STATION NATION POST-GAME
FINAL: Sea Dogs 4, Junior 6
VERDUN – It was the Saint John Sea Dogs’ power play that killed them on Saturday evening in the Montreal suburbs.
The Sea Dogs went 2/6 on the man advantage but allowed two shorthanded goals to the Montreal Junior – who have the second worst power play in the league. The Junior used the two goals to their advantage as they defeated the number one team in the country 6-4 at Auditorium-Verdun.
Karel St. Laurent struggled in the Saint John crease and allowed five goals on 29 shots, with the sixth goal being an empty netter. He allowed two goals on 10 shots in the first and two goals on eight shots in the third period.
Mike Hoffman and Nicholas Petersen led the Sea Dogs in a losing effort, both scoring two goals while Hoffman added two more assists.
Jeremy Gouchie and Matthew Brenton scored a pair for Montreal while David Rose and Louis-Marc Aubry added singles.
The game started with Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant flipping out at a referee. Somebody on the Sea Dogs must be afraid of dark because Gallant was yelling and pointing at the official because the lights in the Saint John zone would not come on fully. The game started without them.
After an uneventful first few minutes of the game, Patrick Lapostolle was stopped on a partial breakway by a Yann Sauve stick lift.
Saint John opened the scoring at 3:34 when the Sea Dogs top line went in on a three-on-two. Mike Hoffman passed over to Nicholas Petersen who beat J.F. Berube clean blocker side to make it 1-0 Dogs.
Steven Anthony and Eliezer Sherbatov then had a big collision at the Saint John blue line. Sauve was called for tripping at 5:35 with the best chance coming on a shorthanded breakaway by Danick Gauthier.
Sherbatov had a good chance at a bad angle but was stopped by the pads of goaltender Karel St. Laurent. After Stanislav Galiev was called for a slash, Montreal had a good chance on a mad scramble around the crease but could not score. That seemed to turn on the Junior offense.
Trevor Parkes’ shot was stopped by St. Laurent but he allowed the rebound to sit in front of the crease. Matthew Brenton was on the door stop and slid it by the Sea Dogs net minder at 14:38 to tie the affair 1-1.
Galiev had a good chance following the goal but was stopped by the pads of Berube. Then, Stephen MacAulay had a solid wrap around opportunity.
Montreal took the lead at 18:38 after St. Laurent stopped the original shot. The puck got through his legs and went right to the stick of Louis-Marc Aubry to make it a 2-1 game.
Shots were 11-10 in the first period.
Just 36 seconds into the second period, Galiev was called for a questionable checking from behind penalty. On the power play, Aubry had the best chance at the side of the goal on what was an excellent penalty kill by the Sea Dogs.
Nathan Beaulieu let a hard wrist shot go point that was stopped through traffic. Jonathan Huberdeau picked up the rebound but was also stopped by Berube.
Hubert Genest went to the box at 8:16. The Junior had a great chance while shorthanded but St. Laurent shut the door on a two-on-one finished off by Jeremy Gouchie. Saint John finally got some offensive chances when Nicholas Pard rang a shot off the post and out the other side of the blue paint.
The Sea Dogs defense started to get a bit sloppy from here on in. St. Laurent had to be sharp off a turnover just above the crease. Then the former Screaming Eagle Lapostolle was robbed by the pad of the Dogs net minder.
After Lapostolle collided with Petersen at the line, Saint John went back to the power play. Hoffman had several shots on the man advantage with all his shots from the same spot.
At 17:23, Guillaume Asselin took a roughing penalty after a scrum in the Montreal crease. Simon Despres fed a wonderful cross ice pass to Petersen who had a wide open cage but couldn’t get a shot off.
It was the Junior capitalizing on the Sea Dogs' power play chance. At 19:00, Matthew Brenton picked up a turnover at the Sea Dogs blue line. Brenton took the puck to just above the icing line and then sent a pass over to Gouchie in the slot who scored into the empty net to extend the Montreal lead to 3-1 after two periods.
Shots in the second period were 12-6 for the home side.
Gerard Gallant juggled his lines to start the period and it seemed to spark the Sea Dogs, with some excellent pressure to start the period. Petersen fed Anthony in front but was robbed by the chest of Berube in front of the net after a cross crease effort.
Then, Galiev was stopped on a hard shot by the pad followed Jurco tipping a shot in the crease just wide of the goal. Junior head coach Pascal Vincent called a time out to try and calm down his now shaky defense.
It seemed to work as David Ross beat St. Laurent on the right side to make it 4-1 for the home team at 5:45. It was a weak shot that the Saint John goaltender no doubt should have had.
The Dogs’ come back began at 6:59 when Hoffman made it 4-2. The Ottawa Senators prospect beat Berube high blocker side thanks to some nice work by Despres. The goal got lots of cheers from the Sea Dogs fan bus at the Auditorium.
At 7:42 Jonathan Norbonne took a hooking penalty, allowing Saint John’s offense to fire everything they had at the Junior. It looked like the Dogs had made it a one goal game off a mad scramble in the crease. After checking with the goal judge (yes, the goal judge behind the net) and up stairs, the goal was waived off.
Saint John still kept firing though. Michael Kirkpatrick shot the disc just wide through traffic. Then off a faceoff, Jonathan Huberdeau fed Mike Thomas in the open. The Sea Dogs captain took a shot that deflected off Berube’s pad and right to the goal line but stayed out.
Sherbatov took a holding penalty at 16:49. Montreal went back to work shorthanded as Brenton beat St. Laurent high blocker side at 17:06.
Mike Hoffman kept the Sea Dogs in the game though. On the power play, Hoffman made it 5-3 at 18:22 off a blast from just inside the point that went through everything and gave the Dogs a glimpse of hope.
After a time out call, Petersen tipped home a Hoffman shot from the faceoff circle to make it a one goal game with just over a minute remaining.
But despite their best efforts, Saint John just could not beat Berube in the final minute. Gouchie made it 6-4 on an empty net marker with one second remaining in the game.
SEA DOGS – JUNIOR GAME AT A GLANCE
Final Score: Saint John 4, Montreal 6
Saint John Goals: Nicholas Petersen (27, 28), and Mike Hoffman (30, 31)
Montreal Goals: Matthew Brenton (9, 10), Louis-Marc Aubry (11), Jeremy Gouchie (15, 16), and David Rose (4)
Winning Goaltender: MTL – Jean-Francois Berube (11-11-0)
Losing Goaltender: SNB – Karel St. Laurent (14-3-0)
News 88.9 Top Dog: Steven Anthony
Power Play: Junior 0/3, Sea Dogs 2/6
Shots on Goal: Junior: 10+12+8=30, Sea Dogs: 11+6+22=39
Aiden Kelly was a healthy scratch for Saint John. Also missing from the Sea Dogs lineup was defenseman Christian Morin, who missed the last half of the third period on Friday after taking a big hit from Dominic Savoie of the Remparts. Morin is expected to miss Sunday’s game in Gatineau as well with what the team is calling an “upper body” injury.
The Saint John Sea Dogs are now 0-3-0-0 at the Auditorium-Verdun in the two season they have played there. They go 0-2 this season… Moncton won in Drummondville tonight, cutting the division lead to 11 points… the light problem in the Sea Dogs zone in the first period was due to some things hanging the rafters, according to Tim Roszell on News 88.9. He said there is a reality TV program being shot in the building involving former Montreal Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau. This is the second time a game has started with the lights off in the Saint John zone. In 2007, Robert Mayer's QMJHL debut was in the dark in PEI… St. Laurent struggled with his rebound control all night and allowed two weak goals. This was his first start since January 17 and his first loss since October 3 - an overtime loss in Shawinigan.
Saint John Sea Dogs vs Gatineau Olympiques. Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 5:00 pm at Robert Guertin Arena.