FINAL: Sea Dogs 5, Rocket 0
CHARLOTTETOWN – It started off uneventful, but by game’s end, just about everything happened in this one.
Frederic Piche and the Saint John Sea Dogs blanked the PEI Rocket 5-0 on Sunday night in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action at the Charlottetown Civic Centre.
The Sea Dogs backstop stopped all 17 shots he faced to pick up the win.
Zach Phillips recorded a hat trick while Jonathan Huberdeau and Aidan Kelly added singles. Ryan Tesink and Pierre Durepos each added a pair of assists.
Although Saint John dominated most of the night, PEI didn’t help their own cause.
Head Coach Eric Lavigne was tossed in the third period for arguing with the officials, PEI was only able to register 17 shots, and the team gave Saint John 11 power play opportunities.
"It's my job just to make saves and whatever the situation I just have to make the save," said rookie Rocket net minder Maxime Lagace about the amount of power plays the Dogs were given to the teams official Twitter page.
Legace was one of the bright spots for PEI, who stopped 37 shots in the loss.
It was a defensive showdown for the most part of the first period.
Just 16 seconds in, Michael Kirkpatrick was sent off for checking from behind. The Rocket would come up empty on the power play, with the only noticeable play being Marc-Andre Levesque running over Zach Phillips.
The Sea Dogs headed to the power play at 2:46. Saint John’s only solid scoring chance came when Tomas Jurco fed Nathan Beaulieu down low but missed the net on his onetime shot.
Saint John went back to the man advantage at 6:32 when Travis McIsaac took down Kirkpatrick. The Sea Dogs would, however, come up with nothing during the two minute span.
The Dogs’ third power play chance came at 9:56 when Felipe Corbo headed off. But, like the previous two, Saint John had nothing to show.
Jason Cameron generated an okay scoring opportunity when he fed Jordan Mock with a cross crease pass moments after the Dogs’ power play expired. But the puck was sent too high for Oke to get wood on.
Kirkpatrick almost made it 1-0 for the visitors when he fired a shot off the post after a nice feed from Ryan Tesink.
At 17:50, Matthew Hobbs was sent off for cross checking and gave Saint John their fourth power play of the period. Zach Phillips would finally capitalize on the man advantage opportunity, ripping a shot from the faceoff dot that went off of Rocket goaltender Maxime Legace and in.
Shots in the first were 7-4 Sea Dogs.
Corbo had a good chance for the Rocket to open the frame but was denied by the pad of Piche in the Saint John crease.
Saint John slowly started to mount pressure from there. Dylan McGuigan let a quick shot go from the wing but was stopped by Legace’s glove. Danick Gauthier then left Zach Phillips all alone at the side of the net but couldn’t the puck high enough to beat the pad of the Rocket goaltender.
Just after Christian Morin leveled McIsaac, Jimmy Oligny ripped a shot through traffic but Piche stood tall and made a nice save.
The Sea Dogs doubled their lead at 6:46 when Tesink let a shot go. The shot was blocked but went to the side of the net for Jonathan Huberdeau who slid the disc by Legace to make it 2-0.
It appeared Legace played the puck in the no-zone shortly after the goal, something that would result in a penalty. But when the whistle blew, the penalty was not called and a large scrum ensued at the Rocket blue line, resulting in four-on-four play.
Saint John would play their game for the remainder of the period. Kirkpatrick had a good wraparound opportunity but sent it through the crease. Then, McGuigan let a shot go wide in close. Shortly after that, Gauthier tried to put a fancy move on Leagce, attempting to weave the puck around the net minders leg but the lost the puck.
The Rocket’s Jean-Laurence Beauchemin was called for roughing at 18:14. PEI head coach Eric Lavigne didn’t like the call, picking up a bench minor after screaming at the officials.
On the two-man power play, Pierre Durepos riffled a shot from inside the point that hit something on its way by Legace to give the Dogs a 3-0 lead. The goal was later awarded to Phillips.
Shots in the middle stanza were 17-7 for the visitors.
Craziness took over on the final frame. It began when Saint John had a great scoring opportunity but Legace made a brilliant save to keep the puck out. Following the save, Devon Oliver-Dares and fellow rookie Kevin Boyer dropped the gloves in a very spirited tilt. Boyer would be given an instigator penalty while Oliver-Dares was tossed from the game for not having his jersey tied down.
But as Boyer was given the instigator infraction, Lavigne lost his mind on the Rocket bench and was tossed from the game. After throwing his lineup card on the ice, Lavigne crossed the ice to the teams dressing room and was given a standing ovation by the sparse crowd at the CCC.
On the ensuing power play, Saint John would produce some strong pressure but could not score.
The Sea Dogs, not surprisingly, headed back to the man advantage at 7:11 when Cody Linteau hammered Kevin Gagne into the corner. On the power play, Tesink was nailed in the opposite corner by Matthew Hobbs. Kirkpatrick would have a short bout with Hobbs as Sea Dogs athletic therapist Jeff Kelly ran out to attend to Tesink. The Saint John rookie would be okay and stayed in the game.
As the dust settled on the mess in the corner, Oligny shoved referee Jeff Hopkins with his gloves, getting an unsportsmanlike call and possibly a suspension in the near future.
After all of that, the Dogs had a four-on-three power play opportunity. Jurco made a nice move to cut through the crease on the man advantage but was denied by the stopper. Then Tesink was left alone on the doorstep but couldn’t jam the puck by Legace.
Beaulieu was slapped with an interference penalty at 11:35. But while shorthanded, Phillips embarrassed Jordan Escott as he beat one-on-one to enter the crease area where he slipped the puck through the legs of Legace at 13:35 for the hat trick.
With Levesque in the box for PEI, Aidan Kelly grabbed a lose puck from the goal and drove to the front of net. He beat Legace down low to make it a 5-0 game at 15:16.
To close things out, the Rocket were called for yet another penalty with five seconds remaining in the game.
Shots in the third were dominated by Saint John and outshot the Rocket 18-6.
The Sea Dogs were 3/11 on the man advantage while PEI was 0/3.
NOTES: Lots of news, notes, and stats came out of this one. Check out Sea Dogs Postscript tomorrow for more.
NEXT GAME: Saint John travels to Verdun on Friday to face the highly touted Montreal Junior at 8:00pm.