FINAL: Moncton 5, Saint John 4
SAINT JOHN – The Moncton Wildcats are on a serious roll right now.
The Wildcats won their ninth straight Quebec Major Junior Hockey League game with a 5-4 victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs on Saturday night at Harbour Station.
Christopher Caissy, Will Smith, Ryan Penny, Stephen Johnson, and Christophe Lalonde all scored for Moncton. Alex Dubeau made 35 saves in the win.
Matthew Highmore scored twice for Saint John while Jurij Repe and Stephen Anderson added singles. Sebastien Auger made 28 saves in the loss. Saint John's two-game winning streak came to an end with the defeat.
The Sea Dogs opened the scoring just 14 seconds into the game but that would be the only time in this game they would lead. Saint John came close to catching up to the ‘Cats at times but just couldn’t quite get the job done on this night. The Dogs did manage to outshoot the Wildcats 39-33, though.
There were no fights in this game but there was some rough stuff following buzzers. The two meet again tomorrow afternoon at the Moncton Coliseum.
Saint John opened the scoring just 14 seconds into the game. Matthew Highmore sent a shot off the mask of Alex Dubeau and that produced a rebound. Highmore picked it up and put it in to make it 1-0 Dogs.
At 4:37, Lukas Walter went to the box for interference. Moncton wasted no time tying things up as Christopher Caissy beat Sebastien Auger with a shot from the top of the faceoff circle at 4:43.
Fast-forward to around the 16-minute mark of the frame, Garrett Johnston fired a shot from the top of the circle through a screen that forced Auger to make a nice glove save.
Moncton went to the man advantage at 15:12 as Samuel Dove-McFalls was sent off for tripping. The Wildcats had the puck in the offensive zone for much of the power play but could not generate many solid scoring chances.
At 18:45, Jeremy Doucet was sent off for roughing. Caissy beat Auger on the man advantage but hit the crossbar. At the end of the period, there was some rough stuff in the corner following an Oliver Cooper scoring chance. That resulted in roughing penalties to Johnston and Highmore.
Shots were 13-6 Moncton in the opening frame.
The Sea Dogs had a couple of good chances early in the second period, including a Stephen Anderson chance that was stopped.
Saint John went to the power play for first time in the game at 8:19 but couldn’t get much going.
The Wildcats took a 2-1 lead at 10:33. Stephen Johnson sent a pass ahead to Will Smith who beat Auger with a deke to his backhand to give Moncton the lead.
Moncton took a 3-1 lead at 14:29. A Christophe Lalonde shot was stopped and the rebound sat in the crease for Ryan Penny to put in and extend the Wildcats’ lead.
The ‘Cats went to another power play at 15:15 after Marcus Cuomo went off for elbowing. Highmore had a decent shorthanded chance but Dubeau made the stop.
Shots in the second were 15-12 in favour of Saint John.
Jurij Repe scored at 2:58, beating Dubeau glove side to make it a 3-2 game.
At 4:16, Moncton retook their two-goal lead thanks to Stephen Johnson.
The Sea Dogs went to the power play at 8:00. On that man advantage, Anderson scored on a long rush that was finished off by the forward firing a backhand shot past Dubeau to make it 4-3.
But at 14:26, Lalonde scored on a hard shot from the top of the circle to give the Wildcats a two-goal lead once again.
Caissy and Alexander McQuaid each took holding penalties at 16:44. The Dogs then pulled Auger to essentially give them a power pay. At 18:11, Highmore put the puck in on a scramble to make it a 5-4 game.
But that would be as close as Saint John would get. Shots in the third were 18-8 in favour of Saint John.
Moncton went 1-for-4 on the power play while Saint John went 1-for-2.
SCRATCHES: The Sea Dogs were without forwards Joey Richard (healthy), Jason Cameron (foot), Connor Donaghey (healthy) and Nathan Noel (Under-17s) along with defensemen Will Thompson (Under-17s), Bailey Webster (healthy), and Michael Abbott (hand).
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs are in Moncton to battle the Wildcats again tomorrow afternoon at 4pm.