FINAL: Charlottetown 2, Saint John 4
SAINT JOHN – The losing streak is finally over.
Oliver Cooper netted a hat trick as the Saint John Sea Dogs ended a nine-game losing streak on Saturday night at Harbour Station with a 4-2 victory over the Charlottetown Islanders. Saint John hadn’t won a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League contest since October 6th.
Cooper recorded three goals and an assist in the game and has now matched his goal total from all of last season with seven on the year. Matthew Highmore added a goal and an assist. Sebastien Auger made 46 saves, including 22 in the third period.
It was far from a perfect game by the Sea Dogs, but hey, a win is a win. Saint John certainly has a good chance to keep their winning ways going with games against Bathurst and Moncton this week.
Charlottetown had goals from Alexandre Goulet and Jack Nevins. Eric Brassard made 34 saves in the loss. The Islanders have now lost five straight.
Charlottetown had the first good chance of the game as the puck hit the Saint John post but stayed out.
Nathan Noel had a great opportunity a few moments later. He patiently hung on to the puck and then sent the puck through Eric Brassard’s backdoor but it went through the crease and stayed out.
The Islanders opened the scoring at 6:57. A Julien Leduc point shot we redirected nicely by Alexnadre Goulet in front and past Sebastien Auger to make it 1-0 Charlottetown.
Saint John went to the power play at 7:57. The Sea Dogs couldn’t get anything going.
Later on, Noel had another great chance but rung the shot off the post.
The Dogs went back to the man advantage 15:56. The Dogs nearly scored on a scramble in front but the puck stayed out. Saint John then went to a five-on-three advantage at 17:22 but couldn’t get much going once again.
In the final minute, Mike DiPaolo took a shot to the face.
Shots were 13-12 Isles in the first frame.
Jurij Repe went to the box at 2:55 for delay of game, sending Charlottetown to the power play. The Isles had some good pressure on but could not score.
The Dogs had an opportunity a few minutes later. Stephen Anderson fed Matthew Highmore in front but he sent the puck wide.
Daniel Sprong then tried to break away but Alexnader McQuaid stayed on him. Sprong could only fire a backhand shot wide of the net.
Saint John tied things up at 10:28. Oliver Cooper carried the puck in from the blue line, went around a couple of Charlottetown defensemen, and then slid the puck five-hole to make it a 1-1 match.
The Dogs went to another man advantage at 10:32. Goulet had a good shorthanded chance but was denied. Then at 12:02 the Dogs went to a five-on-three advantage. Matthew Highmore fired in a rebound at 12:17 to give the Dogs a 2-1 lead.
Alexis Pepin and Alexnader McQuaid dropped the gloves at 15:05.
Matej Beran went to the box at 18:55 but a Highmore penalty at 19:28 cut the power play short.
The Dogs went to yet another power play at 16:51. At 17:55, Cooper tipped in an Olivier LeBlanc point shot to give Saint John a 3-1 lead.
Shots in the second period were 15-12 in favour of Saint John.
LeBlanc went to the box for tripping at 1:18. The Isles had some pressure on during the man advantage but could not connect.
Soon after, Highmore grabbed a rebound at the top of the crease and skated around a fallen Brassard but sent his shot wide.
Near the midway mark of the period, Noel sped away from the Charlottetown defense but couldn’t get a great shot on net.
Some four-on-four play took place at 10:02 when Thomas Chabot and Sprong headed off for holding and diving. During the span at 11:43, Jack Nevins scored to get the Islanders back within one.
With 1:10 left in the game, Brassard went to the Islanders bench in favour of the extra attacker. Cooper completed his hat trick at 19:09 with an empty marker to make it a 4-2 final.
Shots in the third were 23-11 (!) in favour of the Islanders and 48-38 Charlottetown overall.
Saint John went 2-for-7 on the power play while Charlottetown went 0-for-3.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs host the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Tuesday night at Harbour Station.
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation