FINAL: Tigres 2, Sea Dogs 4
SAINT JOHN – A dominant first period was all it took for the Saint John Sea Dogs to down the Victoriaville Tigres in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action on Sunday afternoon.
Stephen MacAulay scored a pair while Stanislav Galiev and Jonathan Huberdeau added singles for the Sea Dogs who picked up the 4-2 win. Frederic Piche made 17 saves in net for the winners.
With the victory, Saint John has now won five straight games and are 8-0-0-0 on Harbour Station ice this season.
Scoring for the Tigres were Guillaume Goulet and Phillip Danault. Antonio Mastropietro was tested throughout the game, stopping 32 shots in the loss.
Just seconds into the game, Mike Thomas put a hard hit on Samuel Groulx in the neutral zone. He left the game immediately and looked as though he was favouring his shoulder.
Shortly after at 3:11, Brandon Hynes was called for holding. On the power play, Stanislav Galiev fed Nathan Beaulieu with a nice cross crease pass but missed the puck. Then on the next rush Galiev hit the post.
At 4:41 the Sea Dogs were given a two man power play opportunity. Galiev had yet another chance in front but was stopped by the pad of Antonio Mastropietro.
Still on the power play at 6:01, Galiev finally got his goal off a scramble in the crease to open the scoring for Saint John.
Just after Danick Gauthier fed Ryan Tesink on a two-on-one but missed the shot, Jonathan Huberdeau entered the zone and skated wide around a Tigres defenseman. He then cut through the crease area and unleashed a forehand shot into the wide open cage to give the Dogs a 2-0 lead.
Victoriaville was forced to take a time-out in order to sort things out following the goal.
After Tomas Jurco hit the post, Anthony Goulet hauled down Huberdeau to give Saint John another power play. Despite some good pressure, the Dogs couldn’t connect. When the penalty expired, Goulet found the puck and went in on a partial break but was denied by Frederic Piche. Not long after, Philip-Michael Devos deked around Piche and sent a pass through the crease but nobody was there to find the disc.
With Michael Kirkpatrick in the box, Stephen MacAulay recorded a shorthanded marker at 19:26. The St. Louis Blues prospect entered the zone on a two-on-one but kept the puck, firing a hard wrist shot into the corner of the net to make it a 3-0 Sea Dogs lead after one.
Shots were 17-3 in favour of the home team in the first.
Victoriaville got their mojo back somewhat in the second period. Carl-Antoine Delisle almost got the Tigres on the board early in the frame when he hit the post. Then, Thomas hit the post at the other end for Saint John.
The Tigres got on the board at 6:43. Piche made a tremendous stop on Yanni Gourde in close but put the goaltender was way out of position to get the rebound. Guillaume Goulet was there to fire the puck over Piche to make it a 3-1 game.
Right after the goal, Jurco had a great chance by sending it through the crease. The Tigres would get some momentum back with a power play at 10:56 but couldn’t produce any good opportunities.
After the Sea Dogs killed off a Beaulieu penalty, a centering pass in front almost found Simon Despres but the puck was deflected at the last minute.
The Sea Dogs went back to the power play at 14:40 when Vincent Marcoux was called for boarding. The Tigres would kill it off but would be forced to go back to work when Devos hooked MacAulay in front. Victoriaville would, however, kill it off again.
A much better period for the Tigres allowed them to win the shots on goal battle 11-7.
Despres almost broke through the Victoriaville defense in the early part of the third but opted to fire a shot through the legs of a defender. The puck went way wide of the net.
The Tigres got within a goal at 4:13 when Philip Danault beat Piche on a rebound down low to make it a 3-2 game.
But Saint John would get a lot of quality scoring chances following the goal. First, a point shot produced a big rebound to Jurco who backhanded it on net. Then a pass from the corner found Jurco in front who then deked around Mastropietro but couldn’t get the puck by him. Kirkpatrick had a good chance in front followed by Zach Phillips unleashing a one timer that was stopped by the pad of the Tigres goaltender.
After Victoriaville killed off yet another power play, the Tigres pulled their net minder. Mike Thomas appeared to score on the empty net from the blue line but it was ruled off-side. But with six seconds remaining in the game, MacAulay picked off a Maillet’s pass in front of the net to make it a 4-2 final.
Shots in the third were 12-5 Saint John.
The Sea Dogs were 1/6 on the power play while the Tigres were 0/4.
NOTES: See Sea Dogs Postscript tomorrow.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs will face one of the QMJHL’s expected heavyweights on Friday when they travel to Bathurst for a 7:30 pm affair with the Titan.