FINAL: Saint John 2, Moncton 3 (SO)
Juraj Siska and Jason Bell scored for the Sea Dogs, who led 2-1 at one point in the second period. Alex Bishop got the start in net for Saint John and made 27 saves in the loss.
Moncton goals came from Jacob Sweeney and Cameron Askew while Conor Garland chipped in with two assists. Alex Dubeau made 29 saves in the win.
Once again, it looked like the Sea Dogs were missing some jump. Hopefully the team can recover from the Olivier LeBlanc trade once Mathieu Joseph and Jakub Zboril return from injury.
Samuel Dove-McFalls headed to the box for cross checking at 4:56 of the first, sending the Wildcats to a power play. At 5:39, Ivan Barbashev fired a pass from behind the net to Sweeney in front who beat Bishop to make it 1-0 Moncton.
The Wildcats had the better scoring chances in the first. On a power play in the final minute, Nathan Noel had a great chance but was stopped by Dubeau. Shots were 7-6 Sea Dogs in the opening frame.
Saint John tied things up at 2:19 of the second when Siska’s hard shot from the slot beat Dubeau blocker side.
The Sea Dogs then took a 2-1 lead at 6:17 as the puck found a pinching Bell who beat Dubeau, giving the defenseman his first goal as a Dog.
Moncton quickly tied it up though at 9:39. On a power play, Askew finished off a nice passing play by depositing the puck into a yawning cage.
Shots in the second stanza were 11-9 in favour of the Wildcats.
Both teams had chances to take the lead in the third but neither could. Each team had power play opportunities – with Moncton even getting a man advantage with less than five minutes left in regulation – but neither were able to capitalize. Shots were 12-6 Saint John in the third.
Despite combining for nine shots, overtime solved nothing. In the shootout, Adam Marsh and Noel both failed to score while Garland and Askew connected for the Wildcats, giving Moncton a 3-2 win.
The Wildcats winning the shootout was the big moment, I guess.
SN PLAYER OF THE GAME
Thought Alex Bishop played fairly well in net against one of the league’s top offensive clubs. He was no doubt a bit nervous in the shootout.
- The Sea Dogs were without forwards Mathieu Joseph (shoulder), Matthew Green (healthy) and Julien Tessier (flu) along with defenseman Jakub Zboril (lower body).
- Alex Bishop made his fourth start of the season in net for the Sea Dogs. In a pre-game interview on NewSong FM, Ross Yates said he hopes to give Bishop some additional playing time in the second half.
- Former Sea Dog Noah Zilbert is now a Moncton Wildcat. He had one shot and one hit in this game.
- Ivan Barbashev returned to the Wildcats lineup after helping Russia win a Silver Medal at the world juniors.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs and Wildcats meet again on Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Harbour Station.