Tuesday, December 29, 2015

RECAP: Sea Dogs Win 6-5 (OT)

FINAL: Saint John 6, Bathurst 5 (SO)
By Lorne Webster | SN Staff

BATHURST - In the back half of a home-and-home to kick off the second half, the Saint John Sea Dogs pulled out a 6-5 shootout win over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan at the KC Irving Regional Centre Tuesday night. The win avenged a heart breaking 6-5 overtime loss to the Titan at Harbour Station on Monday.    

Mathieu Joseph scored the decisive goal in the shootout. Adam Marsh, Nathan Noel, Spencer Smallman, Vincent Martineau and Sam Povorozniouk scored for Saint John in regulation time. Jeffrey Viel, Andrew Cordssen-David, Vladimir Kuznetsov, Mark Trickett and Christophe Boivin replied for Acadie-Bathurst. 

1st Period
In a tight checking first period, Marsh opened the scoring on a power play at 14:47 when he unloaded a lethal wrist shot past Reilly Pickard. At the other end, goaltender Alex Bishop made a few stellar saves to help keep the hosts off the scoreboard. 

2nd Period
Early in the second, Bishop stoned Viel on a breakaway. Shortly after, the Sea Dogs power play connected again at 2:23 as Noel one-timed a rebound from the left faceoff circle to give Saint John a 2-0 lead. At 6:48, Smallman extended the lead to 3-0 when he finished off a give and go with Luke Green. Viel finally beat Bishop at 9:18 after he one-timed a clean faceoff win by Rothesay's Mark Simpson to make it 3-1. At 18:22, Martineau scored his first QMJHL goal after he picked off a pass and fired a wrist shot from the high slot to restore Saint John's three-goal lead. 
3rd Period
In a case of "deja vu all over again," the Titan battled back with goals early in the third to tie the game.  In the first minute, Pickard stopped Joseph and Daniel Del Paggio (twice) in close.  Then at 2:07, Cordssen-David's long wrist shot near the blue line eluded Bishop to make it 4-2. On a five-on-three power play at 3:49, a shot from in close by Kuznetsov banked off the post and in. The Titan completed the comeback at 10:30, when Trickett's power play blast from the point found its way past a screened Bishop to make it 4-4. However, on another five-on-three power play at 15:09, a Povorozniouk snap shot from the lower part of the left faceoff circle beat Pickard on the short side. Not to be deterred, with six seconds left in regulation, Boivin scored another power play goal when he corralled a loose puck down low and snapped it over an out-stretched Bishop to tie the game at 5-5.
The Sea Dogs pretty much dominated the five-minute overtime period - but Pickard came up with nine big saves to force a shootout.

After Boivin and Povorozniouk exchanged goals off lovely dekes, Joseph scored what proved to be the winner with a hard wrist shot through Pickard's legs. Meanwhile, Bishop thwarted Kuznetzov and Simpson to seal the victory for Saint John.

  • Spencer Smallman returned to the lineup from an upper body injury he suffered prior to Christmas. He replaced rookie Alex Lafreniere.
  • With Oliver Felixson dealing with a minor injury, 2015 third-round draft choice Vincent Martineau got to play his second game in the QMJHL. So, besides veteran Matt Murphy and sophomore Luke Green, the Sea Dogs went with four rookies on defence once again.
  • The Sea Dogs were also missing Thomas Chabot (WJC - Canada), Jakub Zboril (WJC - Czech Republic), Bokondji Imama (suspension - game 5/15), Bailey Webster (lower body), Matt Green (upper body) and Samuel Dove-McFalls (lower body). 
  • Rookie Ian Smallwood got to play a double header on Tuesday, scoring a goal in the Saint John Vito’s 2-1 win in the afternoon and then rejoined the Sea Dogs for the evening tilt. Conveniently, both games took place at the KC Irving Regional Centre.
  • Acadie-Bathurst, who iced a full line-up, entered the game riding a four game win streak. 
  • Former Sea Dog Jason Bell (lower body) was replaced on defence by Andrew Cordssen-David for the Titan.
  • Guillaume Brisebois and Antoine Morand left in the first period after apparently suffering injuries. Sea Dogs play-by-play man Tim Roszell mentioned during the broadcast that Morand was spotted on crutches. 
  • Rothesay native Mark Simpson was a beast in the faceoff circle during this two-game set. After going 24/34 on Monday, Simpson was 29/45 on Tuesday. He was called upon to take virtually half of the faceoffs for Acadie-Bathurst. 

The referees decided to assert themselves in the third period. Christophe Boivin's power play goal - the fourth by the two teams in the period - with six left seconds left sent the game to extra time for the second straight night.

Early in the third period, Nicolas Dumulong caught Daniel Del Paggio with his head down and sent him flying with a high hit. 

Vincent Martineau
Christophe Boivin
Nathan Noel

It was a good day for Saint John teams in Bathurst.
The Sea Dogs are back home on New Year’s Eve to face the Charlottetown Islanders at 7 p.m.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

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