Wednesday, January 14, 2015

RECAP: Dogs Win 3-2

FINAL: Drummondville 2, Saint John 3
Lorne Webster | SN Staff

SAINT JOHN - In the midst of an extended slump, the Saint John Sea Dogs (24-13-1-5) hosted the Drummondville Voltigeurs (21-20-0-2) Wednesday evening and came away with a well deserved 3-2 win at Harbour Station. The win snapped a four-game losing streak.

Justice Dundas scored two goals in the second period to lead the Sea Dogs and Spencer Smallman scored what proved to be the game-winning goal early in the third. Adam Chapman and Sergei Boikov replied for Drummondville.        

The teams battled through a scoreless first period. The best scoring chance of the period went to the Voltigeurs. While shorthanded, Joey Ratelle stole the puck inside his own blue line, broke away all alone but was stoned by a nice kick save by Alex Bishop. Drummondville also led on the shot clock 15-8.

Dundas opened the scoring at 1:35 of the second. Mitch Dempsey scooped up the puck in the neutral zone, carried it into Drummondville's end and slide a nice cross ice pass to a streaking Dundas, who snapped the puck just under the cross bar and over Joe Fleschler's glove. Then on a power play at 10:02, Dundas struck again when he corralled the rebound of a Luke Green point shot and deposited it into the Voltigeurs’ net.

However, under two minutes later, Chapman batted the rebound of a Julien Avon shot out of the air and behind Bishop to bring Drummondville back to within one. Fireworks erupted in the final minute of the second period. First, Boko Imama destroyed a willing Justin Doucet with a flurry of bombs, including one that sent the huge Voltigeurs' helmet flying. Seconds later, Chapman earned a decision over big Jack vanBoekel. Drummondville outshot Saint John 9-6 in the second period.  

At 6:45 of a spirited third period, Matt Highmore carried the puck into Drummondville's end, stopped along the right wing boards and feathered a pass to a trailing Smallman, who stepped into the high slot and unleashed a rocket to the back cross bar over Fleschler's glove to extend the Sea Dogs lead to 3-1. Soon after, an apparent Voltigeurs goal at 8:42 was disallowed due to goaltender interference. But, on the subsequent penalty kill, Chapman picked up a loose puck, went down the right wing and his hard pass to the slot was tipped by Boikov past Bishop to make the score 3-2. Drummondville pushed hard for the equalizer, including a stretch of roughly 90 seconds where they skated six on four in the final two minutes, but were unable to get the puck past Bishop again. Drummondville continued to lead the shot parade, 12-6 in the third and 36-20 overall.

For hockey fight fans, Imama's clear cut victory over Doucet gave the Sea Dogs a little extra jump in their step. For those who detest fighting, Smallman's shot early in the third may have left a vapour trail behind in addition to being the game-winner.

Alex Bishop made 34 saves during arguably his best performance in a Sea Dogs uniform and seemed calm, cool and collected the entire night. Overage players Dundas (two goals) and Chapman - with a "Gordie Howe hat trick" (i.e. a goal, an assist and fight) - played well in all three zones tonight to lead their respective teams. Bailey Webster also had a strong night for the Sea Dogs to earn an honourable mention.  

  • Voltigeurs head coach Martin Raymond was recognized prior to the game, including a huge ovation from Sea Dogs fans, for his part as assistant coach of the gold medal winning Team Canada at the recent World Junior Hockey Championships in Montreal and Toronto.
  • Former Sea Dogs stalwart Mike Thomas was acknowledged by the Sea Dogs faithful during the first period. Many fans have fond memories of the "Thomer Bomber," especially for his role as captain of the 2011 Memorial Cup championship team.
  • Forward Julien Tessier (flu), forward Mathieu Joseph (shoulder), forward/defenceman Braydon Blight (healthy) and defenceman Jakub Zboril (lower body) did not dress for Saint John.  

The Sea Dogs travel to Gatineau this weekend for a game Saturday against the Olympiques starting at 8 p.m.

1 comment:

  1. Smallman has certainly upped his game....keep up the great work boys.....kudo to Alex Bishop for a first rate performance...