FINAL: Saint John 2, Cape Breton 3
Evgeny Svechnikov scored twice while Loik Leveille added a single in the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles’ 3-2 victory over the Sea Dogs. Alexandre Belanger had a strong night in net, making 38 saves in the win.
Mark Tremaine and Spencer Smallman scored for Saint John while Sebastien Auger made 21 saves in the loss.
Saint John’s offense was there, especially in the third where they had 21 shots, but simply couldn’t score enough. On a positive note, Saint John’s power play, which has struggled all year, went 2/4 in the loss.
The Sea Dogs have now lost five straight road games. They have two home games this weekend, which will be pivotal in the race for playoff home ice advantage.
The first period was fairly uneventful. Each team had a power play but couldn’t generate many chances. At even strength, Jacob Smith had a couple good chances for Cape Breton but could not cash in on either. Shots were 7-6 Cape Breton in the opening frame.
Saint John applied some good pressure in the offensive zone to start the second period. Shortly after though, the game went into boring mode for some time with neither team doing much of anything.
Leveille woke everyone up at 9:12, giving Cape Breton a 1-0 lead. Smith tried to backhand the puck towards the net but it his a Saint John skate and bounced to Leveille who shot it past Auger. 55 seconds later, Stephen Anderson sent a pass from behind the net to an open Svechnikov in the slot. The Cape Breton import made no mistake and made it 2-0.
Despite being outscored 2-0, shots in the second were 13-10 in favour of Saint John.
Saint John headed to the power play at 4:09 of the third. On that man advantage, Nathan Noel’s original attempt was stopped by Belanger but Tremaine was there to put it in and get the Sea Dogs back within one.
At 8:49, it was Cape Breton’s turn to head to the power play. At 9:18, Anderson found Svechnikov with a cross crease feed to put Cape Breton back in front by two.
With 5:38 to play, Saint John headed back to the power play. At 14:55, Smallman walked into the slot and fired a hard wrist shot under the glove of Belanger to make it a 3-2 contest.
With 1:11 left, the Sea Dogs pulled Auger in favour of the extra attacker. Tremaine had a tremendous chance to tie it but was robbed by the pad of Belanger.
Evgeny Svechnikov’s third period power play goal proved to be the winner, but it also took away all momentum the Dogs had from Mark Tremaine’s goal a few minutes earlier.
SN PLAYER OF THE GAME
Mark Tremaine had a goal, an assist and seven shots. He nearly tied the game in the last minute. He was buzzing offensively all night.
- The Sea Dogs were without forwards Mitchell Dempsey (day-to-day with a lower body injury) and Adam Marsh (upper body) along with defensemen Jack vanBoekel (mono) and Bokondji Imama (serving fourth game of four-game suspension).
- Jason Bell returned to the Sea Dogs lineup after missing a few games due to an upper body injury. It was his first game back in Sydney since being traded to the Sea Dogs during the holiday trading period.
- Kyle Farrell, Cape Breton’s leading scorer, did not play due to the flu.
- Spencer Smallman now has goals in three straight games and four in his past five.
- Jakub Zboril has jumped back into Saint John’s lineup quite nicely. He had two assists tonight and a goal in Sunday's game.
- Former Sea Dogs forward Stephen Anderson had two assists for the Screaming Eagles.
- Former Sea Dogs captain Olivier LeBlanc had a shot and a hit in this game.
The Sea Dogs host the Charlottetown Islanders on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Harbour Station.
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation