FINAL: Shawinigan 1, Saint John 4
SHAWINIGAN, Que. – The final game of round-robin action of the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup proved to be the nastiest.
The Saint John Sea Dogs edged their Quebec Major Junior Hockey League rival Shawinigan Cataractes 4-1 on Wednesday night at a packed Centre Bionest. It was nasty, nasty game with several ugly looking hits, some late game fights and even some yelling between coaching staffs.
Behind all that though, the Sea Dogs played their best game of the tournament so far. They were the better team throughout and were in control for most of the match. They led 2-0 after one and 3-1 after two.
Jonathan Huberdeau led the way with two goals while Ryan Tesink and Stanislav Galiev also had markers. Nathan Beaulieu registered two assists. Goaltender Mathieu Corbeil played well despite being nailed over the back of the head with stick. He made 30 saves in the win.
Shawinigan’s lone goal came from Anton Zlobin late in the second. Goaltender Gabriel Girard made 34 stops in the loss.
The Saint John wins mean they advance to semi-final and the London Knights advance to the final. Shawinigan will take on the Edmonton Oil Kings in tomorrow’s tie-breaker game.
There is a chance Saint John and Shawinigan will meet again if the Cataractes win tomorrow. That would mean Shawinigan would have to play a three-in-three. After tonight’s game, who knows what they have left in the tank.
Saint John had a great opening shift and had a couple of chances but couldn’t deliver.
The Sea Dogs took a 1-0 lead at 4:39. Charlie Coyle fed Jonathan Huberdeau who went skate to stick at the top of the crease and slid the puck in to give the Dogs the early lead.
Shawinigan went to the power play at 6:53 as Nathan Beaulieu headed off but the Cataractes couldn’t get much going.
Back at even strength, a cross ice pass found Beaulieu who fired a hard shot on net that was padded away by Cats netminder Gabriel Girard. Then Shawinigan had a three-on-two heading up ice but Michael Bournival’s shot was stopped by Mathieu Corbeil.
Some four-on-four took place 13:58 as Stephen MacAulay and Marc-Andre Bergeron heading off for slashing and high sticking. Not much happened during the span.
The Dogs headed to the power play at 18:08 after Morgan Ellis high sticked Maxime Villemaire in the neck. Then at 19:05, Pierre-Olivier Morin took a hooking penalty. During the five-on-three, Stanislav Galiev scored at 19:29 to give the Dogs a 2-0 lead.
Shots were 12-11 Saint John in the first.
Early in the second, the Sea Dogs jammed the puck in but it wasn’t called a goal. The play was reviewed and the puck went in but, although the official blew the whistle several seconds after, the official decided he blew the whistle and ruled it no goal.
There were a bunch penalties in the first part of the second period but nothing really happened while the boxes filled up. After the penalties ended around the eight-minute mark, Shawinigan had some pressure on but Corbeil made some saves.
A little later on, Kevin Gagne performed a wraparound but was stopped by Girard. Soon after, Coyle fed Beaulieu who fired it high over the net. Then, Michael Chaput fired one wide at the other end.
Saint John then had a couple of good chances. Coyle fed Danick Gauthier but Girard stopped it. Not long after, a turnover at the blue line was fired down low to Huberdea who was stopped.
Tesink gave the Sea Dogs a 3-0 lead at 16:05. After Girard failed the catch the puck, Tesink banged it in to give the Dogs a two-goal advantage.
At 17:08, Zack Phillips headed to the box. At 18:55 Anton Zlobin managed to push the puck in to make it 3-1 after two.
Shots were 15-9 Saint John in the second.
Coyle blasted the puck from the boards early in the third and fooled Girard but he recovered. Then Huberdeau was in the slot but had his shot stopped.
Huberdeau and Bournival got tangled up at 7:02 and they headed off. A little later on back at even strength, Beaulieu made a great save off a Chaput stop after Corbeil couldn’t get back over.
Soon after, Chaput blasted a shot off the post. The Sea Dogs came back the other way with Gauthier having a good chance but unable to beat Girard.
At 12:36, Jonathan Racine headed to the box after an ugly elbow on Tomas Jurco. Charles Roussel had a golden chance during the power play but was robbed.
After the Dogs were unable to capitalize with Bournival in the box at 15:58, the Cataractes pulled Girard soon after to try and get back in this one. But it wasn’t meant to be as the puck hit the end boards and found a perfectly placed Huberdeau who scored to give the Dogs a 4-1 lead at 18:28.
After that goal, there was all kinds of rough stuff. Players were being tossed left and right. At the final buzzer, Mike Kelly and Eric Veilleux were yelling at each other between the benches.
Shots in the third were 11-11.
Both teams went 1-for-4 on the power play.
NOTES: See Sea Dogs Postscript tomorrow on SN.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs will play in Friday’s semi-final against the winner of tomorrow’s Shawinigan-Edmonton game.