Friday, April 3, 2015

RECAP: Sea Dogs Win 4-2

FINAL: Baie-Comeau 2, Saint John 4
SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Sea Dogs will live to see another day.

The Sea Dogs staved off elimination with a 4-2 victory over the Baie-Comeau Drakkar on Thursday night at Harbour Station. Baie-Comeau now leads the first round best-of-seven series 3-1 heading into Saturday’s game five.

It looked like this would be Saint John’s final game of the season early on as Baie-Comeau grabbed a 2-0 lead less than two minutes in. But the Sea Dogs didn’t throw in the towel and scored four unanswered goals en route to victory.

Daniel Del Paggio, Nathan Noel, Jakub Zboril and Mark Tremaine all scored for Saint John while Sebastien Auger made 31 saves in the win.

Dzmitry Ambrozheichik and Jasmin Boutet scored for Baie-Comeau while Philippe Cadorette made 24 stops in the loss.

Just 1:22 into the game, Noel turned the puck over in the slot and allowed Ambrozheichik to walk in all alone on Auger. The Drakkar forward slid the puck under the Dogs goaltender to make it 1-0 for the visitors.

At 1:41, Baie-Comeau doubled their lead when, after a Luke Green turnover, Boutet grabbed the puck and wired his third of the playoffs past Auger. The Drakkar had two goals on their first two shots of the game.

Saint John went to the power play at 11:28 when Chad Pietroniro cross checked Thomas Chabot. On the man advantage at 11:42, Matthew Highmore fired a shot from the top of the circle that generated a rebound. Del Paggio was in perfect position and made it a 2-1 game.

The Dogs turned it up notch after Del Paggio’s goal. Bokondji Imama had a good chance on a three-on-one but was denied and then, late in the period, Noel was robbed by Cadorette in close. Shots were 14-7 in favour of the Sea Dogs in the first.

2:36 into the second, a pass hit some skates and the puck found Noel in the slot. He fired a backhand shot past Cadorette to tie things at 2-2.

Saint John went to the power play at 7:07 following some rough stuff. Just as the man advantage was coming to an end, Highmore redirected a shot but was denied by Cadorette. Soon after, Mitchell Dempsey was stopped on a breakaway.

Auger made a great save a few minutes later. On a power play, the Drakkar’s Boutet was on the doorstop but Auger got a piece of it, resulting in the puck rolling wide of the net. Shots were 8-8 in the second stanza.

26 seconds into the third, Zboril’s shot from the line fooled Cadorette to give Saint John their first lead of the game.

Late in the frame, the Drakkar had plenty of power play time to tie things up. Baie-Comeau was on the man advantage for nearly six minutes in the period but Auger stood tall and kept the Dogs in front.

Tremaine made it a 4-2 final with an empty net goal at 19:52. Shots ended 33-28 in favour of the Drakkar.

Daniel Del Paggio’s goal in the first period got things going for the Dogs. You have to be a bit impressed with how Saint John responded to Baie-Comeau’s quick start. They could have easily mailed it in.

Got to go with Del Paggio.

  • The Sea Dogs were without forwards Adam Marsh (lower body), Matt Green (healthy) and Julien Tessier (healthy) along with defensemen Jason Bell (healthy).
  • Jakub Zboril was not suspended for his actions at the end of Tuesday’s game. Drakkar defenseman Guillaume Beaudry was, however.
  • This was the first game of the series that featured scoring in the first period.
  • Saint John’s power play woke up, going 3/6. One of those goals was an empty netter, but still.

Game five of the series takes place on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Harbour Station.

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