SAGUENEENS-SEA DOGS GAME AT A GLANCE
Final Score: Chicoutimi 0, Saint John 6
Saint John Goals: Mike Hoffman (29), Mike Thomas (7), Michael Kirkpatrick (18), Steven Anthony (16), Simon Despres (8), and Zach Phillips (8)
Chicoutimi Goals: None
Winning Goaltender: SNB – St. Laurent, Karel (14-2-0)
Losing Goaltender: CHI – Gusse, Robin (7-14-0)
News 88.9 Top Dog: Mike Thomas
Power Play: Sagueneens 0/3, Sea Dogs 2/9
Shots on Goal: Sagueneens: 6+10+9=25, Sea Dogs: 25+16+15=56
The Sea Dogs sported the exact same lineup as they did in their 8-2 win over Bathurst on Saturday. Aiden Kelly was a healthy scratch while Gabriel Bourett missed his second game due to a team suspension.
WHAT A START
The Saint John Sea Dogs chose not to sit back in the first period. The puck was in the Chicoutimi zone for the majority of the stanza and if it wasn’t for goaltender Robin Gusse, the Sagueneens would have been down at least a few goals.
"I think the first 25 minutes was the best hockey we've played all year," Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant said to the Telegraph-Journal.
"The puck support was as good as I've ever seen it; there was always a pass available and the skating was very good."
Saint John outshot the Sags 25-6 in the first period. Only three of Chicoutimi’s shots were considered “dangerous” in the frame.
DUCK DUCK GUSSE
Robin Gusse is not from a country where hockey is very popular – but maybe it should be. The native of France was absolutely outstanding on Sunday afternoon at Harbour Station.
Gusse, filling in for starting goaltender Christopher Gibson who is out with a knee injury, made some spectacular saves especially in the first period. He stopped 24 shots in the first period alone and kept the score 1-0 after 20 minutes.
"Gusse was outstanding in the first and fortunately for us we got that one goal because sometimes in those tight games if you don't get the lead bad things happen," Gallant said speaking of Mike Hoffman's goal.
The net minder had no chance on some of the goals scored by the high octane Sea Dogs offense. He faced 56 shots on the afternoon and only allowed six goals.
"We have to give credit to that 16-year-old (Gusse),” said Saint John starter Karel St. Laurent. “He played awesome and he's got really good talent and a good future in front of him."
It was the second straight game for the Sea Dogs where they dropped the gloves three times.
Nicholas Petersen and Jonathan Huberdeau – two unlikely players to drop them – both fought in the third period. Petersen was thrown out of the game after taking off the opponent’s helmet. Stephen MacAulay also got in a fight but no punches were thrown.
Since the calendar turned 2010, the Sea Dogs have gotten into nine fights in five games according to hockeyfights.com.
OFF TO THE POST-SEASON
According to Tim Roszell of News 88.9, the Saint John Sea Dogs officially clinched a playoff spot with the win. Not that there was any doubt with only two teams in the 18-team circuit unable to qualify.
This marks the earliest the Sea Dogs have clinched in their five year history. Saint John makes the playoffs for the third time ever and for third straight time.
CANADIAN PRESS RECAP
Sea Dogs 6 Sagueneens 0
At Saint John, N.B., Karel St-Laurent faced 25 shots as the Sea Dogs shut down Chicoutimi.
Michael Kirkpatrick and Simon Despres both had a goal and two assists for Saint John (38-7-1), while Mike Hoffman, Mike Thomas, Steven Anthony and Zack Phillips added markers.
Robin Gusse made 50 saves for the Sagueneens (16-22-8).
OUT OF TOWN
Elsewhere in the QMJHL it was: Cape Breton 8 Baie-Comeau 0; Shawinigan 4 Rimouski 3; Halifax 2 Drummondville 1; Val-d'Or 2 Lewiston 1; Quebec 3 Rouyn-Noranda 2 (SO); and Victoriaville 5 Montreal 1.
Stanislav Galiev recorded one assist on his 18th birthday… Chicoutimi sports three of the QMJHL’s 18 first round draft picks from the 2009 entry draft in Moncton… star defenseman Dominic Jalbert is the only defenseman in the QMJHL to lead his team in scoring… the not-so-liked Trevor Hansen returned to Harbour Station as an official. He is part of the Western Hockey League’s referee exchange program… the Home Depot distributed rally towels before the game. The Sea Dogs are now 2-1 all-time in games they have given them out… 56 shots on goal is a new Sea Dogs team record… Mike Thomas is now on a three game goal scoring streak… Nicholas Petersen failed to record a point for the second straight game… St. Laurent’s shutout was the second of his season and third of his career.
Stanislav Galiev joins 39 other top prospects in the 2010 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects game in Windsor, Ont. The skills competition begins tomorrow night at the WFCU Centre with the game held on Wednesday night. Fans can watch the game on Rogers Sportsnet at 8:00 pm AST.
Saint John Sea Dogs vs Quebec Remparts. Friday, January 22, 2010 at 8:30 pm at Pepsi Colisee.