FINAL: Saint John 2, Bathurst 3 (OT)
BATHURST - It was Friday the 13th and the Titan curse continued when Acadie-Bathurst (15-35-4-2) found a way to beat the Saint John Sea Dogs (28-18-2-6) 3-2 in overtime at the KC Irving Regional Centre.
Despite having a difficult season overall, the Titan now have four wins over Saint John in their seven meetings thus far this season. If Saint John wants to earn home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs, they need to find a way to pick up their game against their Maritimes Division rivals - especially Bathurst.
Christophe Boivin scored the overtime winner for Bathurst. Andrew Ryan and Aaron Kerr also scored for the Titan while Dan Del Paggio and Adam Marsh replied for Saint John.
Ryan opened the scoring at 17:54, when he picked up a dump-in in the right wing corner, danced around Mark Tremaine and deked Sebastien Auger in close. The Sea Dogs had a decided territorial advantage, including taking roughly two dozen shot attempts which either missed the net or caromed off players in front. However, Reilly Pickard made 11 saves to keep Saint John off the scoreboard, while the Titan managed to get six shots on net in the first period.
Del Paggio banged in the rebound of a Mitch Dempsey wrap-around attempt to break the ice and tie the score 1-1 at 5:16 of the second. A Juraj Siska wrist shot about 10 seconds later hit the post behind Pickard. Kerr made it 2-1 at 13:20 when he took a nifty back door pass from Nicholas Blanchard and beat Auger in close with a backhand shot. Saint John out shot Bathurst 13-10 in the second period.
At 6:19 of the third, Marsh's wrist shot, from the top of the right faceoff circle, deflected off Pickard's stick and in to even the score at 2-2. Saint John led on the shot clock 16-2 in the third and 40-18 in regulation time.
A late Sea Dog penalty carried over to the extra session, and Boivin made them pay with a slap shot from the high slot that deflected past Auger for the game winner 44 seconds in.
Mario Pouliot decided to start Reilly Pickard in goal.
SN PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Reilly Pickard with 38 saves. Period.
- Defencemen Jakub Zboril (who has started skating again and is inching closer to a return from a lower body injury) and Jack vanBoekel (illness) remain unavailable.
- Rookie forwards Matthew Green and Julien Tessier were healthy scratches.
- A look at where Saint John’s 40 shots came from, via the new QMJHL website.
The Sea Dogs travel to Rimouski to face the Oceanic tomorrow (Saturday) at 5 p.m. in their final regular season appearance in the province of Quebec. Saint John’s next home game is Wednesday at 7 p.m. when they host the Victoriaville Tigres.