FINAL: Baie-Comeau 3, Saint John 9
SAINT JOHN – For part of this game, the Baie-Comeau Drakkar looked like the team that swept the Victoriaville Tigres in the first round. Then at other parts, they looked the 13th seed.
The Saint John Sea Dogs exploded yet again in the second en route to a 9-3 victory over the Drakkar on Friday night at Harbour Station. The win gives the Sea Dogs a 1-0 lead in their best-of-seven quarter-final playoff series.
The Drakkar looked quite good in the first half of the game and managed to keep up with Saint John. But Stephen MacAulay’s pair of goals in the second period which came 33 seconds apart to give the Dogs a 4-2 seemed to be the backbreaker for Baie-Comeau. Saint John went on to score two more times in the frame to lead 6-2 after 40 minutes.
Zack Phillips and Stephen MacAulay each had a pair of goals while singles came from Charlie Coyle, Tomas Jurco, Danick Gauthier, Ryan Tesink and Stanislav Galiev. Coyle, Phillips, Tesink, Charles Roussel and Galiev all had two assists each.
Mathieu Corbeil had a strong performance in net, making several fine saves at key moments. Saint John seemed a bit sluggish coming out of the gate but Corbeil held the fort. The 20-year made 20 saves for the win.
Baie-Comeau, who suffered their first loss of the playoffs, had two goals from Carl Gelinas and a single from Lukas Cingel. Tomas Filippi and Sam Carrier both added two assists.
Rookie backstop Philippe Cadorette allowed eight goals on 27 shots before getting the hook in the third period. He was replaced Jimmy Appleby who made four saves in relief.
Coyle scored the only goal in the first period. At 17:49 on a power play, Coyle jammed the puck up and over Cadorette’s pad to give the Dogs a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Baie-Comeau tied it up on a power play of their own at 4:04. But the tie game was short lived as Tomas Jurco threw the puck in front and off a Drakkar player and in to give the Dogs a 2-1 advantage. The play would be reviewed but the goal would stand. Then with Jurco in the box and the Drakkar on a 4-on-3 advantage, Baie-Comeau quickly tied it up at 6:31 as Gelinas netted his second of the period.
But then MacAulay went into beast mode. At 11:16 following a faceoff win, the St. Louis Blues prospect ripped the puck top shelf to put the Dogs back in front. 33 seconds later, MacAulay gave Saint John a 4-2 lead.
After Jonathan Lessard headed to the box for elbowing Jonathan Huberdeau – who went pointless, by the way – in the face, Phillips gave Saint John some breathing room with his third of the playoffs at 14:41.
Jean-Phillipe Caron nearly got the Drakkar back in the game moments later as he hit the post and was then robbed by Corbeil on his one-timer chance.
Galiev rounded out the second period scoring at 18:46 to make it 6-2 Saint John after 40 minutes. Shots in the middle stanza were 16-8 Sea Dogs.
Gauthier, Phillips, and Tesink all scored within a 4:07 span to give the Dogs a 9-2 lead in the third. Cingel scored some goal at 11:25 but it wouldn’t matter. The Drakkar were getting frustrated in the final frame and were starting to take some dumb penalties.
There was plenty of rough stuff in this game which will set the tone for the rest of the series. Ian Saab returns from suspension tomorrow night. That should be interesting.
Overall shots on goal were 32-23 in favour of Saint John. The Dogs went 3-for-7 on the power play while Baie-Comeau went 2-for-3.
NOTES: See Sea Dogs Postscript tomorrow on SN.
NEXT GAME: Gam 2 of the best-of-seven quarter-final playoff series goes tomorrow night at 7pm at Harbour Station.