STATION NATION POST-GAME
FINAL: Moncton 5, Saint John 3
SAINT JOHN – After watching their Canadian junior team collapse on Tuesday night, Saint John hockey fans have surely endured enough. Wrong.
The Saint John Sea Dogs blew a 3-1 lead midway through the second period and allowed the Moncton Wildcats to score four unanswered goals en route to a 5-3 win.
Scoring for the winners were Marek Hrivik, Tyler Howe, Daniel Pettersson, Devon MacAusland, and Scott Brannon. Saint John got goals from Michael Kirkpatrick, Tomas Jurco, and Mike Hoffman.
"That was a frustrating game to be a part of," said Michael Kirkpatrick on the Sea Dogs' Twitter page. "We know we can play much better than that."
The Sea Dogs simply collapsed late in the game and hit the cruise control button in the third period. Not only did the Sea Dogs lose two points in the standings, but they also failed to pick up any points in the Brunswick News Rivalry Cup.
It was a slow first few minutes at the Station with neither team getting have any good chances. So instead of shooting, Randy Cameron decided to throw Mike Hoffman into the Wildcats bench, causing a stir around the arena.
The stir stopped when on just their second shot of the game Marek Hrivik scored a beauty to make it 1-0 Moncton. The import pushed the puck from his skate to his stick and went forehand to backhand around Marco Cousineau at 4:26.
After Saint John managed to kill off a penalty, Simon Despres sent Michael Kirkpatrick away out of the box. He fed Mike Hoffman who passed back to Kirkpatrick across the crease to tie the game 1-1 at 7:10.
A loose puck in the Saint John crease seemed to fool Cousineau but he recovered thanks to a quick whistle. Then the recently called up Will Johnston had a hard shot on Nicola Riopel but was stopped. When asked on News 88.9 what fans can expect from him, he said “they’ll have to wait and see.”
With Despres in the box for interference at 9:24, Nicolas Deschamps blasted a shot but was stopped by Cousineau’s leather. Then to end the power play chance Mark Barberio had a solid opportunity.
The Wildcats got a little careless with the puck at 12:27. Tomas Jurco picked up the puck in front and netted the twelfth goal of his rookie season to give the Dogs a 2-1 lead. The goal was Saint John’s second on three shots.
On a bad defensive play, Hrivik and the Wildcats managed to break loose on a three-on-one but lost the puck and could only get a weak shot off.
The Sea Dogs managed to kill off yet another penalty at 14:46. Then just after the penalty expired Michael Kirkpatrick’s shot fooled Riopel and trickled wide. To end the period, Cousineau came out to play the puck and sent it right to Barberio. But luckily for the Dogs – and especially Cousineau – the shot went wide.
Shots after one period were 12-6 Wildcats.
On the first shift of the middle frame Deschamps was stoned by Cousineau. At 0:45 Barberio high sticked Tomas Jurco and gave Saint John their first power play chance. The Sea Dogs had some good chances with none better than Stanislav Galiev’s chance behind the goal.
Petersen took two for tripping just before the power play expired. Moncton applied some good pressure but could not score. Then Cousineau robbed Simon Jodoin with the glove.
The much anticipated Tyler Howe versus Will Johnston matchup almost took place after Howe slapped Cousineau’s glove in a stoppage. The two had words but were broken up.
At 6:42 Saint John opened up a two goal lead off a Mike Hoffman one timer. Hoffman took a beautiful pass from Nicholas Petersen and blasted a shot that trickled through the legs of Riopel to make it 3-1 Dogs.
Deschamps made a nice play to go in on a partial break but was stopped by the left leg of his fellow Anaheim Duck prospect. Then at the other end of the ice, Galiev was robbed by Riopel and was followed by Nathan Beaulieu being stopped with the glove.
At 11:50 Scott Trask nailed Danick Gauthier from behind along the boards. Captain Mike Thomas came over and started throwing the fists with the Moncton rookie, throwing him to the ice rather quickly. That gave Saint John a power play but could not get anything organized.
Moncton got back within one at 15:19. Of all people, Tyler Howe wripped a shot that hit somebody in front to go through Cousineau’s five-hole to make it 3-2. The goal was Howe’s first career QMJHL marker.
There was some panic by the Sea Dogs defense following the goal but they held it together. Near the end of the period, Gauthier had a good chance but shot high followed by Johnston shooting wide.
Shots in the second period were 14-12 in favour of Saint John.
The Sea Dogs chose not to show up in the third period.
With the Cats on a power play, Randy Cameron had a terrific chance to tie the game but sent a shot through the crease and past the open cage.
At 2:40 Christian Morin high sticked one of the Saulnier twins to give Moncton a power play chance. The penalty was costly as Daniel Pettersson banged in a bouncing puck in front to tie the game at 3-3.
After Beaulieu whistled a shot on Riopel, Oliver Daoust hauled down Kevin Gagne and continued to push him on the ice. There was no call on the play with several boo’s from the Harbour Station crowd.
At 10:51 the Wildcats took only their second lead of the game. Devin MacAusland scored on a backhand by Cousineau. The Saint John net minder argued that he was interfered with but no review took place.
Just over a minute later Scott Brannon came streaking down the wing on a defensive turnover at the Sea Dogs blue line. The Wildcats captain walked in and wristed a shot just inside the right post to give Moncton a 5-3 lead.
Saint John tried to mount a comeback but couldn’t. A Gauthier shot fooled Riopel but he covered up and then Kirkpatrick walked in but was stopped by the Cats’ net minder’s pad. The Dogs pulled Cousineau at 58:52 but it did not matter as the Wildcats went on for a victory.
Saint John somehow outshot the Wildcats 9-8 in the third period but were outshot 32-29 in the game.
Marco Cousineau fell to 11-15-0 on the year while Nicola Riopel improved to 4-1-0.
Moncton went 1/6 on the power play while Saint John went 0/3.
NOTES: See Station Nation tomorrow for Sea Dogs Post-Game Notebook.
TOMORROW: The QMJHL trade deadline is at 1:00 pm AST. Station Nation will recap the day's happenings - or non-happenings - later tomorrow afternoon.
NEXT GAME: Cape Breton Screaming Eagles vs Saint John Sea Dogs. Friday, January 8, 2010 at 7:30 pm at Harbour Station.