SEA DOGS – WILDCATS GAME AT A GLANCE
Final Score: Moncton 5, Saint John 3
Saint John Goals: Michael Kirkpatrick (13), Tomas Jurco (12), and Mike Hoffman (27)
Moncton Goals: Marek Hrivik (18), Tyler Howe (1), Daniel Pettersson (13), Devon MacAusland (10), and Scott Brannon (23)
Winning Goaltender: MON – Riopel, Nicola (4-1-0)
Losing Goaltender: SNB – Cousineau, Marco (11-15-0)
News 88.9 Top Dog: Mike Thomas
Power Play: Wildcats 1/6, Sea Dogs 0/3
Shots on Goal: Wildcats: 12+12+8=32, Sea Dogs: 6+14+9=29
Saint John scratched Jonathan Huberdeau and Stephen MacAulay. Huberdeau is recovering from the World Under-17 Hockey Championships while MacAulay has been diagnosed with an undisclosed injury.
The Moncton Wildcats were no doubt angered by their loss on New Year’s Eve at the Moncton Coliseum. It showed as the Cats appeared to be a team on a mission on Wednesday.
"They came back from a 3-1 deficit in the third period to win in our building on New Year's Eve," said Scott Brannon to the Times & Transcript. "We talked about that in the second intermission tonight. We wanted to return the favour and we came out hard in the third period to get the job done."
"Saint John has a very good team," said Moncton head coach Danny Flynn. "We have to bring our 'A' game and then some if we want to get points from Saint John. I'm really happy with our effort tonight. We've been working really hard on our overall team game and we're getting better game by game. We're showing lots of good signs."
The Wildcats were busy on their phones yesterday afternoon. Moncton traded left winger Pierre-Marc Lessard, 20, to the Prince Edward Island Rocket yesterday in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick in 2010. They also Moncton acquired defenseman Spencer Metcalfe, 19, from Halifax yesterday in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in 2011.
"I think Metcalfe will give us some good depth on defence," said Flynn. "He'll give us more physical presence and toughness. It's very important in junior hockey that your skilled guys feel comfortable and we want to make sure that happens."
THE FISTICUFFS FLEW
Mike Thomas, in his first game back since his three game instigator penalty, took on an unlikely combatant.
Thomas dropped the gloves with rookie Scott Trask after Trask leveled Danick Gauthier from behind. Both got some good shots in in a spirited tilt with Thomas taking the win.
The heavyweights stood back and watched last night. Will Johnston had an impressive debut for the Sea Dogs. He didn’t drop the gloves but had a few good offensive chances and fooled Nicola Riopel on a bad angle shot in the first period. Johnston told News 88.9 that the Sea Dogs told him that he would ne joining the club last Sunday.
The Wildcats’ tough guy, Tyler Howe, scored his first career QMJHL goal.
A BAD EFFORT
Flatter than a three year old bottle of pop were the Sea Dogs late in the game on Thursday. After battling from one goal done early in the first, the Sea Dogs scored three straight - but then allowed the Cats to score four unanswered goals.
“ I don't think we were prepared to play mentally,'' Sea Dogs associate coach and hockey operations director Mike Kelly said to the Telegraph-Journal. "When you're not prepared to play mentally, you're prone to making poor decisions. When you're playing against your No. 1 rival, I don't think there's an excuse for (not being ready). We expected our guys would be ready to play, especially in our own building.''
"We let up a lot and made a lot of mistakes,'' Michael Kirkpatrick said. "They have a great team and they have the best defence in the league, I would say. But that's not the reason we couldn't get any scoring chances (in the third period).
CANADIAN PRESS RECAP
Wildcats 5 Sea Dogs 3
At Saint John, N.B., Daniel Pettersson had a goal and two assists to lead Moncton over the Sea Dogs.
Marek Hrivik, Tyler Howe, Devon MacAusland and Scott Brannon also scored for the Wildcats (26-11-4).
Michael Kirkpatrick, Tomas Jurco and Mike Hoffman replied for Saint John (34-7-1).
OUT OF TOWN
Elsewhere in the QMJHL it was: Montreal 4 Cape Breton 1; Shawinigan 4 Baie-Comeau 2; Victoriaville 7 Acadie-Bathurst 3; and Rimouski 5 Chicoutimi 1.
It was the first game of 2010 for the Sea Dogs and wore their dark jersey’s at home for the first time this season… the Wildcats were kept to only one power play last night after scoring all three of their goals a man up last Thursday against Saint John… the Sea Dogs hadn’t play since last Thursday while the Wildcats were playing their third game in four nights… the reigning QMJHL MVP Nicolas Riopel was shaky, strangely shaky. After a Michael Kirkpatrick shot just slid wide, he kept back in his net a bit. The Harbour Station faithful were chanting his name for most of the game… Nicholas Petersen is now on a 10-game point streak. In that span he has eight goals and 11 assists… Moncton joins the PEI Rocket as the only teams to beat Saint John twice this season… News 88.9 colour man Andrew McGilligan had some tough words for the Sea Dogs after the game. Everybody loves the passion especially when it’s true. Keep up the good work Mc-G!... the Wildcats now take a 10.5 - 8.5 lead in the Brunswick News Rivalry Cup.
Cape Breton Screaming Eagles vs Saint John Sea Dogs. Friday, January 8, 2010 at 7:30 pm at Harbour Station.
Canadian fitness guru Paul Plakas from Slice-TV's X-Weighted will be performing the ceremonial puck drop on Friday.