FINAL: Halifax 0, Saint John 7
SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs (3-1-0-1) gave their faithful fans plenty to be excited about Saturday evening at Harbour Station with a most convincing 7-0 victory over the Halifax Mooseheads (2-3-1-0). Thomas Chabot and newcomer Justice Dundas led the way with two goals each. Imports Juraj Siska and Jakub Zboril each scored their first QMJHL goals while Mitchell Dempsey, with his third goal on the season, rounded out the scoring. Sebastien Auger turned aside 30 Halifax shots to earn the shutout.
The Sea Dogs ran into penalty trouble early in the first period but their outstanding penalty kill units managed to keep Halifax off the board, including a 48 second two-man advantage. Just past the six-minute mark, Thomas Chabot took a cross ice feed from Mathieu Joseph and blasted a slap shot that somehow made its way through Zach Fucale's equipment to open the scoring. With a little over two minutes left in the first period, the line of Mark Tremaine, Braydon Blight and Dundas completely outworked the Mooseheads. Dundas found himself all alone in front to snap a shot over Fucale's shoulder to stretch the lead to 2-0 after one. Shots favoured Saint John 16-11.
Saint John came out strong again in the second period and pretty much dominated Halifax in every aspect. At 6:35 of the second, Chabot's point shot pin balled off a few players and found its way past Fucale to make it 3-0. Later in the period, less than two minutes apart, Siska (with a roof job over a stickless Fucale's shoulder) and Zboril (with a bullet from the point through traffic on the power play) racked up their first 'Q' league goals to extend the Saint John lead to 5-0. Shots were 18-7 for the Sea Dogs.
Early in the third, Philippe Gadoury was awarded a penalty shot but Sebastien Auger flashed his catching glove to rob him of a goal. Just before the 5:00 mark, Jack vanBoekel caught Vincent Watt with a huge open ice hit that sent the young Moosehead flying. A massive scrum resulted in a number of penalties as Watt was helped to the dressing room. Less than a minute later, Dundas scooped up a loose puck in the Sea Dogs' zone, streaked down the right wing and snapped a shot just over Fucale's pad to make it 6-0... and end Fucale's night in goal. Once Kevin Resop took over in the Halifax net, a few Mooseheads took it upon themselves to try to avenge Watt's injury. First, Danny Moynihan had a vicious check from behind on Matt Highmore. That hit sent the Sea Dogs assistant captain to see the team doctor. Later, Austyn Hardie's head shot on Mathieu Joseph earned him a dance invitation from vanBoekel. And, about four minutes later, Brandon Vuic made his attempt at putting Joseph through the boards with another vicious hit from behind. It will be interesting to see if the league takes any action on these plays. With just under 3:00 to go in the game, Mark Tremaine outworked the Halifax 'D' and fed a lovely pass to Dempsey for a tap in to set the final score. Shots were even at 12 per side but the final shot clock read 46-30 for SJ.
Saint John's big Penalty Kill to start the game, followed by Thomas Chabot's blast through Zach Fucale minutes later really set the tone for the Sea Dogs on this night. Also, Sebastien Auger's tremendous glove save on Phillippe Gadoury's penalty shot was a high point for Saint John's reigning MVP.
S.N. PLAYERS OF THE GAME
It's hard to pick just a few. But, pardon the pun, Justice was served in Mr. Dundas' first game in Sea Dogs blue.
Juraj Siska and Jakub Zboril were outstanding at both ends of the ice and were rewarded with what should be the first of many goals in the QMJHL.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
@station_nation Actually, Dundas is a town http://t.co/35UR7OyGKf 👍
— Kevin Rockett (@bigdumrockett) September 27, 2014
- During the opening power play, Zach Fucale was forced to make a diving stop of a Sam Dove-McFalls shot from centre ice after the young Sea Dog intercepted Fucale's up ice pass from the corner. Had Fucale not gotten his stick on the shot, the baby blue roof over Harbour Station may just have come down upon him.
- With the addition of Justice Dundas to a lineup including Sam Dove-McFalls and Blade Mann-Dixon, the Sea Dogs vault to number one for the coolest collection of names in the entire hockey world. Awesome.
- Adam Marsh, Blade Mann-Dixon, Bailey Webster, Matt Green and Alex Kealey did not dress for the Sea Dogs.
- Braydon Blight moved up from defence to left wing for his first regular season game for the Sea Dogs and earned an assist on Dundas' first goal.
- Mark Tremaine and Luke Green both had two assists on the night. But Nathan Noel, who was flying all over the ice all evening, somehow was kept off the score sheet.
- Saint John killed off all six Halifax power plays and scored just once in nine tries with the man advantage. Surely the power play will be focused on by Ross Yates and the coaching staff in upcoming practices.
The Sea Dogs welcome the Chicoutimi Sagueneens (2-4-0-0) to Harbour Station Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. Chicoutimi is coming off a 3-1 win over the Moncton Wildcats Saturday evening.