QUISPAMSIS – The Saint John Sea Dogs produced a dramatic comeback to earn their first victory of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League pre-season in front of a packed house at the qplex in Quispamsis on Saturday night.
The Sea Dogs found themselves down 3-1 and 4-2 at points during the third period but climbed back to eventually defeat the PEI Rocket 5-4 in a shootout. Brock Morrison continued his strong pre-season play with two goals while Aidan Kelly and Alexandre Beauregard added singles. Jonathan Huberdeau scored the lone shootout marker to clinch the win.
Mathieu Corbeil made his first appearance of the year, making nine stops in 30 minutes and 36 seconds of play. Sebastien Auger took over for him at the halfway point, making 12 stops on 15 shots. He denied the Rocket on all three of their shootout attempts.
Saint John improved to 1-2 in exhibition play after losing both games last weekend against the Moncton Wildcats. The Dogs close out their home-and-home series with the Rocket tomorrow night in Charlottetown.
The Rocket, who fell to 1-2, had goals courtesy of Josh Currie, Tomas Pavelka, Dylan Capstick and Victor Provencher. Maxime Legace allowed a goal on 14 shots through two periods of action while the newly acquired Antoine Bibeau allowed three markers on nine shots.
The Rocket opened the scoring at 14:59 of the opening frame while playing shorthanded. Currie came down the wing and sniped the puck top shelf past Corbeil to make it a 1-0 affair.
Saint John was unable to tie the match until Morrison connected at 13:31 of the second. But just over two minutes later, Pavelka scored PEI’s second shorthanded marker to give them their lead back. Capstick would score at 17:31 to put the Rocket ahead 3-1 heading into the dressing room.
Just 53 seconds into the third period, Kelly brought some life back into the qplex crowd as he beat Bibeau to make it a 3-2 game. But the Rocket quickly got their two goal lead back as Provencher scored at 3:39.
While shorthanded at 8:43, Alexandre Beauregard scored to make it a one-goal game again. Finally, at 18:16, a mad scramble at the side of the PEI net was finished off by Morrison at 18:16 to send the game into extra time.
The exhibition match went straight to a shootout. Huberdeau shot first and surprised nobody on the entire planet by doing his trademark move. That would be all the Sea Dogs would need as Auger denied all three Rocket shooters.
Shots were 25-23 in favour of PEI.
The Sea Dogs went 0-for-8 on the man advantage while the Rocket went 0-for-9. Despite having 17 combined power play opportunities there were goals scored while a man up. There were however three shorthanded markers.