FINAL: PEI 2, Saint John 1
SAINT JOHN – At 9:33 of the third period, Ryan Graves scored what proved to be the game winner as the PEI Rocket edged the Saint John Sea Dogs 2-1 on Saturday night at Harbour Station in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action.
Jimmy Oligny scored the Rocket’s other goal. Victor Provencher and Josh Currie each recorded two assists. Goaltender Antoine Bibeau made 27 saves in net.
Jakub Izacky scored Saint John’s lone goal. Sebastien Auger was solid as usual, making 33 saves in the loss.
PEI out shot Saint John 15-4 in the first but the Dogs made game of it, out shooting the Rocket in each of the final two periods. They just could not score another goal.
The Rocket had an early power play opportunity at 1:24 of the first as Michael Abbott headed off. PEI had some pressure on but no good scoring chances.
Justin Dickinson and Patrick McGrath squared off at 3:34 in a heavyweight tilt at centre ice. Both players got some good punches in before McGrath took down Dickinson.
Benjamin Hade headed off at 5:20 for hooking, sending PEI back to the man advantage. Sebastien Auger made a big save on Victor Prevencher which was PEI’s best power play chance.
Soon after, Jason Cameron fired a wrist shot past Rocket goaltender Antoine Bibeau but hit the post and stayed out.
Abbott got sent back to the box at 9:12. Just seconds later, Stephen Anderson was called for hooking, sending PEI to a lengthy five-on-three man advantage. At 11:13, a high shot by Jimmy Oligny from just below the Telus ad beat a screened Auger to give the Rocket a 1-0 lead.
11:33 brought some four-on-four play. Nothing happened during the span.
With 5:49 left in the period, the Sea Dogs got their first couple shots on goal. They were stopped by Bibeau’s pad.
Some rough stuff at 17:12 created some more four-on-four play. Nothing happened.
Shots were 15-4 PEI in the first.
Just 1:18 into the period, the Rocket had an open net but Erik Robichaud couldn’t get much of a backhand shot on net before Auger got over.
Saint John finally headed to the power play at 6:14. They didn’t do much on anything on it, though.
The Dogs went back to the man advantage at 9:22 but once again could not get much going.
At 12:21, Marcus Cuomo hit a Rocket player from behind. He then dropped the gloves with Alex Micallef. Micallef picked up an instigator.
Moments later, Oliver Cooper dropped the gloves with Ryan Graves for a lengthy tilt.
Jakub Izacky tied the game at 1-1 at 15:54. The puck found him and was left alone in the slot just before slipping the disc five hole on Bibeau.
Some rough stuff in front of the goal with 1:01 left in the period saw Jason Cameron and Oligny sent to the box. Auger made a big time glove save with 15 seconds left.
Shots were 12-9 in favour of Saint John in the middle stanza.
Not a whole lot happened in the first five minutes or so of the third.
A point shot through some traffic found its way on net and trickled past Auger to give PEI a 2-1 lead at 9:33. Ryan Graves was given credit for the goal.
PEI took a time out with 7:10 remaining in regulation after they iced the puck. About a minute after the faceoff, Provencher had a great chance at the side of the Saint John net but could not connect.
Saint John headed to the power play with 5:51 left. While shorthanded, Auger was forced to make a nice save without his stick. The Dogs couldn’t get anything going on the man advantage.
Jason Cameron headed to the box with 3:22 left, giving PEI a late power play opportunity. Auger stretched out and made a nice pad stop on Louick Marcotte in front during the man advantage. That would be the Rocket’s best scoring chance during the power play.
Despite pulling Auger in the final minute and using a time out with 8.1 seconds left, the Dogs could not tie it up like they did on Friday and lost 2-1.
Shots in the third were 12-11 Saint John.
NOTES: See Sea Dogs Postscript tomorrow on SN.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs travel to Rimouski to take on the Oceanic on Friday at 8:30pm.