Sunday, January 3, 2016

RECAP: Sea Dogs Win 3-1

FINAL: Saint John 3, Cape Breton 1

By Lorne Webster | SN Staff

SYDNEY, NS - In their first game of 2016, the Saint John Sea Dogs beat the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 3-1 at Centre 2000 on Sunday. A 28-save performance by Marc-Antoine Turcotte allowed the Sea Dogs to open up a five-point lead - with two games in hand - over Cape Breton in the battle for second in the Maritimes Division.

Nathan Noel led the way offensively for Saint John with a goal and an assist. He would add a third period fight to complete a "Gordie Howe Hat Trick." Ryan Chiasson and Adam Marsh also scored for Saint John. Fredericton's Peyton Hoyt replied for Cape Breton.  

1st Period
A fast paced first period ended scoreless with both Turcotte and Alexandre Belanger looking sharp in goal.

2nd Period
At 5:48, Noel won a faceoff cleanly back to Chiasson, whose quick shot knuckle balled past Belanger to open the scoring. After that goal, Cape Breton pretty much controlled the play but Turcotte held strong with 14 saves. At 16:15, Alex Bernier and Cole Reginato traded punches in a spirited scrap. The Sea Dogs went to their dressing room up 1-0.
3rd Period
Ill will between Saint John and Cape Breton continued in the third, when Noel and Phelix Martineau dropped their mitts. On a power play at 12:31, Hoyt collected a rebound at the edge of the crease and slammed the puck behind Turcotte to tie the game. However, 82 seconds later, Noel curled off the boards and unloaded a rocket from the high slot over Belanger's blocker to get the lead back. With 17 seconds left - moments after a huge glove save by Turcotte - Marsh stole the puck at centre and scored an empty net goal to make the final score 3-1 for Saint John.

  • Each team played without key players who were in Finland for the 2016 World Junior Hockey Championship. The Sea Dogs were missing Thomas Chabot (Canada) and Jakub Zboril (Czech Republic) - both of whom lost in the quarter finals on New Year’s Day. Meanwhile, Screaming Eagles forwards Maxim Lazarev and Evgeny Svechnikov are key players in Team Russia's push for gold.
  • The Sea Dogs were also missing Bokondji Imama (suspension - game 7/15), Bailey Webster (lower body), Matt Green (upper body), Sam Dove-McFalls (lower body) and Dawson Theede (illness). 
  • Screaming Eagles captain Clark Bishop (lower body) and recently acquired defenseman Scottie Green did not play for Cape Breton.
  • Brothers Phelix and Vincent Martineau got a chance to face each other in this game.  Vincent is expected to return to College Esther-Blondin next week.   

Nathan Noel's third period goal, just over a minute after Cape Breton had tied the game, allowed the Sea Dogs to come away with a hard fought victory.

None of note 

Marc-Antoine Turcotte
Nathan Noel
Olivier LeBlanc

The Sea Dogs travel to Bathurst on Saturday to face the Titan at 7 p.m. They return to Harbour Station next Sunday to face the Rimouski Oceanic at 3 p.m.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

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