FINAL: Quebec 3, Saint John 2 (SO)
By Lorne Webster | SN Staff
SAINT JOHN - Former Sea Dogs Marcus Cuomo, Nicolas Hebert and Alex McQuaid returned to Saint John with the Quebec Remparts (11-5-0-0) and had first row seats for a 3-2 win over the Sea Dogs (9-3-0-3) at Harbour Station Sunday afternoon.
Zachery Moody scored in the fourth round of a shootout to carry the Remparts to victory. Proud Newfoundlanders Cody Donaghey and Kurt Etchegary also scored for Quebec. Juraj Siska scored three goals for Saint John, including one in the shootout.
The game got off to a feisty start when star defencemen Olivier LeBlanc and Nicolas Brouillard dropped their mitts for a short, spirited scrap just 69 seconds in. At 7:06, Remparts defenceman Donaghey carried the puck into Saint John's end, faked to move around the net but snapped the puck between Sebastien Auger and his post to open the scoring. The Sea Dogs responded quickly when, 28 seconds later, Siska took a feed from Matt Green, broke down the wing and ripped a wrist shot on the short side past Callum Booth to tie the score at 1-1. That assist was Matt Green's first QMJHL point. The period would end tied at ones and Quebec leading 14-10 on the shot clock.
At 5:30 of the second period, the Remparts created an odd man rush following a goalmouth scramble in front of Booth. Etchegary one-timed a pass from Brouillard past Auger to give Quebec a 2-1 lead. The penalty killing units for both teams were tested in the second half of the period and both passed with flying colours as the each killed off two-man advantages. While the period ended with Quebec up 2-1, both teams managed 11 shots apiece.
The Sea Dogs came out strong to start the third period but Booth made several big saves. Also, the Remparts’ Zachery Moody and Sea Dogs’ Justice Dundas came close to scoring but instead found iron behind the respective keepers early in the period. Then at 7:00, Siska corralled a rebound off a Bailey Webster point shot and flipped the puck past Booth to make it 2-2. That assist was Webster's first point of the season as well. With 2:04 left, Braydon Blight was assessed a major for interference on a huge hit on Brouillard behind the play. Auger came up big to allow the game to continue into overtime. Saint John held a 11-6 shot advantage in the third.
The OT session started with the Remparts still on the power play. But at 0:58, Taylor Burke was penalized which created lots of open ice for the skaters. There were several great scoring opportunities for both teams but Auger and Booth refused to be beaten, leading to a shootout. After Nathan Noel and Guillaume Gauthier were stopped, Siska and Dmytro Timashov scored five-hole goals. Thomas Chabot, Adam Erne and Adam Marsh all failed to score before Moody appeared to lose the puck in close but recovered in time to flip a backhand shot over Auger's shoulder to claim the win for Quebec.
Sebastien Auger showed why he is viewed as one of the best goaltenders in the QMJHL when he made several big saves, especially late in the game, to force the very evenly played match to be settled in a shootout.
S.N. PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Juraj Siska played arguably his best game in a Sea Dogs uniform and was rewarded with two goals and a shootout marker. As for the Remparts, Cody Donaghey was very strong at both ends of the ice.
- As a result of a "brawl" late last night against Baie-Comeau, Spencer Smallman and Jack vanBoekel were each suspended for one game. Goalie Bobby Dugan as well as forwards Daniel Del Paggio and Alex Kealey (soreness) did not dress for Saint John.
- Former Sea Dog Connor Donaghey was in Harbour Station to see his kid brother, Cody, play for Quebec and visit with a few of his old teammates.
- With Anthony Duclair in New York with the Rangers and import Vladislav Kamenev playing in Russia, Quebec is missing arguably their two best offensive weapons. However, the 2015 Memorial Cup hosts are a solid team.
- The QMJHL rumour mill ran rampant in the pre-season with talk that Sebastien Auger (and possibly with Jack Eichel) would be headed to Quebec in exchange for a package including Callum Booth. While the chances of that happening appear to be disappearing, both goaltenders are playing very well for their respective teams.
The Sea Dogs travel to Cape Breton on Thursday, Oct. 30, for a 7 p.m. start against the Screaming Eagles. The Dogs and Eagles return to Harbour Station on Saturday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. for the back end of their 'home-and-home' series.