Saturday, April 9, 2016

GAME 2 RECAP: Sea Dogs Win 4-3 (OT)

FINAL: Cape Breton 3, Saint John 4 (OT)
By Kevin Chambers & Jamie Tozer | SN Staff

SAINT JOHN – Joe Veleno picked a great time to score the biggest goal of his young QMJHL career.

Veleno scored at 7:35 of overtime on Saturday night at Harbour Station, giving the Saint John Sea Dogs a crucial 4-3 overtime victory over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. The win tied the second round best-of-seven series 1-1 heading to Sydney for games three and four.

It was a back-and-forth affair with momentum shifting throughout. Saint John had a fairly great first half to this game, but after the Eagles got in the board, it began to slip away. After three straight Cape Breton goals, Veleno tied it with 6:03 left in regulation time, which set up his OT winner.

Along with Veleno’s goals, Sam Povorozniouk scored a pair. Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 26 saves in the win – including a couple big ones in overtime.

Michael Joly, Yannik Bertrand and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored for the Screaming Eagles. Alexandre Belanger made 38 stops in the loss.

The two teams definitely came out throwing their weight around with several big hits coming from both sides. The Sea Dogs would strike first as Povorozniouk banged home a rebound on a power play to give the Sea Dogs a 1-0 lead at 13:10.

Povorozniouk wasn’t done there. As the Sea Dogs were throwing the puck around for what seemed like an eternity, the 20-year old forward was able to fire a bullet passed Belanger with 10.1 seconds left in the opening frame to make it 2-0.

Other than a few penalties that could have ben avoided, the Sea Dogs had a great first period, outshooting the Screaming Eagles 16-3.

Cape Breton couldn’t seem to find a power play marker but Joly was able to slide a goal five hole on Turcotte while shorthanded at 8:13 to get the Eagles back within one. The visitors weren’t done there as they would tie the contest a short time later when Bertrand’s shot deflected in front of Turcotte and got by him, knotting things at 2-2.

Both teams hit a couple posts late in the period but the puck stayed out. Shots were 11-8 Cape Breton in the middle frame.

The Screaming Eagles took their first lead of the game at 1:26 of the third. After the Sea Dogs couldn’t get the puck out of their own zone, the disc came to Dubois who blasted a shot from the slot past Turcotte to make it 3-2.

Daniel Del Paggio scored at 8:02 but the goal was immediately declared no goal due to “incidental contact with the goaltender” by Povorozniouk.
The Sea Dogs did manage to tie the game at 13:57. Jakub Zboril made some smooth moves to get around some Cape Breton defenders and then threaded a pass to Veleno who was parked at the side of the crease. The rookie forward tapped the puck past Belanger to make it 3-3.

Saint John went to another power play at 14:27. On the man advantage, the Dogs had some pressure on but could not score. With less than 30 seconds left in regulation time, Joly had a great chance but hit the crossbar. The game would require extra time.

Early in overtime, Turcotte made an enormous save off of Giovanni Fiore. A few minutes later, Povorozniouk walked in front with the puck but fired wide of the net.

Then at 7:35, this:

Game. Series tied 1-1.

  • The Sea Dogs were without defensemen Alex Bernier (upper body), Vincent Martineau (healthy) and Gabriel Bettez (healthy) along with forwards Adam Marsh (upper body), Mathieu Joseph (lower body) and Jordan King (healthy).
  • Thomas Chabot was in the lineup after playing through a lower body injury on Thursday.
  • Nico Blachman made his QMJHL playoff debut. He hadn’t played since March 19 – the final game of the regular season.
  • Scratches for the Screaming Eagles were Scottie Greene, Lee Dower, Clark Bishop and Colin MacSween.
  • The Sea Dogs wore their blue jerseys for the first time this series. They had been wearing their black third sweaters at home.
  • Despite giving up three power play chances to the Screaming Eagles, the Sea Dogs out shot Cape Breton 16-3 in the first period. At one point in the second period the Eagles had six total shots while having five power play opportunities.
  • The transition from basketball to hockey at Harbour Station was seemingly a success.
  • According to Tim Roszell, the start of the game was delayed due to a problem with the instant replay booth.
  • Both Matt Murphy and Thomas Chabot left the game briefly in the second period with injuries - Murphy after blocking a shot and Chabot after taking a hit from Michael Joly. Both returned.
  • Nice to see people attend this game.
  • Saint John won an impressive 38 of 63 faceoffs.
  • The Sea Dogs are now a ridiculous 12-2 all-time in playoff overtime.
  • This was Joe Veleno’s first multi-goal game in the QMJHL.
  • Saint John is now 1/11 on the power play in this series.
  • Tonight’s win means there will be a game five on Friday, April 15 at Harbour Station. Tickets are now on sale.

Joe Veleno’s game-tying goal at 13:57 sent the game into overtime, setting up Veleno’s winner.

Joe Veleno
Sam Povorozniouk
Pierre-Luc Dubois

The Sea Dogs and Screaming Eagles take a day off on Sunday to travel to Sydney for Monday’s game three. Game time is 7 p.m.

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