FINAL: Saint John 3, Moncton 8
MONCTON – The Moncton Wildcats seem to save their best for last when playing the Saint John Sea Dogs.
The Wildcats scored four times in the third period when these teams last met. On Thursday at the Moncton Coliseum, the ‘Cats topped that by scoring five in the third in a 8-3 victory over the Sea Dogs in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action.
Ryan Penny had a hat trick for Moncton while Conor Garland, Cameron Yarwood, Christophe Lalonde, Ivan Barbashev, and Will Smith added singles. Garland also had an impressive four assists. Alex Dubeau made 35 saves for the win.
Saint John had goals from Matthew Highmore, Noah Zilbert, and Jeremy Doucet. Zilbert snapped a long goalless drought and Doucet netted his first QMJHL goal – these were two of the few positives for the Dogs on this night. Antoine Landry got a rare start in net and, despite allowing eight goals on 39 shots, certainly wasn’t the main factor in this loss.
The Sea Dogs just aren’t playing well these days. This was the team’s fifth straight road loss and the beginning of five straight away from Harbour Station. It could be a rough few weeks in Sea Dogs land.
Moncton came flying out of the gate and was buzzing early. Just 54 seconds in, Conor Garland scored some goal to give Moncton an early 1-0 lead.
It was an eventful first few minutes as Lukas Walter and Kyle Haas dropped the gloves for a pretty good fight at 1:40. Walter picked up an additional unsportsmanlike penalty on the play. Moncton had some good pressure on but no good chances.
A little later on, Noah Zilbert had a good chance in front but Dubeau made the save.
The Wildcats went back to the man advantage 10:49 as Oliver Cooper went to the box for tripping. Ivan Barbashev had a good chance as he cut through the crease but was denied by the pad of Antoine Landry.
A few minutes later, a scramble in the Moncton crease almost tied the game but the puck stayed out.
Dubeau threw the puck out of play at 18:37, sending the Dogs to the power play. Saint John had puck possession in the offensive zone in the final minute but could not create any good scoring opportunites.
Shots were 15-13 in favour of the Wildcats in the first.
At even strength, a Thomas Chabot shot was tipped by someone/something and forced Dubeau to make a nice stop.
Ryan Penny gave the Wildcats a 2-0 lead at 1:49 as he scored on a wraparound.
At 3:00, Alexander McQuaid was sent to the box for a check from behind. On the scrum that ensured, McQuaid took a punch to the face from Reid Halabi but no other penalties were called on the play. Then at 3:57, David Weckworth headed to the sin bin to give the ‘Cats a five-on-three. JC Campagna hit the post during the man advantage stretch but that would be as close as Moncton would come.
The Dogs went to the power play at 6:21. Dubeau made a big glove save off a Stephen Anderson shot. Then at 8:02 Cameron Yarwood was called for tripping to put the Dogs up five-on-three. Saint John wouldn’t need much time as Nathan Noel fed Matthew Highmore at 8:13 to make it a 2-1 game.
A few minutes later back at even strength, Barbashev fed Garland but he fired wide. Later on, Will Smith cut in from the boards and drove into the crease but was stopped.
Anderson was robbed again by the glove of Dubeau late in the period as the Dogs were getting some pressure on.
At 18:30, Penny netted his second of the game on a wrist shot to make it 3-1 Wildcats.
Shots were 15-11 in favour of Saint John in the second.
Penny completed his hat trick just 1:45 into the third thanks to a nice feed from Campagna that sent him in alone. That made it 4-1.
The Sea Dogs got back into the game at 6:25 as Noah Zilbert snapped his scoreless drought. That made it 4-2. On his next shift, Zilbert had another good chance but was denied by Dubeau.
Yarwood restored Moncton’s three-goal lead at 7:50. While falling, Yarwood was able to slip the puck five hole on Landry to give the ‘Cats a 5-2 advantage.
Christophe Lalonde then had a breakaway but could not score. But at 11:59, Lalonde would find the back of the net and made it 6-2.
Ivan Barbashev kept the good times going for the Wildcats as he scored at 13:06 to make it 7-2. Yup.
But hey! There was a bright spot in this period. At 16:31, Jeremy Doucet fired a point shot that beat Dubeau to make it 7-3. It was Doucet’s first career QMJHL goal.
Will Smith scored with 57 seconds left just to give Moncton a little bit more insurance.
Shots in the third were 13-10 Wildcats and 39-38 Moncton overall.
Saint John went 1-for-3 on the power play while Moncton went 0-for-4.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs are in Halifax to battle the Mooseheads on Saturday night.