By Tim Lumsden
The Saint John Sea Dogs took on the Moncton Wildcats at Harbour Station on Saturday night. 2,150 fans attended the first QMJHL exhibition home game of the season.
Saint John outshot Moncton 31 to 27 but were unable to secure the win.
Andreas Tsogkas was called for high sticking only 39 seconds into the first period. His trip to the penalty box gave Moncton's Dmitrij Jaskin the opportunity to snap one past Sea Dog goaltender Sebastien Auger, scoring the first point of the game and giving the Wildcats a 1-0 lead at 1:37. Yannick Veilleux took the assist.
At the 5:49 mark, Ryan Tesink found himself sent to the box for slashing. Once again Moncton was on the power play. Shortly after, Allain Saulnier snagged the second point of the game with his brother Alex Saulnier and Dmitri Jaskin assisting.
Brett Malone and Jonathan Racine each pulled penalties around 10:30 but Saint John was unable to score during their power play.
Auger made a series of really big saves as the Dogs net was assaulted once more.
With under a minute left of the first period, Wildcat Myles McGurty recieved a holding call and once again the Dogs were on the power play. Sea Dogs newcomer Andreas Tsogkas capitalized on the advantage and scored the first goal of the game for The Dogs with only 36 seconds left.
Shots on Goal: 5 - 12 in favour of the Wildcats.
Keeping pace with the first period, Moncton took penalties early on. Brayden Wood recieved two minutes for tripping only one minute into play. 37 seconds later Ryan Penny received five minutes and a game for checking to the head before being sent off the ice for the rest of the game.
Once again the power play was kind to Saint John with Aidan Kelly leveling the score 2-2.
Moncton's penalties continued with Allain Saulnier taking two minutes for hooking and Yannick Veilleux being handed 10 minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Goal number three for Saint John was scored by Stephen Anderson, assisted by Jakub Izacky. Once again Saint John was in the lead. 3-2.
Michael Mastrangelo and Moncton's Ross Johnston battled it out at center ice at 7:54, each spending 5 minutes in the box to cool down. Following suit from other 25's before him (Beauregard, Villemaire) it's nice to see that Mastrangelo has no fear of dropping the gloves.
Allain Saulnier tied things up again at 8:36 with his unassisted goal.
Penalties were handed out like candy on Halloween at 9:25 as David Stephens started things off with high sticking. Jonathan Racine was next with two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct followed by Myles McGurty with 10 minutes for misconduct. Saint John didn't get away completely unscathed as Ryan Tesink also took a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Last penalty of the period went to David Weckworth for crosschecking at 13:06.
Shots on Goal: 14-4 in favour of the Sea Dogs.
Final period saw a switch in goaltender for Saint John as Alex Fournier replaced Sebastien Auger.
Jaskin took on fournier at 3:38. Despite an inspiring 360 spin, Fournier could not connect with the puck and Moncton took the lead 4-3.
Ross Johnston received two minutes for high sticking at 8:16 followed by Saint John's Tsogkas drawing a hooking penalty at 10:08.
The Wildcat power play brought success as David Stephens increased the lead 5-3. This would end the scoring for the evening, but not the penalties.
Two minutes for high sticking went to Christophe Lalonde followed by Jonathan Racine and Saint John's Jonathan Huberdeau each taking two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct, but it was Racine who also took a 10 minute misconduct.
The Saint John Sea Dogs called a time out with just over a minute left as they tried to regroup, but the Dogs were unable to score.
Shots on Goal: 12-11 in favour of the Sea Dogs
NEXT GAME: Saint John takes on the Halifax Mooseheads in Halifax on September 14. Puck drops at 7:00 pm