Wednesday, March 30, 2011
THE LIGHTS GO OUT IN SYDNEY
FINAL: Sea Dogs 4, Screaming Eagles 0
SYDNEY, NS – The Saint John Sea Dogs won the game and the series on Wednesday night at Centre 200 – both by a score of 4-0.
The Sea Dogs blanked the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, giving them a four-game sweep in the best-of-seven Quebec Major Junior Hockey League first-round playoff series. Saint John now moves on to the quarter-finals which will begin on Friday, April 8 at Harbour Station against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.
On Wednesday, Stanislav Galiev, Jonathan Huberdeau, Michael Kirkpatrick, and Nathan Beaulieu each scored for the Sea Dogs. Zack Phillips recorded three assists in the tilt as well.
Mathieu Corbeil made his first career playoff start and did so in fine fashion, picking up the first shutout of his junior career. He wasn’t too busy though, only facing 15 shots for the win.
Andrew Hayes allowed four goals on 36 shots for Cape Breton.
Like the previous three games, Cape Breton hung around in the first period but faltered the rest of the way. The Eagles couldn’t get anything going on the power play and finished the game at 0-for-7. To make things worse - Saint John scored twice shorthanded.
As expected, Saint John completely dominated this series. In four games, the Sea Dogs outscored the 16th seeded Eagles 26-2. Yikes.
The Sea Dogs are now on to bigger and better the things – the quarter finals – where the real post-season challenges will begin.
Tomas Jurco had the first decent chance of the game as he came down the wing and tried to breakaway. Jurco was able to get a shot off but was stopped easily by Eagles netminder Andrew Hayes. A little later on, Stanislav Galiev sent a backhand on goal through some traffic that hit the side of the net.
Then the boredom hit as both teams skated up-and-down the ice for several minutes, doing nothing in terms of offense.
That thrilling action ended when Jurco centered the puck through the crease and hit the skate of Steven Anthony and stayed out. Soon after, Scott Oke had the best opportunity of the frame as he cranked a wrist shot from long range off the post.
At 14:01, two heavyweights in Alexandre Beauregard and Spencer Metcalfe squared off. Both players got some good punches in. We’ll give the decision to Beauregard who had the better of the shots.
The fight seemed to spark the Eagles a beat as the ever dangerous Dany Potvin was parked at the side of the net down low but sent his shot off the side of the netting.
Stephen MacAulay was called for hooking at the 17-minute mark. Cape Breton had nothing to show for on the man advantage though and the game remained scoreless.
Kevin Gagne headed to the box at 19:23 but the Eagles power play was quickly cancelled out with Logan Shaw heading off at 19:23.
Shots in the first frame were just 4-3 in favour of Saint John.
Simon Despres had the first chance of the period as he one-handed a shot on goal but it was quickly covered by Hayes. Danick Gauthier and Morgan Ellis than turned the physical play up a bit as the two collided to create a huge open ice collision.
Michael Kirkpatrick had an opportunity down low but was robbed by the pad of Hayes. Then Steven Anthony sent a cross crease pass to Jurco but the puck was tipped and covered by the Cape Breton goaltender.
The Sea Dogs finally opened the scoring at 5:00. Zack Phillips came down the wing and sent a shot on goal that couldn’t be handled by Hayes. A short rebound was picked up by Galiev who sailed a backhand shot top corner to give the Dogs a 1-0 lead.
Nick Parker then had a breakaway for Cape Breton but sent a shot into the pads of Sea Dogs goaltender Mathieu Corbeil.
After failing to score on an earlier power play, the Eagles headed back to the man advantage at 8:22 with Anthony going off. But while shorthanded, Jonathan Huberdeau was sprung on a breakaway and pulled off his trademark move to give Saint John a 2-0 lead.
With the Eagles’ power play over, Jurco appeared to try some between-the-legs shot thing but sent the disc wide. Not long after, Huberdeau was fed in front but was denied by the pad of Hayes.
Nathan Beaulieu was called for cross-checking at 19:10. But the power play quickly ended for Cape Breton as Shaw headed off for hooking eight seconds later.
Corbeil was forced to make a big stop during the four-on-four action, robbing Brad Cuzner in front. Play then came up ice with just seconds left. Despres came in and sent a backhand shot on net that was just kept out. A lenghtly review took place over the play but it was ruled no goal. A big scrum on the same play resulted in a couple roughing calls.
Shots in the middle frame were 19-6 Saint John.
On a power play early in the third, Potvin had one of his many chances as the puck rolled on him at the side of the net and couldn’t fire a shot into the empty cage.
The Sea Dogs were called for too many men at 1:19. Corbeil made a nice stop during the session as he made a high shoulder save on a point shot. The Eagles had some good power play pressure but could not get anything through.
Saint John went back to the penalty kill at 5:57 with Anthony in the sin bin. But it would be the Sea Dogs striking during the span as Kirkpatrick broke loose on a breakaway and beat Hayes five-hole to make it 3-0 Saint John.
With Anthony’s penalty over, the Dogs struck again at 9:11. Some nice passing work was finished off by Beaulieu who ripped a shot past the blocker of Hayes to make it 4-0 for the visitors.
The goal woke the Dogs up a bit as they had several minutes of solid pressure. Galiev had a great opportunity in the slot but was denied by the shoulder of Hayes.
Potvin was called for interference at 14:58. Anthony had the best chance on the Sea Dogs’ power play but lost the puck as Hayes went down to attempt at a stop.
Shaw had the last good chance of the game back at even strength, splitting the Saint John defense and wiring a wrist shot into the glove of Corbeil.
Shots in the third period were 13-6 Sea Dogs.
NOTES: See Sea Dogs Postscript tomorrow on SN.
NEXT GAME: Game One of the quarter-finals is expected to be Friday, April 8 at Harbour Station. They will likely play the Victoriaville Tigres.