SYDNEY, NS – Saint John’s 2-1 loss to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles last night is devastating to the team’s playoff hopes.
With Shawinigan also winning, the Sea Dogs must now win both of their remaining games and hope the Cataractes lose their remaining two games in regulation time in order to make the playoffs. The Sea Dogs are four points back of the final playoff spot currently held by the Cats and Saint John would win the tiebreaker.
The chances of the Sea Dogs making the playoffs appear slim because of the fact that they are playing the Mooseheads in front of a sold-out Metro Centre on Friday night. Halifax is in a battle for first overall, have won 11 straight, and dominated much of their last meeting against Saint John.
Last night’s action also eliminated Sherbrooke from playoff contention and clinched spots for Bathurst and Charlottetown.
Some other stuff from last night’s game…
- With a suspension, injuries, and players returned to the MHL, the Sea Dogs were only able to dress five defensemen last night. Things got even worse when David Weckworth did not play in the final two periods due to, presumably, injury. Jason Cameron once again saw some time on defense.
- Saint John’s defense did, however, get a much needed boost with the return of Olivier LeBlanc. The second-year Dog played in his first game since February 9th and recorded three shots and seven hits.
- Oliver Cooper opened the game’s scoring with a goal at the 6:00 mark of the first. Cooper now has 28 goals on the season including six in his past six games.
- Saint John’s offense once again struggled to get things going consistently. They had just 15 shots in the first two periods combined and 23 overall. They also went 0-for-5 on the power play.
- The Dogs did have some solid pressure applied in the offensive zone in the final minute of the game but were unable to net the equalizer.
- Sebastien Auger was quite good in this game, making 43 save in the loss. Definitely gave the Dogs a shot at winning and they may have if Saint John’s offense could have gotten going some more.
- Kyle Farrell’s shorthanded goal at 9:39 of the second proved to be the game-winner. The Dogs have given up nine shorthanded goals this season.
- The Sea Dogs have now lost five straight.
- This was the Screaming Eagles’ final home game of the regular season. They finish the year with a 23-11-0-0 record at Centre 200.
- Cape Breton wore their green Irish themed jerseys last night so the Sea Dogs had to wear their white jerseys. Not sure how many times the Dogs have faced the Eagles while in green but it seems like quite a few times now.
- The Sea Dogs were without forwards Joey Richard (shoulder), Stephen Anderson (upper body), and Marcus Cuomo (suspension) along with defensemen Michael Abbott (wrist), Jeremy Doucet (upper body), and Jurij Repe (suspension).
- The Screaming Eagles were also shorthanded and missing some key contributors with Jason Bell (upper body), Clark Bishop (suspended), Justin Hache (upper body) and Cameron Darcy (eye infection) all sitting out. Cape Breton also dressed just five defensemen and started their backup goaltender.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs take on the Mooseheads in Halifax tomorrow night.
Photo: Screaming Eagles Facebook page