Tuesday, October 12, 2010
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME
FINAL: Oceanic 3, Sea Dogs 5
SAINT JOHN – Harbour Station dominance is becoming a trend for the Saint John Sea Dogs.
Although the Rimouski Oceanic had their opportunities, Saint John extended their home winning streak to six games with a 5-3 win in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action on Tuesday night.
"We want opposing teams to be afraid when they come into Harbour Station," said 20-year old Michael Kirkpatrick to the Sea Dogs’ Twitter page after the game.
Kirkpatrick led the way for Saint John with two goals while Aidan Kelly, Stanislav Galiev, and Nathan Beaulieu added singles for the winners who outshot their opposition by a commanding 44-28 margin.
Frederic Piche picked up the win for Saint John while the newly acquired Jacob De Serres stood – not sat, stood – on the bench for the majority of the game.
Saint John had control of the game for most of the night but Rimouski did show some sparks at times. Oceanic goaltender Philippe Tremblay was magnificent in net in the first period but eventually could not contain the Sea Dogs’ offense.
Scoring for the visitors were Petr Straka, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, and Jakub Culek.
Rimouski was given the best chance early on as Michael Kirkpatrick was sent to the box at 0:39. But the Oceanic were shut down on the man advantage by a solid Saint John penalty kill.
Just after the penalty expired, Etienne Boutet nailed Ryan Tesink in open ice beside the side boards in the Saint John zone. But then the Sea Dogs got some offense got rolling with Tomas Jurco registering the first shot on goal on a nice move to the backhand. Then Michael Kirkpatrick put the puck on a platter for Stanislav Galiev with a pass from behind the goal with the Russian having the disc hop over his stick.
Aidan Kelly made it a 1-0 game at 7:01 after a turnover in the Rimouski zone. The forward picked up the loose puck and sent a backhander by Philippe Tremblay.
Shortly after the goal at 7:49, Petr Straka was sent to the sin bin. But the Sea Dogs’ power play couldn’t get any legit shots on net despite some outstanding pressure in the zone.
At 9:58, Jarrad Struthers skated down the ice after a Saint John turnover and created a two-on-one with Straka who just exited the penalty box. Struthers fed Straka with a short pass and then took the time to settle the puck down before firing a shot by Frederic Piche in the Sea Dogs net.
Jonathan Huberdeau headed to the box at 13:20 for hooking and the Oceanic would capitalize. After Struthers hit the post on a hard shot, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc found the rubber at the other side of the crease and unleashed a shot into the yawning cage to make it 2-1 for the visitors.
It was all Saint John late in the frame. Galiev had another great chance in front but the hit post before Zach Phillips was denied by the blocker of Tremblay on a nice play. Huberdeau closed things out on a breakaway but couldn’t beat the Oceanic net minder with his trademark backhand-to-forehand move.
Shots in the opening session were 16-8 Saint John.
Stephen MacAulay gave the Oceanic a power play 1:20 when he was called for tripping. But Rimouski couldn’t get anything going and failed to register a quality chance.
Galiev continued his scoring quest in the middle stanza by drawing a penalty against Rimouski. Not long after at 4:55, Patrick Delisle-Houde was called for holding, giving Saint John a long five-on-three power play.
After Kirkpatrick missed the net on a one-timer, he would not miss on his second opportunity. A big slap shot by Nathan Beaulieu produced a big rebound for Kirkpatrick at the side of the goal and made no mistake by deposing the puck into the open cage. That tied things up at 2-2.
The Sea Dogs would keep the pressure going following the power play marker. Huberdeau had a good chance down low but was denied by Tremblay. Then captain Mike Thomas hammered captain Felix Lefrancois in open ice.
The Sea Dogs were awarded another man advantage opportunity at 15:10 when Gauthier-Leduc got called for tripping. But during the two-minute span, Rimouski’s power play went to work and shut-down Saint John’s offense.
The Oceanic produced a good scoring opportunity near the end of the frame as a long range shot fooled Piche a bit, forcing the goal post to keep the puck out.
Galiev would finally be rewarded for his hard work at 18:52. The Washington Capitals prospect came off the bench and snuck behind the Oceanic defense. The sophomore made a great deke and beat a fallen Tremblay to give Saint John a 3-2 lead heading to intermission.
Shots in the second period were 12-11 Rimouski although the Dogs had the better scoring chances.
Just nine seconds into the third period Kirkpatrick rifled his second of the game by the post and in to give the Sea Dogs a 4-2 lead.
After Simon Despres turned the puck over to Rimouski, he made up for his mistake by blocking a cross ice pass that would have led to a quality scoring chance for the Oceanic.
Liam O’Brien was called for holding at 4:28, giving Saint John yet another power play. On the man advantage, Nathan Beaulieu accepted a cross ice feed and slapped the puck by Tremblay to make it a three goal game for the Dogs.
But Saint John would get into some penalty trouble halfway through the frame. Mike Thomas was called for roughing at 7:28 and Kevin Gagne for cross-checking at 8:08. Rimouski would make the best out of their five-on-three chance as Jakub Culek unleashed a wrister just below the faceoff circle to make it 5-3.
After the Sea Dogs killed off the remainder of the penalty, Beaulieu tried to feed Huberdeau with a breakaway pass but he just missed. Then Galiev gave a short pass to Kirkpatrick at the side of the goal but sent a shot off the side of the net.
During a brief stint of four-of-four play, Galiev went flying after he ran into the leg of an Oceanic defenseman while entering the zone. There was no call on the play, but moments later, Phillips headed to the box for Saint John on a very questionable goaltender interference penalty.
But Saint John would kill it off, and despite some late pressure from the Oceanic, they would go on to win the game 5-3.
Shots in the third were 17-8 Saint John.
The Sea Dogs and Oceanic both went 2/7 on the power play.
NOTES: See Sea Dogs Postscript tomorrow.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs take on the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies at 7pm on ‘Pink in the Rink’ Night at Harbour Station on Saturday.