount of consecutive games won by the Saint John Sea Dogs hockey team. The Sea Dogs battled hard and defeated the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 6-3 on Sunday afternoon at Harbour Station.

The game was much closer than the score indicates with both teams taking leads throughout the afternoon. Saint John improves to a league best 19-4-1-0 while Rouyn-Noranda falls to 11-11-2-1.

The Sea Dogs didn’t have the big guns firing toady in Mike Hoffman and Nicholas Petersen but the secondary scoring stepped up again. Scoring for Saint John were Jonathan Huberdeau, Nathan Beaulieu, Kevin Gagne, Danick Gauthier (2), and Michael Kirkpatrick. Replying for the Huskies were Jeff Desjardins, Gabriel Levesque, and Christopher Losier.

Rouyn-Noranda had the best chances early on in the first period. Marc-Antoine Gelinas made two quick saves off a deflected Gabriel O’Conner shot.

At 0:41 of the first period Olivier Ouellet was hauled down on a breakaway and the official pointed to center ice signaling a penalty shot. Ouellet went in on Jessy Lecours but was stopped by the goaltenders right leg. Shortly after Michael Beaudry was rocked by Zach Phillips and had to leave the game but did return in the second period.

The Huskies finally found their legs on the Harbour Station ice mid way through the period. Edmonton Oilers prospect Philippe Cornet was stopped on a partial break and that was followed by several solid scoring chances by Rouyn-Noranda.

At 16:07 Jonathan Huberdeau opened the scoring for Saint John. Huberdeau held on to the puck and split the defense to make it 1-0. Simon Despres and Nicholas Pard assisted on Huberdeau’s fifth of the season.

Saint John held a 13-10 shooting advantage after the first period.

The Sea Dogs had a great chance to make it 2-0 but Michael Kirkpatrick shot the puck high on a Saint John three-one-one chance.

Rouyn-Noranda tied the game 1-1 at 8:03. An initial pass was blocked by a Saint John defender and the loose puck was backhanded into the goal by Jeff Desjardins.

Just over minute later Nathan Beaulieu blasted a shot up high and through traffic and beat Lecours stick side to make it 2-1.

The goal was followed by a Rouyn-Noranda defensive miscue that left Nicholas Petersen all alone with an empty cage. Somehow, Jesse Lecours got across to rob Petersen with his right leg.

Saint John got into penalty problems in the second period. With Benjamin Lecomte and Mike Hoffman in the box, Rouyn-Noranda made the Sea Dogs pay. Huskies leading scorer Gabriel Levesque let a slap shot go that beat Gelinas glove side to make it 2-2. Gelinas was out of position trying to peak through traffic and did not have time to recover.

Than at 17:05 it was double trouble for Saint John’s penalty killing squad. Christopher Lesier snapped a shot just inside the left post to beat Gelinas and give the Huskies there first lead of the game.

Kevin Gagne celebrated the one year anniversary of his first career goal in style at 18:16. A streaking Nicholas Pard caused a distraction for Lecours and left Kevin Gagne at the side of goal and roofed a shot to tie the game 3-3.

Then in the last minute of play the physical play heated up with Yann Sauve and Mike Hoffman laying out their man. Saint John outshot the Huskies 15-9 in a wacky second period.

The third period did not get any more normal with the second penalty shot of the day taking place. Steven Anthony was hauled down but hit the post on his free opportunity at 1:37.

Under a minute later Danick Gauthier scored to give Saint John a 4-3 lead. The goal came off a crazy bounce off the glass that had Lecours searching for the puck. Nathan Beaulieu picked it up and fed the puck to Gauthier at the top of the circle and netted his seventh of the season.

Less than a minute later Dmitri Kostromitin’s goal was waved off after the initial pass was knocked down by a high stick. That caused a short delay with Huskies head coach Andre Tourigny wanting a video replay of the call.

With Saint John up 5-3 and less than a minute left Lecours left the Huskies net in exchange for an extra attacker. But the plan backfired as Michael Kirkpatrick netted the shorthanded goal and put the game away.

Saint John struggled on the penalty kill as they allowed three goal on five opportunities. Marc-Antoine Gelinas was their best defender who made 39 saves and improved to 13-3-0 on the season. Jessy Lecours falls to 2-3-0 after making 25 saves on 30 shots.

NOTES: The attendance was 3,503… there was a ceremony prior to puck drop honoring our Canadian Forces on “Support our Troops Day” at Harbour Station… Saint John’s power play continued to struggle and went 0/2 on the night… Gabriel Bourret was a healthy scratch… Stanislav Gailiev was also a healthy scratch as News 88.9 reported that the coaching staff was giving him a “mental rest” with the day off… Michael Kirkpatrick now has an eight game point scoring streak… Huskies leading scorer Gabriel Levesque had a goal and an assist on the day after being held pointless yesterday… this was the third game of a five game home stand… Danick Gauthier had a team high six shots on goal... News 88.9 Top Dog was Nathan Beaulieu who had a goal and an assist.

NEXT GAME: Baie-Comeau Drakkar vs Saint John Sea Dogs. Thursday, November 12, 2009, at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station. It’s Golden Year Gala #1 with discounted $10 tickets available to fans age 60+.

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