BATHURST – Nicholas Blanchard’s goal with 5:01 left in regulation time was the difference in a back-and-forth, 4-3 Acadie-Bathurst Titan victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs on Sunday.
Blanchard’s late third period goal gave Bathurst their only lead of the game. Saint John opened the scoring and led a few different times. But every time the Sea Dogs attacked, the Titan did a great job at countering.
The first period was fairly uneventful with shots 11 apiece. Scoring chances gradually increased as the period went on.
In the second, Adam Marsh opened the scoring just 43 seconds in. Samuel Dove-McFalls fed him the puck as he crossed the line and then fired a perfectly placed wrister past Reilly Pickard.
The goals started to come fast and furious at 9:26 when Daniil Miromanov beat Marc-Antoine Turcotte glove side to tie things at 1-1. At 10:51 Saint John retook the lead thanks to Dove-McFalls putting in the rebound of a Luke Green point shot. But at 11:56 the Titan tied it up again as Jake Smith jammed the puck in.
It looked as though the Sea Dogs would exit the period with a 3-2 lead when Nathan Noel fired a cross ice pass to Mathieu Joseph who scored, giving the visitors a late lead. But with 25.9 seconds remaining, a pass from the boards found Mark Simpson in front who tied it up at 3-3. Shots in the goal filled second stanza were 18-10 in favour of Bathurst.
The Titan were buzzing early in the third and forced Turcotte to make a few nice saves. Then it was Saint John’s turn but Pickard stood tall.
Finally, at 14:59, the Titan broke the tie as Blanchard got behind the Saint John defense and beat Turcotte, making it a 4-3 final. Shots were 17-7 Titan in the third.
- The Sea Dogs were without defensemen Thomas Chabot (NHL camp – Ottawa), Jakub Zboril (NHL camp – Boston), Adam Bateman (ankle) and Vincent Martineau along with forwards Kyle Ward, Dawson Theede and Ryan Chiasson.
- Jason Bell returned to Saint John’s lineup after missing Friday’s game in Charlottetown because of a suspension.
- Marc-Antoine Turcotte got the start in net again. He has appeared in every Sea Dogs game this season.
- Speaking of Turcotte, he picked up a minor penalty for high sticking in the first period after he clipped a Bathurst player on his way back into the crease. Adam Marsh served the penalty.
- Marsh and Samuel Dove-McFalls each scored their first goal of the season.
- This was Saint John’s first loss of the season when scoring first.
- The Sea Dogs return home from a four-game road trip with an overall record of 3-3-0-0. And they’ve yet to dress a full lineup. Things are looking fairly decent.
- Only 1,245 watched the game at KC Irving Regional Centre.
Despite Bathurst leading the shots on goal category by a considerable margin for most of this one, it still felt like it was anyone’s game in the third. Then Nicholas Blanchard scored. Game.
SN PLAYERS OF THE GAME
3. Josh Donaldson
2. Daniil Miromanov
1. Adam Marsh
TWEET OF THE GAME
Saint John, Sea Dogs 3 at Acadie-Bathurst, Titan 4 Unofficial Final— QMJHL (@QMJHL) September 27, 2015
It was just a little quiet on the Twitter today.
The Sea Dogs host the Gatineau Olympiques on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Harbour Station.
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation