By Lorne Webster | SN Staff
SAINT JOHN - It was Halloween at the Station on Saturday night in Saint John. The home town Sea Dogs had more tricks than treats for their visitors from Val-d'Or and came away with a solid 5-3 win over the Foreurs. The win snapped a three-game losing streak and allowed Saint John to jump back into second place in the Maritimes Division, three points behind the Moncton Wildcats - who lost 7-3 in Bathurst - with one game in hand.
Adam Marsh, Thomas Chabot, Dan Del Paggio, Matthew Highmore and Jakub Zboril each had a goal for Saint John. Nathan Tremblay had two goals and Shawn Ouellette-St-Amant one for Val-d'Or.
Former Sea Dog Jack vanBoekel was penalized during his first shift back on Harbour Station ice. The Sea Dogs power play was buzzing but a few close misses and several big saves by Foreurs' rookie goaltender Dereck Baribeau kept the game scoreless until close to the nine-minute mark. At that point, Marsh one-timed a rebound off a Mathieu Joseph shot to open the scoring. The Sea Dogs' power play did click at 14:46, when Chabot's blast from the point made it 2-0. However, Val-d'Or responded with a power play goal of their own when a point shot banked off Tremblay past a screened Marc-Antoine Turcotte at 17:18.
The Sea Dogs got off to a great start in the second period and, before the one-minute mark, Del Paggio completed a multi-pass two-on-one with Nathan Noel by chipping the puck just over Baribeau from near the goal line to restore a two goal lead. Saint John's power play would cash in again at 15:29, when Highmore dug the puck out of a scramble and slid it past a fallen Baribeau to extend the Sea Dogs' lead to 4-1. Just past the 17-minute mark, Ouellette-St-Amant snuck in behind Saint John's defence and finished with a nifty deke to the backhand. The period ended with the hosts up 4-2.
After a hard fought first half of the third period, the Foreurs drew within one, when Tremblay converted off a scramble by flipping the puck just over Turcottte at 10:21. Roughly a minute later, Turcotte absolutely robbed Val-d'Or star Julien Gauthier with an acrobatic save to keep Saint John in front. Then, at 12:12, a heavy shot from the point by Zboril found its way through a crowd and past Baribeau to set the final score at 5-3.
- It was "Halloween at the Station" and several fans - both young and old - were dressed in the favorite costumes to celebrate All Hallows' Evening.
- Wayne Long - former Sea Dogs president and newly elected MP for Saint John - Rothesay - was recognized for his major contributions to the city of Saint John and especially to the Sea Dogs hockey club prior to the game.
- During an interview on 96.1 New Song FM, majority owner Scott McCain stated that the team hopes to have a new president in place in the January/February time frame.
- Defenceman Luke Green was forced to miss the game due to an illness (flu-like symptoms). Austin Clapham replaced Green on defence.
- Julien Tessier is out day-to-day following a vicious check from behind Friday evening.
- With Joe Veleno in B.C. with Team Canada Black for the World U17 Challenge, along with Samuel Dove-McFalls, Matt Green and Oliver Felixson all out with injuries, the Sea Dogs only dressed six defensemen and 11 forwards.
- Foreurs' star Alexis Pepin was not dressed following a match penalty Friday evening in Cape Breton for spearing.
- Attendance - 2,266
Marc-Antoine Turcotte's highlight of the night save to deny Julien Gauthier - followed by Jakub Zboril's goal shortly later - in the third period proved to be the difference on this night.
HIT OF THE GAME
Jason Bell leveled Adam Cheezo near centre ice with a clean, open ice hit in the first period.
SN PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Matthew Highmore (1G, 1A)
Nathan Noel (2A)
Marc-Antoine Turcotte (29 saves)
TWEET OF THE GAME
There’s a lot to like about what’s happening in this photo.
President and MP-elect @WayneLongSJ with GM Darrell Young at Sea Dogs Halloween party. pic.twitter.com/BJsmmuRY4W— Saint John Sea Dogs (@SJSeaDogs) November 1, 2015
The Sea Dogs travel to Quebec for three games in four days, starting in Sherbrooke on Wednesday with an 8 p.m. start against the Phoenix.
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation