Sunday, April 29, 2012

RECAP: Moving On Up. Dogs Win 4-3.

FINAL: Chicoutimi 3, Saint John 4 (OT)

SAINT JOHN – What a night at Harbour Station.

Stanislav Galiev scored at 11:19 of overtime to give the Saint John Sea Dogs a 4-3 win over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in Game 5 of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s semifinals. The victory gave the Sea Dogs a 4-1 series win and a berth in the President’s Cup final for a third consecutive year.

It was Galiev’s second goal of the game who celebrated by diving onto the ice in the neutral zone. It was quite a scene at Harbour Station which was sold out for the first time this post-season. 

Charlie Coyle and Zack Phillips also scored for Saint John. Goaltender Mathieu Corbeil was excellent again, making 38 saves for the victory.

Steve Lebel, Yoan Pinette, and Dominic Poulin all scored for the Sagueneens in the loss. Christopher Gibson allowed four goals on 39 shots.

Chicoutimi certainly gave the Sea Dogs a good run in this series. The three final games all needed overtime with Saint John winning games 4 and 5 and Chicoutimi winning Game 3. If you weren’t entertained by this series, what's wrong with you?

Like most of the games in this thing, it wasn’t a perfect performance by the Sea Dogs. Some things just weren’t clicking. But, the series has been won and the road to Shawinigan keeps getting shorter. 

The Sea Dogs will play either Halifax or Rimouski in the President’s Cup which begins this Friday at Harbour Station.

There was some controversy just 18 seconds in when Jonathan Huberdeau hit Charles Hudon from behind. Hudon had to be helped off the ice and didn’t look good at all. He never returned. Huberdeau didn’t get a penalty for the hit.

Saint John went to the power play at 6:49. At 7:40, a Danick Gauthier shot went off Gabriel Bourret and then off Coyle and then in to give Saint John a 1-0 lead.

The Dogs made it 2-0 just 10 seconds later. Gibson misplayed the puck behind the goal and Tomas Jurco tossed it in front. Phillips banged it in before Gibson could get reset in net to give Saint John an early two-goal lead.

The Sags got on the board before the period ended, though. At 18:57, a Bourret point shot was deflected in by Lebel to make it 2-1. The goal was reviewed but it would stand.

In the dying seconds, Huberdeau crashed the net with the puck while getting tripped up. The play would be reviewed after the period ended but it was called no goal. The Sea Dogs got a power play to start the second because of the trip but could not get much going.

Chicoutimi tied it at 12:35 of the second. Poulin was in the high slot and wired a shot top corner and past Corbeil to tie things at 2-2.

The Sags had plenty of pressure in the second, outshooting Saint John 10-7. But Corbeil played well in net yet again, making some big saves all night long.

In the third, the Dogs took a 3-2 lead at 9:21. Maxime Villemare fed Galiev in front who slid the disc in through a hole between Gibson’s pad and the post to make it 3-2 Saint John.

Not long after the Sea Dogs killed off a penalty, the Sags would tie it up again. Pinette scored at 14:58 to tie things up at 3-3. The goal was reviewed but it was allowed.

The game then headed to overtime. The extra frame saw a lot of back-and-forth action with both teams getting some decent scoring opportunities. But Galiev finally ended things at 11:19 to clinch a series win for Saint John.

Despite being outshot 10-5 in OT, shots in the game were 43-41 Saint John. The Sea Dogs went 1-for-3 on the power play while the Sags went 0-for-4.

NOTES: See Sea Dogs Postscript tomorrow on SN.

NEXT GAME: Game 1 of the President’s Cup final is Friday at 7:30pm at Harbour Station. Tickets go on sale Tuesday morning.

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