Tuesday, March 29, 2016

GAME 3 RECAP: Sea Dogs Win 7-1

FINAL: Saint John 7, Bathurst 1
BATHURST – The Acadie-Bathurst Titan are – as they say – on the brink of elimination.

The Saint John Sea Dogs took a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven first round series with a 7-1 victory over the Titan on Tuesday night at the KC Irving Regional Centre. Saint John’s first goal, which came just 41 seconds into the game, really set the tone for the match. Although the Titan would be within one to enter the second, a three-goal middle frame propelled Saint John to the win.

Mathieu Joseph recorded a hat trick in the win while singles came from Daniel Del Paggio, Samuel Dove-McFalls, Sam Povorozniouk and Joe Veleno. Marc-Antoine Turcotte had a strong night in net, making 31 saves.

Christophe Boivin scored the only goal for the Titan, who have been held to under two goals per game in each match of this series. Reilly Pickard made 27 stops in the loss.

Joseph opened the scoring just 41 seconds in. Del Paggio carried the puck across the line and then sent it cross ice to Joseph where the Tampa Bay Lightning prospect wired a shot past Pickard.

Saint John doubled their lead at 14:57 when Joseph struck again – this time while shorthanded. Joseph carried the puck into the zone before running into traffic but managed to get himself and the puck loose. He went into the slot area uncontested and beat Pickard to make it 2-0.
The Titan, who had a few good scoring chances in the opening frame, finally got on the board with a power play marker at 18:13. A Sea Dogs clearing attempt was kept in Boivin who skated into the centre of the offensive zone and beat Turcotte with a wrist shot. That made it a 2-1 game after 20 minutes.

At 6:08 of the second, Matthew Highmore fought off a Titan defender in the offensive zone. The puck came loose to Del Paggio who fired a shot past Pickard, making it 3-1 Saint John.

One second after a Saint John power play expired at 11:49, Oliver Felixson fired a point shot that was redirected by Dove-McFalls to give the Dogs a 4-1 lead.

The Sea Dogs were awarded a full two-minute five-on-three power play at 19:24 after the Titan took a penalty during a delayed penalty call. On the ensuing man advantage, Spencer Smallman sent a pass through the crease to Joseph who completed his hat trick and make it a 5-1 game.

Less than 90 seconds into the third, Jeffrey Truchon-Viel had a long breakaway but was denied by the pad of Turcotte.

After the Titan turned the puck over behind the net, Povorozniouk fired a wrist shot past Pickard at 9:24 to make it 6-1 Sea Dogs. Then at 13:20, some sloppy play by the Titan in their own end allowed Veleno to have the puck all alone in front. The exceptional rookie made a nice deke to his forehand to make it a 7-1 contest.

  • The Sea Dogs dressed the same lineup as they did for games one and two. They were without defensemen Bailey Webster (upper body), Alex Bernier (upper body) and Luke Green (upper body) along with forwards Jordan King (healthy), Nico Blachman (healthy) and Cedric Pare (healthy).
  • The Sea Dogs have sent prospect Kallum Muirhead back home to PEI.
  • Reilly Pickard, who was injured in the final minute of game two, got the start in net for the Titan.
  • As noted by Tim Roszell on the radio broadcast, Saint John’s fourth goal came after Samuel Dove-McFalls beat Mark Simpson on a faceoff. Simpson does not lose many.
  • Dove-McFalls’ goal was just his second career QMJHL playoff point. He had one goal in last year’s five-game series against Baie-Comeau.
  • Matthew Highmore had three assists.
  • This happened:
Samuel Dove-McFalls’ second period goal, which gave the Sea Dogs a 4-1 lead, really deflated the Titan’s hopes of a comeback in this game.

Mathieu Joseph
Matthew Highmore
Daniel Del Paggio

The Sea Dogs and Titan play game four tomorrow night at 7 p.m.

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