Sunday, March 13, 2011
SIXTH STRAIGHT FOR SAINT JOHN
FINAL: Sea Dogs 4, Screaming Eagles 1
By Station Nation Staff
SYDNEY, NS – The Saint John Sea Dogs continue to march their way to Quebec Major Junior Hockey League history.
With a 4-1 victory on Sunday afternoon over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles at Centre 200, the Sea Dogs are just two wins away of tying the all-time QMJHL record for wins in a single season and three wins away from breaking that number.
According to the Sea Dogs website, they are “just two short of the record of 58 victories established by the Sorel Eperviers in 1973-74 and matched by the Trois-Rivieres Draveurs in 1978-79. The Sea Dogs sit at 56-6-1-2 with three games remaining.”
The Sea Dogs travel to Charlottetown on Wednesday for their final road trip of the season. They close out the season at home with games on Friday against Cape Breton and Sunday against the PEI Rocket.
On Sunday afternoon in Sydney, Aidan Kelly, Stanislav Galiev, Alexandre Beauregard, and Jonathan Huberdeau all scored for the winners. Beauregard’s second period goal was a shorthanded marker while Huberdeau’s empty net goal was his 100th point of the season, making him the first Saint John player to reach triple digits in a single season.
Saint John held a 1-0 lead after one and a 3-0 advantage after two. Goaltender Mathieu Corbeil, making his third straight start as Jacob DeSerres recovers from illness, made 19 saves in net.
The win was also Saint John’s sixth straight.
The Screaming Eagles’ only marker came in the third period from Denis Kindl. Goaltender Andrew Hayes made a few beauty saves and faced 34 shots on the afternoon.
Simon Despres sent a long shot on goal early in the frame through some Aidan Kelly traffic and was stopped nicely by Eagles netminder Andrew Hayes.
Some rough stuff after a whistle at 3:32 created some four-on-four action. During the span, Zack Phillips was in the slot area but whistled the puck wide of the goal. The puck somehow bounced to the side where Jonathan Huberdeau nearly banged the disc in but couldn’t.
With both teams back at full strength, Saint John opened up the scoring at 7:38. A pass from behind the goal found Aidan Kelly in front who quickly beat Hayes with a wrister to give the Sea Dogs a 1-0 lead.
Soon after, Kelly had another chance. A big point shot created a bigger rebound but Kelly wasn’t able to beat Hayes. The Eagles then started to pick things up as Nick Parker made a nice move to get around a Saint John defender but was poke checked by Sea Dogs ‘tender Mathieu Corbeil. Jean Kristoff Grenier then let a backhand shot go in front but was denied by the pad of Corbeil.
Saint John then came back the other way a few minutes later. It was the fourth line again as Ryan Tesink and Scott Oke broke in on an two-on-one. Oke tried to cut in front but had the puck taken off his stick blade nicely by a diving Wes Herrett.
Hayes made his best stop of the frame as the period was nearing an end. The puck quickly came around the bottom of the boards behind the cage and went straight to a wide open Michael Kirkpatrick. The Sea Dogs’ 20-year old had a yawning cage but was robbed by a cross crease sliding Hayes who snagged it with the leather.
The Eagles went to the man advantage late in the frame at 19:28 and it would carry over into the second period.
Shots in the opening stanza were 12-7 Saint John.
The Eagles opened the period up on a man advantage but couldn’t get much going and failed to even the affair.
The Sea Dogs then fired up the engines for the second frame. A short pass down low found Huberdeau who was going to the net but was denied by the pad of Hayes. A point shot was then unleashed that produced a huge rebound but sailed high and wide of any Saint John players.
Kirkpatrick had another great chance moments later. Tomas Jurco centered the disc for Kirkpatrick down low and made a move through the crease but was robbed by Hayes. The rebound went to Jurco in the slot area but he was also stopped.
There was a few minutes of nothing happening until Dany Potvin was called for hooking at 11:14. Phillips had a decent chance along the goal line but was stopped by the pad of Hayes. Then a Jurco shot was deflected but stayed out.
With the man advantage over, Saint John broke in on a two-on-one. Galiev fired the puck on net but was stopped but he was right there to pick up the rebound. The Russian put home the garbage to give the Dogs a 2-0 lead.
The Sea Dogs took a too many men penalty at 14:57. But it didn’t seem to matter as the Dogs were all over Cape Breton. At 16:28, Mike Thomas dropped the puck to Alexandre Beauregard who made a nice toe drag an Eagle defender and then beat Hayes with a lethal shot to give the visitors a 3-0 advantage.
With the penalty expired, Saint John kept the pressure on. Ryan Tesink had a good scoring chance on the backhand following a nice move but was denied. In the dying moments, Beauregard riffled the puck off the Cape Breton crossbar from the dot.
Shots in the second period were 16-5 in favour of the Sea Dogs.
Just 22 seconds into the third period, Huberdeau nailed Spencer Metcalf from behind and was given a penalty for his actions. A big scrum ensued behind the Cape Breton crease but nothing else would come out of it. On the man advantage, Cory MacIntosh had a decent scoring chance but was denied by the glove of Corbeil.
When the penalty expired, William Carrier was at the side of goal trying to jam one past the Saint John goaltender but Corbeil would hang on.
Mike Thomas was called for roughing at 6:49 but the Eagles could not get anything out of the power play.
When that penalty expired, Galiev fed Phillips but was stopped by the glove of Hayes. Then, Galiev was in front and had a clear shooting lane but fired wide of the cage.
After Saint John couldn’t score on a man advantage of their own, the Eagles would connect at 14:35. Denis Kindl made some slick moves to around two Sea Dogs players and then sent a backhand shot past Corbeil to make it a 3-1 game.
MacIntosh kept the Cape Breton pressure on following the goal as he was robbed by the leather of the Sea Dogs backstopper.
Hayes would stayed on the bench after an Eagles time-out with just over a minute to go. But any chance of a comeback was ruined when Potvin took down Danick Gauthier on a partial breakaway in the neutral zone, giving the Dogs a late power play.
At 19:53 and Hayes still on the bench, Thomas dished the puck to Huberdeau who scored his 41st goal of the season and 100th point overall into the empty cage to ensure a Sea Dogs victory. There was some rough stuff after the goal but it would not matter as Saint John cruised to a 4-1 victory.
Shots in the final frame were 8-6 Cape Breton.
The Dogs went 1-for-3 on the man advantage while Cape Breton went 0-for-4.
NOTES: See Sea Dogs Postscript tomorrow on SN.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs travel to Charlottetown on Wednesday to play the PEI Rocket at 7:00 pm.