Sunday, March 2, 2014

RECAP: Bizarro World. Dogs Win 9-3.

FINAL: Cape Breton 3, Saint John 9
SAINT JOHN – Well, that was something.

In an offensive display not seen at Harbour Station in some time, the Saint John Sea Dogs exploded for nine goals in a big 9-3 victory over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Saturday night in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action.

After a fairly tame first period, the Sea Dogs produced four in the second and another four in the third. It was certainly good to see following a tough 4-3 overtime loss to the Eagles on Friday night and heading into tomorrow’s big game in Bathurst.

The Sea Dogs now sit 16th overall in the QMJHL standings and are one-point back of the Titan and two back of the Charlottetown Islanders. Saint John has a game in-hand on both of them.

Marcus Cuomo, Noah Zilbert, and Oliver Cooper all had two goals in Saint John’s season high goal output. David Weckworth, Jurij Repe, and Spencer Smallman added singles. Nathan Noel and Nicolas Hebert each had three assists.

Meanwhile, Sebastien Auger made 37 saves in the win. The victory gives him 51 career wins, the most of any Sea Dogs goaltender.

Charles-Eric Legare, Maxim Lazarev, and Julien Pelletier scored for the Eagles. Alex Bureau made 18 saves in the loss.

Cuomo got the scoring started at 4:43 as he got a piece of a Sheehan Kirkwood point shot to make it 1-0. It was originally given to Kirkwood but later changed.

Alexander McQuaid went to the box at 5:13 for cross checking but Loik Leveille was sent off at 6:08 to cancel things out. But with Cape Breton shorthanded at 7:17, Legare unloaded a one time bomb to tie things at 1-1.

Soon after, Pelletier fired a shot that went through Auger but stayed out.

McQuaid went to the box again at 9:07, this time for high sticking. Pelletier had the best chance of the man advantage as he hit the post.

Late in the period, Saint John had a couple quality chances. Jason Cameron hit iron from a sharp angle and then later on the puck rolled on Cooper and he couldn’t get a great shot off following an awesome passing play.

Shots were 13-7 Screaming Eagles in the first.

The Sea Dogs got the scoring going early in the second period. Noel found Zilbert alone in the slot and he beat Bureau to give Saint John a 2-1 advantage.

Then at 5:41, Repe fired a high wrist shot from the Telus ad that beat Bureau to give the Dogs a 3-1 lead.

Saint John then went on a five-on-three advantage at 11:30 with Cameron Darcy joining Matthew Nosella in the box. On the two-man advantage, Weckworth one-timed the puck from the top of the circle and beat Bureau to make it 4-1.

Matthew Highmore took an undisciplined slashing penalty at 12:47 to send Cape Breton to the power play. But it would be Saint John scoring as Cameron and Smallman connected for the team’s first shorthanded marker of the year. Smallman fed Cameron on a two-on-none but was robbed by Bureau. But the puck remained in the crease and Smallman put it in.

At 15:45, Cooper went to the box. On the power play, Clark Bishop found an open Lazarev at the other side of the net. Lazarev put the disc into the open net to make it 5-2.

Shots in an eventful second period were 14-13 in favour of the Eagles.

The Eagles had a couple good chances early in the third. Darcy got the puck under Auger but it slid into the post and stayed out. Soon after, Bishop sent a shot through traffic but it hit the post.

At 9:29, Lukas Walter was given a five-minute major for being an “aggressor.” On the power play at 11:57, Pelletier beat Auger up high to make it a 5-3 game. That would be the only goal the Eagles would get on the man advantage.

At 14:45, Noel fed Cooper who was left alone in front of the net. Cooper beat Bureau to restore Saint John’s three-goal lead.

At 16:31, Cuomo made it a 7-3 game. Then at 17:14, Cooper scored again to make it 8-3.

Finally, at 18:08, Hebert setup Smallman who scored to make it a 9-3 final. There was some rough stuff after the goal that somehow resulted in Cape Breton getting a power play. Late in the game, Auger made a huge glove save off of Lazarev.

Shots in the game were 13-7 in favour of the Eagles.

Cape Breton went 2-for-9 on the power play while Saint John went 1-for-4.

SCRATCHES: The Sea Dogs were without forwards Joey Richard (shoulder), Stephen Anderson (upper body), and Mathieu Joseph (healthy) along with defensemen Michael Abbott (wrist), Olivier LeBlanc (upper body), and Will Thompson (healthy).

NOTES: It was Country Night at Harbour Station… defenseman Thomas Chabot was named the Sea Dogs’ Irving Player of the Month for February before the game while David Weckworth was named the Canadian Tire Student of the Month… Alexander McQuaid took two minor penalties in the first period… Sheehand Kirkwood’s assist was his first career QMJHL point… Eagles head coach Marc-Andre Dimont flipped out in the second period… both teams scored a shorthanded goal… lot of posts hit in this two-game mini-series… $5,167 went to the 50/50 winner…only four Sea Dogs didn't record a point... Saint John ended a six-game home losing streak.

NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs travel to Bathurst to take on the Titan tomorrow at 3pm.

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