Sunday, April 24, 2011

POSTSCRIPT: MAINEiacs 1, Sea Dogs 4

SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Sea Dogs to a 2-0 series lead in their semifinal playoff series against the Lewiston MAINEiacs thanks to a 4-1 win in Game Two on Saturday night at Harbour Station.

It was a pretty solid game for the Sea Dogs and was a much better one than on Friday night when the team needed overtime to defeat the 5-4 Maineiacs in Game One.

The Sea Dogs got off to a good start as Michael Kirkpatrick made it 1-0 just 2:16 in. Saint John had control of the play for most of the frame, outshooting the Maineiacs 17-6.

In the second period, things opened up a bit. Olivier Dame-Malka nailed Jonathan Huberdeau from behind and was given a game misconduct and five-minute major penalty. The penalty proved costly as the Dogs would score three times with Malka in the box. Stanislav Galiev, Kevin Gagne, and then Huberdeau – on a five-on-three man advantage – all netted markers to make it 4-0 Saint John after two.

Lewiston would get on the board in the third period as Kirill Kabanov scored at 9:54 on a delayed penalty. But the Russian’s goal wouldn’t be enough as the Dogs sailed to a 4-1 victory.

The Sea Dogs sported the same lineup as they did for Game One of the series. Forwards Jason Cameron, Aidan Kelly, and defenseman Jason Seed were all healthy scratches.

The Sea Dogs made the bold move of replacing goaltender Jacob DeSerres with Mathieu Corbeil in the second half of Game One’s third period on Friday night. Corbeil played well, backstopping the Dogs to a 5-4 overtime victory.

Head coach Gerard Gallant explained to move to Lewiston Sun Journal:

"It was a genius move," Gallant joked. "To be honest with you, I was frustrated. Nothing against Jake DeSerres. That fourth goal was a great shot. But sometimes you have to pull the goalie anyway. I wasn't going to pull him right away. I waited until the timeout just so it was casual."
On Saturday, Corbeil was given the start and once again put forth a solid performance. The netminder looked very comfortable; more so than at times during the regular season. He showed plenty of confidence, coming out to play the puck and keeping square with his shooters.

The 19-year old Columbus Blue Jackets prospect made 24 stops in the win. In three playoff appearances, Corbeil has been playing in record setting fashion. From the Sea Dogs website:

Mathieu Corbeil made 24 saves for the win and established a new team record by running his shutout streak to 121:43 before allowing a third-period goal to Kirill Kabanov.
The turning point of the game came at 7:57 of the second period when Olivier Dame-Malka nailed Jonathan Huberdeau from behind. Huberdeau lay flat on the ice for several minutes while Malka was escorted off to the dressing room.

Here be the video:

Malka was given a five-minute penalty and a game misconduct. The Sea Dogs would score three times on the man advantage, making it 4-0 at that point.

Huberdeau left the ice with the help of two teammates and looked a little dazed as he left. He would return in time to score on the man advantage, though.

Is this hit suspension worthy? The QMJHL, like the NHL, seems to be all over the map when it comes to plays like this. We shall wait and see.

Michael Kirkpatrick’s nose didn’t get in his way of scoring the team’s first goal of the match. He also added an assist, was a plus-one, and had three shots.

In the dying moments of Game One, Kirkpatrick went awkwardly into the boards and cut his nose badly thanks to his visor. Via Sea Dogs equipment manager David Kelly, here’s the pic of his nose following the incident.

Nicholas Champion didn’t play horribly but got the yank following the Sea Dogs’ fourth goal. Champion allowed four goals on 33 shots and now has a 2.81 goals against average and a 0.913 save percentage in 13 post-season games.

Andrey Makarov came in in relief. He made a few big saves but wasn’t tested as much as Champion, stopping all 13 shots he faced.

There were a lot of “Champion Sucks” signs at Harbour Station, which may or may not have affected his play.

Maineiacs head coach JF Houle spoke his thoughts on the game to the Canadian Press:

“You can’t be in the penalty box against this team,” Maineiacs coach Jean-Francois Houle said. “We ran out of juice (after the major) and we had nothing left. We were flat and we just didn’t have the fire in our hearts that we had (in Game 1). You can’t be undisciplined against this team.”

Houle said his team came up short in other areas as well.

“I didn’t think we competed hard
From SeaDogsTV:

Nathan Beaulieu had a team high eight shots on goal for the Sea Dogs… Ian Saab and Stefan Fournier had a team high four shots each for the Maineiacs… Eric Gelinas led the way with five hits for Saint John… Cameron Critchlow had a team high five hits for Lewiston… to relive the game, check out the SN Live Blog Replay… for photos of the game, check out Marc Henwood’s album.

The Quebec Remparts and Gatineau Olympiques are now knotted at 1-1 after the Remparts won Game Two, 3-2.

Game Three of the series is Tuesday night at 8:00 PM at Androscoggin Bank Colisee.

Photo Credits: Marc Henwood/Station Nation, Marc Henwood/Station Nation, David Kelly

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