Saturday, January 16, 2010


FINAL: Titan 2, Sea Dogs 8

SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Sea Dogs did just about everything you can do in a hockey game on Saturday night at Harbour Station in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action.

The Sea Dogs’ offense exploded against a young and struggling Acadie-Bathurst Titan squad and won easily 8-2 over their provincial rivals.

Michael Kirkpatrick recorded a hat trick and Nathan Beaulieu recorded four assists for the winners. Also scoring for Saint John was Simon Despres, Jonathan Huberdeau, Nicholas Pard, Yann Sauve, and Mike Thomas.

It certainly was a team effort on this night as the top line of Stanislav Galiev, Mike Hoffman, and Nicholas Petersen combined to record only two points while only six Sea Dog players failed to record a point.

Scoring for Bathurst was Jeremie Malouin and Julien Tremblay.

Michael Kirkpatrick set the tone early with a big hit at the blue line. Then Steven Anthony shot the disc through the crease followed by two straight Yann Sauve point shots going wide.

Francois Lacerte, making his first start for the Titan, came up big in the first period and robbed the very hot Tomas Jurco twice with the pad in the crease. Mike Thomas nailed one of the Malouin brothers after that.

After Ryan McKiernan hit the post for Bathurst, Michael Kirkpatrick made it 1-0 at the other end. The goal came off some nice fore checking in front of the Bathurst net by Stanislav Galiev. That allowed Kirkpatrick to come around the net and slip the puck by Lacerte at 9:08.

Kirkpatrick was back at it right after the goal with a good chance in behind the Titan defense but couldn’t get a good shot off on his own rebound. Then Lacerte robbed Nicholas Petersen on a breakaway.

After Christian Morin nailed Vincent Arseneau, Nathan Beaulieu made a nice move to get in across the blue line but was stopped with the leather.

Kirkpatrick made it 2-0 at 19:08 after a snap shot from just below the face off dot. The Nova Scotia native’s shot appeared to tip in off McKiernan’s stick and by Lacerte. Bathurst head coach Ron Choules wasn’t too happy after the goal, thinking there should have been a whistle after Olivier Malka was injured on the same play.

Saint John wasn’t done there as with just 33 seconds left in the first period, Simon Despres wristed a shot that beat Lacerte clean high blocker side to make it 3-0 going to the intermission. Despres was hit hard after the goal but appeared to be okay.

Shots were 14-7 Saint John after one period.

It was a wacky and wild second period at the Station. The first good chance came off Kirkpatrick who flew up the wing and cut across the crease but lost the puck at the last minute.

Jonathan Huberdeau made it 4-0 Saint John at 3:35. The prized rookie made some beautiful stick moves to get around the Bathurst defense and slid the puck just under the leg of Lacerte. The goal went under a lengthy review but it was called a goal.

Christian Morin laid out the newly acquired Danny Chiasson along the boards later on.

Less than a minute following the Huberdeau goal, Nicholas Pard made it 5-0 Saint John after he broke in through two Titan defenders and went forehand to backhand at 4:07.

The first penalty of the game came against Mike Thomas of the Sea Dogs after he interfered with Jonathan Lessard. Then Bryce Milson was called for a high stick making it four-on-four hockey. With the Sea Dogs holding possession of the puck in the Titan zone, Yann Sauve blasted a point shot that went inside the post to make it 6-0. That chased Lecerte from the Bathurst goal and he ran down the tunnel with coach Choules chasing after him. He returned at 7:29 of the same period.

With Lacerte back in net, he robbed Ottawa Senators prospect Mike Hoffman with the glove.

Bathurst attempted to start a comeback at 9:35. After missing his original shot, Jeremie Malouin went five hole on Marco Cousineau who was upset with himself following the marker. That made it 6-1.

Hoffman centered for Petersen shortly after the goal and had a wide open net but had his stick was lifted at the last second. With Sauve in the box at 12:58, Thomas made a huge hit on a Titan player.

Morin and Arseneau had a lengthy discussion about dropping the gloves but chose not to.

At 18:05, Stanislav Galiev took a hooking penalty. On the power play, Julien Tremblay released a weak backhand shot that made Cousineau make a diving cross crease glove save – or so it seemed. Upon further review, the puck crossed the line despite the Saint John goaltender giving his best effort to keep it out.

After two periods it was 6-2 Saint John with the Sea Dogs winning the shots on goal battle in the period 17-8.

The third period got started with the fists flying. Morin finally dropped the gloves with Arseneau in a good tilt with both players getting some good shots in just eight seconds into the period. Then three seconds later Nathan Beaulieu dropped them with Jeremie Malouin in a one sided affair. Beaulieu destroyed Malouin in the scrap and had close to a dozen solid head shots.

Mike Thomas then had a great chance off a pass from Stephen MacAulay at the side of the goal.

With Malka and Jeremie Blain both in the box, Saint John went to a two man advantage. On the ensuing power play Michael Kirkpatrick completed the hat trick off a blast in the slot to make it 7-2 at 8:47.

Nicholas Pard and Jordan Moore decided to embark on a battle of the fisticuffs. Both players got some shots in before Pard fell backwards in a spirited bout. Pard was still furious in the penalty box.

Captain Thomas put this game to bed at 11:07. Thomas broke through the Titan defense and went in on a partial breakaway and roofed a shot glove side over Lacerte to make it 8-2 Dogs.

With just a few minutes remaining in the contest, rookie Pierre Durepos ringed a shot off the post on the power play.

Shots in the third frame were 13-6 Saint John. The Sea Dogs outshot Bathurst 44-21 in the game.

Marco Cousineau improved his record to 13-15-0 on the year while Saint John’s power play went 1/5.

Francois Lacerte fell to 6-6-0 on the year while Bathurst’s power play went 1/6 on the night.

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

NEXT GAME: Chicoutimi Sagueneens vs Saint John Sea Dogs. Sunday, January 17, 2010 at 4:00 pm at Harbour Station.

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