SAINT JOHN - Goals didn’t come easy for the Saint John Sea Dogs this weekend.
After being shutout by the Halifax Mooseheads on Saturday night, the Sea Dogs were able to score just once in a 4-1 loss to the Charlottetown Islanders on Sunday afternoon at Harbour Station.
Olivier LeBlanc was the only Sea Dog to score. It wasn’t like the Sea Dogs didn’t have plenty of chances, though. They fired 39 shots on net and had plenty of quality scoring opportunities but Islanders goaltender Eric Brassard posted a solid performance to backstop the Isles to a win.
Daniel Sprong, Jack Nevins, Alexandre Goulet, and Yan Pavel Laplante all scored for Charlottetown. Brassard made 38 saves in the win.
Sebastien Auger made 35 saves in the loss for Saint John.
The loss dropped the Sea Dogs back to the .500 mark with a 5-5-0-1 record. Charlottetown improved to a Maritimes Division best 8-2-0-1.
The Islanders are now 3-0-0-0 against the Sea Dogs this season.
The Sea Dogs had some good pressure on in the early minutes of the game but could not score.
Charlottetown headed to the power play at 9:25. The Sea Dogs produced a good penalty kill and Noah Zilbert had a solid shorthanded chance but could not beat Eric Brassard.
At 11:52, Kelly Bent and Zach Beaton dropped the gloves for an unreal tilt that saw each player thrown a lot of punches.
Alexis Pepin took slashing and unsportsmanlike penalties at 14:17 to give Saint John a four-minute power play. The Sea Dogs were not doing anything on the man advantage until Olivier LeBlanc fired a point shot that beat Brassard at 17:52 to make it 1-0 Sea Dogs.
Charlottetown quickly tied the game at 18:26 as Daniel Sprong scored his sixth goal – via a redirection – to make it a 1-1 game.
Deverick Ottereyes took a roughing penalty at 19:07 to send the Dogs back to the power play and a man advantage to start the second.
Shots were 9-8 Charlottetown in the first.
The power play that carried over into the second period gave Saint John some good offensive pressure to start the frame. Anderson had a great chance but could not connect.
Then the penalties started. Lukas Walter headed off at 3:04 for slashing but the Sea Dogs produced a solid penalty kill. Then at 5:11 Spencer Smallman headed off for hooking but, once again, the Sea Dogs had a good kill.
At 8:13, Samuel Dove-McFalls and Matthew Bursey dropped the gloves for a short tilt. Dove-McFalls picked up an extra roughing penalty but that would be offset by Matej Beran’s roughing call at 9:21. When Saint John went to the man advantage, Matthew Highmore had a magnificent chance on a rebound but was stopped by Brassard,
A little later on, Oliver Cooper had a great chance on a two-on-one opportunity but could not get much of a shot off.
Islanders captain Jack Nevins got Charlottetown their first lead of the game at 16:00 as he banged the puck in to make it 2-1.
Shots were 17-15 in favour of Charlottetown in the second.
Saint John went to the power play at 2:44. Unfortunately for the Sea Dogs, Brassard went into beast mode and made huge saves on LeBlanc and Smallman shots to keep Charlottetown in front.
The Isles headed to the man advantage at 6:53 as Zilbert headed to the sin bin but, once again, Charlottetown’s power play didn’t show up.
The Isles added another goal at 9:48 as Alexandre Goulet beat Auger with a wrist shot from the slot to make it 3-1.
At 17:12, Kielly headed to the box to give the Dogs one last chance to get back into this game. But despite pulling Auger in the final seconds of the man advantage, the Sea Dogs could not score. Yan Pavel Laplante added an empty net goal – and a long one at that – at 19:26 to make it 4-1 final.
Shots in the third were 16-13 Saint John and 39-39 overall.
The Sea Dogs went 1-for-6 on the power play while the Islanders went 0-for-5.