FINAL: Saint John 4, Moncton 3 (OT)
Down 3-0 to the Moncton Wildcats early in the second period, the Sea Dogs scored twice to head into the third down a goal. With Moncton on a power play and Sebastien Auger on the bench, Jakub Izacky beat the odds and scored with six seconds remaining to send to game into overtime. Kevin Gagne netted the OT winner at 3:08 of the extra frame to give the Dogs a huge comeback win over their rivals.
Saint John is now back at .500 with a 16-16-0-0 record. They also improved to 3-0 against Moncton this season.
Izacky scored twice in the win while Stephen MacAulay and Gagne added singles. Ryan Tesink had three assists and Pierre Durepos added two. Sebastien Auger was solid as usual, making 31 saves for the win. It was a team effort and that’s what will be needed in the post-Huberdeau era.
Ross Johnston, Ryan Penny, and Alex Saulnier scored for the Wildcats. Alex Dubeau made 24 saves in the loss.
The Sea Dogs end the road portion of their first half schedule on Sunday afternoon in Charlottetown. Surely Saint John will be able to carry some of this momentum over to that game.
Ryan Penny had a chance early on but Sea Dogs goaltender Sebastien Auger made the stop. Not a whole lot was going on in the early goings.
Oliver Cooper headed to the box to send Moncton to the power play at 9:06. Nothing happened on the man advantage.
The Dogs then headed to the power play at 13:02. Nothing happened.
Ross Johnston opened the scoring at 15:25. That made it 1-0 Moncton.
The first period was about as exciting as this past season of The Amazing Race. You watched the entire thing but you wish you hadn’t. Shots were 11-7 in favour of the Wildcats.
Just 17 seconds into the second period, an Alex Saulnier shot went off Kevin Gagne and in to make it 2-0 ‘Cats.
Then at the 35 second mark, Penny scored on a rebound to make it 3-0 Moncton. Yikes. Saint John used their time out following that goal.
Some rough stuff at saw Olivier LeBlanc and Ross Johnston sent to the box at 1:21. Then at 1:42 the Dogs headed to the power play as Alex Saulnier headed off. On the ensuing man advantage at 2:36, Ryan Tesink fed Stephen MacAulay who connected to get the Dogs on the board and give Saint John some life.
Auger made a great glove save on Christophe Lalonde moments later. A few minutes later, the Sea Dogs were buzzing a bit and created some good scoring opportunities but could not get by Alex Dubeau.
The Dogs headed to the power play at 12:20. At 13:15, Jakub Izacky found the puck and got the Dogs back within one as he beat Dubeau upstairs for Saint John’s second power play goal of the game.
The Dogs headed back to the power play at 18:58. Saint John had lots of pressure on to end the period but could not score.
Shots in the second stanza were 15-9 in favour of the visitors.
The Sea Dogs started the period on that power play that carried over but they could not score.
Allain Saulnier had a breakaway a few minutes later but Auger stopped it and covered the puck long enough to get a whistle.
Some rough stuff at 6:36 in the corner saw Jason Cameron head to the box for Saint John while the ‘Cats picked up a too many men on the ice penalty. During the 4-on-4 span, Allain Saulnier had another great chance in front but could not be the Sea Dogs ‘tender.
Moments later, Stephen Anderson had a great chance to tie it but he missed the net.
The Dogs went to the man advantage again at 10:36. Saint John had a bit of pressure on during the power play but no great scoring chances.
Cameron headed to the box with 1:18 remaining for a questionable high sticking penalty. Just when it appeared all hope was lost, and with Auger on the bench, Izacky beat Dubeau upstairs with 6.1 seconds left to tie it up and stun the Wildcats.
Shots in the third were 11-5 Moncton.
The Wildcats power play carried over into the extra frame but they couldn’t get much going.
Allain Saulnier was once again robbed by Auger in front midway through overtime.
Then at 3:08, Kevin Gagne beat Dubeau to give the Sea Dogs a stunning come-from-behind 4-3 victory over the Wildcats.
Shots in overtime were 3-1 Moncton.
NOTES: See Sea Dogs Postscript tomorrow on SN.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs take on the PEI Rocket in Charlottetown on Sunday at 3pm.
Photo courtesy Marc Grandmaison
Photo courtesy Marc Grandmaison