FINAL: Victoriaville 5, Saint John 0
SAINT JOHN – Well, Teddy Bear Toss night was a rough one for the Saint John Sea Dogs.
In what has to be one of the low points of the season, the Sea Dogs were shutout on home ice on Teddy Bear Toss night against the Victoriaville Tigres - who certainly are not a powerhouse this year. The Tigres scored twice in the first and three times in the third to win 5-0 on Friday night at Harbour Station.
Despite there being lots of time left in the third for Saint John to score, Jonathan Diaby’s goal at 3:41 triggered a few fans to start tossing the teddies. Once they started, of course, they did not stop. Any hopes that it may inspire the Dogs to start to turn it up offensively didn’t happen.
Saint John couldn’t get much of anything going offensively in this game. Just four of their 28 shots were considered dangerous. The Dogs also had seven power play opportunities but struggled to get the puck on net.
It was a pretty solid road game by the Tigres who had a pair of goals from Diaby and singles from Philippe Hudon, Angelo Miceli, and Tommy Veilleux. Brandon Whitney made 28 saves for the shutout victory.
Sea Dogs netminder Sebastien Auger made 29 saves in the loss.
The good news for Saint John is that they can quickly forget about this game with Cape Breton in town on Saturday night. Also, although the Teddy Bear Toss was awkward, there were plenty of bears thrown onto the ice which will go to local charities. So that's good.
Victoriaville had a couple good chances just two minutes into the game but Sebastien Auger made the stops. Then, Carl Marois led a two-on-one down the ice. He centered the puck off David Weckworth’s skate, forcing Auger to make a quick pad save.
Some four-on-four action was created at 6:22. Jason Cameron fed Noah Zilbert on a two-on-one but the puck rolled off Zilbert’s stick.
Saint John went to the man advantage at 7:37 as Matthew Boudreau headed off. The Dogs couldn’t get a whole lot going though.
At 10:56, Cameron went to the box for holding to send the league’s worst power play unit to work. The Tigres had some pressure applied but didn’t fire many shots on net.
The Tigres made it a 1-0 game at 16:14. With Auger hugging the post, the puck found its way through the crease to Philippe Hudon who had an open net to open the scoring.
41 seconds later, Angelo Miceli showed some patience as he skated around a fallen Auger and then roofed the puck to make it 2-0 Tigres.
At 18:38, Ross Johnston was given four minutes for spearing and Mark Tremaine two minutes for cross checking, giving Saint John a lengthy man advantage opportunity. The Dogs had some pressure applied but, despite what fans were yelling, couldn’t get many shots on net before the buzzer went.
Shots were 15-10 Tigres in the first.
The Sea Dogs still had some power play time to start the second but unfortunately did not do much with it.
Zilbert took a four-minute high sticking penalty at 1:55. Victoriaville had some okay pressure applied but didn’t fire many shots.
Will Thompson took an interference penalty at 7:38 but nothing happened during the man advantage.
The Dogs then went back to the power play at 10:57. Late in the two-minute infraction, Nathan Noel came quickly down the wing but was stopped by Brandon Whitney.
With 12 seconds left in the frame, Jan Mandat took a high sticking penalty to give Saint John a power play to kick off the third.
Uneventful second stanza. Shots were 9-8 in favour of the Tigres.
Jonathan Diaby scored on a point shot with lots of traffic in front of Auger at 3:41 to give the Tigres a 3-0 lead. Frustrated and/or trigger happy fans decided to throw their bears onto the ice following the goal. Weird times, man.
Lukas Walter went to the box at 4:35. On the power play, Diaby scored on a slap shot from the top of the circle at 5:42 to make it 4-0 Victoriaville.
The Tigres made it 5-0 at 9:00 as Tommy Veilleux scored. Yeah.
The Tigres went to the power play at 9:51 but did nothing and then the Sea Dogs went to the power play at 14:36 and did nothing as well.
With 2:50 left in the game, a shot got through the legs of Auger but rolled through the paint and out of the other side.
That was the game. Shots in the third were 10-10. Victoriaville led overall shots 34-28.
The Sea Dogs went 0-for-7 on the power play while the Tigres went 1-for-6.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs take on the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles tomorrow night at 7pm at the Station.