Friday, February 20, 2015

RECAP: Sea Dogs Lose 4-2

FINAL: Saint John 2, Charlottetown 4

Lorne Webster | SN Staff

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI - The Charlottetown Islanders (28-24-1-3) came out firing on all cylinders and beat the visiting Saint John Sea Dogs (28-20-3-6) 4-2 on Friday evening at Eastlink Centre. 

In a battle of division rivals pushing for home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, the Islanders managed to end a three game losing streak and get within five points of Saint John - with one game in hand. The loss extends Saint John's winless streak to four games, which includes two overtime losses. 

Bradley Kennedy, Ross Johnston, Oliver Cooper and Filip Chlapik scored for the Islanders while Nathan Noel and Spencer Smallman replied for Saint John.

It was apparent at the outset that a difficult drive, through high winds and snow-covered roads, had an adverse affect on the Sea Dogs. On a power play at 1:39, Kennedy banged in a rebound off a goal mouth scramble to open the scoring. Nearly four minutes later, Johnston deflected Guillaume Rioux-Legault's point shot past Sebastien Auger to make it 2-0. Then, at 12:23, Cooper showed soft hands and long reach when he corralled his own rebound and deked Auger to extend the Islanders' lead to 3-0. The Sea Dogs fired 16 shots at Mason MacDonald but only four were classed as dangerous. The Islanders ended the first period with 13 shots on Auger.  

The Sea Dogs came out much stronger to start the second period, determined to fire as many shots on net as possible. At 8:48, Noel picked up the puck along the right wing boards, flashed around the net and beat MacDonald on a wrap-around to get Saint John on the scoreboard. At 15:07, Thomas Chabot's point shot off the end boards eluded MacDonald and Smallman swatted the puck into an empty net to make it 3-2. In a case of turn about is fair play, Chlapik one-timed a lovely feed from Cooper after Auger mishandled a dump in to restore Charlottetown's two goal lead at 4-2. Saint John out shot the Islanders 23-12 in the second period.

There was no scoring in an entertaining and somewhat chippy third period, including a fight between David Henley and Sam Dove-McFalls. Saint John led on the shot clock 13-9 in the third and 52-34 overall.

Filip Chlapik's goal late in the second period stemmed a Sea Dog blue wave and gave the Islanders a cushion heading into the third period.

Mason MacDonald stood strong in the Islanders' goal and ended the night with 50 saves. Oliver Cooper seems to ramp up his game against his former team and led Charlottetown with what proved to be the game winning goal - in addition to an assist on Chlapik's insurance marker. PEI native Bailey Webster had a big game defensively and led the Sea Dogs with five hits.

  • Forward Adam Marsh (day-to-day upper body injury) joined defencemen Jakub Zboril (lower body injury) and Jack vanBoekel (illness) on the disabled list.    
  • Mark Tremaine returned to the line-up in the place of Boko Imama who served the second of a four-game suspension.
  • Three of former Sea Dog Oliver Cooper's 14 goals this season have come against Saint John. 
  • Filip Chlapik had his 17th multi-point game of the season, which is one behind Daniel Sprong.
  • Edmonton Oilers vice-president Scott Howson was in attendance along with a throng of NHL scouts.
The Sea Dogs return home to face the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Sunday at 3 p.m.

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