STATION NATION POST-GAME
FINAL – TITAN 2, SEA DOGS 8
SAINT JOHN – This game was just unfair. Saint John completely dominated the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Saturday, defeating their provincial rivals 8-2 at Harbour Station.
The Sea Dogs outshot, outscored, and beat the Titan in just about every battle possible. With the exception of the Sea Dogs penalty kill, they were firing on all cylinders.
"We're really clicking as a group right now,” said Nathan Beaulieu on the Sea Dogs Twitter page. “Everyone is contributing and it's a great feeling." Beaulieu had a career high five points on the night and tied Simon Despres for most points by a defenseman in one game.
With the win Saint John also improved their franchise best winning streak to an amazing 13 games and puts them 13th in QMJHL history.
Zach Phillips opened the scoring at 5:13 of the first period. The rookie found the puck in the neutral zone and stepped around the Titan defense to make it 1-0 Saint John.
At 10:04 it was Phillips again from the same spot, about a meter from the faceoff circle, wired a shot into Guillaume Nadeau’s glove.
The Fredericton native wasn’t done there and made it 2-0 at 13:19. The Harbour Station ice crew should draw an outline of Phillips near the circle who wristed a shot low blocker side.
For the second game in a row there was questionable officiating. There was yet again a WHL referee in Trevor Hansen who has showed fans that WHL players can’t really do anything. With Benjamin Lecomte in the box for cross checking, the Titan made it a one goal game at 17:41. A rebound off of Taylor Lambke’s shot went to Vincent Couture who slid it into the empty cage to make it 2-1.
Saint John outshot the Titan 11-1 after the first 10 minutes of the first period and 14-4 through the full 20 minutes.
Bathurst played much stronger in the second period and managed to at least match the Sea Dogs play through the first five minutes. At 13:24 a puck hit a Titan players skate on the bench but there was no penalty.
Bathurst tied the game at 8:09 with Kevin Gagne in the box for holding. Remi Blanchard faked a point shot and sent a beautiful pass to Eric Faille who beat Gelinas low blocker side to make it 2-2.
There was a scary moment at 9:50 when former Halifax Moosehead Yuri Cheremetiev went hard feet first into the boards after chasing the puck. He would be okay and stayed in the game.
At 8:57 Tomas Jurco started a tic-tac-toe that ended with Michael Kirkpatrick whiffing on a shot. Shortly after that there was a massive hit between Nicholas Petersen and Cameron Critchlow. Both stayed down for several minutes but would be okay. Somehow, Petersen was given a roughing penalty and served it himself.
Saint John got there lead back at 18:59 after a clean faceoff by Michael Kirkpatrick went right to the stick of Mike Hoffman. Hoffman wristed a shot through traffic and into the corner of a screened Nadeau to make it 3-2.
With 25 seconds remaining in the second period, Harbour Station erupted with boo’s after Jonathan Huberdeau was clearly taken down by a Titan player. But with this being the QMJHL, Huberdeau was given a “diving” penalty much to the disbelief of acting head coach Mike Kelly. Gerard Gallant missed the first game of his QMJHL coaching career with the flu.
Saint John outshot the Titan 16-8 in the second period.
At 1:48 Huberdeau had sweet redemption from the prenalty call. Yann Sauve fed him a great pass to the opposing blue line and sent him in on a breakaway. The rookie made a backhand-forehand deke to beat Nadeau and make it 4-2 Saint John.
Then at 3:39 a Nathan Beaulieu point shot was rebounded to the stick of Petersen who made no mistake in scoring his tenth goal of the season. Bathurst called a timeout following the goal and had head coach Ron Choules throwing his hands in the air like a monkey while screaming at his players.
One of the more thrilling moments of the game came at 10:28. Marc-Antoine Gelinas headed to the bench for a delayed penalty call against the Titan. A pass to the point went by everybody and had Gelinas running back to the goal like a school boy who then slid to stop the puck from crossing the line with the shaft of his stick.
It became 6-2 when Stanislav Galiev picked up the puck at the faceoff circle and wound up a shot that beat Nadeau to make it 6-2.
Zach Phillips capped off the hat trick at 14:53 when he and Huberdeau had a give-and-go that ended with Phillips sliding a puck into the goal. There was a short delay with about seven to eight hats landing on the ice.
Kevin Gagne ended the Titan’s misery at 16:24 when he wristed a shot from just below the faceoff circle to beat Nadeau blocker side and make the final score 8-2 for the Sea Dogs.
Saint John fired 54 shots on goals which is one short of the team record that was set on Thursday night. The Sea Dogs have outshot their opponents 109-36 in their last two games. Bathurst was 2/5 on the power play while Saint John went 3/5.
NOTES: See Station Nation Sunday afternoon for “game at a glance,” game notes, and video highlights.