FINAL: Bathurst 4, Saint John 3 (SO)
By: Lorne Webster | SN Staff
SAINT JOHN - After losing four consecutive games, the Acadie-Bathurst Titan (9-19-1-1) travelled to Harbour Station on Sunday to face the Saint John Sea Dogs (16-6-1-4). The hard working Titan, aided by eight power plays, were able to defeat the Sea Dogs 4-3 in a shootout to end their recent losing streak.
Egor Popov, Alexandre Gosselin and Andrew Ryan scored for Bathurst while Jakub Zboril and Spencer Smallman - with two goals - replied for Saint John. The extra time point allowed Saint John to continue their season long streak of earning at least one point in every game at Harbour Station as well as maintain a two-point lead over Moncton at the top of the Maritimes Division.
The referees dominated the first period by handing out a dozen penalties. At 6:31, Popov scooped up a turnover at the Titan blue line, broke away all alone and beat Sebastien Auger with a lovely deke to open the scoring. On a two-man advantage at 10:58, Gosselin ripped a wrist shot from the high slot over Auger's shoulder to extend the Titan's lead. Then, on a power play at 14:37, Zboril's laser beam found the top corner over Jacob Brennan's glove to close the gap to one. Bathurst led 7-6 on the shot clock and the period ended with the Titan up 2-1.
Just a minute into the second period, while skating 4-on-4, Smallman one-timed a cross ice feed from Luke Green to tie the game. After that, neither team allowed the other much room to roam. The period ended tied at 2-2 and the shots on goal were 10-8 for the Titan.
At 2:05 of the third, Smallman deflected a backdoor pass from Adam Marsh past Brennan to give the Sea Dogs their first lead of the night. However, just under two minutes later, Ryan corralled the rebound of a Mark Simpson slap shot and slide the puck behind a fallen Auger to tie the game at 3-3. Saint John killed off three straight penalties late in the third to lead to overtime. Shots favoured Bathurst 10-8 in the third and the Titan ended regulation outshooting the Sea Dogs 27-22.
Neither team was able to capitalize on their limited chances to score in the five-minute overtime period. In the fifth round of the shootout, Ryan rifled a wrist shot off the post and past Auger to record the only goal in extra time and lead the Titan to the victory.
TURNING POINT / BIG MOMENT
A very quick whistle by referee Jonathan Langille in overtime prevented Spencer Smallman from completing a wrap-around after the puck deflected off Brennan's glove and into Smallman's chest at the side of the Titan's net.
S.N. PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Spencer Smallman and Mathieu Joseph were buzzing all afternoon, especially on the Sea Dogs' penalty kills, and created a number of good scoring chances - highlighted by Smallman's two goals. The Titan’s Alexandre Gosselin was solid at both ends of the rink and was rewarded with a power play goal in the first.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
One of the @SeaDogsHockey newest fans #FirstHockeyGame #GoDogsGo #BeckettIs8WeeksOld pic.twitter.com/kZEf962hsU
— Duane Squires (@DuaneSquires) November 30, 2014
Unreal photo bomb by guy in the back.
- Sunday was the 8th Annual Romero House Food Drive at Harbour Station. A countless number of fans brought non-perishable food items, household cleaning products and donations to help with this worthy cause.
- Goalie Bobby Dugan; defencemen Braydon Blight and Bailey Webster; and forward Juraj Siska were all healthy scratches for Saint John. Alex Kealey (body soreness) remains sidelined for the Sea Dogs.
- To the casual observer, it would appear that Jonathan Langille has some sort of grudge against Saint John. At the very least, Langille and counterpart Corey Logan managed to control the flow of the game. It definitely was frustrating to watch for the fans, players and coaches alike.
Saint John hosts the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the first of a three games in three nights stretch for the Sea Dogs.