FINAL: Saint John 5, Bathurst 4 (SO)
BATHURST – Sunday afternoon games don’t get much better than this one.
The Saint John Sea Dogs fell behind, came back, took the lead, fell behind again, came back again and then sealed the deal in a seven-round shootout to defeat the Acadie-Bathurst Titan 5-4 at the KC Irving Regional Centre this afternoon.
This Sea Dogs team proved once again that they refuse to play dead when hit with some adversity. The Titan scored goals in two minutes to take an early 2-0 lead in the first period and it was basically all Bathurst at that point. But Nathan Noel’s breakaway goal at 10:11 seemed to give the Sea Dogs a spark. They would tie the game and out shoot the Titan 17-9 in the opening frame.
Joey Richard scored the only goal of the second period to give Saint John a 3-2 advantage heading into the third period. But Bathurst would tie things up and then take a 4-3 lead thanks to a Alexandros Soumakis goal at 17:21. But, like we have seen so many times already in this young season, the Sea Dogs would just not go away.
With an extra attacker on and Antoine Landry on the bench, Richard’s second career goal tied the game at 4-4 with 25 seconds left in the game to send the match into overtime and eventually to a shootout.
Despite scoring three times in the shootout, the Titan were matched by the Sea Dogs. After Nicholas Blanchard failed to score in the seventh round, Noah Zilbert slipped the puck five hole on Jacob Brennan to give the Dogs a wild 5-4 road win.
Richard scored twice in regulation while singles came from Noel and Michael Abbott. Matthew Highmore had two assists. Zilbert, Noel, Mackenzie Brown, and Spencer Smallman all scored in the shootout. Antoine Landry made 34 saves in the win.
Soumakis, Robert Pelletier, Christophe Boivin, and Dominic Beauchemin all scored for Bathurst. Brennan made 43 saves in the loss.
The win improved Saint John to 5-3-0-1 on the year while Bathurst fell to 4-5-0-1.
- Bathurst’s first goal was bizarre. Three Sea Dogs were going after the puck near the blue line and collided or fell down or something. That allowed Robert Pelletier to grab the puck and enter the zone on a break and make it 1-0 Titan.
- Titan rookie forward Christophe Boivin, the 14th overall pick in the 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft, scored his first career goal in the first period on a long wrist shot that went through some traffic and in.
- Joey Richard, who was moved up to the Sea Dogs top line with Matthew Highmore and Oliver Cooper during the game, scored his first QMJHL goal at 14:55 of the second period. That gave Saint John their first lead of the game. He also scored the game tying goal with 25 seconds left in the game.
- How about Nathan Noel? He scored a nice goal on a breakaway and then scored an absolute beauty in the shootout. He now has five goals and two assists for seven points, good for sixth in rookie scoring.
- Yet another power play goal for defenseman Michael Abbott. He now has four power play goals on the year, good for fourth in the league.
- Antoine Landry made his first start in goal since September 15th which was also a game in Bathurst. He made 34 saves in today’s win.
- Spencer Smallman scored a controversial shootout goal where he came to a complete stop and then put the puck past a fallen Jacob Brennan. It was called a goal and not reviewed although the Titan fans and bench were not too happy. Hopefully the entire shootout shows up on YouTube.
- The Sea Dogs haven’t even played 10 games yet and this was the third time they had faced the Titan this season. They do not meet again until Tuesday, November 5th in Saint John.
- Four 2013 first round picks played in this game: Nathan Noel (3rd overall), Guillaume Brisebois (5th overall), Christophe Boivin (14th overall), and Will Thompson (17th overall).
- Titan fans were very angry in this game.
- Sea Dogs scratches today were forwards Samuel Dove-McFalls (healthy), Marcus Cuomo (hand), and Juraj Siska (back) along with defensemen Thomas Chabot (healthy) and Jurij Repe (wrist).
- The Sea Dogs website has their recap up.
NOTES: The Sea Dogs had two lengthy five-on-three power plays in this game but could not score on either… first time this season the Titan went to overtime… Sea Dogs finally out shot an opponent. Final shots were 47-38… this was Saint John’s first road win since opening night in Moncton… Jeremy Doucet had three hits… Stephen Anderson had eight shots.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs are in Halifax on Saturday night. Their next home game is next Sunday against Charlottetown.