Friday, September 16, 2011

Cooper Nets A Pair In Loss To Eagles

FINAL: Sea Dogs 5, Screaming Eagles 8

SYDNEY, NS – Oliver Cooper’s two-goal performance was not enough on Friday night at Centre 200 as the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles beat the Saint John Sea Dogs 8-5 in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action.

The Sea Dogs led 4-1 at one point but could not hang on. The Eagles scored three goals late in the third period to hand Saint John their third straight loss.

Dany Potvin had a hat trick while David Rose, Cory MacIntosh, JC Campagna, Sebastien Payatte, and William Carrier all had singles. Goaltender Alexandre Veronneau made 22 saves for the win.

Along with Cooper’s pair of goals, Aidan Kelly, Kraig Pasher, and Stephen Anderson also scored. Cooper, Pasher, and Anderson all scored their first goals in the QMJHL.

Charlie Millen allowed seven goals on 36 shots. The eighth goal was an empty netter.

Saint John played well in the later half in the first period and that carried over into the second. The Sea Dogs led 4-1 at the 13:24 mark of the second but were not able to maintain it.

The offense did click better than it has in past games so far this year. Entering the game, the Sea Dogs had scored just one goal in each of their first two contests.

The Dogs fell to 0-3 with the loss – but there is still no reason to panic. Things will get better soon.

Cape Breton went to an early power play as Brock Morrison high sticked David Rose just 41 seconds in. But the Eagles couldn't get much setup and failed to score.

The Eagles had another power play chance at 3:36. The Sea Dogs actually had a dangerous looking opportunity but Devon Oliver-Dares had his pass blocked as he tried to feed Aidan Kelly on a two-on-one.

Saint John went to a power play of their own at 5:25 as Danny Wicks had his stick chopped out of his hands. Felix Potvin had a decent shorthanded chance as he wristed the puck just high in the slot area.

Back at even strength, Zach Shannon was at the faceoff dot and let a shot go but was stopped by Charlie Millen in the Saint John goal.

At 8:42, Rose knocked in a rebound and gave the home side a 1-0 advantage.

Spencer MacDonald and Potvin dropped the gloves at 10:31 in a spirited fight. Potvin got the better of MacDonald as the Sea Dogs defenseman's jersey came off. MacDonald picked up an extra penalty for checking from behind.

On that power play, the Eagles had some good pressure but couldn’t score again.

Late in the period, Saint John began to pick up some momentum. Jason Cameron came down the wing but was denied by the pad of Alexandre Veronneau in the Eagles net. Then, Colin Campbell picked up the puck following an Eagles turnover and let a hard shot go into the pads of Veronneau.

At 18:10, Oliver Cooper walked out from behind the Eagles net and let a shot go. The disc appeard to hit something and then went over the glove of Veronneau to knot the game at 1-1.

Rose took a slashing penalty at 18:55 to give the Dogs a late man advantage chance.

Shots were 13-7 Cape Breton in the first.

The Sea Dogs couldn’t score on the power play that carried over and the game remained tied at 1-1.

At 3:51, Aidan Kelly made a great pass to an open Stephen Anderson. Veronneau was down for about five seconds before Anderson shot, allowing him to dish the puck into the open cage and give the Dogs a 2-1 lead.

The Sea Dogs went to the power play at 5:12. On the ensuing man advantage, the puck was chipped ahead and missed by Kevin Gagne. Gagne raced for it but was covered by the Cape Breton netminder just in time.

Back at even strength, Rose was at the side of the goal with Millen down but he hit the meshing.

Then the Eagles got into some penalty trouble. At 10:34 Kyle Campbell headed off and then at 11:20 William Cochrane went to the box. On the five-on-three, a Gagne point shot was tipped by Aidan Kelly at 11:29 to give the Dogs a 3-1 edge.

The Dogs kept the scoring coming at 13:24. Cooper was at the rim of the faceoff circle and wired the puck up and over Veronneau to give Saint John a 4-1 lead.

The Eagles responded at 14:04 as JC Campagna scored from a sharp angle, beating Millen five-hole to make it 4-2.

Danny Wicks had a decent chance moments later but sent the puck just wide at the side of the goal.

At 15:36, a Stephen Woodworth point shot went through everything and beat Millen to make it a one-goal affair once again. The goal would later be awarded to Potvin.

Saint John had another power play chance at 18:38 but could not score.

Shots in the middle frame were eight apiece.

To start the third, Raman Hrabarenka completely leveled Cooper. The Fredericton native would leave the game for a few moments but would return. Not long after the hit, Denis Kindl ringed one off the post.

Cape Breton went to the power play at 3:51. The Eagles would tie the match at 4:35 as Jonathan Brunelle sent the puck through the blue paint to Cory MacIntosh who scored to make it 4-4.

A few moments later, Gagne was sprung on a breakaway but the puck was blockered away by Veronneau. A little later on, Danny Wicks had an open cage on a wraparound attempt but the Eagles ‘tender stretched to make an unreal stop.

Saint John went to the man advantage at 8:27. Devon Oliver-Dares let a shot go just after he crossed the line that produced a big rebound. But Veronneau dove out to snag and cover the disc.

The Sea Dogs went back to the power play at 10:16. Although they didn’t connect during that two-minute time sequence, they would do so just after it expired. Colin Campbell made a great pass down low over to Kraig Pasher who netted his first career marker to give Saint John a 5-4 lead.

But the Eagles would tie it not long after. At 13:44 with Campbell in the box, a Sebastien Payette point shot was tipped by Potvin to make it a 5-5 contest. The goal went under review and was then rulled a good goal.

Saint John gave the Eagles another power play opportunity at 14:04. Cape Breton had some good pressure but could not score. Their best chance saw Millen rob Hrabarenka at the side of the net.

Then things went downhill for Saint John.

William Carrier banked in his third goal of the year at 17:16 to give the Eagles a 6-5 lead. They made it a 7-5 game at 17:59 when Payatte scored. To finish it off, Potvin scored into the empty net to make it a 8-5 final.

To finish the game off, Tyrone Sock and Felix Jarry dropped the gloves for a scrap.

Shots in the final stanza were 16-14 in favour of Cape Breton.

OPENING NIGHT: It was the first home game of the season for the Screaming Eagles, meaning the game started a little late due to individual player introductions.

NO TURK: Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant was not behind the Sea Dogs bench. He was invited to be a guest coach at Toronto Maple Leafs training camp. He is expected to be back in time for Sunday’s game.

SPARLING: Former Sea Dog Ryan Sparling joined Tim Roszell on News 88.9 during the second period. Sparling, who played with the Sea Dogs from 2005 – 2009, said he would be making a return to the Central Hockey League ranks next season.

LINEUP: Defenseman Ryan Kelly was recalled by the team. Rory Craddock suffered a head injury last weekend according to News 88.9 and did not play.

NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs host the PEI Rocket on Sunday afternoon at Harbour Station at 3pm.

Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

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