Saturday, March 26, 2011

POSTSCRIPT: Screaming Eagles 0, Sea Dogs 10

FINAL: Screaming Eagles 0, Sea Dogs 10


SAINT JOHN – Complete domination by the Saint John Sea Dogs gave them a 10-0 victory over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles Friday night at Harbour Station. The Sea Dogs now have a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Quebec Major Junior Hockey League opening round playoff series.

It was a bit of shaky first period and the Sea Dogs led just 1-0 after one. But Saint John kicked it up a notch in the second period, scoring seven times and adding two more in the third period.

Zack Phillips scored four times, Stanislav Galiev had a pair of goals, and singles came from Eric Gelinas, Tomas Jurco, Mike Thomas, and Ryan Tesink. Jacob DeSerres made 19 saves in net for the shutout.

“We capitalized on our opportunities,’’ Saint John head coach Gerard Gallant said to the Telegraph-Journal. “The first period was a little slow, but after that we took control. It’s nice to see your power play work.’’

Forwards Jason Cameron and Aidan Kelly along with defenseman Jason Seed were all healthy scratches.

One of the biggest debates going into this game: would Sea Dogs captain Mike Thomas touch the Jean Rougeau Trophy?

The answer was a definite yes as the fifth-year Sea Dog picked the hardware up off of the table at centre ice. QMJHL Commissioner Gilles Courteau was on hand to present the regular season championship honour to the Sea Dogs franchise. It was the second straight year that Saint John has won the award.

Last season, Thomas chose not to touch the trophy and the Sea Dogs lost in the President’s Cup Finals. In 2008, Sidney Crosby did not touch the Eastern Conference Championship trophy and the Pittsburgh Penguins lost in the final. The next year, Crosby picked up the trophy and the Pens went on to win the Stanley Cup. Thomas and the Sea Dogs hope to have the same luck.

The team also received its second straight Luc Robitaille Trophy for most goals scored, and first ever Robert LeBel Trophy for best goals-against average. According to the Sea Dogs website, “it’s the first time in the 10-year history of the Luc Robitaille Trophy that a team has won both the Robitaille and LeBel.”

Despite the lopsided score, it was only 1-0 after 20 minutes of play.

Compared to some of the games they have played in at Harbour Station this season, it wasn’t a bad period by Cape Breton. They were only outshot 14-9 and had a few good scoring chances. Sea Dogs goaltender Jacob DeSerres made a huge glove save on Logan Shaw early on and then two players hit the post.

Saint John’s defense was a bit slow getting going and the team played somewhat ‘blah’ in the opening frame. The Dogs also took six penalties in the first period.

Cape Breton head coach Mario Durocher had a rough night. Not only did his team lose 10-0 in the first game of the playoffs, but he was ejected late in the second period after yelling and trying to get a referee’s attention for several minutes.

Durocher just wasn’t helping his team out at all as his actions gave Saint John some power play time. He wouldn’t close the bench door for some reason and stood screaming at the officials.

What a coach, what a human.

Sadly, his team seemed to play better without him as his team allowed just two goals in the third period compared to the seven allowed in the second.

He left to a round of cheers from the crowd at Harbour Station. He put on a good show. We give him 4/5 stars.

Zack Phillips started the post-season on a high note. The Sea Dogs’ second best scorer from the regular season lit up the Eagles, recording four goals and adding an assist. All four of his markers were on the man advantage.

His first goal at 6:15 of the second period came after Nathan Beaulieu and Jonathan Huberdeau both hit the post, allowing Phillips to bang the dancing puck into an open cage. At 6:48, Beaulieu sent a laser of a cross ice pass down low to Phillips who went roof daddy on Eagles netminder Andrew Hayes.

Fast-forward 18:26 of the middle frame, Phillips recorded his hat trick goal after another nice cross ice feed from Beaulieu. A few pieces of head ware found the ice after the goal.

In the third, Phillips became the first player in franchise history to record four goals in one game. At 14:31, a Stanislav Galiev wrist shot hit a skate and deflected to the Fredericton native who quickly got the puck on goal to make it a 9-0 game at that point.

At 2:50 of the third period, Stephen MacAulay and Marc-Andre Kaiser dropped the gloves for a short tilt. As the video shows, they also try to fight the 50/50 draw.

Unreal playoff haircuts… the Sea Dogs seven-goal second period outburst was the most goals scored in one-period in franchise history… Zack Phillips had a team high six shots for the Sea Dogs… Morgan Ellis, Cory MacIntosh, and Denis Kindl each had four shots for Cape Breton… Alexandre Beauregard had six hits… bunch of Eagles players had two hits… Saint John has never lost a playoff series when they have won the first game… the Dogs are 1-4 all-time against the Eagles in the playoffs. This was their first win against them… the 10 goals ties a franchise record for goals in a playoff game... for pictures from the game, check out Marc Henwood’s photos on Facebook.

The Sea Dogs and Eagles tango again tonight at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station in Game Two of their first round series.

Photo Credits: Marc Henwood/Station Nation, QMJHL website, Marc Henwood/Station Nation

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