FINAL: Moncton, 1, Saint John 7
By Lorne Webster | SN Staff
SAINT JOHN - The Sea Dogs (8-3-0-2) returned to Harbour Station on Saturday evening to face the Moncton Wildcats (8-5-0-0) for their "Pink in the Rink" game, as part of the QMJHL's fight against breast cancer.
Saint John came away with an impressive 7-1 win over their provincial rivals. Luke Green, Mitch Dempsey, Nathan Noel (with two), Spencer Smallman, Adam Marsh and Mathieu Joseph scored for the Sea Dogs, while Vladimir Tkachev responded for Moncton. The win moved Saint John back into first place in the Maritimes Division.
Less than 24 hours after an embarrassing 7-0 loss in Moncton, the Sea Dogs got off to an excellent start. Just 31 seconds into the game, an Adam Marsh shot got past Alex Dubeau but hit the post and did not completely cross the line.
Just before the 8:00 mark, Wildcat Kyle Tibbo took a run at Sam Dove-McFalls and caught the young Sea Dog in the head. With Dove-McFalls lying on the ice, Mathieu Joseph stepped in to fight Tibbo. As a result, Joseph earned instigator penalties but Tibbo was given a charging major and game misconduct in addition to a fighting major. Less than two minutes later, Luke Green joined the rush, took a feed from Smallman and unleashed a slap shot to score his first QMJHL goal. At 11:04, Mitch Dempsey snapped a feed from Mark Tremaine past Dubeau to score the Sea Dogs first power play goal in ages. Less than a minute later, Nathan Noel converted Saint John's second power play goal off a scramble in which both Marsh and Adam Bateman were stopped by Dubeau. At 14:39, during a Moncton power play, Vladimir Tkachev waltzed down the wing and sent a laser over Sebastien Auger's shoulder to cut the Sea Dogs' lead to 3-1. Saint John lead on the shot clock 13-8.
Early in the second period, Smallman scooped up a neutral zone turnover by Connor Garland, broke away with Adam Marsh and converted on a lovely give and go to extend the lead to 4-1. With Chris Lalonde in the box late in the second, the Sea Dogs' backstop came up with a huge save off of a two-on-none breakaway shot by Tkachev on a feed from Ivan Barbashev. Otherwise, the rest of the period was pretty much back and forth. However, the referees drew the ire of head coach Ross Yates by mysteriously awarding the Wildcats two power plays out of scrums initiated by the Wildcats. That score would hold up even though the Wildcats out shot Saint John 12-7 in the period.
At 12:35 of the third, the Sea Dogs power play connected again as Marsh took a clean faceoff win by Noel and sent a rocket to the top corner to extend the Sea Dogs lead to 5-1. Just over two minutes later, Noel displayed some fine golf skills when he sent a wedge shot up and over Dubeau to make it 6-1. The Wildcats were reminded that karma can turn around quickly, when Mathieu Joseph scored at 15:50 set the final score at 7-1. aint John held an 11-8 shot advantage in the third to end the game up 32-28 on the shot clock.
Three goals by Saint John during the charging major penalty to Kyle Tibbo erased the Sea Dogs’ bad memories from Friday night and helped carry them to a dominating win in their awesome 'Pink in the Rink' jerseys.
SN PLAYERS OF THE GAME
While Nathan Noel and Adam Marsh led the offence and Sebastien Auger recovered from a rare off night, it was Mathieu Joseph and Mitch Dempsey who helped set the tone for a hard working Sea Dogs team on the night.
- Moncton's Will Smith was suspended for the game, following a kneeing major on Friday.
- Alex Kealey celebrated his 17th birthday but did not dress for Saint John. Bobby Dugan, Braydon Blight, Bailey Webster and Matt Green also sat out for Saint John.
- Saint John's power play finally showed signs of life by going 3-for-6.
- The Sea Dogs showed much more discipline and only allowed two power plays, in which Moncton scored their only goal.
- Ross Yates appeared to be sending a message to Moncton head coach Darren Rumble late in the game, when he sent out the Noel line on a power play with less than two minutes left. On Friday, not only did Rumble use his top power play unit with the Wildcats in full control of the game in the third period... but he also called a time out while up 7-0.
The Sea Dogs host the Baie-Comeau Drakkar next Saturday at 7 p.m. Then, Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m., the 2015 Memorial Cup host Quebec Remparts come to Harbour Station for their only regular season visit.