FINAL: Saint John 1, Rouyn-Noranda 4
By Lorne Webster | SN Staff
ROUYN-NORANDA, Que. - In the second game of an extremely difficult three-game road trip - all against current CHL Top 10 opponents - the Saint John Sea Dogs fell 4-1 to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies Friday evening at Centre Iamgold.
The win - coupled with Val-d'Or's 5-2 loss to Gatineau - allowed Rouyn-Noranda to move back into a first place tie with the Foreurs atop the QMJHL. The win also allowed the Huskies to increase their home record to a league-leading 24-2-0-2.
Despite the loss, the Sea Dogs are an impressive 13-2-1-0 since the trade deadline and now are 5-2 versus the QMJHL's current CHL Top 10 teams - 1-0 vs VDO (No. 2), 0-2 vs ROU (No. 3), 2-0 vs GAT (No. 8) and 2-0 vs SHA (No. 10). In light of Shawinigan's 4-1 win at Baie-Comeau on Friday, Saint John fell back into a tie for the second seed in the playoff race - with one game in hand over the Cataractes.
Anthony-John Greer, Jean-Christophe Beaudin, Timo Meier and Francis Perron scored for Rouyn-Noranda in Friday’s game. Spencer Smallman scored for Saint John.
The Huskies would open the scoring at 4:44, when a shot from Gabriel Fontaine caromed off the back glass out front to Greer who banged the puck past Marc-Antoine Turcotte. Just past the 13-minute mark, Anthony Wojcik found himself in front with an apparent open net but Turcotte would rob the young Husky with a diving glove save. The Sea Dogs were unable to capitalize on three power play opportunities in the opening frame against one of the QMJHL's stingiest penalty kills, as Chase Marchand stopped all 16 shots that got through - which does not include roughly 10 blocked shots by Rouyn-Noranda.
The Nicolas Dutil Show was the main event in the middle frame as he awarded five power plays to Rouyn-Noranda and three to Saint John - including a very questionable embellishment penalty against Joe Veleno and a couple of 'no calls' in favour of the hosts. On a power play at 12:24, a blocked shot went to Meier, who sent a nice cross ice pass to Beaudin for a one-timer past Turcotte to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead. The Sea Dogs would get on the board on a power play at 18:48 when Smallman found himself alone at the bottom of the left face-off circle and ripped a wrist shot over Marchand's glove to make the score 2-1 after two.
Star import - and former Halifax Moosehead nemesis - Meier restored the Huskies' two-goal lead with a snipe at 6:36 of the third period. At 18:27, Meier setup Perron for an empty net goal to set the final at 4-1.
- Rouyn-Noranda and Saint John lead the QMJHL in drafted/signed NHL prospects as each team has seven on their rosters.
- While other Maritimes Division teams have struggled against Quebec based teams, the Sea Dogs were 8-3-1-0 against the East (SHA, RIM, VIC, CHI, QUE and BAC) and are now 6-4-0-0 against the West (VDO, ROU, GAT, DRU, SHE and BBA). After Friday's game, Val-d'Or and Drummondville are the only Quebec based teams left on Saint John's regular season schedule.
- A number of Sea Dogs point streaks were halted on Friday, as Nathan Noel (20), Matthew Highmore (15), Sam Povorozniouk (15) and Mathieu Joseph (10) were held off the score sheet.
- Bailey Webster remains the lone regular on the Sea Dogs' injury list. Cole Reginato, Nico Blachman and Gabriel Bettez sat out Friday's contest as well.
- Much like the Sea Dogs for virtually the entire season, the Huskies are now having to deal with key players on the sidelines with injuries and/or illness. Rouyn-Noranda only dressed 17 skaters since defenceman - and Moncton native - Philippe Myers along with forwards Julien Nantel, Antoine Waked and Mathieu Boucher were all out of the lineup on Friday.
- At the end of the first period, Luke Green's stick exploded during a shot and was assessed a 10-minute misconduct for throwing the shaft against the boards.
- If you love horns, you need to add a trip to an arena such as Centre Iamgold to your bucket list.
Timo Meier's goal early in the third period gave the hosts an added boost as they prepared for a late game push from the Sea Dogs.
SN PLAYERS OF THE GAME
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
Wasn't the outcome they were looking for but I see a lot of positives from the game - They showed they can compete with the Huskies— Kevin Chambers (@SN_Canucklehead) February 20, 2016
The Sea Dogs travel to Val-d'Or to face the Foreurs on Saturday at 8 p.m.