Sunday, November 29, 2009


FINAL: Quebec 4, Saint John 6

SAINT JOHN – In a game filled with future National Hockey League stars, it was an Ottawa Senators prospect that shone on this day. Overage forward Mike Hoffman scored three goals as the Saint John Sea Dogs downed the Quebec Remparts 6-4 on Sunday afternoon at Harbour Station.

In a game that had a little bit of everything, it was the stars of both teams that made the game an entertaining affair. The line of Nicholas Petersen, Hoffman, and Stanislav Galiev were nothing less than fantastic as they combined for five goals and four assists.

Scoring for the Sea Dogs beside Hoffman’s hat trick was Petersen with a pair, and Steven Anthony. The Remparts replied with their big boys in Mikhail Stefanovich, Mikael Tam, Marc-Olivier Vallerand, and Ryan Bourque.

With the win, Saint John has now won 17 straight contests which ties them with last season’s Rimouski Oceanic for sixth all-time. They also set a new team record with their eleventh straight home win.

Quebec opened the scoring with Steven Anthony and Stephen MacAulay in the box at 3:01. MacAulay hauled down a streaking Rempart who was on a partial breakaway and put Saint John’s penalty kill to the test. Stefanovich made no mistake as he walked across the icing line and roofed a shot over a fallen Marc-Antoine Gelinas to make it 1-0 early on.

Just over a minute later Kelsey Tessier walked in alone off a face-off but sent his shot wide while the Remparts were still on the power play. At 5:54 an innocent dump-in from center ice by Michael Kirkpatrick fooled Peter Delmas but could not get past the blue paint.

Saint John tied the game 1-1 at 7:06. Benjamin Lecomte sent a pass through the trolley tracks right to the stick of Petersen. The Penguins prospect skated in and sent a pass to Hoffman who slid the puck into the empty cage.

Dmitri Kugryshev took a selfish penalty after the whistle at 7:12 as he slapped Gelinas in the face with his stick. Steven Anthony scored his fourteenth goal of the season on the ensuing power play after picking up a juicy rebound off a Simon Despres point shot to make it 2-1.

At 16:36 Mikael Tam was called for a high stick which unleashed Patrick Roy’s inner feelings. Roy flung his hands in the air while screaming at the officials from his bench, making the Harbour Station crowd boo and scream at the Hall of Famer. When Tam got out of the box he was sent on a breakaway and had his shot stopped which was followed by Yann Sauve stopping the rebound with his back.

Saint John outshot Quebec 17-11 in the opening frame.

After a slow start to the period for both teams, Lecomte laid a big hip check on Dominic Savoie. At 5:45 a turnover gave Petersen and Hoffman a great chance. Then at 10:16 Zach Phillips made too many moves as he dangled the puck right off his stick in close.

After Kugryshev ringed a shot off the post, Mike Thomas took a very questionable tripping penalty at 11:58. On the ensuing power play, a beautiful tic-tac-toe play with Ryan Bourque and Stefanovich was finished off by Tam at 13:25.

But 50 seconds later Saint John took the lead again thanks to Petersen. A turnover to the side of the Remparts goal was picked up by Galiev who gave a blind spin pass to Petersen in the slot and shot the puck past Delmas to make it 3-2.

Just seconds later at 14:32 the crowd was on their feet at the Station. Mike Hoffman came streaking down the left wing and cut through the crease and beat Delmas with a backhand shot to give the Sea Dogs a two goal lead.

Shots were 18-8 in favour of the port city in the second period.

It became a one goal game again at 7:04. Remparts leading scorer Vallerand was left all alone in the slot and beat Gelinas high glove side to make it 4-3.

Just over a minute later Hoffman was at it again. Petersen sent Hoffman a pass from behind the net who beat a down Delmas low in the corner of the net to make it 5-3. The hat trick caused over 10 hats to hit the ice as well as Fleaburn rubbing his rear-end on the glass behind Quebec’s bench.

Quebec just would not go away on this day and made it a one goal game again at 9:32. Nathan Beaulieu ran into a official causing a two-on-one for the Remparts. A nice passing play was finished off by a spin-o-rama by New York Rangers prospect Ryan Bourque.

Patrick Roy called a time-out at 16:32 and pulled Delmas with 1:30 to go. Saint John’s defense proved too much as Petersen sent a floater from the blue line that found its way into the empty net.

Shots were 10-6 for Saint John in the third period.

With the win, Saint John improved to 25-4-1-0 on the season. Gelinas stopped 21 shots and improved to 17-3-0 on the season. The Sea Dogs went 1/3 on the power play.

With the loss, Quebec fell to 19-6-2-3 on the season. Delmas, who struggled with his rebound control, stopped 39 shots and fell to 9-5-0. Quebec was 2/4 on the man advantage.

NOTES: See Station Nation tomorrow for “Sea Dogs Post-Game Notebook.”

NEXT GAME: Saint John Sea Dogs vs PEI Rocket. Wednesday, December 2, at 7:00 pm at Charlottetown Civic Centre.

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