STATION NATION POST-GAME
FINAL: Junior 2, Sea Dogs 4
SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Sea Dogs are proving that they don’t need goals to win.
Saint John used exceptional defensive efforts on Saturday night at Harbour Station, matching the defensive minded Montreal Junior. Despite that, the Sea Dogs’ offense was too much for the Junior to handle, as the Port City went on to win 4-2 in QMJHL action.
Tomas Jurco, Nicholas Petersen, Mike Thomas, and Michael Kirkpatrick all scored for the winners while David Ross and Louis-Marc Aubry added singles for Montreal.
Saint John is proving that they do have a penalty kill as well. For the second straight game, the Sea Dogs went 6/6 on the penalty kill. Entering Saturday’s action, the Dogs were ranked third last in penalty killing.
After a back-and-forth first few minutes, Jonathan Huberdeau had the first good chance as he deked around a defender but could only get a weak shot off.
Saint John went to the power at 2:23 when Matt Provost was called for hooking. The Sea Dogs took advantage and made it 1-0 at 3:00 off a Tomas Jurco shot. Nicholas Petersen threw the puck in front and went past a number legs to find Jurco alone in front who slid it home five-hole past Jean-Francois Berube.
Hugo Roux blasted the puck later and went through traffic but Karel St. Laurent made the lucky pad save. Then Eliezer Sherbatov sent a high shot over the net from the faceoff circle.
At 6:25 Montreal tied the game. After St. Laurent made the initial blocker save, the high rebound landed on the other side of the crease for David Rose who scored his first of the season into the empty net.
With Zach Phillips in the box, Montreal couldn’t get anything going on the power play with the Dogs actually having more shorthanded chances.
The Sea Dogs went back to the power play at 9:51 when Stanislav Galiev was tripped up. On the power play, a pass to Steven Anthony hit a stick and deflected into his grill. The Vancouver Canucks prospect laid on the ice for a few moments and soon left leaving a pool of blood. Anthony returned wearing a full face shield in the second period.
Jurco fed a wide open Galiev to end the period but was stopped three times by the pad of Berube.
Shots after one were 11-7 Saint John.
Just 1:19 into the middle stanza, Montreal took their first lead of the game. Louis-Marc Aubry slapped a rebound out of the air in front and over the shoulder of St. Laurent to make it 2-1 Junior.
But at 4:35 Saint John tied the game. A Nathan Beaulieu shot stayed low and went to the side of the goal for a wide open Petersen who netted his 26th marker of the season into the empty cage.
After the goal, Kevin Gagne let go a point shot that went high and wide of the Junior net. Then Yann Sauve made a great play to sweep the puck away from a Montreal player on a partial breakaway. Then the Junior had some good chances from Aubry and then Trevor Parkes was robbed by the leather.
At 9:34 the Sea Dogs captain took the game into his own hands. Mike Thomas came across the blue line one-on-one and used the Montreal defender beautifully as a screen. Thomas ripped a shot high glove side and into the corner to give the Sea Dogs a 3-2 goal.
At 10:46 Matthew Brenton high sticked Christian Morin and got four minutes in the box. On the power play Mike Hoffman let a blast go but was stopped. Then Simon Despres made a nice play to stop Chris Thorne on a shorthanded breakaway. Saint John just could not get organized on the power play - and the fans let them know about it too.
Saint John got into some penalty trouble late in the period. Steven Anthony took a tripping call and then Sauve got called for a hook, giving Montreal a two man advantage too start the third period. But the turnover between periods proved to be too much as the Junior could not tie the game.
Yann Sauve took a breakaway pass from Petersen when he got out of the box. He let a shot go but was stopped by the pad of Berube.
Roux had another good chance to tie the game at a bad angle but hot the outside of the post. Then the Junior went back to the power play. It looked like shortly after Montreal had tied the game. But the goal was immediately called off because the whistle had blew.
Saint John was back at it when Pard fed Jurco in front but couldn’t get a shot off. Then a player flipped the puck from behind the net to the face-shielded Anthony but shot wide.
Saint John blew the game open at 13:06 when Hoffman let a point shot go. His shot went by Berube and laid in the crease for Kirkpatrick who tipped it home to give the Dogs a 4-2 lead.
At 16:54, Galiev took a tripping penalty. After Montreal called a time-out, the Junior pulled Berube from the goal, giving then a six-on-four power play. Saint John played a strong defensive game late and kept shots to minimum. Hoffman nearly made it 5-2 when he let a shot go from the full length of the ice but scraped the outside of the post.
In the final minute, despite great pressure by the Junior, the Sea Dogs managed to hang on long enough and left the ice saluting their fans at the Station.
Shots in the game were 27-25 Sea Dogs.
Karel St. Laurent picked up the win in goal and is now an impressive 13-2-0 on the year. J.F. Berube fell to 8-10-0.
Saint John went 2/6 on the power play.
TOMORROW: The game between the P.E.I. Rocket and the Drummondville Voltigeurs will be presented coast-to-coast on Rogers Sportsnet and RDS. The puck drops at 8 pm. Consult your local TV listings for more details.
NEXT GAME: Acadie-Bathurst Titan vs Saint John Sea Dogs. Saturday, January 16, 2010 at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station.