FINAL: Sea Dogs 4, Titan 5
BATHURST – It wasn’t the way the Saint John Sea Dogs wanted to open up the second half of their Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season.
The Sea Dogs blew a 2-0 first period lead as the Acadie-Bathurst Titan battled back to win 5-4 Thursday night at the KC Irving Regional Centre.
Bathurst scored three straight goals after falling behind 2-0 early. The Titan would fight all game despite the Sea Dogs tying the match up twice. A late third period goal by Jeremie Malouin iced the game for the home team who were also playing their first match of the second half.
Gabriel Levesque, Jonathan Lessard, Jeremie Blain, and Daivid Gilbert also scored for Bathurst. Robert Steeves made 32 saves in the win.
For Saint John, Kevin Gagne, Steven Anthony, Stanislav Galiev, and Scott Oke all scored. Frederic Piche was pulled in the second period after allowing four goals on 15 shots while Jacob DeSerres made 17 stops in relief.
Just a few minutes in, Tyrone Sock turned the puck over in front, giving Sebastien Trudeua a glorious chance. But Saint John goaltender Frederic Piche was able to dive and get a piece of it to keep it scoreless.
Not long after, Guillaume Cloutier fired a shot from the point that hit something on its way by and forced Titan netminder Robert Steeves to make a nice save. Then, Stephen MacAulay centered the puck for Mike Thomas at the top of crease but Steeves was there to keep it out with a nice pad stop.
Saint John opened the scoring at 7:28 when Kevin Gagne fired the puck from just above the faceoff circle and through a mild amount of traffic to make it 1-0 Sea Dogs.
Gabriel Levesque had a great opportunity for the Titan moments later when he was left alone in the slot. But a Saint John player got his stick in the way and deflected the shot high and wide of the cage.
After Danick Gauthier put a big hit on Jeremie Malouin at the blue line, the newly acquired Marc-Olivier Mimar had a solid chance for Bathurst but was robbed by the glove of Piche.
A questionable call against Ryan Tesink at 14:47 gave Bathurst a power play chance. With just a few seconds left in the man advantage, Jeremie Blain was called for hooking at 16:28 and put an end to the Titan’s power play.
On the man advantage at 17:16, Nathan Beaulieu fired the puck down low to Steven Anthony who stood along the goal line. Anthony walked out and fired a shot on Steeves who made the save, but the Vancouver Canucks prospect pounced on the rebound to make it a 2-0 Sea Dogs lead.
New Sea Dog Alexandre Beauregard collided with Daniel Tanel at 18:27, giving Bathurst a power play. Zach O’Brien had the puck along the goal line and walked out in front, feeding Levesque at the side of the net to make it a 2-1 affair heading into intermission.
Shots in the opening stanza were 14-6 in favour of the visitors.
The Sea Dogs went to the power play 16 seconds into the second period but could not connect. A few minutes later, Bathurst had a great chance to tie the match in front but was denied by the pad of Piche.
Sock was called for tripping at 4:13. On the man advantage, Jonathan Lessard let a point shot go that was stopped by Piche. A big rebound was produced and Lessard skated in and beat Piche with a shot that just barely rolled across the line to make it a 2-2 affair.
The goal seemed to lift Bathurst as they a several minutes of solid offensive pressure. Yoan Pinette centered the puck in front but the pass deflected off a skate and out of danger. Then David Gilbert tried to jam the disc past the pads of Piche but had no such luck.
Shortly after Trudeau missed a breakaway pass, the Titan would take the lead. Blain fired a point shot through traffic at 8:44 and skimmed past the glove of Piche to make it a 3-2 Titan game.
But Saint John would respond just over a minute later at 9:58. Beaulieu let a point shot go that was stopped by Steeves but he couldn’t handle the rebound. Stanislav Galiev pulled off a small deke to beat the Bathurst backstop and tie the match once again.
But the Titan would keep coming. At 12:07, Mimar sent a pass ahead to Gilbert who went in alone. The Chicago Blackhawks prospect made a move to the forehand to give Bathurst a 4-3 advantage. Piche would get the hook following the goal, giving way to Jacob DeSerres.
At 12:34, Zach Phillips was whistled for tripping. Lessard had the best power play chance for the Titan when he was robbed by the leather of DeSerres on a backhand shot.
Shots in the middle stanza were 13-7 Bathurst.
Pinette had the best chance early in the third when he ripped a rebound shot just high and over the glove of DeSerres. Then a few moments later, a shot from below the circle caused a scramble in the crease. Zach Phillips found the loose puck and flipped out of danger. Unfortunately, the puck went up and over the glass and was given a penalty for his actions.
While shorthanded, Jonathan Huberdeau and Steven Anthony broke in on a two-on-one. But Huberdeau was taken down and couldn’t get a shot off. That would be the only decent scoring chance even though it was a Bathurst power play.
At 7:22, a Cloutier shot from inside the line was stopped by Steeves and the puck dribbled to the side of the net. Scott Oke poked the puck across the line to tie the match up once again, this time by score of 4-4.
After several minutes of back-and-forth junk, the Sea Dogs fourth line caused a solid scramble in the crease that forced Steeves to make a quick stop.
Disaster struck for Saint John at 17:01. Jordan Murray dished the puck out of a small scramble just below the dot. Murray sent a beautiful cross ice pass to Malouin who had an open cage to make it a 5-4 Titan lead.
The Sea Dogs pulled DeSerres in the final minute for the extra attacker. Despite having five forwards on the ice in the final minute, the Dogs couldn’t get a needed marker as the Titan went on to win 5-4.
Shots in the third period were 15-14 Saint John.
Bathurst went 2/5 on the power play while Saint John went 1/2.
SAINT JOHN SCRATCHES
Tomas Jurco is away with Team Slovakia and Simon Despres is away with Team Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Buffalo, making them unavailable for the Sea Dogs.
Forward Jason Cameron was the lone healthy scratch.
There was an unreal pre-game ceremony to honour “So You Think You Can Dance Canada” star and Bathurst native Janick Arseneau.
Arseneau was escorted onto the ice in a convertible. At center ice, a bunch of people stood on the carpet and did some kind of dance thing. It took forever; News 88.9 had about five minutes straight of commercials.
Alexandre Beauregard made his Sea Dogs debut Thursday after being acquired last week. He started the game on a line with Stanislav Galiev and Michael Kirkpatrick, filling the spot usually filled by Tomas Jurco.
Beauregard finished the game with one assist, a +1 rating, no shots, two penalty minutes, 3/4 on faceoffs, and had one shot.
The grinder wore Chris DiDomenico’s old No. 25.
Frederic Piche allowed four goals on 15 shots before being pulled… decent crowd for a Thursday night game in Bathurst: 1,816… Michael Kirkpatrick had a team high seven shots. Three of them were considered dangerous… Stanislav Galiev was a team best +2… Danick Gauthier left in the second period and did not return... two of Saint John's five regulation loses have come in Bathurst... Jacob DeSerres was the News 88.9 Top Dog… to relive the match, check out the SN Live Blog Replay.
Saint John, Sea Dogs 4 at Acadie-Bathurst, Titan 5 - Status Unofficial Final
Thursday, December 30, 2010 - Centre régional K.C. Irving
Saint John 2 1 1 - 4
Acadie-Bathurst 1 3 1 - 5
1st Game Period-1, Saint John, Gagné 5 (Anthony, Huberdeau), 7:28. 2, Saint John, Anthony 12 (Beaulieu, Huberdeau), 17:16 (pp). 3, Acadie-Bathurst, Lévesque 17 (O'Brien, Trudeau), 18:47 (pp). Penalties-Tesink Snb (tripping), 14:47; Blain Bat (hooking), 16:28; Beauregard Snb (tripping), 18:27.
2nd Game Period-4, Acadie-Bathurst, Lessard 17 (Blain, Lévesque), 4:39 (pp). 5, Acadie-Bathurst, Blain 1 (O'Brien), 8:44. 6, Saint John, Galiev 17 (Beaulieu, Beauregard), 9:48. 7, Acadie-Bathurst, Gilbert 14 (Lessard, Mimar), 12:07. Penalties-Murray Bat (charging), 0:16; Sock Snb (tripping), 4:13; Phillips Snb (tripping), 12:34.
3rd Game Period-8, Saint John, Oke 5 (Cloutier, Phillips), 7:22. 9, Acadie-Bathurst, Malouin 5 (Murray, Pinette), 17:01. Penalties-Phillips Snb (delay of game), 4:21.
Shots on Goal-Saint John 36. Acadie-Bathurst 33.
Power Play Opportunities-Saint John 1 of 2; Acadie-Bathurst 2 of 5.
Goalies-Saint John, Piché 13-2-0-2 (15 shots-11 saves); DeSerres 12-1-0-0 (18 shots-17 saves). Acadie-Bathurst, Steeves 7-2-0-0 (36 shots-32 saves).
Referees-Guy Pellerin (17), Jonathan Langille (12).
Linesmen-Ryan Burke (46), Christian Boudreau (48).
Game Three of the 2010-11 Brunswick News Rivalry Cup goes tomorrow at 7:30 pm at Harbour Station.