By Kevin Chambers | SN Staff
BATHURST – The Saint John Sea Dogs are now just a single point back of the Moncton Wildcats for the Maritimes Division lead.
Following a 5-3 win over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan tonight at the KC Irving Regional Centre, the Sea Dogs have picked up at least a point in 14 straight games (12-0-2). They now find themselves just a single point back of Moncton and, depending on how the Wildcats fare tomorrow against the Titan, could take over first place on Wednesday.
Matthew Highmore, Sam Povorozniouk, Joe Veleno, Mathieu Joseph and Matt Green all scored for Saint John on Saturday. Jason Bell, Jordan Maher and Daniil Miromanov replied for the Titan. Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 29 saves in the win while Reilly Pickard made 26 in the loss.
It was a rough start for the Sea Dogs in this one as Bell was able to cash in on his own rebound early in the opening period to give the Titan an early 1-0 lead. Maher would extend the Titan lead to 2-0 with a power play goal at 11:26. The Sea Dogs would return the favour though, denting the twine with a power play marker of their own when Highmore lifted a shot over Pickard for his 18th of the season at 14:18.
At 5:10 of the second, Povorozniouk scored his 25th goal of the season, firing a wrist shot past Pickard from the high slot to even the game at 2-2. Saint John thought they scored the go ahead goal when Kyle Ward went upstairs on Pickard soon after but it was called off due to an offside. The Dogs wouldn’t be denied though at 16:42 when Veleno tipped home a Matt Murphy shot to, putting Saint John ahead 3-2. Just over a minute after the Veleno goal, it was Joseph scoring his 25th marker of the season by jumping on a juicy rebound and shooting the puck over a downed Pickard to make it 4-2 after 40 minutes.
The third period started off much like the second with the Sea Dogs killing a penalty to Nathan Noel - but the difference was Matt Green scoring a shorthanded goal at 1:03 to make it 5-2. The Titan would add a late goal off the stick of Miromanov, which pulled the Titan within two. That could be as close as Bathurst would get, though.