FINAL: Saint John 5, Cape Breton 4
By Lorne Webster | SN Staff
SYDNEY N.S. - The Sea Dogs were at Sydney's Centre 200 Friday evening for the first of back-to-back games against the Screaming Eagles and came away with a 5-4 comeback win. Nathan Noel, with two, Mathieu Joseph, Adam Marsh and Daniel Del Paggio scored for Saint John. Charles-Eric Legare led the way for Cape Breton with two goals while Maxim Lazarev and Clark Bishop also scored for the home team.
In what has become a troubling trend, the Sea Dogs got into penalty trouble early and it cost them dearly. Lazarev scored on a power play at 4:08 and Legare added another power play goal less than two minutes later. Noel went end-to-end and scored on a wrap around at 17:18. The Sea Dogs continued to apply pressure on a five-on-three power play but Francois Brassard made a few big saves to preserve the lead. Saint John led on the shot clock 11-8.
Early in the second period, Bishop scooped up a neutral zone turnover, broke in alone and snapped a shot past Sebastien Auger. About one minute later, Legare scored a shorthanded goal with a top shelf shot over Auger's shoulder to grab a 4-1 lead. However, as the penalty parade continued, Joseph grabbed a rebound in the goalmouth and slid the puck behind Brassard at 6:30 on a power play. Just past the 10 minute mark, Luke Green took the puck inside the blue line, broke down the right wing and fed a lovely pass to Noel for a one-timer to make it 4-3. That score would hold up and Saint John out shot Cape Breton 13-9.
Early in the third, a Spencer Smallman shot banked off the crossbar and stayed out. But, at 5:02, Marsh took a feed from Sam Dove-McFalls and roofed a shot over Brassard to tie the game at 4-4. At 12:26, Del Paggio corralled the rebound off a Luke Green point shot and flipped the puck past Brassard to give the Sea Dogs their first lead at 5-4. Auger come up with several huge stops in the final four minutes to preserve the win. Shots were 14-6 in favour of Cape Breton in the 3rd to give them a 31-30 shot advantage on the night.
Del Paggio's goal followed by the Sebastien Auger show late in the game proved to be the difference.
S.N. PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Nathan Noel showed Craig Button and several NHL scouts that he shouldn't be overlooked in discussions and reports leading up to the NHL draft next summer.
Charles-Eric Legare is proving to be an extremely valuable 20 year-old for the Screaming Eagles, scoring two special teams goals.
- Sebastien Auger earned his second assist of the young season on Noel's first period marker.
- With two more assists on the night, Thomas Chabot now has two goals and eight points in seven games. Hopefully NHL scouts are taking note of his fine play as well.
- Saint John's power play is an area of concern early in the season. The Dogs were 1/11 with the man advantage and gave up a shorthand goal.
- Legare's second period shorthanded marker was Cape Breton's league leading fourth of the year - one more than the Sea Dogs.
- The Sea Dogs were without goaltender Bobby Dugan; defensemen Jack vanBoekel; and forwards Matthew Highmore (upper body), Alexander Kealey (general body soreness), and Julien Tessier (healthy). According to Tim Roszell during the 96.1 NewSong FM pre-game show, Kealey and vanBoekel did not make the trip to Sydney.
The Dogs and Eagles will match up for their second consecutive game on Saturday evening at Centre 200 at 7 p.m.
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation