Saturday, October 31, 2015

RECAP: Sea Dogs Lose 5-2

FINAL: Rouyn-Noranda 5, Saint John 2

By Lorne Webster | SN Staff

SAINT JOHN - The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies rode into Harbour Station as the QMJHL's first place team and proved they are a serious contender for the Presidents Cup, earning a convincing 5-2 victory over the Sea Dogs Friday evening. The Huskies - an extremely solid team top to bottom - generally out worked and out hit the talented Sea Dogs to hand the hosts their third straight loss.

Antoine Waked led the charge for Rouyn-Noranda with a two goal performance.  Gabriel Fontaine, J-C Beaudin and Martins Dzierkals added singles for the Huskies, while Mathieu Joseph and Jakub Zboril replied for Saint John. 

1st Period
Before the game was a minute old, Waked bounced on a loose puck in the slot and ripped a shot into the top corner to open the scoring. Just before the 12-minute mark, the Sea Dogs’ power play finally broke through to tie the game. Spencer Smallman bolted into the high slot and wired a low wrist shot that rattled off both goal posts to a streaking Joseph, who buried the rebound past Chase Marchand. Marc-Antoine Turcotte made a number of big saves to allow Saint John to finish the period tied 1-1. 

2nd Period
Just prior to the three-minute mark, Marchand absolutely robbed Nathan Noel in close to preserve the tie. Then, a little over a minute later, the Huskies victimized Saint John's four-forward power play, when Waked received a lovely two-on-one feed from Francis Perron and chipped the puck just over Turcotte's shoulder to give Rouyn-Noranda a 2-1 lead. At 11:51, Fontaine's laser from the right face-off circle banked off the post and made it 3-1 for the visitors. The lead was extended to 4-1, when Beaudin corralled a turnover and rifled a shot over Turcotte's glove at 14:40. The Sea Dogs drew within two, when Zboril unloaded a bullet from the point past a screened Marchand to end the period 4-2 in favour of Rouyn-Noranda.    
3rd Period
The Sea Dogs ran into some penalty trouble, which led to a five-on-three power play for the Huskies early in the third period. Toronto Maple Leafs' prospect Dzierkals’ one-timer from the right circle found the back of the net at 1:50 to restore Rouyn-Noranda's three-goal lead. Things turned ugly near the midpoint of the third, when Anthony Wojcik's vicious check from behind leveled Julien Tessier. Despite Tessier being down for several minutes - and requiring the help of a pair of team mates to get off the ice - referees Jonathan Langille and Todd Thomander felt that Wojcik's action only warranted a double minor. In light of a few recent suspensions following league reviews, it will be interesting to see if the QMJHL sees it differently. 

  • It was "Support Our Troops" night at Harbour Station. Singer/songwriter Terry Kelly - father of Sea Dogs Athletic Therapist Jeff Kelly - performed a heart warming rendition of "A Pittance of Time" prior to the game. That song is a moving tribute to the brave men and women of the armed forces who have put their lives on the line for their fellow Canadians. A number of representatives of the forces, including 95 year-old Art Pottle, and a military colour guard participated in the opening ceremonies - which included a two-minute moment of silence.
  • Rouyn-Noranda was recognized as the No. 2 team in the CHL in the most recent polls - and appear to deserve their recent accolades.
  • The Sea Dogs wore their cool, black third jerseys.
  • Centre Matt Green suffered a significant upper body injury in last Sunday's game in Moncton. He joins Samuel Dove-McFalls on the long term injury list.
  • Sea Dogs' rookie Joe Veleno - along with the Sea Dogs’ top goaltending prospect, Alex D'Orio - is away from the team while he plays in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Julien Tessier slid into Veleno's place between 'Boko' and 'Povo' - and played well until he was injured.
  • Ryan Chiasson was recalled from Dieppe (MHL) to help fill the void left with Green, Dove-McFalls and Veleno out of the lineup.
  • Defenceman Oliver Felixson also remains sidelined with an upper body injury. Austin Clapham was the only other Sea Dog not dressed for this game.
  • The Sea Dogs’ penalty kill has generated six shorthanded goals so far this season. On the flip side, the Sea Dogs' league worst power play ended the game 2/10 - for a total of nine power play goals for. Unfortunately, the PP has also allowed five shorthanded goals against.
  • Sea Dogs alumni Kevin Gagne is heading overseas. SN wishes "Gags" all the best with his new adventure.
  • Attendance - 3,038

Waked's second period shorthanded goal proved to be a dagger in the Sea Dogs' backs on this night.

Jakub Zboril lowered the boom on Julien Nantel just inside the Sea Dogs blue line in the first period.

Francis Perron (4A - +3)
Antoine Waked (2G - +3)
Chase Marchand (30 saves)

It’s true.
The Sea Dogs host the Val-d'Or Foreurs tomorrow night (Saturday, Oct. 31st), with a 7 p.m. start time for Halloween at the Station.

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