Saturday, April 21, 2012

RECAP: Keep On Rolling. Dogs Win 4-1.

FINAL: Chicoutimi 1, Saint John 4

SAINT JOHN – In a hard fought Game 1, the Saint John Sea Dogs scored three times in the third period to take a 1-0 series lead over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens on Friday night at Harbour Station top open up the semifinals.

Stanislav Galiev scored the eventual game winner at 2:18 of the third. He sped away from the Chicoutimi defense and then cut through the goal crease, pushing the puck and Christopher Gibson’s leg across the goal line. Jonathan Huberdeau and Danick Gauthier would add insurance markers.

Pierre Durepos scored the other Saint John marker. Kevin Gagne registered three assists while Charlie Coyle added two.

The big story was the play of goaltender Mathieu Corbeil. The Sea Dogs goaltender played one of his best games of the season and made 24 saves for the win. He was sensational in the first period as he made a couple of terrific stops to keep it scoreless. He was named the game’s first star.

Chicoutimi netminder Christopher Gibson played very well despite the loss. He made 29 stops and was named the contest’s third star. Mathieu Gagnon scored Chicoutimi's lone goal.

This game certainly felt like a playoff game. It was intense, physical, and a bit nasty at times. There was good goaltending, some good defensive play, and a few nice goals. This should be an entering series.

The Sags were able to stick with the Dogs until the third period. It was scoreless after the first period and tied 1-1 after two. Chicoutimi was outshooting Saint John entering the final frame.

The two teams have a day off to work on some things. Game 2 will be held on Sunday afternoon at Harbour Station.

Despite having over a week off, Saint John got off to a quick start and showed no signs of rust. That ended when Huberdeau joined Stephen MacAulay in the penalty box at 6:40 to give the Sags a long five-on-three power play. But Saint John would kill it off thanks to a massive pad blocker save by Corbeil that saw him stretch across the paint to cover a wide open goal.

Some rough stuff took place at 16:08 after Gauthier made contact with Gibson behind the goal. The Sags got another power play but couldn’t get much going.

Mathieu Gagnon opened the scoring at 6:16 of the second. Gagnon fired a point shot that hit something and found its way past Corbeil to give Chicoutimi a 1-0 lead.

The teams would exchange some power play opportunities in the middle frame as the physical play heated up. But neither team had much luck on the man advantage.

Finally at 17:02, the Sea Dogs would strike. Durepos fired a point shot through some traffic that beat Gibson to make it a 1-1 affair after two.

In the third, Galiev gave the Dogs a 2-1 lead at 2:18 as he turned on the jets, cut through the crease and pushed the puck across the line. Corbeil received an assist on the goal.

Saint John took a 3-1 lead at 3:39. The puck was loose in front and Huberdeau was all alone. He walked around a fallen Gibson and fired the puck over him to give the Dogs some insurance.

The scoring summary came to an end at 10:12 on a power play when Galiev fed Gauthier to put the Dogs in front 4-1.

Shots were 33-25 in favour of Saint John by the end of it. The Dogs went 1-for-3 on the power play while the Sags went 0-for-5.

NOTES: See Sea Dogs Postscript tomorrow on SN.

NEXT GAME: Game 2 is Sunday at 3pm. Be there.

Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

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