FINAL: Saint John 5, Rouyn-Noranda 1
ROUYN-NORANDA – The Saint John Sea Dogs are on a roll.
With a 5-1 victory over the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies on Wednesday night, the Sea Dogs have now won four straight games. They now sit two games above the .500 mark with a 14-12-0-0 record.
It was a big night for Saint John’s veteran players once again. Kevin Gagne had two goals and two assists while Jonathan Huberdeau and Ryan Tesink each had a goal and two assists. Stephen Anderson scored the Sea Dogs’ other goal.
With three points, Huberdeau tied Michael Kirkpatrick’s team record for most points as a Sea Dog with 251. He’ll have a chance to break that record tomorrow night in Val-d’Or.
Sebastien Auger had a great game in net, making 24 saves in a second star performance. He made some very nice stops to keep the Sea Dogs in control.
Saint John never trailed in this game. They opened the scoring just five minutes into the first and never looked back. They led 2-1 after one and 3-1 after two.
The Huskies, who had their three-game winning streak snapped, had their lone goal scored by Sven Andrighetto. Robin Gusse was pulled in the third after allowing four goals on 20 shots. Alexandre Belanger made eight saves in relief.
Solid road win for Saint John. Their trip continues tomorrow in Val-d'Or.
Both teams had some chances early. Oliver Cooper had Saint John’s first chance as he performed a wraparound move.
The Sea Dogs went to the power play at 4:36. There was a big scramble in front of Huskies goaltender Robin Gusse and Ryan Tesink was able to find the puck and put it in to give the Dogs a 1-0 lead at 5:00.
Soon after, a Huskies shot beat Sea Dogs goaltender Sebastien Auger and rolled behind him but Kevin Gagne was there to make an alert play and keep it out.
Matthew Highmore had a break following a media timeout but could not connect for his first goal. It was his first great QMJHL scoring chance.
Jonathan Huberdeau was sent to the box at 10:03 for hooking. Not a whole lot happened on the Huskies power play.
The Sea Dogs made it a 2-0 game at 13:45 as Kevin Gagne scored his sixth of the season.
Rouyn-Noranda headed back to the power play at 14:48 as Oliver Cooper headed off. On that man advantage, Sven Andrighetto fired a long shot that beat Auger to make it a 2-1 game at 15:19.
A couple minute later, Jonathan Huberdeau had a lengthy breakaway but could not beat Gusse.
Shots in the opening frame were 11-8 Saint John.
Ryan Tesink found Huberdeau just 40 seconds into the period. The Sea Dogs captain scored to restore Saint John’s two-goal lead. That made it a 3-1 game.
The Dogs went back to the power play at 6:10 as Liam O’Brien picked up a boarding penalty. Saint John had some decent pressure on but no real great scoring chances.
Play went back-and-forth after the penalty expired. Andrighetto had a chance down low but was stopped by Auger. Then Noah Zilbert had a step on the Rouyn-Noranda defense but could not beat Gusse.
Steven Duda took down Jean-Sebastien Dea at 11:48 and headed to the sin bin. Once again, Rouyn-Noranda had a fairly uneventful power play.
The Huskies went back to the man advantage at 14:58. Auger made a couple of nice stops during the penalty kill.
Saint John headed back to the man advantage at 17:42 after Dillon Fournier flipped the puck out of play. Nothing happened.
Shots in the second stanza were 9-8 Huskies.
Stephen Anderson struck at 1:51 of the third to give the Dogs a 4-1 advantage. That ended Rob Gusse’s night as Alexandre Belanger took over the Huskies net.
Saint John went to the power play at 3:08. Kevin Gagne scored at 4:15 to give the Dogs a 5-1 lead. Huberdeau picked up an assist on the goal, tying the all-time Sea Dogs point record.
The Huskies headed to the power play at 4:49 as Zilbert headed off. Nothing happened. Saint John went to the man advantage at 6:58. The Dogs had a few scoring chances but could not connect.
Ryan Kelly headed off at 14:51 for hooking. The Huskies had some chances but Auger was dialed in and made the stops.
Shots in the third were 10-8 Saint John.
The Sea Dogs went 2-for-5 on the power play while the Huskies went 1-for-6.
NOTES: See Sea Dogs Postscript tomorrow on SN.
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation