Sunday, September 26, 2010
DOGS COLLAPSE IN DRUMMONDVILLE
FINAL/SO: Sea Dogs 6, Voltigeurs 7
DRUMMONDVILLE, Que – It looked like the Saint John Sea Dogs would cruise to an easy win over the Drummondville Voltigeurs on Saturday night.
But that changed quickly.
A 5-1 lead in the second period was blown by the Sea Dogs as the Voltigeurs climbed all the way back to a 7-6 shootout win in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action at the Marcel Dionne Centre.
After taking a 4-1 lead into the middle frame, it looked as though Saint John would continue to dominate the game. But slowly, Drummondville picked apart the Dogs’ defensive game, completing the comeback in the later stages of the third period.
Jean-Philippe Mathieu, Sean Couturier, Marc-Olivier Vachon, Julien Tremblay, Nicolas Dionne, and Jonathan Brunelle all scored for the victors. Guillaume Nadeau picked up the win in goal stopping 25 of 30 shots he faced. Dominic Graham allowed goal on the two he faced.
Saint John had goals from Jonathan Huberdeau, Tomas Jurco, Steven Anthony, and Danick Gauthier who all had single markers while Scott Oke added a pair. Frederic Piche made 35 saves in net in his first loss of the season.
The scoring got going at 2:22 of the first period. An odd bounce in front of the goal forced Danick Gauthier to bat the puck out of the air to beat Nadeau. The goal went under review, but it was ruled to be a legit marker.
The Voltigeurs almost tied the game a few minutes later with a long shot but it hit the outside of the post.
The Sea Dogs doubled their lead at 5:30 following a brutal turnover at the Voltigeurs' blue line. The play allowed Saint John to enter the zone on a three-on-none, where Danick Gauthier fed Steven Anthony down low. The Vancouver Canucks prospect beat Nadeau from an impossible angle and made it a 2-0 game.
After a Drummondville timeout, Saint John kept the pressure on. Nathan Beaulieu tried to center for Anthony but he had his stick tied up at the last minute. Then, Jonathan Huberdeau made a great move to get around his man but was denied by a huge pad stop by Nadeau.
At the other end, Julien Temblay was the victim of a huge pad save by Frederic Piche.
At 7:52, Michael Kirkpatrick headed off to the penalty box. Drummondville had some great chances but they could not score.
The Volts found the scoreboard at 12:59. Sean Couturier made a nice pass to a streaking Marc-Olivier Vachon as he entered the zone. He fired a shot by Piche to make it 2-1.
Drummondville fell asleep at 15:48 when they simply centered the puck after dishing it out of the corner. Huberdeau was there, easily beating Nadeau with a quick shot to make it 3-1.
After the goal, Nadeau would be replaced by Dominic Graham in the Voltigeurs crease.
At 17:53, a clean faceoff win resulted in Scott Oke partaking in a breakaway. Oke went to the backhand and beat a fallen Graham to make it 4-1 Dogs lead after 20 minutes.
Shots in the opening frame were 19-12 Sea Dogs.
Nadeau returned to the Voltigeurs crease to start the middle frame.
Anthony headed to the sin bin at 2:27 of the second for holding after he took down Tremblay. The Volts had some good pressure and opportunities but they could not find the back of the cage.
Saint John made it a 5-1 game at 6:28. Stanislav Galiev held on to the puck and performed a wraparound move. He quickly centered for Tomas Jurco, who deposited the puck into the cage to extend the Dogs’ lead.
But Drummondville would strike back. Tremblay had the puck at a sharp angle and fired a shot on goal but had it blocked. He found his own rebound and tried again, beating Piche five-hole with a pile of traffic in front of the net at 9:31.
Huberdeau was sent off for elbowing at 9:51 – and it would be a costly penalty.
On the power play, a pass from behind the net found Jonathan Brunelle in front. He went upstairs over a fallen Piche at a sharp angle to make it a 5-3 Sea Dogs lead. The Saint John bench was not happy with the play as Pierre Durepos had his stick hacked out of his hands in front of the net.
At 15:33, Durepos was sent to the penalty box after he hit Couturier behind the net. But, the penalty was quickly cancelled out when Vachon was sent off for tripping at 16:33.
With Durepos out of the box, Saint John went to the power play – but it was Drummondville who would find the back of the net. On a two-on-one play, a centering pass was picked up by Jean-Philippe Mathieu who beat Piche through to five hole to make it a one goal Saint John lead.
Tremblay headed off at 19:49 for tripping, giving the Dogs a power play to end the frame. Beaulieu and Huberdeau both had good chances, but they could not beat Nadeau.
Shots in the second were 12-7 Drummondville.
The Sea Dogs wasted no time in the third period to build their lead back. At 2:06, Danick Gauthier fed Oke with a cross crease pass. The rookie buried his chance, making it 6-4 Saint John.
Not long after at 3:00, a shot from just inside the point produced a big rebound by Piche. Couturier was there at the side of the goal to pick up the garbage and restore the one goal affair.
Following some intense pressure by the Voltigeurs, Christian Morin was forced to serve a hooking penalty at 6:13. Vachon had the best of the Volts’ many chances, getting two shots off on Piche.
Drummondville’s comeback was complete at 12:00. A centering pass from the corner found a wide open Nicolas Dionne in front. Piche had no chance to make the shot as Dionne scored with a one timer to tie the game at 6-6.
A late penalty taken by Anthony Randazza gave Saint John a chance to take their lead back. Gabriel Bourret and Zach Phillips both had good chances but could not score.
It was all Drummondville in the final few minutes, but the game would remain tied and required overtime.
Shots in the third were 10-6 Drummondville.
Vachon had the only good chance in overtime. He was alone in front but Piche made the save-of-the-night with the leather to send the game to a shootout.
Shots in extra time were 6-0.
Alexandre Comtois gave the Volts a 1-0 lead in the shootout with a move to the forehand. But Jurco would tie the affair by skating backwards towards the goal and then cutting through the lip of the crease and beating Nadeau with a forehand shot.
After three scoreless rounds, Ondrej Palat beat Piche with a deke to the backhand. That put all the pressure on Zach Phillips who had to score. He wouldn’t - giving Drummondville an incredible comeback victory.
Saint John went 0/3 on the power play while Drummondville was 1/5.
NOTES: See Sea Dogs Postscript tomorrow for a full wrap on a wild night in Drummondville.
NEXT GAME: On Friday night the Sea Dogs travel to Halifax to face the Herd.