Sunday, April 10, 2011
TIGRES CLAW BACK
FINAL: Tigres 3, Sea Dogs 2
SAINT JOHN – Most fans were not prepared for what they witnessed on Saturday night at Harbour Station. For the first time in almost a year, the Saint John Sea Dogs lost a home game in regulation time.
The Victoriaville Tigres, who beat Saint John in regulation time on the road during the regular season, were the winners by score of 3-2. But much more importantly than ending Saint John’s streak, the Tigres evened the best-of-seven quarter-final playoff series at 1-1.
Given the Sea Dogs’ home dominance this season and Victoriaville being the 11th-seeded team, it is a surprise to see this series knotted at 1-1. But the Tigres seem to enjoy surprising people after sweeping away the sixth-seeded Acadie-Bathurst Titan in the first round.
Victoriaville used their traditional trap game thing and the Dogs couldn’t break through it. Even when they did, the sensational goaltending of David Honzik kept the Dogs from lighting the lamp very much. From a Saint John perspective, it was a frustrating game.
The Tigres got off to a good start, jumping out to a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. At 17:34 on a power play, Brandon Hynes scored followed by Phillip Danault at even strength at 19:30 to put the visitors up a couple going into the second frame.
The two-goal deficit sparked the Sea Dogs as they dominated the second period. Although they only outshot Victoriaville 18-6, they carried the play for the majority of the stanza. At 12:42 on a man advantage, Jonathan Huberdeau tapped the puck past the pad of Honzik to make it a one-goal affair.
The Sea Dogs continue to buzz as the third period started. At 3:01, Steven Anthony blasted a shot that bounced off the crossbar but appeared to somehow stay out. Play carried on for a short amount of time before a whistle went, allowing the play to be reviewed. The goal review lasted long enough to eat an entire tray of nachos, but finally, after a solid 10 minutes, the phone was put and was ruled a goal.
But just when it looked like the game may be destined for overtime, Eric Gelinas was called for slashing at 15:33. On the man advantage, Danault lifted the puck over a falling Jacob DeSerres to give the Tigres a 3-2 lead with just a few minutes remaining.
Pier-Luc Pelletier took an elbowing penalty at 19:02 which, with DeSerres on the bench, would allow Saint John to finish regulation with a 6-on-4 advantage. The Sea Dogs had control of the puck in the Victoriaville zone but couldn’t break through the Tigres to tie it.
Shots in the match were 43-29 in favour of Saint John.
The Tigres went 2-for-3 on the power play and have now scored three of their four goals in this series on the man advantage. Saint John did not allow a power play goal in the opening round.
The Sea Dogs scored both of their markers in the man advantage, going 2-for-6.
The series is a whole lot more interesting know and will shift to Victoriaville for Games Three, Four and Five on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.
NEXT GAME: Game Three of the series is Tuesday night at Colisee Desjardins at 8:00 pm.