By Kevin Chambers | SN Staff
SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs stretched their winning streak to six games with a wild 8-7 overtime victory over the Charlottetown Islanders on Friday night at Harbour Station.
The Sea Dogs got off to a great start in this contest when captain Spencer Smallman cashed in on an early power play opportunity, beating Islanders starter Mason McDonald. The Harbour Station faithful didn’t have to wait long for the Sea Dogs to add to their lead as Jakub Zboril sent a seeing eye wrist shot go and found its way through a screen in front just 5:08 in. The Islanders would cut the lead in half when former Sea Dog Oliver Cooper tipped one past Marc-Antoine Turcotte at 9:03. The Islanders weren’t finished there as they would even up the game at 12:07. After Kameron Kielly was stopped on a breakaway, the puck sat in the crease for Jake Coughler who tapped it into the back of the net. Charlottetown grabbed the lead on a power play at 14:22 when Mitchell Balmas put a wrist shot past Turcotte.
The Sea Dogs would strike first in the second period when Nathan Noel finished off a beautiful four-on-four passing play. Mathieu Joseph fed Thomas Chabot who slid it over to Noel who then made no mistake evening the game at 3-3 at 3:27. Daniel Sprong got the lead back for the Islanders a short time later with a wicked wrist shot that beat Turcotte. Matthew Highmore would even things once again though as he made a strong move to the net and slid a shot past McDonald at 6:17. The visitors would regain the lead once again after Filip Chlapik beat Turcotte at 11:30 on a man advantage – and that would end the night for Turcotte. The Isles would add to their lead late in the second as Kennedy beat Alex Bishop high blocker side, giving Charlottetown a 6-4 lead after two periods.
Joe Veleno would get the Sea Dogs back to within a goal just after a power play had ended for the Sea Dogs, making it 6-5 with 12:55 to go in the third. Saint John would even the game at 6-6 with another power play goal scored by Sam Povorozniouk at 11:26. Matt Murphy then got into the action, scoring just 13 seconds after Povorozniouk and giving the Dogs a 7-6 lead. The Islanders wouldn’t quit though with Coughler banging home his second goal of the high scoring affair to knot things at 7-7 at 14:55. That’s how regulation would end, sending the wild contest to overtime.
In the three-on-three session that had lots of back and forth action, it was Joseph scoring the winner off a feed from Highmore on a two-on-one rush to end the craziest game seen at Harbour Station in a long time.
- Long list of scratches for Saint John in this game: Samuel Dove-McFalls (lower body), Bokondji Imama (suspension), Adam Marsh (upper body), Bailey Webster (upper body), Oliver Felixson (upper body) and Matt Paul (healthy).
- Marsh missed this game after suffering an upper body injury in practice earlier this week. Webster is expected to miss several more weeks with his injury. Dove-McFalls is skating and should return to action within the next two weeks.
- Gabriel Bettez played in his first game as a Sea Dog.
- Joe Veleno celebrated his 16th birthday this past Wednesday.
- The two teams combined for three fights tonight with Kyle Ward, Nico Blachman, and Matt Murphy dropping the gloves for Saint John.
- The two teams combined for a total of 98 shots on goal.
- With three points tonight, Mathieu Joseph is now just two points shy of 100 in his career.
- Murphy recorded the Gordie Howe hat trick, earning him the No. 1 star of the night.
Impossible to pick anything other than the last goal of the night by Mathieu Joseph. It was a game that would cause grey hair for any coach - it was just one of those nights.
SN THREE STARS
The Sea Dogs are right back at it tomorrow night against the Halifax Moosehead at Harbour Station with a 7 p.m. start time.
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation