FINAL: Saint John 3, Sherbrooke 6
SHERBROOKE, Que. – It’s far too early to start thinking about playoff positioning but the Saint John Sea Dogs certainly aren't doing themselves any favours these days.
The Sea Dogs fell 6-3 to the Sherbrooke Phoenix in Friday night Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action at the Arena-With-A-Really-Long-Name. The Phoenix currently own the league’s final playoff spot with 22 points. Saint John sits just below them with 14. Obviously there is a ton of time to catch up but, you know, losing games to the team just above you in the standings isn’t going to help the cause.
The Dogs are colder than New River Beach in January right now, losing their fifth straight on this night. They have also lost eight straight on the road which includes the first two games of this Quebec road trip that ends tomorrow in Gatineau.
In this loss, Matthew Highmore scored twice while Olivier LeBlanc added a single. Michael Abbott had two assists. Sebastien Auger made 27 saves in the loss.
Sherbrooke had a pair of goals from Jean-Francois Plante while solo markers came from Jason Houde, Daniel Audette, Simon Desbiens, and William Couture. Tim Wieser added three assists. Gabriel Parent made 24 saves in the win.
Plante netted his second of the game, this time while shorthanded, at 9:57 of the second to make it 2-0 Phoenix. Highmore got the Dogs on the board at 11:11 with a power play marker. But Sherbrooke would end the frame with a 4-1 advantage thanks to goals from Houde and Audette in the final 1:11 of the period. Shots were middle stanza were 19-8 in favour of the Phoenix.
Highmore got the Dogs back into the game with a goal just 24 seconds into the third to make it 4-2. But on a power play at 2:26, Desbiens scored to restore Sherbrooke’s three-goal advantage.
Trevor Stacey got all wound up at 15:50 and received an interference minor and a match penalty for cross checking, giving the Dogs a lengthy power play and a chance to make this a game. At 18:51, LeBlanc scored to make it 5-3 but that would be as close as it would get. Couture wrapped up the scoring summary with a rare six-on-three shorthanded empty net goal to make it a 6-3 final.
Shots in the game ended 33-27 in favour of Sherbrooke.
Saint John went 2-for-7 on the power play while Sherbrooke went 2-for-4.
SCRATCHES: Saint John was without the services of forwards Kelly Bent (healthy) and Joey Richard (healthy) along with defensemen Will Thompson (death in family) and Jeremy Doucet (healthy).
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs play their final game of this road trip tomorrow night at 8pm in Gatineau.