GATINEAU, Que. – It wasn’t a good night for the Saint John Sea Dogs on Wednesday.
The Sea Dogs got roughed up by the Gatineau Olympiques in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action at the Robert Guertin Arena, falling 5-1 to the team they defeated in six games to capture the President’s Cup last May.
Meeting for the first time since the league final, Saint John had difficulty producing any kind of offense. Their only goal came from Tomas Jurco in the second period.
The Sea Dogs fell behind early but had opportunities to get back into the game when it was still in reach. But bad penalties and an ineffective power play cost the Dogs on this night. One of the penalties included Ian Saab’s five-minute major for checking from behind, a hit that will definitely be examined by the QMJHL disciplinary folks.
Saint John did manage to outshoot Gatineau 23-20 however, mostly because of the third period that saw the Dogs win the shots-on-goal battle 13-0 in the frame.
Mathieu Corbeil allowed five goals on 20 shots to pick up his second loss of the season.
Gatineau had a pair of goals from captain Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Mathieu Gagnon, Alexandros Soumakis and Christian Ouellet also scored in the win. Francois Lacerte made 22 stops in net.
The Sea Dogs will look to get back in the win column as their road trip continues on Friday in Rouyn-Noranda and Saturday in Val-d’Or.
Gatineau went to the power play at 1:51 as Jason Cameron headed off. On the man advantage following a huge hit from Charles-Olivier Roussel, a pass through the crease found Mathieu Gagnon at the side of the net who scored to give the home side a 1-0 advantage.
A few minutes later there was a scramble in the Gatineau crease but no Saint John player could push the disc over the line. The Olympiques grabbed the puck, springing Jacob Conrad on a breakaway but was stopped. Sea Dogs netminder Mathieu Corbeil was pushed into the goal on the play, causing Gatineau to celebrate. It would go under review and would not count.
Saint John went to the power play at 8:15 but did nothing. Nathan Beaulieu ended the man advantage as he headed off at 9:32 for knocking the stick out of the hands of Gatineau goaltender Francois Lacerte.
Back at even strength, Jean-Gabriel Pageau was in front but was denied by the leg of Corbeil.
The Olympiques went up 2-0 at 16:06. The puck came to Alexandros Soumakis at the side and made no mistake, doubling Gatineau’s lead.
Stephen MacAulay and Guillaume Rousseau dropped the gloves at 17:05 for the first scrap of the night.
A few moments later at 17:19, Ian Saab laid a dangerous hit from behind on Soumakis in the Sea Dogs zone, a hit that would eject him from the game and give Gatineau a five-minute power play. Saab and Christian Ouellet would fight following the hit. Soumakis was helped off the ice by his teammates and did not return.
As the buzzer sounded, Jonathan Huberdeau hit someone from behind which led to Rock Regimbald and Beaulieu dropping the gloves for a solid fight behind the Gatineau goal.
Shots were 9-4 Gatineau in the first.
On a two-man advantage just 25 seconds in, Pageau scored down low to give Gatineau a 3-0 lead.
It looked as the ‘Piques scored again just a few moments later but it was immediately ruled a high stick and the goal was called back.
Back at even strength, a pass in front hit Danick Gauthier’s leg but Corbeil was sharp and kept it out. Saint John then had a huge power play opportunity at 5:04 but they failed to score.
The Sea Dogs finally connected at 10:54. Gauthier dropped the puck to Tomas Jurco who fired a hard wrist shot past Lacerte to make it a two-goal contest again.
A few minutes later at 14:28, Rousseau hit Huberdeau from behind but the officials made the unbelievable move to give the Sea Dogs a diving penalty. Gerard Gallant lost it on the Saint John bench. Unbelievable call. And of course at 14:49, Christian Ouellet scored on the power play to make it a 4-1 game.
The Sea Dogs went back to the man advantage at 15:48 but once again couldn’t produce much offense.
At 18:49, Pageau snipped his second of the game past Corbeil to make it 5-1 after two.
Shots were 11-6 Gatineau in the middle frame.
After struggling all game, the Sea Dogs played okay in the third period.
Early on, Scott Oke fed Cameron who fired a shot on Lacerte but was denied. Then Aidan Kelly was stopped in front.
Saint John went to the power play at 9:17. The Dogs had some okay pressure on but that was about it.
At 11:29, the visitors went back to the man advantage. Jurco had a couple of good chances but Lacerte shut the door.
That was about it for the third. Shots were 13-0 Saint John.
Gatineau went a solid 3-for-5 on the power play while Saint John went a disappointing 0-for-5.
NOTES: See Sea Dogs Postscript tomorrow on SN.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs are in Rouyn-Noranda to face the Huskies at 8:30pm on Friday.