DRUMMONDVILLE, QC - In the second match of a three games in three days stretch in Quebec, the Saint John Sea Dogs (26-16-1-6) were in Drummondville to face the Voltigeurs (23-24-0-3) Friday evening. Following a 7-1 drubbing in Shawinigan on Thursday, the Sea Dogs responded with a convincing 6-2 win.
Before leaving Shawinigan this morning, Ross Yates held a team meeting to address the team's recent struggles and then the players got together for a 'players only' discussion. The meetings appear to have had a positive impact as the Sea Dogs got off to an excellent start and turned in one of their most complete performances in the past two months.
Nathan Noel with two, Adam Marsh, Matt Highmore, Adam Bateman and Boko Imama scored for the Sea Dogs while Joey Ratelle and Christophe Lalancette replied for Drummondville.
The Sea Dogs opened the scoring at 9:16 of the first when Dan Del Paggio picked the pocket of a Voltigeur just inside the blue line and fed Marsh, who skated to the slot and rifled the puck over Joe Fleschler's glove. While shots were even at seven apiece, the Sea Dogs were up 1-0 after one period.
At 17:11 of the second, Luke Green carried the puck into Drummondville's end and passed it to Noel, who skated to the right faceoff circle and wired a wrist shot that beat Fleschler on the short side. Less than a minute later, Highmore accepted a cross ice pass from Thomas Chabot in the neutral zone, chipped the puck past a Voltigeur defender, carried it down the right wing and fired a bullet over Fleschler's glove to extend Saint John's lead to 3-0. Drummondville out shot Saint John 11-7 in the second period.
Off a scramble at 1:01 of a wild third period, Ratelle swatted the puck from near the goal line and it caromed off a fallen Sebastien Auger into the net to put Drummondville on the board. On a power play, just over a minute later, Noel corralled the rebound of a Luke Green shot and snapped the puck past Fleschler to restore a three goal lead. At 4:53, seconds after another power play ended, Bateman unloaded a rising wrist shot from the point, through a crowd and over the blocker of Fleschler to make it 5-1.
Bateman's goal would end the night for Fleschler as he was replaced by rookie Emilien Boily - who made his QMJHL debut. On a power play at 6:51, Imama collected the puck in the left corner, curled back along the boards and sent a laser from the faceoff dot through Boily's legs to extend Saint John's lead to 6-1. However, on a power play at 8:49, Lalancette slammed the rebound of a Frederic Aube point shot past Auger to make it a 6-2 final. Drummondville had 11 shots against 8 for Saint John in the third to lead in shots 29-22 overall.
TURNING POINT / BIG MOMENT
A pair of Sea Dogs goals late in the second period provided Saint John with some well deserved breathing room.
SN PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Sebastien Auger showed his extreme value to the young Sea Dogs by making 27 saves to backstop the win. Nathan Noel (2G, 1A) seems to like Friday evening games as he had three points one week after a four goal performance against Cape Breton.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
- Goaltender Anthony Brodeur, whose famous father Martin just retired from the NHL, did not dress for the Voltigeurs.
- Justice Dundas, who was given a one game suspension following a slashing major and game misconduct at the end of Thursday’s game in Shawinigan, was not available for the Sea Dogs this evening. Dan Del Paggio returned to the line-up to replace Dundas.
- Forward/defenceman Braydon Blight suffered an upper body injury Thursday and was held out of this game. Juraj Siska, who missed Thursday’s game due to a flu bug, flew to Montreal this morning and was able to dress tonight to replace Blight.
- Forward Mark Tremaine (lower body injury) and defenceman Jakub Zboril (lower body injury) did not travel to Quebec with the Sea Dogs.
- The Sea Dogs acquired Drummondville's first round draft choice in the upcoming QMJHL Entry Draft as part of the recent Jason Bell-Olivier LeBlanc trade.
The Sea Dogs travel to Blainville-Boisbriand for a 5 p.m. start tomorrow. The Sea Dogs return home for a 7 p.m. start on Wednesday against Rimouski.