Thursday, November 12, 2009



SAINT JOHN – It’s becoming obvious that the Sea Dogs are in need of target practice. Saint John fired 55 shots at the Baie-Comeau Drakkar and won their 12th straight game by a score of 4-2.

Former Sea Dog Simon Giroux put on a performance that would make NHL goaltenders jealous as he was nothing less than sensational in earning second star honors.

Saint John dominated the game with goals from Mike Hoffman, Tomas Jurco, Pierre Durepos, and Michael Kirkpatrick. Replying for Baie-Comeau were Gabriel Bourque and Marc-Olivier Mimar.

"Everyone is working hard and playing their roles perfectly," said Durepos on the Sea Dogs Twitter page. "Things are really clicking for us right now."

The fourth line had the best chances early on in the first period with rookie defenseman Pierre Durepos and fellow rookie Zach Phillips having one good opportunities.

It was a chippy period with the teams combing for eight penalties. Guillaume Goulet cross checked Jonathan Huberdeau down to the ice and caused Huberdeau to get his stick in Goulet’s grill. Both got penalties with the Baie-Comeau right winger picking up an extra minor.

Mike Hoffman opened the scoring at 6:45 on the power play. Hoffman tried to feed a pass through the blue paint but hit a Drakkar defenseman's stick and deflected between the legs of Simon Giroux to make it 1-1.

Gabriel Bourque was hauled down by Nathan Beaulieu at 8:34 and gave Baie-Comeau a power play opportunity. The Drakkar made no mistake and tied the game off a goal from Gabriel Bourque at 9:39. Bourque tried a pass down low but went in past Karel St. Laurent after being deflected off Yann Sauve’s stick.

Saint John regained the lead at 17:10 when Tomas Jurco was left alone in front of the net and beat Giroux up high to make it 2-1 Sea Dogs.

The Dogs outshot the Drakkar by a wide margin of 20-6 through 20 minutes. The second period didn’t prove to be too much closer.

Kevin Gagne fed a streaking Olivier Ouellet but was stopped by Giroux. Then Jurco had a good chance in close but sent it wide of the goal.

Saint John got a two goal lead at 10:02 when the Sea Dogs first round pick Pierre Durepos netted his first career QMJHL goal. Assists went to Simon Despres and Steven Anthony.

The nasty stuff carried over to the second period but the penalties were rather lopsided towards Saint John with some questionable calls.

Mike Hoffman had a terrific shorthanded chance as he came down the right side but sent it high over the Baie-Comeau net.

The Drakkar made it 3-2 Saint John at 13:43 after a point shot went wide of the goal and caused St. Laurent to become distracted. Marc-Olivier Mimar grabbed the loose puck and tucked a wrap around goal in behind St. Laurent on the power play.

Saint John outshot Baie-Comeau again in the second period by a mark of 17-6.

Both goaltenders put on a clinic in the third period. Giroux robbed Gagne with the glove and then Kirkpatrick while shorthanded. Nicholas Pard hit the post on the power play followed by Steven Anthony sending a shot wide. Then to cap off a Vezina performance he stoned Hoffman with the leather.

Finally at 13:54 Michael Kirkpatrick had to put the game away by making it 4-2. Hoffman made a terrific pass through the trolley tracks to Kirkpatrick who beat Giroux on the power play.

Giroux, of course, stopped Tomas Jurco with the left pad following the goal. With 20 seconds remaining in the period Giroux headed to the bench in favour of the extra attacker. Danick Gauthier had a sure goal but sent it wide of the empty cage.

With just a few seconds remaining Karel St. Laurent decided to make yet another bizarre decision by coming out to play the puck. The puck skipped by him but a diving Yann Sauve made the save in the crease.

Saint John set a franchise record recording 55 shots to Baie-Comeau’s 19.

NOTES: The attendance of 2,671 was the smallest crowd this season and almost a franchise record. The least attended game was on October 26, 2006 when 2,632 fans saw the Sea Dogs defeat the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 6-5… referee Steven Papp is from the Western Hockey League and is part of the CHL exchange program. He struggled with fans pouring the boo’s on him after a Mike Thomas penalty in the third period. News 88.9's Andrew McGilligan told him to go back to the WHL. Station Nation seconds his comments... former Sea Dog Philip Richer had an emotional interview with News 88.9’s Tim Roszell saying that he didn’t think he would be traded from Saint John. He also said if he could live anywhere in Canada he would choose Saint John… Sea Dogs now have 20 wins this season which is the most wins in the Canadian Hockey League... Nathan Dunnet and Simon Giroux have been amazing this season against their former teams. Saint John will be saying their prayers for the rest of the season that they do not meet in the playoffs… Simon Despres appeared to injure himself while blocking a shot but only missed a few shifts before returning.

Final Score: Baie-Comeau 2 - Saint John 4
Saint John Goals: Mike Hoffman (10), Tomas Jurco (5), Pierre Durepos (1), Michael Kirkpatrick (5)
Baie-Comeau Goals: Gabriel Bourque (7), Marc-Olivier Mimar (7)
Winning Goaltender: SNB: St-Laurent, Karel (W-7-2-0)
Losing Goaltender: BAC: Giroux, Simon (L-1-7-0)
News 88.9 Top Dog: Yann Sauve

Power Play: BAC 2/7; SNB 2/5
Shots on Goal: BAC 6 + 6 + 7 = 19; SNB 20 + 17 + 18 = 55
Attendance: 2,671

NEXT GAME: Acadie-Bathurst Titan vs Saint John Sea Dogs. Saturday, November 14, 2009 at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station. Saturday’s match has been designated a “Sea Dogs Night Out,” with the 97.3 The Wave (not so) Extreme Team set to energize the Harbour Station faithful.

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