Tuesday, December 29, 2009


FINAL: PEI 2, Saint John 5

SAINT JOHN – The second period was all it took as the Saint John Sea Dogs defeated the PEI Rocket 5-2 on Toonie Tuesday at Harbour Station. Saint John scored five goals en route to a lopsided victory over their division rivals.

The Sea Dogs outplayed the Rocket from opening faceoff to the final buzzer in a dominating performance. Nicholas Petersen had two goals and two assists while Mike Hoffman had the game winner and two assists. Steven Anthony and Nathan Beaulieu added singles for the winners.

The Rocket were playing with a different look on Tuesday, after making several deals that sent the likes of Chris Doyle and Joel Champagne off the Island. Their offense was missed by the Rocket as they could only register two goals on goaltender Karel St. Laurent.

Both teams came slow out of the gate slow but Saint John still had the better chances. A nice pass from Kevin Gagne set up Steven Anthony in the slot but he shot high and wide of the Rocket goal.

Christian Morin made his Harbour Station debut in fine fashion as he laid out a Rocket player in the Sea Dogs zone and got a loud cheer from the Saint John faithful. Then Christopher Guay placed a big hit on Stanislav Galiev and was slow to get. He would be okay.

Neither team had any solid scoring chances in the first five minutes with many Sea Dog shots going wide.

Later on, Zach Phillips had a good chance as Rocket net minder Evan Mosher was caught out of position but made the save. Then Mosher robbed Michael Kirkpatrick with the leather in close.

With Brendan Wright in the penalty box, Mosher made a sprawling save on Kirkpatrick in the crease. The Sea Dogs had some good chances on the power play but struggled getting shots through the stingy Rocket defense.

After Mosher stopped Simon Despres on a one timer, PEI went back on the penalty kill at 19:12 after Philippe-Louis Lacroix hauled down Mike Hoffman. Kirkpatrick had the best chance off a beautiful set up by Nicholas Petersen but sent the shot wide. The Sea Dogs had some terrific pressure on the power play but were stopped by Mosher.

Saint John outshot the Rocket 10-2 in the first period. Of the 10 shots, four were listed as dangerous chances.

Saint John was still on the power play to start the second stanza. Tomas Jurco was stopped in close from a bad angle. That was all the Sea Dogs could do on the abbreviated man advantage.

Newly acquired Jonathan Bonneau went to the box for tripping at 1:58. The Sea Dogs had lots of pressure on the power play but could not connect to open the scoring.

Josh Currie had the best chance for the Rocket as he had a wide open net but could not beat Karel St. Laurent, who was virtually invisible in the Saint John goal in the first period. Then at the other end the Sea Dogs opened the scoring off a nice give-and-go with Hoffman and Petersen. Petersen finished off the play at 7:12 to make it 1-0 for the home side.

Following the goal it was all Sea Dogs. Anthony’s original shot banked off Mosher right to Kirkpatrick but tipped the puck wide of the net. Then Nicholas Pard wired a shot that was blockered away.

Petersen made it 2-0 at 10:32 off an absolute blast from just inside the blue line that beat Mosher high over the shoulder to make it 2-0.

Morin went to the box for tripping at 12:16. Pard did some terrific work in the Rocket zone by avoiding a few hits but could not beat Mosher while shorthanded. Then Gabriel Bourret blasted a shot but Petersen could not find the rebound.

It became 3-0 Saint John at 15:35 after Petersen threw the puck in the front. The puck went to a wide open Hoffman who snapped a shot upstairs for his twenty-sixth goal of the season.

Bonneau had a great chance after the goal for the Rocket but St. Laurent stood tall in his crease. Then Jurco just wide at the PEI net at other end.

Saint John broke loose on a three-on-one but only managed to shoot wide of the goal. The puck came around the boards to Anthony who fired a slap shot past Mosher from the right point to make it 4-0 at 18:12.

Just 43 seconds later Nathan Beaulieu scored the goal of his career in the crease to make it 5-0 Sea Dogs. Beaulieu somehow made a spin move with no room at all and managed to get a shot over Mosher’s glove.

The Sea Dogs completely dominated the Rocket in shots as they fired 22 to PEI’s 9. Saint John had 11 dangerous scoring chances in the frame.

Kirkpatrick had the best chance early as he shot high and wide of the Rocket goal, causing Mosher to lose his stick for a short time.

Bonneau took his second penalty of the game at 5:06 after he hooked down a Saint John player. Stephen MacAulay had a terrific chance in front but had his shot blocked by a Rocket defender. Then with the power play over, Andrew Langan broke loose looking for his first QMJHL goal but sent his shot high and was deflected away by Mosher.

At 8:44 Michael Kirkpatrick took two for hooking. Saint John did a masterful job on the penalty kill, giving the Rocket no quality chances on the man advantage.

Zach Phillips fired a shot off the crossbar half way through the third period. Then Simon Despres let loose a wild backhander that was stopped by Mosher.

Gabriel Bourret took an interference call at 13:57. The Rocket made the Sea Dogs rookie defenseman pay for his mistake as Lacroix's shot went through a screen to make it 5-1. St. Laurent was not to happy after the goal with his team mate Christian Morin who appeared to screen him on the play.

St. Laurent wasn’t to shook up after the goal as he robed import Adam Polasek with the glove. Then Hoffman fed Petersen with a cross ice pass but went high over the Rocket net.

Simon Despres went to the sin bin at 16:15. Josh Currie made a wonderful deke around St. Laurent but could not beat the glove of the Sea Dogs’ soon-to-be-19-year-old goaltender.

Morin and Jarred Struthers had a little scrap after a whistle at 18:19 with both picking up double minors. The Rocket seemed to be sparked after that and made it 5-2 in the final minute of play. Currie went wide around Bourret and around the goal and beat a fallen St. Laurent for his fourth goal of the season.

PEI outshot Saint John in the third period 11-9. The Sea Dogs won the total shots on goal battle 41-22.

Karel St. Laurent picks up the win and improves to 12-2-0 on the year while Evan Mosher fell to 9-5-0. PEI went 1/4 on the power play while Saint John went 0/4.

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

NEXT GAME: Saint John Sea Dogs vs Moncton Wildcats. Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 7:00 pm at Moncton Coliseum.

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