FINAL: Halifax 2, Saint John 5
By Lorne Webster | SN Staff
SAINT JOHN - One day after a thrilling 8-7 overtime win over Charlottetown, the Saint John Sea Dogs extended their winning streak to seven games with a 5-2 victory over the Halifax Mooseheads at Harbour Station on Saturday.
In Kelly Bent's first game back against the Sea Dogs following the now infamous brawl in Halifax on Dec. 11 - which lead to a five-game ban for Bent and a 15-game suspension to Bokondji Imama – Saint John chose to essentially ignore the Mooseheads' "super pest” on Saturday.
The line of Sam Povorozniouk (two goals and two assists), Nathan Noel (one goal and three assists) and Spencer Smallman (one goal and two assists) led the Sea Dogs to victory. Thomas Chabot also scored for Saint John. Maxime Fortier and Joel Bishop replied for Halifax.
It was all Saint John in the first period as the Sea Dogs outshot Halifax 19-3. Povorozniouk finished off a beautiful tic-tac-toe with Smallman and Noel by slamming in Noel's back door pass at 10:31. Povorozniouk was back at it on the power play at 14:07, when he took a feed from Noel in the slot and ripped a shot past Kevin Resop to give Saint John a 2-0 lead after one.
Smallman extended the Sea Dogs' lead to three at 7:04 when he one-timed a rebound off a Poverozniouk shot past Resop. Referees Andre Dupuis - in his final game at Harbour Station as a QMJHL ref - and Jeff Hopkins played a significant role, especially in the second period, when they awarded Halifax five straight power plays. They also allowed a few Mooseheads' infractions to go unpenalized (e.g. see Hit of the Game below). On a power play at 8:58, Fortier capitalized on a scramble and snapped the puck past a fallen Alex Bishop. It was 3-1 after two.
Just past 11 minutes into the third period, Halifax's Otto Somppi thought he had scored after several whacks at a puck under Bishop's pad but it was ruled no goal. Then, at 12:20, Chabot's spinning wrist shot from the point deflected off Halifax's new captain, Taylor Ford, and past Resop. However, just 14 seconds later, Joel Bishop's shot from the corner banked off Alex Bishop's goal stick and into the short side corner. Noel would seal the win with an empty net goal, at 19:31, from the neutral zone to set the final score at 5-2.
- Mathieu Joseph has somewhat quietly been one of the QMJHL's most effective performers, especially over the past six to eight weeks. But Halifax managed to keep him off the score sheet for only the second time in 17 games since Nov. 26. Joseph has 27 points - 12 goal and 15 assist - during that time. He also has seven shorthanded goals on the season.
- The Sea Dogs fired 58 shots at Mason McDonald on Friday. That would be the most in the QMJHL this season and second highest shot total in the CHL - Kelowna Rockets had 59 on Dec. 2.
- The Sea Dogs were missing Bokondji Imama (suspension - game 11/15), Bailey Webster (upper body), Samuel Dove-McFalls (lower body), Oliver Felixson (upper body), Adam Marsh (upper body) and Matt Paul (healthy). Affiliate Alexandre Lafreniere was called up from the Saint John Vito’s for his second game in a Sea Dogs uniform.
- The Mooseheads were missing Anthony Sorrentino and Morgan Nauss.
- Elsewhere in the Maritimes Division on Saturday - CHA 4 - MON 5 (OT) / BAT 6 - CBSE 7 (OT). If you like goal scoring, this was an exciting weekend - with tons of goals and overtime games - in the Maritimes on Friday and Saturday.
With the Sea Dogs somewhat on their heals after allowing one goal against six straight Halifax power plays, Thomas Chabot's shot off Taylor Ford gave Saint John some breathing room.
HIT OF THE GAME
Midway through the second period, Barrett Dachyshyn cartwheeled Matt Murphy with a knee-on-knee hit that everyone in Harbour Station - except the two guys wearing orange stripes on their arms - felt should have warranted a penalty.
SN PLAYERS OF THE GAME
The Sea Dogs travel to Charlottetown on Thursday to face the Islanders at 7 p.m. The Dogs return to Harbour Station on Friday to face the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles - in the first of back-to-back games - at 8 p.m. (note start time due to Sportsnet’s broadcast).
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation