By Tim Lumsden
FINAL: Halifax 4, Saint John 3
SAINT JOHN - It was moose hunting season in the Port City on Friday night as the Saint John Sea Dogs took on the Halifax Mooseheads.
4,672 fans crowded into Harbour Station; eager to welcome the Sea Dogs’ newest import from Philadelphia, PA; 6'4" defenseman Steven Duda.
Energy was high with the first puck drop. It may have been a little too high as Halifax’s Steve Gillard found himself settling into the penalty box for a high sticking call at only 19 seconds into the period.
Austyn Hardie and Michael Mastrangelo got a little too pushy at the 3:33 mark and as a result, both were handed roughing penalties.
Halifax couldn't seem to shake the penalties streak as Brent Andrews took the next penalty for roughing at 6:51, with Mackenzie Weegar soon following for hooking at 7:54.
With the Halifax's parade to the box, the Sea Dogs finally found their momentum. Jurij Repe fired one past Clarke thanks to a nice assist from Oliver Leblanc and Jonathan Huberdeau.
The period would end with Jurij Repe taking an interference penalty at 11:33 and Jakub Izacky for holding at 15:53.
Shots on goal were 15-12 in favour of Saint John.
Looking to copy Saint John's success, the Mooseheads score their first goal only 13 seconds into the second period thanks to Jonathan Druin; assisted by Trey Lewis and Darcy Ashley.
The Dogs went on the penalty kill at 2:35 as newcomer Steven Duda was called for holding.
Captain Jonathan Huberdeau killed the tie at 5:42 giving the Dogs a 2-1 lead with an unassisted goal.
Leblanc went down at 8:58 and Brent Andrews was sent off for 2 minutes for checking to the head.
Saint John went on the penalty kill at 14:27 as Jason Seed took a delay of game penalty while teammate Jurij Repe joined Seed at 15:00 as he was sent off for two minutes for high sticking.
With only 15 seconds left of the Seed penalty, Martin Frk tied the game 2-2, assisted by Jonathan Druin and Nathan MacKinnon.
Shots on goal were dominated by Halifax in the second period, outshooting Saint John 20-7.
Oliver Leblanc started the period off with his first goal of the season at 2:34 giving the Dogs the lead once more thanks to assists from teammates Marcus Cuomo and Andreas Tsogkas. That brought the score to 3-2.
4:27 saw the goal answered as Andrew Ryan fired past Auger, bringing the score back to a tie at 3-3. Austin Hardie grabbed an assist on that goal.
The rink exploded into a roaring cheer from the 4,672 fans in attendance as Jonathan Huberdeau and Martin Frk dropped the gloves at 9:27. They were both handed five minutes for fighting.
Frustrations were growing as the score remained tied with just under seven minutes left in the game. Stephen Anderson and Mackenzie Weegar each earned a roughing penalty behind the Halifax net.
Ryan Tesink took a hard slam to the boards at 13:41 and seconds later Halifax was down another player as Steve Gillard was sent to the dressing room with a checking to the head penalty and a game misconduct.
Seconds later Halifax regrouped, allowing Brent Andrews to score Halifax's unassisted, shorthanded 4th goal on a breakaway.
Ryan Tesink took a seat in the penalty box at 14:42 for tripping.
The Moose would remain on top as the game ended with a shots on goal total of 47-34, in favour of Halifax.
NOTES: See Sea Dogs Postscript tomorrow on SN.
NEXT GAME: The Dogs continue their moose hunt tomorrow night as they head deeper into Moose territory. Puck drops at 7:00pm at the Halifax Metro Centre.