Thursday, December 18, 2014

RECAP: Sea Dogs Lose 4-3

FINAL: Bathurst 4, Saint John 3
SAINT JOHN – A tremendous opening half to the 2014-15 season ended on a sour note for the Saint John Sea Dogs on Thursday night.

A late third period goal from Egor Popov gave the Acadie-Bathurst Titan a 4-3 victory over the Sea Dogs, extending Saint John’s losing streak to three games. The loss was also Saint John’s first in regulation time at Harbour Station this season.

On top of all that, Saint John’s loss combined with a Moncton win means the Sea Dogs finish the first half in second place in the Maritimes Division – one-point back of the first-place Wildcats.

The Sea Dogs didn’t have a whole lot of flow in this game and let it slip away in the third with a couple of missed defensive assignments. They ended up outshooting the Titan 25-24 but had just nine “dangerous shots” in the game.

Andrew Ryan, Jeffery Truchon-Viel, Yan Plourde and Popov scored for the Titan while Alexandre Lagace and Jacob Brennan combined to make 22 saves in the win. Julien Tessier, Daniel Del Paggio and Luke Green scored for the Sea Dogs and Sebastien Auger made 20 stops in the loss.

Saint John went to the power play just 20 seconds into the game but it would be Bathurst opening the scoring. At 2:02, Ryan skated past Luke Green to go in alone on Auger. He made a deke and beat the Dogs ‘tender to make it 1-0 Titan.

Saint John tied things up at 13:37. A Braydon Blight shot was stopped but Tessier put the rebound in to make it a 1-1 match.

Shots were 12-9 Saint John in the first. Adam Bateman and Adam Marsh each hit a post in the frame.

At 2:58 of the second, Del Paggio scored on a power play to give Saint John their first lead of the game. Nathan Noel fired a pass from down low to Del Paggio who put it off his skate, to his stick and into the net. That was the end of Lagace’s night - for whatever reason - as Jacob Brennan took over the Titan goaltending duties.

Saint John’s power play continued to produce at 10:43. Green fired a slapper from inside the line and past Brennan to make it 3-1 Dogs.

Just over three minutes later, the Titan made it a one-goal game again. Auger let out a big rebound of an Anthony Gingras shot and Viel floated the rebound in to make it 3-2 contest after two. Shots were 11-9 Bathurst in the middle frame.

Just 48 seconds into the third, Bathurst tied it at 3-3. Popov found Plourde who was left all alone, allowing him to skate above the crease and beat Auger five-hole.

Neither team generated many scoring chances until 18:54. Popov, uncontested, performed a wraparound and slipped the puck past Auger to give the Titan a late 4-3 lead.

Saint John pulled Auger in the final minute to try and even things up but they could not, ending the first half of their season with a loss.

It was anyone’s game until Egor Popov scored with 1:06 left.


  • The Sea Dogs were without defensemen Jakub Zboril (not back from Czech world junior camp) and forwards Juraj Siska (Slovakia world junior camp), Mathieu Joseph (suspension) and Alex Kealey (soreness/healthy).
  • This was the final day of the first half in the QMJHL.
  • Bathurst scored their first shorthanded goal of the season in the first period. They were the final team in the league to net one.
  • Julien Tessier’s goal was his first since Sept. 20.
  • Nathan Noel had two assists.
  • If you are into plus/minus stats, Justice Dundas was a -4.
  • Bathurst ended a six-game losing streak.
  • Saint John has now lost two straight games to the Titan – both of which were played at Harbour Station.
  • Sea Dogs players sent out Christmas wishes during commercial breaks on NewSong FM.
  • 2,768 was the attendance. Sad.
  • The QMJHL’s holiday trading period begins tomorrow. BUCKLE UP.

The Sea Dogs are back in action on Dec. 28 when they travel to Moncton to face the Wildcats.

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