Sunday, April 17, 2016

GAME 6 RECAP: Sea Dogs Win 5-4

FINAL: Saint John 5, Cape Breton 4

SYDNEY, NS – For the first time in franchise history, the Saint John Sea Dogs will play a game seven.

The Sea Dogs forced the winner-take-all game with a 5-4 game six victory on Sunday night at Centre 200. Matthew Highmore and Sam Povorozniouk each scored twice while Spencer Smallman added a solo marker. Thomas Chabot had four assists. Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 19 saves in the win.

It was a classic, back-and-forth junior hockey playoff game on Sunday, with plenty of lead changes and momentum swings. But it was the Sea Dogs, playing in front of a packed Centre 200, that pulled off a clutch win to save their season. Povorozniouk scored the winner on a power play at 10:59 of the third.

Saint John played the game they had to play to win. They took just one penalty the entire game – and it came 54 seconds in. They held Cape Breton and their high flying offense to just four shots in the third period. They went two-for-three on the power play. Michael Joly, Evgeny Svechnikov and Maxim Lazarev were all held pointless. It was a clutch performance by the Sea Dogs.

Giovanni Fiore had a pair of goals for Cape Breton while Pierre-Luc Dubois and Clark Bishop added singles. Alexandre Belanger made 26 saves in the loss.

Smallman opened the scoring at 6:42 of the first period. Thomas Chabot went behind the net with the puck and then dished it out to Smallman in front who fired a wrist shot past Belanger.

The Screaming Eagles tied it up at 1-1 at 10:22. After the Sea Dogs lost control of the puck along the end boards, Fiore grabbed it and sent a pass to Bishop. The Cape Breton captain beat Turcotte with a wrister to even things up.

Just 2:08 later, Fiore accepted the puck from Massimo Carozza and beat Turcotte with a hard wrist shot from the high slot, giving Cape Breton a 2-1 advantage. Danny Flynn called a time out following the goal to try and settle things down.

Saint John tied things up once again at 17:31. Thomas Chabot sent the puck in front as he skated around the net. Daniel Del Paggio was there to feed Highmore in front, tying things back up.

Then at 18:03, Povorozniouk was hooked up on a breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot. On the free breakaway attempt, Povorozniouk fooled Belanger with a deke to give the Sea Dogs a 3-2 advantage after one. Shots were just 7-7.
At 4:58 of the second period, Yannik Bertrand went to the box for goaltender inference. On the man advantage at 5:17, Chabot fed Highmore who ripped a shot from the slot past Belanger to give the Sea Dogs a 4-2 advantage.

Fiore’s second of the game got Cape Breton back within one at 9:53. Bishop crashed the net and the rebound went to Fiore, making it 4-3. Then at 16:55, Dubois crossed the line and used Bailey Webster as a screen to beat Turcotte with a hard wrist shot, tying it at 4-4.

Moments after Dubois tied the game, a Del Paggio scoring chance was reviewed but quickly confirmed no goal.

With 12:04 remaining in the third period, Saint John went to the power play for the second time but could not score. But the Dogs got another power play at 10:49 - and this time they would cash in. At 10:59, Chabot fired a point shot that created a rebound, allowing Povorozniouk to score his 10th of the post-season and put Saint John ahead 5-4.

Not long after, a Dubois shot went off the crossbar but stayed out. The goal went under review but was confirmed no goal.

The Eagles pulled Belanger with 1:31 left in regulation. Cape Breton couldn’t get a whole lot going though and the Sea Dogs put together a solid defensive effort to clinch the victory. 

  • The Sea Dogs were without defensemen Alex Bernier (upper body), Vincent Martineau (healthy) and Gabriel Bettez (healthy) along with forwards Nico Blachman (healthy), Bokondji Imama (suspension), Mathieu Joseph (lower body) and Adam Marsh (upper body).
  • The Screaming Eagles were without Phelix Martineau, who has been suspended a yet-to-be-determined amount of games for his hit on Bailey Webster in game five.
  • Maxim Lazarev returned to the Cape Breton lineup after missing game five with what the Eagles called a “virus.”
  • Cape Breton captain Clark Bishop returned from an upper body injury. He hadn’t played since game one of the first round.
  • Sam Povorozniouk’s penalty shot goal was his first goal since game two of this series.
  • Povorozniouk and Michael Joly are now tied for the league lead in playoff goals with 10.
  • Thomas Chabot had four assists in one game for the second time in this series.
  • Sell out crowd of 4,725 at Centre 200.
  • The last Sea Dogs playoff penalty shot goal, courtesy of Charlie Coyle:

Sam Povorozniouk’s power play goal at 10:59 of the third gave the Sea Dogs the win. Obviously a huge moment in this game.

Thomas Chabot
Matthew Highmore
Sam Povorozniouk

Game seven is on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at Harbour Station. Tickets are now on sale.

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