CHARLOTTETOWN – What a night for the Saint John Sea Dogs.
The Sea Dogs led 4-0 after one and 7-0 after two in a 10-1 blowout victory over the Prince Edward Island Rocket on Wednesday night at the Charlottetown Civic Centre. The win was Saint John’s 10th straight, making the Dogs the first Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team to crack the 40-win mark.
Jonathan Huberdeau, Tomas Jurco, and Maxime Villemaire all scored twice while Charlie Coyle, Stanislav Galiev, Danick Gauthier and Oliver Cooper added solo markers. Coyle, Huberdeau, and Ryan Tesink each had a pair of assists as well.
Mathieu Corbeil stopped 21 of 22 shots he faced to pick up the win. He also earned an assist on Villemaire’s first goal.
This was a dominating performance by Saint John. PEI only managed to record eight shots on goal through the first 40 minutes.
The biggest story in this game was the rough stuff. There were a combined four fights, 37 penalties, and 92 penalty minutes. Alex Gallant and Villemaire each had two fights. This was a nasty game that escalated as the contest went on. The teams meet again next month at Harbour Station for possibly the final time this year.
Alex Noel had the lone Rocket goal, scoring early in the third period to make it a 7-1 game at the time. Maxime Lagace allowed four goals on eight shots before getting pulled. Atoine Bibeau allowed six goals on 26 shots in relief.
The Sea Dogs will put their winning streak on the line as the country watches on Friday night against Quebec. Game time at Harbour Station and broadcast time on Sportsnet is 8pm.
A wild first period kicked off at 1:31 as Maxime Villemaire and Wes Herrett dropped the gloves for a solid scrap.
The Sea Dogs made it 1-0 at 4:15. Nathan Beaulieu sprung Jonathan Huberdeau on a breakaway, allowing the Sea Dogs’ captain to deke to the backhand and give Saint John an early lead.
A few moments laters, a Kevin Gagne shot from inside the line was deflected on goal, forcing Rocket goaltender Maxime Lagace to make a nice save.
Saint John doubled their lead at 9:58. The puck came in front and was put in by Oliver Cooper, giving the rookie 10 markers on the season.
The Sea Dogs made it a 3-0 game at 11:14. Charlie Coyle tried to centre the puck but it snuck in past Lagace instead to give Saint John a commanding lead. The second fight of the period took place just after Coyle scored as Stephen MacAulay and Jimmy Oligny squared off.
During some four-on-four play, Tomas Jurco fed Huberdeau down low but was denied by Lagace. On that play, PEI took a penalty, sending Saint John to the power play. On the man advantage, Jurco finished off a nice passing play to give the Dogs a 4-0 lead at 14:15. That would chase Lagace from the net and was replaced by Antoine Bibeau.
Then at 15:20, Ales Gallant and Grant West squared off for another epic tilt. It was the third time this year they dropped the gloves against each other.
Saint John headed back to the power play at 16:24. During that span, Bibeau made a nice pad save on Ryan Tesink at the side of the goal.
At 18:53, Huberdeau belted Ben Duffy along the boards and was given a roughing and boarding call. Danick Gauthier and Matej Beran squared off in a semi-fight after the hit. PEI got a power play out of all of it.
Shots in the first period were 11-3 in favour of Saint John.
55 seconds into the second period, Villemaire went in alone and snapped a wrist shot past Bibeau to give the Dogs a 5-0 lead.
PEI headed to the power play at 1:42 as Stanislav Galiev headed off. While shorthanded, Saint John somehow entered the Rocket zone on a three-on-one. Tesink fed Jurco who fired home his second of the game to extend Saint John’s lead to 6-0. The Rocket did have a decent chance on that power play, though, as Matthew Bursey hit the post.
At 6:33, Saint John made it 7-0. Villemaire was in front and beat Bibeau with a low shot to give him two markers on the night.
Villemaire’s eventful period continued at 8:10 as he Gallant dropped the gloves. It was a wild scrap as Villemaire was issued a double minor for head-butting. At the end of the fight, the Sea Dogs forward lost it a bit after Gallant got a late shot in and tried to escape the referee to get back at the Rocket winger.
The Rocket went to the power play at 14:17. Duffy had a good chance at the side of the goal but had his shot blocked.
Shots in the middle frame were 13-5 Sea Dogs.
The Rocket got on the board at 1:13 of the third period. Alex Noel beat Mathieu Corbeil between the legs, making it a 7-1 game.
Zack Phillips headed to the box for four-minutes at 1:33 after high sticking a PEI player. Nathan Beaulieu then headed off at 4:52 to give PEI a two-man advantage. They had some decent pressure on the power play but were unable to add another.
The Dogs went to the power play at 6:40. Gagne fired a shot from the point and was tipped in by Danick Gauthier at 8:04 to restore Saint John’s seven-goal lead.
They made it a 9-1 game at 8:44 as Stanislav Galiev beat Bibeau with a sharp angle shot. These were some bad times for the Rocket.
A little later on, Jurco had a good chance but tipped the puck just wide. Huberdeau got the Dogs in double-digits at 12:40, netting his second of the game on a nice pass from Gauthier.
Jason Seed took a tripping penalty at 18:21. After the final buzzer, there was some rough stuff but it wouldn’t matter as the Dogs went on to win 10-1.
Shots were 14-10 PEI in the final frame.
The Sea Dogs went 2-for-4 on the power play while the Rocket went 0-for-7.
NOTES: See Sea Dogs Postscript tomorrow on SN.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs host the Quebec Remparts on Friday night at 8pm at Harbour Station. The game can be seen live on Sportsnet.
Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation
Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation