Friday, October 22, 2010


FINAL: Sea Dogs 1, Titan 5

BATHURST – Olivier Roy showed why he is the leading contender to be the starting netminder for Canada’s world junior team this December.

The Edmonton Oilers prospect was money in the bank for the Acadie-Bathurst Titan this evening, stopping 36 shots and help guide his team to a 5-1 victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs Friday night at the KC Irving Regional Centre.

Zach O’Brien, Radovan Pulis, Vincent Arseneau, Sebastien Trudeau, and David Gilbert all scored for the Titan who were playing their first game under Eric Dubois following the Ron Choules firing.

Zach Phillips scored the lone Saint John goal. But despite the lack of goal production, the Sea Dogs did have several quality chances but were stoned solid by Roy. Jacob DeSerres made a number of big stops in the Sea Dogs crease but he wasn’t given much help by his defense. Most of the Titan goals and scoring opportunities came off turnovers or odd-man rushes.

Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant seemed to send a message late in the third by benching some of his star players in favour of younger ones. The coaching staff will no doubt be upset with their club who still have not played a solid 60 minutes of hockey this year.

Right off the bat Jonathan Huberdeau was stopped in close. Then Mike Thomas had the puck with Danick Gauthier skating alongside but had his pass blocked by a Titan defender.

Bathurst opened the scoring at 3:45 after a pass from the corner found Zach O’Brien parked in front. O’Brien roofed the puck up and over Jacob DeSerres to give the Titan a 1-0 lead.

The Sea Dogs were buzzing after the Titan goal with lots of pressure in the opposing zone. After Olivier Hotte was robbed on a one-time chance before Jonathan Huberdeau was called for boarding at 8:37. The Titan had some good pressure on the Dogs but they could not find the back of the cage.

Zach Phillips tied the match at 11:04 after the Titan turned the puck over in their own zone. Phillips ripped the puck from the hash marks and beat Olivier Roy short side to make it a 1-1 hockey game.

Tomas Jurco avoided a huge collision with Vincent Arseneau at center ice moments after the goal. Then Ryan Tesink had a good chance in front with the puck loose in the crease. The disc squirted to the side of the net where Aidan Kelly was sitting but he could not score.

After David Gilbert was stoned by the chest of DeSerres, the Titan would get their lead back soon after. Radovan Pulis found the puck at a sharp angle and beat DeSerres between the legs to give his team a 2-1 lead.

Less than a minute later at 17:51, a turnover at center gave Christopher Losier the puck. He sent it ahead to Vincent Arseneau who beat DeSerres with a nifty backhand shot into the corner to make it a 3-1 game.

Tesink almost broke free on a breakaway at 19:02 but was hauled down. He was awarded a penalty shot but missed the net on his free chance.

The Titan had several great opportunities near the end of the frame with Gilbert having the best chance when he stepped around two Saint John defenders and forced DeSerres to make a great stop down low.

Shots in the first period were 13-11 for the home team.

Michael Kirkpatrick had the first good chance in the period when he let a wrister go that forced Roy to make a quick pad save.

Guillaume Cloutier got called at 3:49 for hooking. On the power play, the Titan had some decent pressure but no great chances. Kirkpatrick had a good chance while shorthanded, walking around Bathurst’s defense and getting a solid sharp angle shot off.

A few moments after Hotte nailed Stanislav Galiev along the boards, the Sea Dogs were given a man advantage opportunity at 10:30 when Arseneau got called for hooking. After DeSerres stopped the puck in the corner on a dump in, Simon Despres tried to the throw the puck down the ice but it was stopped at the blue line by Sebastien Trudeau. He threw it on net just after DeSerres got back, forcing the Sea Dogs netminder to make a nice save.

The Sea Dogs’ only good chance on the power play came after a high shot sat on the top of the net before being cleared out of danger.

Saint John’s third and fourth line really stepped up at times in the middle frame. After Stephen MacAulay, Gauthier, and Thomas had a few good chances, Aidan Kelly let a point shot go through traffic that was knocked down by the arm of Roy.

But with 47 seconds to go in the period, Trudeau was sprung on a breakaway. The right winger made a deke before going to the forehand and beating DeSerres through the five-hole to make it a 4-1 game.

Shots in the middle stanza were 15-5 Saint John.

On a two-on-one play, Nathan Beaulieu fired a shot on goal but was robbed by an outstanding old school pad stack save by Roy. But on the play, the Titan were given a penalty and gave the Sea Dogs another power play opportunity.

The Sea Dogs had a hard time getting anything going on the man advantage and failed to score. When it ended, Beaulieu fired a point shot that deflected off the glove of Roy and stayed out.

Saint John’s defense continued to struggled as Pulis broke through and got a good backhand shot off that was denied by DeSerres. Then at 7:44, it looked as though Thomas and Arseneau would drop the gloves. But as Thomas was ready to dance, Arseneau started to skate away. Both received roughing penalties.

The Sea Dogs got some good scoring chances going late in the frame. Phillips walked out from the corner and entered the crease but was denied by Roy. Then Scott Oke, of all people, was sent in alone, performing an amazing deke that saw him try to dangle the puck around Roy. But the Edmonton Oilers prospect kicked out his leg to keep the puck in out if the blue paint.

Bathurst put the nail in the Sea Dogs’ coffin at 13:50 as Gilbert accepted a Danny Chaisson pass and walked around DeSerres to make it a 5-1 game.

Shots in the final period were 9-6 Titan.

Bathurst went 0/4 on the power play while Saint John went 0/2.

NOTES: See Sea Dogs Postscript tomorrow.

NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs travel to Halifax Saturday night to face the Mooseheads at 7:00 pm.

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