Friday, November 7, 2014

RECAP: Sea Dogs Win 4-2

FINAL: Saint John 4, Halifax 2
By: Lorne Webster | SN Staff

HALIFAX, N.S. - In the second game of a five-game road stretch, the Saint John Sea Dogs (13-3-0-3) were in Halifax to face the Mooseheads (7-11-1-1). Saint John got off to a slow start, allowing two goals in the first five minutes, but the 'Never Quit Sea Dogs' came all the way back to earn a convincing 4-2 win over Halifax at Scotiabank Centre Friday evening.

Justice Dundas, with two goals, Adam Marsh and Nathan Noel scored for Saint John while Nikolaj Ehlers and Samuel Leblanc replied for Halifax. The win was the Sea Dogs' fourth victory in a row and their seventh straight game with at least a point (6-0-0-1). It was also Saint John's fourth consecutive win over Halifax in the first quarter of the season.

Early in the first period, after super pest Kelly Bent suckered Sam Dove-McFalls into a roughing penalty, the Mooseheads' power play went to work. At 3:12, Ehlers tipped in a lovely back door slap pass from Timo Meier to open the scoring. Then, less than two minutes later, Sam Leblanc snuck behind the Saint John defence and wired a shot to the top corner over Sebastien Auger's glove to extend the lead to 2-0. At 8:24, Austyn Hardie was inches away from decapitating Marsh ... but only received a roughing penalty following an exchange with Jakub Zboril while Marsh lay on the ice. On a power play at 17:04, Marsh one-timed a cross ice pass from Noel behind Zach Fucale to cut the Moose lead to 2-1. The Mooseheads led 2-1 after one and the shots on goal were even at eight apiece.

The Sea Dogs came out much stronger to start the second period. At 8:44, just seconds after back-to-back missed breakaway opportunities by Zboril and Philippe Gadoury, Dundas scooped up a loose puck and rifled a shot over Fucale's glove to tie the game 2-2. A couple of minutes after Hardie hit the crossbar behind Auger, the Sea Dogs took their first lead of the night when Mark Tremaine's lead pass sprung Dundas for a breakaway and the Sea Dogs' overager made no mistake on a deke to make it 3-2 at 12:12. At 18:00, Bent was at it again when he drew Mitch Dempsey into a "staged fight" resulting in game misconducts.  At the same time, the referees decided that a wrestling match between Tremaine and Leblanc warranted second fighting majors and game misconducts ... and also sent Dundas and Matt Murphy off for 10 minutes each. In light of the strong performance by the Dundas-Tremaine-Dempsey line, that seemed to be a good trade off for Halifax. The Sea Dogs led 14-6 on the shot clock and ended the period up 3-2.
At 11:30 of a tight checking third period, Noel took a feed from Spencer Smallman and snapped the puck past Fucale, just five seconds into a power play. A few minutes prior to Noel's goal, Ehlers earned a misconduct for excessively arguing double minor penalties following a scrum with Braydon Blight and Jack vanBoekel. Sebastien Auger barred the door throughout the period and kept the Mooseheads off the scoreboard to backstop the victory. Shots favoured Halifax 15-5 in the third and the Mooseheads ended the game outshooting Saint John 29-27.

Justice Dundas' breakaway goal midway through the second period seemed to take the wind out of the Mooseheads' sails.

20 year-olds Justice Dundas (two goals) and Sebastien Auger (27 saves) played huge roles in leading the young Sea Dogs to this win. Jesse Lussier played a solid game on defence for Halifax, finding his stride after recently returning to the lineup from a serious injury in the pre-season.


  • Luke Green and Canada's U-17 Team White lost to Sweden Thursday evening and were eliminated from medal play at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Green was strong for Team White and finished tied for the team point lead with three (1G, 2A) in four games.
  • Former Sea Dogs Mike Hoffman (Ottawa) and Simon Despres (Pittsburgh) scored goals for their respective NHL teams Thursday night. #OnceASeaDogAlwaysASeaDog
  • Goalie Bobby Dugan (healthy); defencemen Luke Green (U17 Challenge) and Adam Bateman (upper body); as well as forwards Julien Tessier (healthy) and Alex Kealey (soreness) did not dress for Saint John. 

The Sea Dogs travel to Quebec City on Wednesday for an 8 p.m. start against the Remparts. The Sea Dogs will then travel to Chicoutimi for an 8 p.m. game on Friday and Baie-Comeau for a 5 p.m. start on Saturday.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

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