Sunday, September 12, 2010
JURCO, DOGS GIVE EAGLES A BEAT DOWN
Final: Screaming Eagles 2, Sea Dogs 7
SAINT JOHN – Most pre-season predictions have the Saint John Sea Dogs finishing in the upper echelon of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Those same predictions have the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles finishing the year in the league basement.
If tonight’s game was any indication, those predictions should become reality.
Saint John stomped on the Eagles on Saturday night at Harbour Station, defeating Cape Breton 7-2 in both teams second game of the year.
Sophomore Tomas Jurco continued his hot start, recording his first career hat trick in the win. The Slovakian now has five goals to start his second QMJHL campaign. Single markers came courtesy of Michael Kirkpatrick, Kevin Gagne, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Guillaume Cloutier.
Newly acquired goaltender Frederic Piche stopped 28 pucks for his first win of the season.
Brad Cuzner and Taylor MacDougall each scored for the Eagles.
Francois Lacerte and Alexandre Veronneau combined to stop 18 shots.
MacDougall kicked things off just 52 seconds into the game by taking a hooking penalty. While shorthanded, Cory MacIntosh broke in alone but had his shot stopped by Piche’s blocker.
With Pierre Durepos in the box for tripping, Kirkpatrick opened up the scoring while shorthanded. The 20-year picked up the puck after an Eagle defender lost control of it in his own zone and fired a shot into the top corner to make it 1-0 Saint John at 5:21.
The Eagles would tie the game with Durepos still in the box at 5:32. Piche tried to clear the puck behind the net but had his shot land on an Eagle stick. After a quick exchange behind the goal, a pass from behind the goal line found the stick of Cuzner in front who inserted the disc into an empty net.
Aidan Kelly had a good scoring chance a few minutes later, wiring a wrister high and wide in a clear shooting lane.
Saint John made it 2-1 at 12:25 when Gagne fired a low wrist shot through a screen that fooled Veronneau in the Cape Breton net.
The Sea Dogs took control at 12:47. Zach Phillips sent a perfect pass to Jurco at the top of the crease. The import made no mistake, chasing Veronneau from the net with a low shot.
Phillips almost made it 4-1 during some four-on-four action but found the post.
Shots in the first stanza were 9-5 Eagles.
Spencer Metcalf was in pain just four minutes into the second period. Metcalf went down like a ton of bricks after taking a shot in the leg. He would be helped off the ice and did not put any pressure on his left leg.
With Lacerte in the Eagles net, the goaltender tried to grab the loose puck at the side of the goal but failed. Huberdeau picked it up and performed a wraparound to make it 4-1 for the home side.
After Cape Breton finally had some okay scoring pressure, Sea Dogs rookie Guillaume Cloutier let a shot go from the point at 8:56 that hit several things before it found the mesh of the Cape Breton goal.
On the power play at 10:44, Huberdeau fed Jurco with a cross crease pass that would make it a 6-1 Saint John lead.
Just after Jurco was held up on another great scoring chance, the Slovak picked up his own rebound at 19:28 to complete the hat trick and make it a 7-1 Sea Dogs lead going into intermission.
Shots in the middle frame were 16-10 Saint John.
The Eagles actually had a decent scoring chance halfway through the final frame. An Eagle player was parked at the side of the Saint John crease but somehow could not get wood on it to bat it by Piche.
After a penalty filled and uneventful third, Cape Breton found the score sheet again when William Carrier sent a great pass to an open MacDougall in front at 15:56. The Fredericton native sent a shot off the post and in to make it a 7-2 game.
Shots in the third were 11-4 Cape Breton.
The visitors would win the shots-on-goal battle by firing 30 shots to Saint John’s 25.
The Sea Dogs were 1/4 on the power play while the Eagles were 2/9.
NOTES: See Station Nation Postscript tomorrow.
NEXT GAME: Saturday, September 19, 2010 vs the Halifax Mooseheads at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station.