By Lorne Webster | SN Staff
SAINT JOHN - Less than 24 hours after an exciting 3-2 shootout win over Cape Breton - in front of a national audience on Sportsnet - the Saint John Sea Dogs beat the Screaming Eagles again, this time by score of 7-5, on Saturday.
The win extended the Sea Dogs' string of games with at least one point to 12 (10-0-2-0) and also allowed Saint John to pull within five points of Moncton - who lost 5-4 (OT) in Drummondville - with three games in hand. The Sea Dogs moved nine points clear of Cape Breton - with three games in hand as well.
Spencer Smallman led the way for the Sea Dogs with a pair of goals. Matthew Highmore, Mathieu Joseph, Sam Povorozniouk, Daniel Del Paggio and Nathan Noel also scored for Saint John. Evgeny Svechnikov had two goals to go with singles from Maxim Lazarev, Michael Joly and Tobie Bisson for Cape Breton.
Power plays were key in the early goings of the game. At 4:15 - about a minute after a Jakub Zboril point shot found iron - Smallman banged in the rebound of a Luke Green shot to open the scoring. Less than a minute apart (9:36 and 10:13), Lazarev and Joly scored power play goals to put Cape Breton out front. Highmore would tie the game at 2-2 with 15.5 seconds left - after taking a feed in the slot following some impressive stick handling by Thomas Chabot.
The floodgates opened during some four-on-four action in the fifth minute of the second period. At 4:13, Joseph deposited the rebound of a Highmore shot. 13 seconds later, Svechnikov responded with a lovely wrap around goal. And at 4:54, Smallman completed a beautiful give and go with Noel. On a power play at 12:12, Povorozniouk extended the Sea Dogs lead to 5-3 with a laser over Daryl MacCallum's blocker. However, at 18:20, Bisson's wrist shot caromed off someone in front of Saint John's goal and over Marc-Antoine Turcotte's shoulder. The teams went to their dressing rooms with Saint John out front 5-4.
A few signs of fatigue appeared in the first half of a back and forth third period, which had very few stoppages. At 10:02 - moments after Matt Green hit the post - a turnover in the neutral zone resulted in Svechnikov's second goal of the night to tie the game 5-5. At 16:35, Del Paggio banged home the game winner off a rebound from a shot by Joseph. An apparent goal about two minutes later by Povorozniouk was called back. But Noel would ice the victory with an empty net marker from centre at 19:54 - after some furious pressure by the Screaming Eagles.
- Nathan Noel extended his points streak to 12 games and linemate Sam Povorozniouk extended his goal scoring streak to seven games.
- There was plenty of positive buzz around Twitter, and elsewhere on the internet, about the Sea Dogs - Screaming Eagles game on Sportsnet last night, especially regarding the game saving glove stop by Marc-Antoine Turcotte off Massimo Carozza in overtime.
- Sea Dogs star defenceman Thomas Chabot received a major penalty and game misconduct for a hit on Michael Joly on Friday. However, the play did not result in a suspension.
- Over at theScore today, there was a report that the Tampa Bay Lightning want Chabot, along with another top prospect, from Ottawa for disgruntled winger Jonathan Drouin. If such a deal is completed, the Sea Dogs d-man would join current teammates Mathieu Joseph and Bokondji Imama in Tampa Bay's system.
- The Sea Dogs were missing Imama (suspension - game 14/15), Bailey Webster (upper body), Oliver Felixson (upper body) and Adam Marsh (upper body). Imama should return next Saturday in Bathurst. Felixson may be able to return next weekend as well.
- The Screaming Eagles were missing former Sea Dogs prospect Declan Smith, Scottie Greene, Lee Dower and Dillon Boucher.
Del Paggio's goal with less than four minutes remaining would prove to be the difference in a high scoring affair.
HIT OF THE GAME
Pierre-Luc Dubois caught Thomas Chabot with a high hit in the first period - which appeared to hurt the Sea Dogs defenceman - but went unpenalized.
SN PLAYERS OF THE GAME
The Sea Dogs travel to Rimouski next week to face the Oceanic on Friday at 8:30 p.m.
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation