FINAL: Chicoutimi 3, Saint John 2 (SO)
CHICOUTIMI, Que. – At least the Saint John Sea Dogs are coming home with a point.
Even though their losing streak extended to eight games, the Sea Dogs picked up a well-deserved point on Saturday in Chicoutimi with a 3-2 shootout loss to the Sagueneens.
The Dogs were down 2-1 entering the final minute of the third but Oliver Cooper would tie it up with 44 seconds remaining. Although they would lose the shootout, Saint John will at least be coming home with a point for their strong efforts during this three-game Quebec road trip.
Olivier LeBlanc also scored for the Sea Dogs while Nathan Noel had Saint John’s only shootout goal. Sebastien Auger was sensational as usual, making 42 saves in the loss.
Chicoutimi had regulation time goals from Sebastien Sylvestre and Janne Puhakka. Julio Billia made 38 saves in the win.
Early in the first, a weird play resulted in the puck going to the Sea Dogs goal line but was kept out by Sebsatien Auger. The play was reviewed but called no goal.
A long stretch without a whistle then took place. Like, a really long stretch. The action was playing at a good pace.
At 12:10, Jeremy Carignan smoked Mackenzie Brown into the boards. It appeared Carignan’s shoulder either hit Brown’s head or was close to it at least. Brown had to be helped off by athletic therapist JP Laciak while Carignan received a five-minute major and game misconduct for checking to the head.
Then at 14:15, Carl Tremblay went to the box to give the Dogs a lengthy five-on-three advantage. Simon Tremblay had a great shorthanded chance for the Sags but was robbed by Auger’s pad. Back the other way came the Sea Dogs with a good opportunity but Julio Billia stood his ground and kept it out. On the scrum that ensued, Matthew Highmore was given a roughing penalty to end the five-on-three.
A little later on at even strength, an innocent looking backhand shot through some traffic hit the Saint John post and bounced back into the crease area only to be sprawled over by Auger.
Shots were 11-11 in the first period.
Spencer Smallman had a good chance at the side of the crease but sent it off the side of the net.
Chicoutimi opened the scoring at 2:16. Sebastien Sylvestre faked out Alexnadre McQuaid as he kept the puck on a two-on-one. He then fired a wrist shot that beat Auger to make it 1-0 Sags.
Later on, Connor Donaghey had a quality chance on a two-on-one but was stopped by Billia.
Saint John went to the power play at 6:38. At 8:05, an Oliver LeBlanc point shot went through a screen and past Billia to make it at 1-1 contest.
The Sagueneens had some good pressure on soon after the goal. Samuel Roussy sent a shot from the line that was redirected but stopped by Auger.
Highmore went to the box again at 12:37. Auger had to be sharp on the penalty kill as he made several nice saves to keep it tied.
Joey Richard went to the box at 16:14 for holding. Billia committed a turnover near his own net and Oliver Cooper nearly capitalized but the Sags goaltender quickly recovered to make the stop. Janne Puhakka then took the puck from behind the net and carried it all the way to the offensive zone, split the Saint John defense, and then beat Auger to make it 2-1 at 18:06.
Shots in the second were 18-16 in favour of Chicoutimi.
The Sags had a three-on-one opportunity but Charles Hudon fired high of the net.
Soon after, the puck found its way from the corner and into the Chicoutimi crease where Noel was parked but he couldn’t get a great shot off.
Sylvestre then had yet another great chance as he cut in front of Auger but was denied.
The third period was pretty back-and-forth.
In the final minutes, Saint John began to apply some pressure. Auger also made a huge save on a Laurent Dauphin shot to keep the Dogs alive.
With Auger pulled in the final minute, Stephen Anderson fired a shot on net that was stopped. But Oliver Cooper was there to collect the rebound and tie the game with just 44 seconds remaining.
Shots in the third were 11-10 Chicoutimi.
Both teams had some quality chances in the extra frame, including Sylvestre who had yet another great chance.
Shots were 4-3 Sags.
Noel kicked off the breakaway contest with a goal. But then Sylvestre went and of course he scored to tie it up. After Spencer Smallman was stopped, Puhakka put the Sags up 2-1. This meant Highmore had to score to keep the Dogs alive… and he didn’t. Sea Dogs lost the game 3-2.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs take on the Moncton Wildcats this Friday night at Harbour Station.