FINAL: Saint John 3, Halifax 4 (SO)
The Sea Dogs didn’t play horribly in the first half of the game but fell behind 3-0. Saint John got a power play goal late in the second to give them some life; and then in the third, Saint John really turned it on at times and scored a shorthanded and even strength marker to send the match to a shootout.
A lengthy, seven round shootout then ensued. Samuel Leblanc’s goal and a Kevin Resop save off of Adam Bateman proved to be the winning formula for the Moose.
Samuel Dove-McFalls, Matt Green, and Mathieu Joseph had regulation time goals for Saint John. Bobby Dugan got the start in net and made 16 saves on 19 shots. Chris Smith took over midway through the second and made seven stops.
Halifax had goals from Vincent Watt, Matt Murphy, and Kelly Bent. Zach Fucale got the start in net and made 18 saves. Kevin Resop took over near the halfway point of the game and made 16 stops on 19 shots.
Despite being down 2-0 after one, the Sea Dogs had quite a few scoring opportunities and outshot the Mooseheads 15-11.
In the second, Bent gave the Herd a 3-0 lead at 6:53 as he banged the puck in from the crease area. The former Sea Dog then skated behind the net and pumped his jersey while looking into the Truro crowd.
Saint John finally got on the board at 15:23 during a power play. A Sheehan Kirkwood shot was deflected in by Dove-McFalls to cut the Moose lead to 3-1.
Shots in the middle frame were 10-9 Halifax.
With Jack Van Boekel in the box for interference, the Dogs managed to score a shorthanded marker to get within one. At 7:35, Taylor Field fed Green who had an open cage to make it 3-2.
The Dogs had a number of quality chances following the goal. Joseph fed Nathan Noel who was parked at the side of the net but was absolutely robbed by the glove of Resop. Then, Kyle Ward, who had a few good chances in this game, cut through the crease but was stopped.
Finally, during some four-on-four play, Joseph beat Resop with a shot glove side to complete Saint John’s comeback at 15:44.
Shots in the third were 13-5 Dogs and 37-26 overall.
Like Friday, the game went straight to a shootout. Noel scored on the Sea Dogs’ first shot attempt but that was countered by Jordan King. There wouldn’t be any goals again until Leblanc in the seventh round. Adam Bateman had to score to keep the Dogs in it but he did not.
NOTES: The RECC is a beautiful facility. Pretty much a packed house watched the game… assistant coaches Jeff Cowan and Greg Leland ran the Sea Dogs bench… Nikita Li made his first pre-season debut and looked good. He created and had a few good chances in this game while playing on a line with Mathieu Joespeh and Samuel Dove-McFalls. He isn’t the biggest guy on the ice didn't seem to shy away from physical play in front of the net… Joseph, Dove-McFalls, and Thomas Chabot each wore on ‘A’ on their jersey… like Friday night, Matt Green played while Luke Green did not.
ROSTER MOVES: The Sea Dogs announced before the game that forwards Chris Sarault and Francis Theriault have been cut from the team’s training camp roster.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs have next weekend off. They resume pre-season action on Friday, September 5 at Harbour Station.