Sunday, September 26, 2010

POSTSCRIPT: Sea Dogs 6, Voltigeurs 7

Final Score/SO: Saint John 6, Drummondville 7
Saint John Goals: Danick Gauthier (1), Steven Anthony (2), Jonathan Huberdeau (N/A), Scott Oke (1,2), and Tomas Jurco (6).
Drummondville Goals: Jean-Philippe Mathieu (1), Sean Couturier (7), Marc-Olivier Vachon (3), Julien Tremblay (3), Nicolas Dionne (1), and Jonathan Brunelle (4).
Winning Goaltender: Guillaume Nadeau
Losing Goaltender: Frederic Piche
News 88.9 Top Dog: Scott Oke

Power Play: Voltigeurs: 1/5 , Sea Dogs: 0/3
Shots on Goal: Voltigeurs: 13+12+10+6=41, Sea Dogs: 19+7+6+0=32
Length: 2:40
Attendance: 2,716

Missing due to National Hockey League camps were defenseman Simon Despres and forward Stephen MacAulay. Despres was a +2 in a pre-season game last night with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Also not in the lineup was Mike Thomas who is currently attending Oklahoma City Barons’ training camp.

A night after suffering their first loss of the season, the Saint John Sea Dogs got off to a quick start in Drummondville in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action on Saturday night.

Danick Gauthier batted home the puck in mid-air at 2:22 to make it 1-0 for the visitors. Just over three minutes, Steven Anthony recorded his second in as many nights to double the Dogs’ lead.

But the Drummondville Voltigeurs would get one back in the first. Superstar Sean Couturier centered the puck for Marc-Oliver Vachon as he crossed the blue line, firing a hard shot that beat Frederic Piche to make it a 2-1 game.

But Saint John continued to fight in the first. Jonathan Huberdeau and Scott Oke added markers to make it a 4-1 Sea Dogs lead heading into intermission.

At 6:28 of the second, Tomas Jurco continued Saint John’s pouring on of offence with his sixth of the year to make it 5-1. But then, the Sea Dogs’ defence took a step back and began giving the Voltigeurs some space to work with. Julien Tremblay, Jonathan Brunelle, and J-C Mathieu all scored to cut Saint John’s lead to just one goal heading into the second intermission.

Scott Oke added his second of the game at 2:06 of the third to make it a two goal game once again. But the Volts would reply with a goal from Couturier to make it a one goal contest again. Drummondville completed the epic comeback at 12:00 when Nicolas Dionne was left alone in front to rip one past Piche and tie it at 6-6.

Drummondville would dominant most of the remaining time in the final frame as well as in overtime. Piche gave the Dogs a chance to win in extra time, making a tremendous glove stop on Vachon.

In the shootout, a 1-1 tie carried over into the fifth round where Ondrej Palat scored to give the Volts the improbable victory over Saint John.

With the win, the Voltigeurs remain a perfect 6-0-0-0 on the young QMJHL season. They are the only remaining team in the Quebec circuit without a loss.

We are six games into the season and after a hot start the Sea Dogs find themselves sputtering a bit at the moment. But fans shouldn’t be worried at all.

Last season, the Dogs started the year with four straight wins as well before losing two consecutive game –and we all know how last season turned out.

It was clear that after taking a 5-1 lead in the second period, Saint John's defence didn’t play up to their potential.

“Team defence took a backseat after a strong start,” McKeen’s Hockey magazine scout @rick1042 told us on Twitter. “Careless turnovers and lost battles on the cycle. Coach won't like it.”

A number of Drummondville’s goals came via a cross crease pass or cross ice pass where the shooter was not being covered at all. Simon Despres is obviously a big loss at the moment, but the Sea Dogs have played much better defensively for the most part this year.

Defensemen Tyrone Sock and Nathan Beaulieu were the only Sea Dogs defenders with a minus rating at -1.

Scott Oke recorded his first career QMJHL goal in the first period and followed it up with another in the third frame. He also was given the opportunity to record a not-official-hat-trick when Gerard Gallant gave him an opportunity in the shootout. Oke had his chance denied by a poke check from Volts' net minder Guillaume Nadeau.

The Sea Dogs’ forte last season was in the breakaway challenge, losing only two all year. But last night, Saint John had their problems.

Tomas Jurco made yet another sick move. He skated into the zone and then began to go in backwards. He cut through the crease area while he turned around so he could get a forehand shot by Nadeau. It wasn’t as nice as the goal he had Cape Breton last season (which, thanks to Nathan White at Yahoo! Sports, is finally getting the attention it deserves) but it was defiantly another unique move. If you find video anywhere of the move, shoot us an e-mail to

Even more jaw dropping then Jurco’s move was the fact that Jonathan Huberdeau was stopped on his opportunity. We believe that was Huberdeau’s first ever shootout miss in the QMJHL (Q site is busted so we can’t be sure).

Also missing for Saint John were – in order – Scott Oke, Michael Kirkpatrick, and Zach Phillips.

Steven Anthony now has two goals in two games since returning from Vancouver Canucks camp… this game featured five of the top prospects for the upcoming 2011 NHL Entry Draft in Sean Couturier, Jonathan Huberdeau, Tomas Jurco, Zach Phillips, and Nathan Beaulieu. The five combined to score three of 12 goals in the game… Frederic Piche sported some new equipment and mask for the first time (pictured above)… it was Saint John’s first extra time game of the year… the Sea Dogs go 0-1-0-1 on their mini Quebec road swing. They dropped to 1-1-0-0 on their five game road stretch which continues next weekend... this was the first of three meetings between the two... to relive the game, check out the SN Live Blog replay.
From The Canadian Press:

Elsewhere in the QMJHL it was Montreal 6 Val-d'Or 2, Moncton 5 Chicoutimi 4 (SO), Rouyn-Noranda 3 Victoriaville 1, P.E.I. 3 Cape Breton 1, Lewiston 2 Acadie-Bathurst 1 and Quebec 4 Halifax 1.

Saint John heads to Halifax on Friday to face the Mooseheads at 7:00 pm at the Metro Centre.

Photo credits: Mathieu Bibeau

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