FINAL: Wildcats 4, Sea Dogs 3
SAINT JOHN – For the second straight night the Saint John Sea Dogs came up just short against the Moncton Wildcats.
The Wildcats beat the Sea Dogs 4-3 on Saturday night at Harbour Station, giving Saint John a 0-2 start to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s pre-season. Moncton edged the Dogs 3-2 on Friday night at the Red Ball Internet Centre.
Saturday featured a much more entertaining game than Friday’s as both teams played at a higher pace and had more legitimate scoring opportunities.
Ludlow Jr Harris scored twice while Maxime Pitre and the highly touted Brandon Shea – making his pre-season debut – each added singles. Brandon Thibeau and Jordan Kennedy combined to make 31 saves. Thibeau allowed two goals on 16 shots while Kennedy allowed one on 18.
Newfoundlander Danny Wicks was in beast mode for Saint John and scored twice. Brock Morrison, who also found the score sheet on Friday, scored the other marker. Charlie Millen stopped 14 of 17 shots while Sebastien Auger allowed a goal on nine shots.
Like Friday’s match, the scoring opened in the first minute of the game. Only this time it would be Saint John who would come out flying as Morrison netted the puck just 26 seconds in past Thibeau.
The Wildcats would even the match up at 1-1 at 14:49 as Harris scored. But with eight seconds remaining in the opening frame, Wicks sent the Sea Dogs to the dressing room up a goal.
In the second, Harris scored his second of the game at 3:15 to tie things up. Then Pitre put the ‘Cats ahead 3-2 at 5:04. On a power play at 12:13, Wicks would tie it up at 3-3.
At 1:12 of the third, former Fredericton ‘AAA’ team-mates Oliver Cooper and Craig Langille dropped the gloves for a short tilt.
It wasn’t until 16:16 of the final frame that another goal would be scored. With Auger a bit out of position, the puck deflected off Shea’s skate and in to give Moncton a 4-3 advantage.
Saint John would have a flurry of chances in the final 30 seconds but couldn’t tie it.
Shots were 34-26 in favour of the home team.
It was another penalty filled affair as Saint John went 1-for-9 on the man advantage and Moncton went 0-for-7.
The Sea Dogs have a week to prepare for their next pre-season game where they will host the PEI Rocket at the Quispamsis qplex.
Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation