FINAL: Bathurst 1, Saint John 7
QUISPAMSIS, NB – What a night at the qplex.
The Saint John Sea Dogs produced an impressive offensive display in a 7-1 victory over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League pre-season action on Saturday night.
The Sea Dogs could certainly struggle offensively this season with most of their top scorers from last season not returning and having a young, fairly inexperienced lineup. But Saturday’s display - even though it was just one pre-season game - should give everyone some confidence moving forward.
Second year Sea Dog Matthew Highmore looked real good, scoring once and setting up three other goals. Joey Richard had a pair of goals while singles came from Connor Donaghey, Michael Abbott, David Mosher, and Mathieu Newcomb. Riley Craft, playing on a line with Highmore and Richard, had three helpers.
Goaltender Antoine Landry looked comfortable in net and stopped all 20 shots he faced in 31 minutes of action. Christopher Smith played the remainder of the game but only faced eight shots.
Bathurst’s lone goal came from Joey Bernard. Luke Jessop played the first two periods in net and allowed five goals on 16 shots. Miguel Sullivan played the third and allowed two goals on 12 shots.
At 6:57, it was Highmore scoring as he banged the puck in to give the Dogs a 2-0 lead. Shots were 11-9 Saint John in the opening frame.
The Sea Dogs got into some penalty trouble in the second period but that didn’t stop the home side from scoring. Highmore and Richard broke in on a two-on-one with Richard sliding the puck in at 9:26 to make it 3-0 Saint John via shorthanded goal.
Then at 14:10, Craft broke in on a breakaway but was stopped. A few seconds later, the puck made its way to the point where David Mosher blasted the disc past Jessop to give the Dogs a 4-0 advantage.
It became 5-0 Sea Dogs at 18:12 as Newcomb picked up the puck at the top of the crease and slipped it past a scrambling Jessop. Despite scoring three times in the period, the Sea Dogs were outshot 16-5. True story, bro.
Donaghey gave the Sea Dogs a 6-0 lead at 2:02 of the third as he deposited the puck into an open net.
The game’s first and only fight came at 5:34 as Oliver Cooper and Gabriel Labbe squared off. The fight was fairly long but not many big punches were thrown.
The Titan finally had some life at 6:43 as Bernard scored some goal on the power play at 6:43. Whatev.
Highmore finished off his impressive game by going around a guy and then setting up Richard perfectly. That made it 7-1 and that is how it would end.
Shots were 12-3 in favour of Saint John in the third and 28-28 overall.
Not surprisingly, neither team could produce much on the power play. Saint John went 1-for-11 while Bathurst went 1-for-6.
NOTES: There was a moment of silence before the game to honour Jordan Boyd… it was announced during the game that Jonathan Huberdeau will be in attendance at next weekend’s Wallace McCain Memorial Alumni Weekend stuff… there were 89 faceoffs in the game… Oliver Cooper and David Mosher had three hits… Cooper, Highmore, and Mackenzie Brown wore As on their sweaters… Nathan Noel didn’t have any shots but did create some scoring chances. He had some jump in his game… goaltender Antoine Landry was good in this game and was pretty good in this week’s scrimmages… Mathieu Newcomb had the loudest fan section at the game… what a facility the qplex is… 936 attended the game, the smallest crowd for a Sea Dogs exhibition game in Quispamsis… the Sea Dogs improved to 3-0 at the qplex.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs travel to Bathurst to battle the Titan on Sunday at 3pm. For updates, follow us on Twitter @station_nation.