Saturday, May 26, 2012

RECAP: Closing Time. Dogs Lose 7-4.

FINAL: Shawinigan 7, Saint John 4

SHAWINIGAN, Que. – It wasn’t meant to be.

The Saint John Sea Dogs’ season came to a crashing end on Friday night at Centre Bionest as the rival Shawinigan Cataractes won the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup semi-final game 7-4.

You could say plenty about this game but the bottom line is this – the Cataractes were the better team tonight and deserved to win. It’s these win-or-go-home games that make the Memorial Cup so awesome and so heartbreaking.

They Cats will now play the London Knights in Sunday’s Championship Final. There will be a new Memorial Cup champion.

The Sea Dogs opened the scoring early in the first but they would never lead again. When Brandon Gormley scored to make it 2-1 Cataractes, you just got the feeling that this could be a rough night. And it was just that as Shawinigan scored three times in the final half of the third to win 7-4.

Shawinigan had a pair of goals from Michael Chaput and singles from Yannick Veilleux, Brandon Gormley, Pier-Olivier Morin, Loik Poudrier, and Michael Bournival. Anton Zlobin had three assists while Gormley added two. Gabriel Girard made 24 saves in the win.

Saint John had two goals from Tomas Jurco and a marker each from Zack Phillips and Jonathan Huberdeau. Mathieu Corbeil allowed six goals on 36 shots in the loss.

From a Saint John standpoint, this is no doubt disappointing. This team was consider favourites to win the Memorial Cup by many and were ranked No. 1 in the Canadian Hockey League for much of the season. This was the last year for this core of players. But at the Memorial Cup, anything can happen. 

But at the same time, there are only two teams in the entire CHL who can say they made it further than Saint John. Even though it didn’t end with a national title, this has to be considered one of the best three-year runs in CHL history. It's some kind of ride and fans should be proud of what this team has accomplished. 

We could reminisce further, but we’ve got all summer to do that. On to the final recap of the year.

Saint John opened the scoring at 4:29. Zack Phillips fired a wrist shot through a bit of a screen that seemed to fool Gabriel Girard a bit. That made it 1-0 Saint John.

But the Cataractes would tie it up at 6:51. Mathieu Corbeil made the initial stop but Michael Bournival was able to squeeze it in. The light came on but the referee made no single. They went upstairs and the puck clearly crossed the line to tie things up at 1-1.

Then at 9:24, Brandon Gormley fired a shot from the point through some traffic that beat Corbeil to give Shawinigan a 2-1 edge. There was plenty of controversy on the play though as Stanislav Galiev was hit with a high stick and was down injured when the goal was scored. No call was made.

The Sea Dogs went to the power play 11:31. At 12:35, Kevin Gagne fired a point shot that was tipped nicely by Tomas Jurco to tie the match up at 2-2.

A little later on, the puck went off the end boards behind the Sea Dogs goal and bounced in front but Maxim Le Sieur couldn’t jam it in.

The Dogs headed back to the man advantage at 16:20. They had a few good chances but couldn’t score. Back at even strength, Charlie Coyle cut through the crease but couldn’t connect.

Shots in the first were 10-8 in favour of Saint John.

The Dogs had a power play just 23 seconds in. Loik Poudrier had a good chance while shorthanded but couldn’t connect. Then Shawinigan went to the man advantage at 3:46. They had some good pressure but couldn’t score.

The Cats had a lot of pressure on after the power play but Corbeil made a few saves. Then at the other end, Jonathan Huberdeau performed a wraparound but was stopped by Girard.

The Cats took a 3-2 lead at 9:14. Le Sieur centered the puck and it went off Poudrier’s skate and in to put Shawinigan in front and get the crowd jumping.

Ryan Tesink headed to the box and got a 10-minute misconduct at 10:19. On the power play, Michael Chaput scored at 10:39 on a nice feed from Michael Bournival to put Shawinigan ahead 4-2.

It was all Cataractes in the second period. The Dogs had a power play at 13:34 but did nothing.

At 15:27, Phillips headed to the box to send the Cats back to the man advantage. But at 16:39, Huberdeau fired a bouncing shot from his own blue line that fooled Girard to get the Dogs back in it and make it a 4-3 game.

The rest of the period was back-and-forth after the Dogs picked up some momentum from the goal.

Shots were 20-8 Shawinigan in the second period. The Dogs were dominated.

After a back-and-forth opening to the period, the Cats headed to the power play at 6:36 as Danick Gauthier headed off. The Cats couldn’t get much going though as the Dogs shut things down.

The Dogs tied it up at 9:16. Phillips won a faceoff and Jurco crept into to the top of circle who then fired a low shot that beat Girard to tie things up at 4-4.

Gormley headed to the box at 10:43 to send the Dogs to the power play. Jurco had a good chance but wasn’t able to connect.

Then at 13:14, Morgan Ellis let a point shot go was tipped by Yannick Veilleux and past Corbeil. That would prove to be the game winner.

The Dogs pulled Corbeil with just over a minute left but Chaput would score the empty netter to put the Cats ahead 6-4 at 19:08. Pier-Olivier Morin would add another one with 10 seconds left to make it a 7-4 final.

Shots in the third were 10-9 Saint John.

The Cataractes went 1/6 on the power play while the Sea Dogs went 1/5.

NOTES: See Sea Dogs Postscript tomorrow on SN.

NEXT GAME: See you in August. 

1 comment:

  1. the dogs had and amzing season very proud to have got the chance to be a season ticket holder ... but what i wanna know is how a team who cant win a presdents cup in there own leauge can make it to the memorial cup final the sea dogs clearly had the better team when u look at our players compared to theres its kinda ironic but sad to say i seen this comeing 2012 has been such a weird year for sports ... if u look at the NHL this year the top team expected to make the stanley cup finals were all knocked out this year but u gotta admit the expectations for this years dogs was hudge i mean going in the play offs in first place comeing out with very few loss and makeing it to the memorial cup once again the dogs had an unreal season with so much to talk about .... if u look at our players compared to the cats thoe we should have deff won another cup sure the cats played a better game tonight and we did not deserve to win but we were so much more stronger then them saint john had so man key players unlike the cats were they had made 1 line but oh well u cant win them all i guess and better luck next year and cheers to a great season.... looking foward to the rebuild !!! and hope we host the memorial cup next time its the qmjhls turn and mabye win a cup on our home ice for the first time ever now that would make me feel so much better compared to tonight... im sure the hardcore dogs fans would agree with me when i say that this game was a heart breaker.