FINAL: Saint John 3, Cape Breton 4
The Sea Dogs fell again today, losing 4-3 to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles at Centre 200. The game didn’t have any meaning for the Dogs having already been locked into the QMJHL’s No. 3 seed.
While entering the playoffs on a losing skid is no doubt disappointing given the success the team had in the second half, it’s not overly surprising. On Saturday, the Sea Dogs were without Thomas Chabot, Luke Green, Alex Bernier, Bailey Webster, Matthew Highmore, Mathieu Joseph and Adam Marsh due to injuries. They were also without Bokondji Imama who served a one-game suspension for accumulating game misconducts.
Given that all those players were out today, Saint John played a decent game against a Cape Breton team that sat out several of their top players. It sounds as though the Dogs should have a few of those players back on Friday when the team opens up the playoffs, which is good news.
Matt Murphy, playing in his final regular season QMJHL game, scored twice for the Sea Dogs while Daniel Del Paggio also had a goal. Alex Bishop made 40 saves in the loss.
Phelix Martineau, Declan Smith, Peyton Hoyt and Massimo Carozza scored for Cape Breton. Daryl MacCallum made 32 saves in the win.
Murphy opened the scoring with a power play goal at 13:49. A shot from the point deflected off something and beat MacCallum upstairs to give Saint John a 1-0 advantage.
Cape Breton tied the game at 1:02 of the second period with a shorthanded goal. Following some sloppy Saint John puck handling and passing in the neutral zone, Martineau picked up the puck and broke in alone, beating Bishop with a nice move to his backhand.
Just 2:18 later, Smith picked up his own rebound and beat Bishop with a wrist shot that went off the post and in to give Cape Breton a 2-1 advantage.
At 12:08, Martineau threw the puck on net and Hoyt put in the rebound in to give the Screaming Eagles a 3-1 lead. Then in the final minute, Murphy ‘s second of the game made it a 3-2 contest heading into the third.
In the final frame, the Screaming Eagles restored their two-goal lead at 9:40 when, while on a power play, Carozza put in the rebound of a Giovanni Fiore shot.
After the Screaming Eagles failed to score on the empty net, Del Paggio jammed the puck past MacCallum at 19:16 to make it a one-goal game. But that was as close as the Dogs would get.
- The Sea Dogs were without defensemen Thomas Chabot (lower body), Luke Green (upper body), Alex Bernier (upper body) and Bailey Webster (upper body) along with forwards Matthew Highmore (lower body), Mathieu Joseph (upper body), Adam Marsh (upper body) and Bokondji Imama (suspension).
- Green will be reevaluated this week, according to Sea Dogs play-by-play man Tim Roszell. Chabot, Highmore and Joseph are considered day-to-day.
- Vincent Martineau was called up to help fill some of the holes on the backend. According to a tweet from scout Anthony Stella, Martineau finished playing a game in Montreal at 10 p.m. EST last night. Martineau's brother, Phelix Martineau, plays for the Screaming Eagles.
- Nico Blachman had a phone hearing with the league this morning, according to Roszell, following his 10th fight of the season last night. He did not receive a suspension.
- Kallum Muirhead, recalled by Saint John earlier this week, made his QMJHL debut.
- Saint John’s defense pairings, due to injuries: Felixson-Bettez; Murphy-Martineau; Ward-Zboril.
- Along with Pierre-Luc Dubois missing the game due to suspension, the Eagles sat out Maxim Lazarev, Evgeny Svechnikov and Olivier LeBlanc.
- The Sea Dogs finish the regular season with a 42-20-6-0 record.
- This is unfortunate:
TURNING POINTUnfortunate. You never want to see this. pic.twitter.com/0jcKpAvHEg— Jamie Tozer (@station_nation) March 19, 2016
Declan Smith’s goal at 3:20 of the second period – which came just 2:18 after the Screaming Eagles had tied things at 1-1 – really put some wind in Cape Breton’s sails.
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The Sea Dogs play their first game of the playoffs on Friday night at 7 p.m. at Harbour Station.