CHARLOTTETOWN – Prince Edward Island was in the spotlight, but it was Saint John picking up the victory on Hockey Day in Canada.
The Sea Dogs won their eighth straight game on Saturday afternoon in Charlottetown, defeating the PEI Rocket 5-0 in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action.
Team captain Jonathan Huberdeau had a huge game, recording a hat trick and adding an assist in his first star performance. Charlie Coyle and Danick Gauthier added the other Saint John goals.
Tomas Jurco also had a big game, registering four assists. Nathan Beaulieu had two helpers.
Mathieu Corbeil recorded his sixth shutout the season, stopping all 22 shots he faced. He wasn’t tested a whole lot but made a few nice stops.
PEI netminder Maxime Lagace allowed five goals on 32 shots.
Overall, it was a solid performance by the Sea Dogs. They outshot the Rocket 32-22, scored a power play and goal and a shorthanded marker.
The Sea Dogs and Rocket meet again this Wednesday at the Charlottetown Civic Centre. Before that though, Saint John will host the Acadie-Bathurst Titan tomorrow afternoon at 3pm at Harbour Station.
Tomas Jurco and Jonathan Huberdeau entered the zone together on a two-on-one, creating the first legit scoring opportunity of the period. Jurco fed Huberdeau but he couldn’t get a shot off.
On the same shift at 4:12, Jurco’s shot was squeezed by Maxime Lagace in the Rocket crease but couldn’t quite squeeze enough of it. Huberdeau was at the side of the net and pushed it in to give Saint John a 1-0 lead.
PEI headed to the power play at 4:25. Majej Beran was at the side of the goal but sent it wide in what was a decent power play by the Rocket.
Back at even strength, Stanislav Galiev, testing out that surgically repaired wrist for the first time in game action, blasted the puck just wide. Soon after, Charlie Coyle went into power forward mode and made his way down the wing. He threw the disc in front for Zack Phillips who couldn’t hit the open cage.
The Rocket headed back to the man advantage at 12:39. While shorthanded at 14:32, Jurco fed Coyle with a great pass and had an open net to give the Dogs a 2-0 advantage.
At 15:36, Alex Gallant and Grant West dropped the gloves for a terrific fight. Both players were throwing bombs.
Shots in the opening 20 minutes were 16-5 in favour of Saint John.
Early in the second period, the Rocket were buzzing a bit. Ben Duffy was in front but Mathieu Corbeil made the save with his chest. Then Victor Provencher had a breakaway but was denied by Corbeil.
At 7:51, Jimmy Oligny and Ian Saab mixed it up but during a line change. Both received delay of game penalties. During the four-on-four, Danick Gauthier had a step on the Rocket defense but couldn’t fire a backhand shot past Lagace. Then Nathan Beaulieu cut out in front but was stopped as well.
Back at even strength, Maxime Villemaire let a solid shot go that was gloved by the Rocket ‘tender.
At 11:23, Saint John headed to the power play and then at 11:41 they went to a 5-on-3 man advantage. On the power play, Phillips fed Huberdeau who had a completely wide open net to five Saint John a 3-0 lead.
Some more rough stuff took place at 13:56 as Villemaire and Olivier Croteau dropped the gloves in the corner for a decent scrap. A few minutes later, Jurco had another good chance but couldn’t connect.
PEI headed back to the power play at 15:52 as Galiev headed off but couldn’t get anything going. Saint John would end the period on the man advantage but were unable to extend their lead.
Shots were 9-4 Saint John in the middle frame.
On the power play that carried over into the third, the Sea Dogs couldn’t get anything going.
Saint John made it a 4-0 game at 1:42. Huberdeau cut in front and slid the puck past Lagace to complete his hat trick.
PEI had a couple of chances soon after the Huberdeau goal. A Jessyko Bernard shot was barely stopped by Corbeil as he just managed to keep it from going over the line. The play was reviewed and the no-goal call stood. Then, Olivier Jodoin came down the wing and forced the Sea Dogs goaltender to make a big glove save.
A few moments later, Jurco fed Huberdeau on another 2-on-1 but the play fell apart just after they crossed the line. The puck was then sent ahead to Alex Noel who was in alone only to have the play broken up nicely by Nathan Beaulieu.
Jurco then made another unreal move, spinning and passing to Charles Roussel who couldn’t connect.
The Sea Dogs made it 5-0 at 17:38 as Huberdeau made a nice pass over to Gauthier who roofed it past Lagace.
The teams exchanged penalties late in the frame but it wouldn’t matter as the Dogs cruised to victory.
Shots were 13-7 for the home side in the third period.
Saint John went 1-for-3 on the power play while PEI went 0-for-4.
MISSING IN ACTION: Forwards Jason Cameron (serving the first game of a four-game suspension), Devon Oliver-Dares (broken collarbone), and Ryan Tesink (knee) were all out of the lineup on Saturday.
WELCOME BACK: Stanislav Galiev played in his first game since October 1 on Saturday because of a broken wrist that required surgery. Galiev played mostly on the third line but looked pretty good and fired a few hard shots. He finished the game with two shots, two penalty minutes, and three hits.
RECORDS: Nathan Beaulieu’s first period assist gave him 135 career points, allowing him to pass Simon Despres for the most points all-time by a Sea Dogs defenseman. He added another helper in the second period.
Mathieu Corbeil also made history on Saturday. According to the Sea Dogs website, he “set a new team record with his 43rd career win, surpassing Robert Mayer. Corbeil also extended his shutout total to six, another franchise best."
HIGHLIGHTS: Here are the highlights, featuring a great fight between Grant West and Alex Gallant.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs host the Acadie-Bathurst Titan tomorrow at 3pm at Harbour Station.