FINAL: Moncton 3, Saint John 7
Matthew Highmore led the way with two goals while singles came from Matt Green, Adam Marsh, Samuel Dove-McFalls, Joe Veleno and Daniel Del Paggio. Oliver Felixson had three assists.
Marc-Andre Turcotte made 18 saves in the first half of the game. Alex Bishop played the second half and made 17 saves in the victory.
The Sea Dogs have now scored five or more goals in three of their four pre-season games. It’s only pre-season, and only so much can be taken from Saint John lighting up teams missing several key players, but it’s certainly a positive sign.
The Sea Dogs are now 3-1-0-0 in exhibition play with two games remaining.
Moncton had goals from Zack MacEwan, Cameron Askew and Matthew Klebanskyj. Sebastien Dupre and Zachary Fortin combined to make 27 saves in the loss.
The Sea Dogs were the better team in the first half of the period but a couple Moncton power plays got the Wildcats’ offense started up. At 17:13, a pass was sent ahead to MacEwan who made a deke on Turcotte to tie things at 1-1. Shots were 10 apiece in the first.
At 3:37 of the second, Felixson fired a long point shot that went off the post and into the crease. Matt Green was in good position to poke it in and make it 2-1 Dogs.
On a power play at 9:18, Marsh fired a hard wrist shot from the high slot to make it 3-1 Dogs. A little less than three minutes later, Boko Imama sent a short pass to Dove-McFalls who chipped the puck over Dupre. Then at 13:03, Del Paggio found Veleno who jammed the puck in to make it 5-1 Dogs.
Saint John rounded out the second period scoring with just under 10 seconds left as Highmore dragged the puck around the Moncton defense and scored third of the pre-season to make it 6-1 after 40 minutes. The Sea Dogs scored five goals on nine shots in the second.
Goals from Askew and Klebanskyj in the first eight minutes of the third made it a 6-3 game. Things could have gotten real interesting with 8:35 left when MacEwan fired a shot that beat Bishop but nailed the crossbar and stayed out.
On a two-on-one at 15:56, Povorozniouk found Del Paggio who beat Fortin to make it a 7-3 final.
Shots ended 38-34 in favour of the Wildcats.
SCRATCHES: The Sea Dogs were without defensemen Jakub Zboril (Boston Bruins camp) and Adam Bateman along with forwards Julien Tessier, Alexander Kealey and Dawson Theede. Tessier and Kealey did not play in either of Saint John’s games this weekend.
SN THREE STARS
1. Matthew Highmore
2. Matt Green
3. Oliver Felixson
NOTES: Joe Veleno played on a line with Sam Povorozniouk and Daniel Del Paggio… Matthew Highmore had a team high seven shots… Danny Flynn was behind the Sea Dogs bench to coach against his former team for the first time… this was Rogers TV’s first broadcasted of the year. They are now using the updated Hockey Night in Canada/Sportsnet graphics… the Sea Dogs got a loud round of applause in the second period for good penalty kill work in the Moncton zone by forwards Samuel Dove-McFalls, Mathieu Joseph and Boko Imama… Moncton didn’t have name bars on their jerseys. Get with the times, Wildcats… far fewer than 3,614 actually at the game, but still a solid showing for a pre-season game... this was the first of three straight games for the Sea Dogs against the Wildcats.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs host the Moncton Wildcats again on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Harbour Station.
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation