STATION NATION RECAP
FINAL: Cataractes 3, Sea Dogs 1
SAINT JOHN – Anybody going to this game could have told you what was going to happen.
Marc-Antoine Gelinas played his heart out in his time with the Sea Dogs in the first half of the season. He went 21-5 in his time with the team. But despite having the best stats in the league, he was traded to Shawinigan with Marco Cousineau taking over in net.
In his return, Gelinas got his revenge. Stopping all but one shot on the night, the 20-yeart old was sensational. In typical Gelinas fashion, he never looked nervous or uncomfortable in his crease and made stopping pucks look easy.
At the other end, Marco Cousineau was also solid in goal despite he and his Saint John Sea Dogs falling 3-1 to the Cataractes. On all three goals, including the empty net insurance marker, were scored after turnovers by Saint John.
The Sea Dogs just did not look like they wanted this game - even with the playoffs creeping around the corner. Head coach Gerard Gallant was so upset with his team’s effort, that the number one team in Canada was forced to take part in a long bag skate when most fans had left the building.
Nichaols Pard scored the only goal in front of a large Saturday night crowd. Michael Bournival, Antoine Houde-Caron, and Philippe Paradis all scored for the Cataractes.
Yann Sauve had the best chance early on when he tipped a pass from Mike Hoffman just wide of the net. Jonathan Racine laid a big hit on Tomas Jurco after that. The Cataractes started to gain control as the pad of Marco Cousineau on a one-time chance down low stopped Tommy Tremblay.
Shawinigan opened the scoring at 4:10 after a turn over in the corner was picked up by Pierrick Martel. He fed the puck from below the icing line in front to a wide-open Michael Bournival. Bournival who made no mistake by going five-hole on Cousineau to make it a 1-0 game.
The Cats almost made it 2-0 after yet another turnover gave them a two-on-one. The original shot was stopped by Cousineau but lay in the crease with Shawinigan pressing hard. The Saint John net minder made a nice play to tip the puck away with his stick.
Hoffman took two for cross checking at 5:29 but Shawinigan had trouble on the power polay and couldn’t get any shots through traffic.
Shortly that had expired at 9:47, Sauve got called for holding. While shorthanded, Hoffman went in on a two-on-one with Nicholas Pard but Marc-Antoine Gelinas stood tall in the crease and made the save. The Cats had some good pressure on the power play but had a hard time getting shots off.
Hoffman got called at 15:36 but the Dogs would kill it off. Then Jonathan Huberdeau got called for slashing but the Sea Dogs did a good job and killed that off also.
Shots in the first period were 10-9 in favour of the Cataractes.
Former Sea Dog prospect Nicolas Larocque-Marcoux got called for delay of game at 2:16. On the power play, Stanislav Galiev fed Pard from below the icing line and beat Gelinas low blocker side to tie the game at 1-1.
A large amount of back-and-forth play happened after the goal. Saint John began to take over after that.
Hoffman was stopped on a wraparound and then Michael Kirkpatrick unleashed a wrist shot through a defenseman’s legs that was stopped by the glove of Gelinas. Then Galiev had a solid backhand shot stopped.
With the Sea Dogs back on the power play at 8:12, Hoffman let a big point shot go that bounced back into the crease. Gelinas stretched out and lay on his stomach, somehow covering the puck through a mad scramble in his territory.
With the man advantage over, Jurco took a high cross crease pass but Gelinas made the unconventional chest save. Then it was Jurco again moments later as he walked through the crease with the puck on his stick. He made a drop pass to Zach Phillips who had a wide open net but couldn’t get a shot off.
Another bad defensive play at 13:21 was costly for Saint John. A two-on-one with Sauve the only man back was finished off by Antoine Houde-Caron by beating Cousineau five-hole to make it 2-1. Houde-Caron has now scored in two straight games.
Hoffman fed a streaking pass in front but sent his shot wide. Then a Steven Anthony wrist shot seemed to fool Gelinas a bit as came way out of his crease to deflect the puck away.
After a Shawinigan shot went wide from just inside the point, the puck came back in front where Domink Schlumpf was robbed on a nice pad save by the Saint John goalie.
Shots in the second were 11-8 Saint John.
Galiev was stopped by the pad of Gelinas on a one timer to start the third period. Then Pierre Durepos laid a big hit on Martel just inside in his blue line. It was all Saint John from there with lots of pressure but very few excellent scoring chances.
Hoffman let a backhander go that fooled Gelinas but he made the stop and quickly covered the rebound that lay in the crease. Simon Despres let a point shot go that looked good but was deflected out of play at the last minute. Huberdeau then fed Kirkpatrick on a backdoor pass but Gelinas was once again there to keep the disc out.
With only a few minutes to go in the game, Durepos, who only had 40 shots all season entering the game, blasted a point shot but was stopped by a huge quick pad of M.A.G.
Saint John had some other good scoring chances late the game but looked like it would end when Despres go called for a slash. But hold on, Bournival put on his best Garret Clarke impression and got called for a dive on the play.
It wouldn’t matter though as a Saint John turnover in the offensive zone gave Shawingan a long two-on-one with an empty net. The play was finished off by Toronto prospect Philippe Paradis as the Cats won 3-1.
Shots in the third were 13-3 Saint John.
NEXT GAME: Today at 4:00 pm against the Rimouski Oceanic. As of Friday morning, less then 800 tickets remained for this contest.