FINAL: Saint John 5, Halifax 8
HALIFAX – It was a wild night at Scotiabank Centre.
In a game that saw player leave the bench for a fight, a defenseman score a hat trick and the two teams combine for 13 goals, the Saint John Sea Dogs came away with an 8-5 loss to the Halifax Mooseheads on Friday night.
The Sea Dogs got into some early penalty trouble and although they managed to kill off a long five-on-three chance the Mooseheads, Danny Moynihan was able to capitalize shortly after, giving Halifax a 1-0 lead. The Moose wouldn’t wait long to extend their lead when Maxime Fortier buried a nice wrist shot high over Alex Bishop just 32 seconds later. The Sea Dogs would get back to within a goal just before the midway point of the opening period when Daniel Del Paggio tapped home a rebound off a Mathieu Joseph shot. The first period would come to an end with just 11 combined shots and the Mooseheads leading 2-1.
The Sea Dogs would start the middle stanza with a power play and the newly acquired Matt Murphy would make the Mooseheads pay. 34 seconds into the period, a bullet shot from the point evened the score at 2-2. The Mooseheads would get that back and then some when they managed to score three goals in just 2:16 off the sticks of Time Meier, Cavan Fitzgerald and Andrew Shewfelt, pushing Halifax to a 5-2 lead.
Then it was time for some fireworks when Kelly Bent went after Joe Veleno multiple times along the boards. Jason Bell initially tried to jump in but was held up and injured on the play. That was followed by Bokondji Imama jumping off the Sea Dogs’ bench to go after Kelly Bent. Imama and Bent traded punches as the officials tried to get in the middle of them. The Sea Dogs would get a power play out of the mess and Luke Green would rip a one time shot past Brassard, sending the teams to the dressing room with the Mooseheads out in front 5-3.
To start the final period the Sea Dogs were down to four defenders with Felixson getting injured at some point in the second period along with Bell. The Mooseheads would score two more quick goals, chasing Alex Bishop from the net for the second time in the game and giving the Mooseheads a 7-3 cushion. Green tried to get his team back into it by scoring his second of the game at 5:41. Danny Moynihan would give the Mooseheads their four goal cushion back though, making it 8-4 with 8:02 left in the period. It wasn’t a total loss for Saint John though as Green made history by scoring his hat trick goal with 2:40 left in the contest - becoming the first defensemen in team history to do so. That would be as close as the Sea Dogs would get though.
- The Sea Dogs were without Thomas Chabot (world junior camp), Jakub Zboril (world junior camp), Matt Green (upper body), Sam Dove-McFalls (lower body), Julien Tessier (lower body) and Alex Bernier (healthy).
- Fredericton native Matt Murphy played his first game as a Sea Dog and was paired with Luke Green. He had a strong game, posting a goal and two assists.
- Samuel Dove-McFalls was the colour commentator on 96.1 NewSong FM.
- Bokondji Imama was assessed an aggressor penalty as well as an aggressor game misconduct to go along with another game misconduct for leaving the team’s bench. A lengthy suspension could be on the horizon.
- Two Sea Dog defensemen - Oliver Felixson and Jason Bell - were injured during the second period and did not return for the third period.
- The teams combined for 73 minutes in penalties – and that doesn’t include the multiple misconducts that were handed out.
- There was some speculation that this might have been Timo Meier’s last game with the Mooseheads. Picking up two goals and four assists would be a fine way to make an exit.
- Attendance for this one was only 6,076.
The Mooseheads scoring three goals in the span of 2:16 midway through the second period gave the Mooseheads a 5-2 lead. They didn’t look back from there.
SN THREE STARS
TWEET OF THE GAME
Injured Sea Dogs forward Samuel Dove-McFalls joined Tim Roszell for the broadcast of the game and they were kind enough to share a selfie before it began.
Excited to have @SJSeaDogs F @Sam15D_M join me on the broadcast tonight! 96.1 @NewSongFM 6:45 pregame! #SNBvsHFX pic.twitter.com/zLFaxbOq7a— Tim Roszell (@TimGRoszell) December 11, 2015
If you thought the Halifax game was rough, the Sea Dogs now travel to Cape Breton to take on the Screaming Eagles - who happen to be the most penalized team in the QMJHL. Game time is 7 p.m. tomorrow.
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation