FINAL: Saint John 2, Chicoutimi 1
CHICOUTIMI, QC - Following a 3-0 setback in Quebec City on Wednesday, the Saint John Sea Dogs (14-4-0-3) were in Chicoutimi Friday evening to face the Sagueneens (8-13-1-0). The Sea Dogs played another strong road game and came away with an impressive 2-1 win at the Centre Georges-Vezina.
Mark Tremaine and Mathieu Joseph scored for Saint John, while Charles Guevremont replied for Chicoutimi. The win allowed Saint John to maintain a one point lead over the hard charging Moncton Wildcats atop the Maritimes division... although Saint John has played two fewer games than the 'Cats.
The game got off to a sluggish start with several icing calls both ways in the opening ten minutes. Then, on a power play at 12:43, Tremaine took a pass from Luke Green and fired a wrist shot that beat Julio Billia high on the short side to put the Sea Dogs on the board. A couple of very weak, questionable calls gave the Sagueneens a pair of power plays but Sebastien Auger and the Sea Dogs' shot blockers came up big to keep Chicoutimi scoreless in the first period. Saint John led 1-0 after one and also out shot the Sags 10-9.
At 1:58 of the second period, Guevremont scooped up a loose puck in the Sea Dogs' zone, waltzed into the slot and snapped the puck past Auger to tie the score at 1-1. The Sea Dogs had several high quality scoring chances in the second half of the period, including a shot off the post by Joseph, but they could not get the puck over the goal line. Saint John led 12-10 on the shot clock but the period ended tied 1-1.
Both teams had a number of good scoring chances in the third period but both Auger and Billia made equally impressive saves. With less than 4:00 left in the third, a Luke Green point shot rang off the cross bar and stayed out. Then, at 18:12, Daniel Del Paggio carried the puck into Chicoutimi's end and dished a pass to Joseph who wired the puck into the top corner to give Saint John the lead again. Shots favoured Saint John 11-6 in the 3rd and the Sea Dogs ended the game out-shooting Chicoutimi 34-25.
Mathieu Joseph's goal late in the third broke the deadlock and allowed the Sea Dogs to avenge a heartbreaking loss to Chicoutimi on Sept. 28, when the Sagueneens scored with one second left in regulation to tie the game and then beat Saint John in a shootout.
S.N. PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Mathieu Joseph not only had the game winning goal but had a few other great scoring chances, including hitting a post late in the second. oseph was also strong on the penalty kill.
Goalies Sebastien Auger (24 saves) and Julio Billia (32 saves) were both outstanding for their respective teams.
- Chicoutimi beat the Baie-Comeau Drakkar 7-3 Thursday night in a fight-filled affair. A photo made the rounds in the Twitterverse today showing seven Sagueneens huddled together in the penalty box late in the second period of last night's game.
- Former Sea Dogs in the NHL Thursday - Mike Hoffman (Ottawa) had two goals, including the OT winner, Charlie Coyle (Minnesota) had two assists and Nathan Beaulieu had an assist and a TKO over Matt Fraser (Boston).
- Injured Sea Dogs Adam Bateman (upper body) and Alex Kealey (general body soreness) remained in Saint John for the three game road trip through eastern Quebec. Goalie Bobby Dugan, defencemen Braydon Blight and forward Julien Tessier were healthy scratches for Saint John.
Saint John travels to Baie-Comeau on Saturday for a 5 p.m. start against the Drakkar to end this road trip. The Sea Dogs return to Harbour Station next Friday (Nov. 21) for a 7:30 p.m. start against the Shawinigan Cataractes.