BOISBRIAND – Ryan Tesink, Tomas Jurco and Nathan Beaulieu couldn’t have returned to the Saint John Sea Dogs lineup at a better time.
All three contributed in the Sea Dogs’ 3-1 win over the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada on Wednesday night at Centre d'excellence Sports Rousseau.
Tesink, Jurco and Beaulieu – all playing in their first game back from National Hockey League training camps – each scored in the victory. Zack Phillips had two assists.
Mathieu Corbeil had a strong night in net, making 30 stops in his third straight start. He was named the contest’s first star.
Raphael Pouliot scored the lone goal for the Armada. William Racicot made 19 stops in the loss.
It was a pretty entertaining hockey game that even featured quite a bit of pushing and shoving after whistles. It certainly wasn’t a perfect game by the Sea Dogs but it got the job down.
The Dogs, after a 0-3 start, are now 4-3 and have won four straight.
Just a few moments into the game, Nathan Beaulieu broke loose and had an extra step on everyone down low. He flipped the puck on net but was denied by the pad of Armada netminder William Racicot. Soon after, Stanislav Galiev let a point shot go that was stopped as well and deflected into the corner.
Saint John went to the power play at 4:25. The Dogs had some good pressure but could not connect.
Back at even strength, the puck was stolen at the dot in the Armada zone. Jason Cameron let a blast go that was stopped by Racicot. Then, Pierre Durepos fired a point shot and was denied.
Boisbriand then started to get some pressure on. Raphael Pouliot let loose a solid looking point shot that was stopped by the chest of Mathieu Corbeil.
The Sea Dogs went back to the man advantage at 10:36 as Christopher Clapperton headed off. On the power play, Tomas Jurco nailed the post in his first game back from Detroit Red Wings training camp.
Scott Oke was called for tripping at 12:41. On the power play, a strange sequence resulted in the puck bouncing off the crossbar and out. That would prove to be the Armada’s best opportunity.
Back at even strength, a turnover by the Armada net almost resulted in a Galiev goal but couldn’t fire one home.
Clapperton had a great chance later in the frame as he took a pass from along the boards and went alone but was robbed by Corbeil.
Olivier Picard took a slashing penalty at 18:48 to give the Dogs a power play to open the second frame.
Shots were 13-8 for the home side in period one.
The Sea Dogs couldn’t connect on the power play that carried over into the frame. The Armada went to the man advantage at 2:48 after Stephen MacAulay nailed Clapperton. Boisbriand couldn’t get much of anything going on the power play, though.
The Armada kept the pressure on that they had started in the first period. In a mess in front of the goal, a good looking backhand shot from someone stretched Corbeil out to make the save.
Some more rough stuff resulted in some four-on-four play at 5:36. Jess Tanguy had the best opportunity as her fired the puck just wide in front. Then back at even strength, Zack Phillips was at the line and let a wrist shot go that was easily stopped by Racicot.
The Sea Dogs made it a 1-0 game at 12:01. Phillips setup Ryan Tesink in the slot who snipped the disc upstairs and past the Armada goaltender to give the visitors the lead.
Not long after at 14:50, Michael Clarke entered the zone one-on-one against Durepos who was without his stick. He made a beautiful little move to get around the Sea Dogs defenseman just inside the line and passed over to a streaking Raphael Pouliot who banged the puck in to tie it at 1-1.
Later on, Galiev fed Danick Gauthier with a cross ice feed but he couldn’t convert.
With 38 seconds remaining in the frame, Nathan Beaulieu fired a blast from just inside the line that was stopped. Jurco was on the doorstep to score his first of the season and give Saint John a 2-1 edge after 40 minutes.
Shots were 12-7 Armada in the middle frame.
The Sea Dogs went to the power play just 56 seconds into the third period. On the ensuing man advantage, Beaulieu blasted the puck from just inside the line and zoomed past Racicot to give Saint John a 3-1 lead.
A few minutes, Aidan Kelly cranked one off the post.
After the two exchanged power play opportunities with nothing happening on either, Clapperton had a partial break but he was denied by Corbeil.
Spencer MacDonald headed to the box at 9:24. On the pwer play, Clarke came out from behind the net but sailed the puck high and over the cage.
Back at even strength, Galiev was tripped up at the blue line but no call was made.
The Sea Dogs headed to yet another man advantage at 16:22. A turnover in front gave Tesink a great chance but was stopped. Jurco was there to collect the rebound but missed the yawning cage.
In the final minute, the Armada had some decent pressure on but couldn’t score again.
Shots were 7-6 Saint John in the final stanza.
The Sea Dogs went 1-for-6 on the man advantage while the Armada were 0-for-4.
Notes: See Sea Dogs Postscript tomorrow on SN.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs have Thursday to prepare for Friday’s match in Drummondville. Game time is 8pm AST.