FINAL: Saint John 2, Gatineau 4
Lorne Webster | SN Staff
HULL, QC - In the first of two games in western Quebec, the Saint John Sea Dogs (24-14-1-5) travelled to Hull to face the Gatineau Olympiques (18-24-0-4) Saturday evening and gave up three goals in the third period to lose 4-2 at the Centre Robert-Guertin.
Jake Coughler and Marc Beckstead both had two goals to lead the Olympiques to the comeback win. Justice Dundas and Mathieu Joseph replied for the Sea Dogs.
At 8:10 of the first period, Dundas picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone, carried the puck to the high slot and fired a wrist shot over the blocker of a partially screened Francois Brassard. Despite having four power plays (to none for Saint John) and outshooting the Sea Dogs 11-9, Gatineau was unable to get a puck past Sebastien Auger in the first.
An apparent Gatineau power play goal at 3:53 of the second was disallowed when a video review determined that Yan-Pavel Laplante had used his glove to bat a puck past Auger during a goal mouth scramble. But at 6:31, Coughler tied the game at 1-1 when he one-timed a pass from behind the net by Tommy Veilleux past Auger. Just over three minutes later, Joseph took a hard cross ice feed from Boko Imama and ripped a shot high short side to make it 2-1 for Saint John. Seconds later, Auger preserved the lead when he robbed Beckstead in close. The Olympiques lad 16-6 on the shot clock in the second.
At 6:49 of the third period, Beckstead banged in the rebound of an Alexandre Carrier point shot to tie the game at 2-2. Coughler and Veilleux connected for a second time at 11:25, when Veilleux's seeing eye pass from the corner found Coughler, who made no mistake in snapping the puck past Auger to make it 3-2 for Gatineau. Beckstead sealed the win for Gatineau when he intercepted a cross ice pass, carried the puck into the Sea Dogs zone and slid the puck into an empty net to make the final score 4-2. Brassard went down like he'd been shot after being hit by Dundas in the dying seconds - which earned Dundas a major and game misconduct for spearing. Saint John managed to outshoot Gatineau 17-12 in the third but the Olympiques led the shot parade 39-32 overall.
The fortuitous pass from Veilleux through a maze to Cougler proved to be the game winning goal and Sea Dog back breaker.
SN PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Francois Brassard (with 30 saves, including 17 in the third) and Sebastien Auger (with 35 saves) were both outstanding for their respective teams. Marc Beckstead, with two goals off of his seven shots on goal, was a force for the Olympiques.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
En direct du CRB! La marque après 1 période entre @LesOlympiques et @SeaDogsHockey 1-0 SeaDogs #LHJMQ #NosOlympiques pic.twitter.com/9D3b5SoIKU
— Dominic Charette (@D_Charette) January 18, 2015
- The Sea Dogs’ penalty kill was perfect in killing off all nine Olympiques power plays while the Saint John’s power play was zero for two minutes and 35 seconds.
- After recovering from a lower body injury, Sebastien Auger returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Jan. 7.
- Forward Mathieu Joseph and forward/defencman Braydon Blight returned to the lineup to give Daniel Del Paggio and Matt Green a night off.
- Forward Julien Tessier (day-to-day recovering from a flu) and defenceman Jakub Zboril (week-to-week with a lower body injury) did not travel to Quebec with the Sea Dogs this weekend.
- The new-look Olympiques were one of the most active teams during the recent trade period. Gatineau acquired veteran import Valentin Zykov from Baie-Comeau and 19 year-olds Yan-Pavel Laplante, Tommy Veilleux and Anthony Beaulieu from Victoriaville, while trading, amongst other assets, two recent second overall draft choices Alexis Pepin (2012) and Pascal Laberge (2014). However, both Zykov and Beaulieu had the night off.
- Goalie Francois Brassard, who was waived by Cape Breton, has found a home in Gatineau as a replacement for Brandon Whitney - who suffered a season ending injury after the trade period.
- Gatineau overage defenceman Mickael Beauregard is the younger brother of former Sea Dog Alexandre Beauregard who is fondly remembered in Saint John, especially for his overtime game-winning goal at Centre Robert-Guertin to seal the 2011 President’s Cup on the way to the Sea Dogs' first Memorial Cup.
The Sea Dogs travel to Sherbrooke to face the Phoenix on Sunday afternoon starting at 4 p.m.