FINAL: Saint John 5, Moncton 3
MONCTON – What a way to open up the Saint John Sea Dogs’ ninth season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
The Sea Dogs defeated the Moncton Wildcats 5-3 on Friday night at very hot and foggy Moncton Coliseum. It was the first game of the 2013-14 season for the Sea Dogs while the Wildcats opened things up on Thursday in Halifax.
Fighting through what had to be miserable ice conditions, the Sea Dogs battled hard and won the back-and-forth affair. There was no scoring in a fairly uneventful first period but things would pick up. Both teams scored once in the second before they turned things up more in the third.
Noah Zilbert, Michael Abbott, Nathan Noel, Kelly Bent, and Stephen Anderson all scored for the Sea Dogs. Rookie goaltender Antoine Landry got the start in net with Sebastien Auger not playing (although he was backup) due to injury. Despite making his first career start in the Sea Dogs season opener, who looked cool as a cucumber in this game and was stellar in his 33 save performance.
Conor Garland, Ivan Barbashev, and Christophe Lalonde scored for Moncton. Alex Dubeau made 20 saves in the loss.
The Wildcats took a 2-1 lead at 4:58 of the third as Barbashev blasted a power play marker past Landry. But Abbott would do some blasting of his own at 6:12 on a man advantage to tie things up at 2-2.
Moncton then retook the lead at 6:34 thanks to Lalonde finishing off a great shorthanded two-on-one play. But the Dogs would not die. At 11:46, Noel sniped his first career QMJHL goal to tie things at 3-3. Less than a minute later, Bent scored to put the Sea Dogs ahead 4-3.
With a few minutes left in the game, Moncton was awarded a power play. Despite being able to keep the puck in the offensive zone for an extended period of time, the ‘Cats could not tie it. Anderson sealed the deal for Saint John with a long empty net goal at 19:48 to make it a 5-3 final.
Shots in the third were 13-11 Saint John and 36-25 Moncton overall.
The Sea Dogs went 2-for-6 on the power play while the Wildcats went 1-for-5.
NOTES: We’ll have some tomorrow.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs travel to Bathurst on Sunday afternoon to battle the Titan.