Lorne Webster | SN Staff
SAINT JOHN - In something of a scheduling oddity, the Saint John Sea Dogs (16-6-1-3) faced a QMJHL West Division team for the first time this season (after 25 games) when the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (15-7-1-3) arrived at Harbour Station Friday evening. Following a pair of gut wrenching losses to the Charlottetown Islanders, the Sea Dogs battled back to earn a 2-1 victory in a shootout.
Adam Marsh and Matthew Highmore – who had the the only goal in extra time - scored for Saint John while Daniel Walcott replied for Blainville-Boisbriand. The win allowed the Sea Dogs to remain undefeated in regulation time at Harbour Station and maintain their lead atop the Maritimes Division.
The first period was tight checking with very few quality scoring chances. The period ended tied at 0-0 and the shots on goal were 6-3 for the Armada.
The second period was a continuation of the tight checking displayed in the first. Then, on a power play with less than two minutes remaining, Walcott's point shot found its way past a screened Sebastien Auger to open the scoring. All hell broke lose as the period ended when the Armada’s Nathan Halbert threw a big hit after the buzzer. Somehow, the penalties evened out after the mêlée. Blainville-Boisbriand led 12-7 on the shot clock and the period ended with the Armada up 1-0.
The Sea Dogs finally broke through on a power play at 16:46 of the 3rd. Marsh picked up the puck along the boards, faked a pass and then wired a shot on the short side past Sam Montembeault. Shots favoured Saint John 10-4 in the third but the Armada ended regulation outshooting the Sea Dogs 22-21.
The Sea Dogs were on the power play to end the overtime period but failed to capitalize.
Both goalies stood tall in the shootout and each made clutch saves until Highmore fired a bullet over Montembeault's catching glove to break the deadlock in the sixth round.
Adam Marsh's power play goal late in the third allowed the Sea Dogs to extend the game and earn the extra point.
S.N. PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Jakub Zboril was strong at both ends of the ice for Saint John and delivered several big body checks.
Daniel Walcott and Danick Martel were buzzing all night for the Armada and generally made life miserable for the Sea Dogs all night.
- Friday was BINGO night at Harbour Station in support of the Empty Stocking Fund.
- After announcing earlier this week that rookie goalie Blade Mann-Dixon had been assigned to the MHL's Valley Wildcats, the Sea Dogs signed 17 year-old goaltender Alex Bishop from the Ontario Junior Hockey League's Hamilton Red Wings. The 6'4" Bishop arrived in Saint John Thursday morning and dressed as backup on Friday.
- Adam Bateman, who was injured in a slew-footing incident on Oct. 30 in Cape Breton, returned to the lineup after missing nine games.
- Darrell Young revealed in a radio interview yesterday that Alex Kealey is experiencing significant growing pains, especially in his back, after growing from 5'10" to 6'7" in about 18 months. No timeframe for Kealey's return to the lineup was mentioned.
- Goalie Bobby Dugan; defencemen Braydon Blight and Bailey Webster; and forward Julien Tessier were all healthy scratches for Saint John.
- Armada defenceman Olivier Schingh-Gomez was suspended following a cross-checking match penalty at the end of their game last night in Bathurst.
- Former Saint John Vitos Midget AAA players Colin MacSween and Sam King played their first games at Harbour Station in Armada uniforms.
Saint John hosts the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. Fans are asked to bring non-perishable food and/or household cleaning products to the game, in support of the 8th Annual Romero House Food Drive in Saint John. Also, donations can be dropped off inside the main doors of the concourse at Harbour Station.
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation