Tuesday, April 19, 2016

GAME 7 RECAP: Sea Dogs Win 6-2

FINAL: Cape Breton 2, Saint John 6
By Kevin Chambers | SN Staff

SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Sea Dogs are off to the QMJHL semifinals.

The Sea Dogs advanced to the third round of the post-season with a 6-2 game seven victory over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Tuesday night at Harbour Station.

Saint John’s veteran players came to play in this one with Nathan Noel scoring twice, Matt Murphy adding a goal and an assist and Sam Povorozniouk also scoring. Daniel Del Paggio and Jakub Zboril netted goals as well. Goaltender Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 29 saves in the victory.

After a scoreless first period, Cape Breton opened the scoring in the second. But the Sea Dogs blew it open by scoring the next five goals and once again, for the most part, silencing the Screaming Eagles’ big guns.

The Dogs now advance to the semifinals where they take on the Shawinigan Cataractes.

Cape Breton goals came from Michael Joly and Evgeny Svechnikov. Alexandre Belanger made 24 stops in the loss.

The first period was a bit of a feeling out process for both squads with no shortage of butterflies. It was clear neither team wanted to make any mistakes. The Eagles controlled much of the first half while the Sea Dogs applied the pressure in the second half - but no goals would be scored by either.

The second period saw the game’s first penalty, which was assessed to Murphy. Joly would make no mistake on the man advantage, hammering a one time shot past Turcotte at 7:07. The lead was short lived though as Noel would take advantage of an Eagles turnover, sliding one past Belanger just 29 seconds later to tie it up. 

The Sea Dogs would continue to press when Spencer Smallman wrapped a puck around the net and found a pinching Murphy. The 20-year-old d-man one timed a shot past Belanger, giving the Sea Dogs their first lead of the game at the 12:11 mark.  Saint John’s attack didn’t end there as Del Paggio showed off some nice hand eye coordination and tipped a point shot from Murphy past a screened Belanger to give the Dogs a 3-1 lead after two periods of play.

The third got off to a great start for the Sea Dogs when Noel put a laser of a wrist shot past Belanger to extend the lead to 4-1 at 2:38. Saint John continued to apply pressure by scoring a fifth marker, this time by Povorozniouk, at 9:57 to make it 5-1. The Screaming Eagles would strike back at 11:00 with Svechnikov powering in and banging home his own rebound. Cape Breton would than pull Belanger with over five minutes left in the game and were given two power play chances. But it was Zboril that was able to slide the puck the length of the ice and into an empty net, making it a 6-2 final.

  • 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).
  • Scratches for the Screaming Eagles were Phelix Martineau, Scottie Greene, Tobie Paquette-Bisson and Colin MacSween.
  • Nathan Noel’s second period goal was just his second point of the series and first since game two. He had two goals in this game and was a +4.
  • The Sea Dogs played in their first ever game seven.
  • Before the game, Thomas Chabot was named the CHL Player of the Week.
  • Sam Povorozniouk is tied for the league lead in goals with 11 and is second in points with 18.
  • Thomas Chabot still leads all defensemen in points with 17 in 12 games.

Dan Del Paggio’s tip past Alexandre Belanger off the Matt Murphy point shot really seemed to take the wind out from under the Eagles’ wings.

Matt Murphy
Marc-Antoine Turcotte
Nathan Noel

Friday night in Shawinigan where the semifinal series will begin. The time has not been announced.

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