STATION NATION POST-GAME
FINAL: Screaming Eagles 1, Sea Dogs 3
SAINT JOHN – There are not many things that the Saint John Sea Dogs are horrible at.
One of the things that is awful is the penalty kill, which ranks last in the Quebec Major Hockey League. They proved stats don’t matter on Friday.
The Sea Dogs kept the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles to 0/6 on the power play as the Dogs went on to win 3-1 at Harbour Station on Friday night.
Scoring for Saint John was Tomas Jurco, Mike Hoffman, and Zach Phillips. Cape Breton’s lone goal came from Cory MacIntosh.
With the win, the Sea Dogs have already matched their win total from all of last season.
After a slow first five minutes, a Brad Cuzner shot caused some scrambling in front of the net but Marco Cousineau stood tall. Then Jonathan Huberdeau - in his first game back from the World Under-17’s - had two good chances on Olivier Roy.
At 4:15 Morgan Ellis took two in the box after hitting Mike Thomas from behind. With the Sea Dogs on the power play, Tomas Jurco scored on the Dogs’ first shot of the game at 4:50. The play started off a nice rush by Simon Despres and gave it off to Jurco who was left all alone in front to make it 1-0.
After the goal, the newly acquired Jacob Legace had a nice chance to tie the game for the Eagles. Yann Sauve leveled Viktor Hertzberg – but that was only the beginning.
“Will the Thrill” Johnston squared off with Kalin Paul close to the red line. Johnston was throwing the fists like there was no tomorrow and knocked down Paul easily, bringing back memories of a former Sea Dog fighter. Paul left and didn't return.
Shortly after at 8:52 Ashton Bernard nailed Jonathan Huberdeau at the blue line with a knee. Thomas took exception as the two got into a short scrap that was eventually broken up.
After the fisticuffs ended, a high shot from the corner fooled Roy but the Eagles cleared it away. Then Kevin Gagne let go a hard shot but nobody could get the rebound.
Hertzberg had a good chance but shot high and wide which was followed by Pierre Durepos wristing a shot into Roy’s chest. Then Michael Kirkpatrick snapped a good shot but was robbed by a very focused Cape Breton goaltender.
Mike Thomas took a penalty at 16:45. On the power play, the Eagles had lots of pressure and chances but could not connect to tie the game.
Saint John then killed off a Christian Morin delay of game penalty. After Nick McNeil took a tripping penalty, the Sea Dogs pulled Cousineau in the dying seconds but could not score and went to the dressing room up a goal.
Cape Breton outshot the Sea Dogs 14-10 in the first period.
Just moments into the second period, Hertzberg was all by himself but was stopped by the pad of Cousineau. Then at the other end Mike Hoffman dropped to Jurco but was stopped on the power play chance.
Danick Gauthier took a hooking penalty at 2:42. Cape Breton had some good pressure before they were called at 4:19 for too many men on the ice.
Saint John had some terrific pressure before Hoffman let one go from the point at 9:09 to give the Dogs a 2-0 lead. Roy had no chance to make the save in front of a heavy screen.
Cape Breton started to take over from there. After a shot deflected in front, Jan Piskacek ringed the puck off the crossbar. Then Marc Bourgeois had a good chance.
The Eagles finally managed to score at 10:47 off a Saint John turnover at the blue line. Fourth liner Cory MacIntosh ripped a shot high into the net to make it 2-1 Saint John.
Hertzberg broke loose on a breakaway off a Sauve turnover but was stopped by the pad of Cousineau. One of the league’s best rookies, Hertzberg skated to the bench and slammed his stick on the boards.
With just over a minute to play, Thomas was high sticked right in front of one the referee’s but no call was made. After lying on the ice for a few seconds, the Sea Dogs captain headed to the dressing room for repairs.
With just 20 seconds left in the second, Zach Phillips worked some skill to get around three Eagle players and into the right side of the slot. Phillips, who appeared to have the puck glued to his stick, netted his seventh goal behind Roy to make it 3-1 Sea Dogs heading into the intermission.
Shots in the second period were 12-7 Saint John.
A big rebound went to Gauthier to start the third but he couldn’t get a shot off on Roy. Gauthier then took a hit from behind call at 2:20. The Dogs would hold on to kill off the penalty even though Cape Breton had several good chances.
It looked like Mike Hoffman made it 4-1 Saint John off a bullet from the slot. The goal went under review and it was ruled that the puck went off both posts and out - meaning no goal.
At 7:16 Piskacek took a penalty after knocking down Thomas. The best chance for Saint John on the power play was when Nathan Beaulieu’s shot went off Roy’s shoulder and then off the crossbar.
With Saint John on a another power play, Stanislav Galiev tried to bang away at the puck to flip it over a fallen Roy but couldn’t. Then big Mathieu Brodeur knocked over Kirkpatrick – only to have Kirkpatrick return the favour moments later.
The Sea Dogs did an excellent job in sustaining pressure late in the game. Cape Breton pulled their net minder in the final minute but couldn’t get any shots off as the Dogs picked up the victory.
Shots were only 6-3 Saint John in the third. The Sea Dogs outshot the Eagles 28-24 in the game.
Olivier Roy fell to 18-15-0 on the year while Marco Cousineau improved to 12-15-0.
Saint John managed to kill off all six Cape Breton man advantages. The Sea Dogs went 2/5 on the power play.
NEXT GAME: Montreal Junior vs Saint John Sea Dogs. Saturday, January 9, 2010 at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station.