Monday, April 11, 2016

GAME 3 RECAP: Sea Dogs Win 5-2

FINAL: Saint John 5, Cape Breton 2
By Kevin Chambers | SN Staff

SYDNEY, NS – After a few shaky games, the Saint John Sea Dogs proved why they are one of the top seeded teams in the QMJHL on Monday night in Sydney.

Despite a suspension to Nathan Noel, the Sea Dogs were able to put together a solid road effort and defeat the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 5-2 to take a 2-1 series lead. The win also regained home ice advantage for Saint John.

Matthew Highmore scored twice and added an assist while Jordan King, Spencer Smallman and Bokondji Imama also netted goals. Thomas Chabot registered four assists and Sam Povorozniouk had two. Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 20 saves in the win.

The Sea Dogs struggled in the final two games of the Bathurst series and did not have a good game one to this series. But Saturday’s overtime win coupled with this road victory brings some confidence back. Scoring five goals tonight without Noel in the lineup - along with Mathieu Joseph and Adam Marsh, of course - was impressive.

Cape Breton’s big guns – Pierre-Luc Dubois, Michael Joly, Evgeny Svechnikov and Maxim Lazarev – were all held pointless. Loik Leveille and Giovanni Fiore scored for the Screaming Eagles. Alexandre Belanger was pulled after allowing four goals on 18 shots. Daryl MacCallum made 11 saves in relief.

Much of the opening 20 minutes of play took place in the neutral zone with very few scoring chances. The Sea Dogs would open the scoring at 15:47 when Highmore jammed a loose puck past Belanger. Saint John wouldn’t wait long before striking again as Smallman was able to split two Eagle defenders on the power play at 18:30, sending the Sea Dogs to the dressing room up 2-0.

Saint John extended their lead to 3-0 when King scored his first playoff goal, deflecting a Chabot point shot past Belanger at 2:46 of the second period. 

The Screaming Eagles got on the board when Leveille sent a seeing eye wrist shot past Turcotte on the power play at 4:53, narrowing the gap to 3-1. The Sea Dogs would get that marker back on a five-on-three power play opportunity when Highmore blasted a shot past Belanger. That ended the night for the Eagles ‘tender who was pulled in favour of the well-travelled MacCallum.

The Screaming Eagles got exactly what they needed in the third period as Fiore scored to cut the lead to 4-2 just 2:19 in. Fortunately for Saint John that would be all the scoring the Eagles could muster in the final frame. At 18:30, Imama would catch MacCallum on his way to the bench and deposited the puck into the yawning cage, cementing a 5-2 victory for the visiting Sea Dogs.

  • Scratches for the Sea Dogs were forwards Nathan Noel (suspension), Adam Marsh (upper body) and Mathieu Joseph (lower body) along with defensemen Gabriel Bettez (healthy, Alexandre Bernier (upper body) and Vincent Martineau (healthy).
  • Scratches for the Screaming Eagles were Scottie Greene, Lee Dower, Clark Bishop, and Colin MacSween.
  • Nathan Noel served a one-game suspension for a hit he put on Giovanni Fiore in the first period of Saturday’s game.
  • Nico Blachman turned 18 today while Samuel Dove-McFalls turned 19 yesterday.
  • Daryl MacCallum was the property of six different teams this season, including a junior A squad. He came in to relieve Alexandre Belanger in the second period.
  • Jordan King was credited with the game-winning goal - which was also his first career playoff goal in the QMJHL.
  • Bokondji Imama also scored his first ever playoff goal in the QMJHL when he hit the empty net late in the contest.
  • Thomas Chabot leads all QMJHL defenseman in scoring with 10 points in eight contests.
  • This is the first time the Sea Dogs have ever taken a lead in a playoff series after trailing.

Jordan King picked a great time to record his first career QMJHL playoff goal, scoring the Sea Dogs’ third goal and eventual game winner in the second period. The hole was too deep for the Eagles to dig their way out.

Matthew Highmore
Thomas Chabot
Jordan King

The Sea Dogs and Screaming Eagles are right back at it tomorrow night at Center 200 for game four at 7 p.m.

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