FINAL: Rouyn-Noranda 1, Saint John 5
SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs (17-6-1-4) hosted Rouyn-Noranda (15-14-2-0) on Friday evening in the Huskies' second game of a three game tour of the Maritimes. Despite allowing Rouyn-Noranda to score first, the Sea Dogs played arguably their best game in the past two or three weeks and came away with a 5-1 victory at Harbour Station.
Sam Dove-McFalls, Spencer Smallman, Adam Marsh, Jakub Zboril and Mark Tremaine scored for Saint John, while Justin Guenette replied for Rouyn-Noranda. Ross Yates juggled the forward lines and they seemed to work well overall, which allowed the Sea Dogs to extend their lead atop the Maritimes Division to four points over the idle Moncton Wildcats.
At 3:33 of the first, Guenette's one-timer, off a pass from Ryan Penny, struck Sebastien Auger up high and then caromed off another Sea Dog and into the net. After that, the Sea Dogs controlled most of the play; but, other than an Olivier LeBlanc shot off a post, were unable to get a shot behind Sam Harvey until 13:26. At that point, Dove-McFalls took a nice feed from Mathieu Joseph, broke in all alone and fired a wrist shot to the top corner behind the Huskies' rookie 'keeper. Saint John's penalty kill was called into action twice late in the frame and held the Huskies at bay. The period ended tied 1-1 and the shots on goal favoured Saint John 11-8.
At 4:13 of the second, seconds after a Huskies' penalty ended, a misfire by Zboril ended up on Smallman's stick at the edge of the crease and he slammed the puck behind Harvey. Just three minutes later, Marsh took a pass from Thomas Chabot, curled off the side wall and rifled the puck past Harvey to make it 3-1. On a power play with under 40 seconds left, Zboril's bullet from the point found its way through a crowd and into the net to extend the Sea Dogs' lead to 4-1. Saint John also led 11-7 on the shot clock.
At 11:36 of the third, while shorthanded, Tremaine's hard work paid off when he won a battle for the puck at the Huskie's line, broke in on Harvey and beat the keeper through the five hole on a deke. With a number of power plays, Rouyn-Noranda out shot Saint John 12-10 in the third but shots favoured the Sea Dogs 32-26 overall.
TURNING POINT/BIG MOMENT
The Sea Dogs’ two goals early in the second period put Saint John on a clear path to victory.
SN PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Jakub Zboril (1G, 1A) and Sebastien Auger both had outstanding games. Spencer Smallman, back with old friend Matthew Highmore, played a great game and was rewarded with a goal and an assist as well.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
This game could be a "dog fight" am I right?
— Jamie Tozer (@station_nation) December 5, 2014
Ed. Note: Tweet of the year, am I right?
- Forward Matt Green as well as defencemen Adam Bateman and Braydon Blight did not dress for Saint John. Alex Kealey remains sidelined with general body soreness.
- Before the game, Sebastien Auger was named player of the month for November, Braydon Blight was student of the month, and Matt Highmore and Olivier LeBlanc were named the hardest working forward and defenceman, respectively. Bailey Webster was recognized as the top fundraiser for the MOvember campaign.
- While the next QMJHL trade period fully opens on Dec. 19, teams are making several moves involving overage, import and non-roster players. Reports out of Quebec tonight indicated that Moncton has traded Vladimir Tkachev for Taylor Burke and a pair of mid-round draft choices, as well as Christophe Lalonde for a pair of early round draft picks. Future considerations may also be involved.
The Sea Dogs travel to Halifax for a 7 p.m. start against the Mooseheads tomorrow. They return to Harbour Station on Sunday afternoon for a 3 p.m. start against Stephen Anderson and the Val-d'Or Foreurs.
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation