Wednesday, October 19, 2016

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 3-1

FINAL: Bathurst 3, Saint John 1
By Lorne Webster | SN Staff

SAINT JOHN – Upon returning home after an 11-day, nine-out-of-10-point road trip through Quebec, the Saint John Sea Dogs suffered a tough 3-1 loss to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan Wednesday evening at Harbour Station.

Jordan Maher potted a pair of goals and Jeffrey Truchon-Viel added an empty net insurance marker for the visitors. Mathieu Joseph was the lone Sea Dog to score in this contest.

It was a good ol' fashion goaltending battle at the Station with Reilly Pickard producing a 37 save masterpiece for the Titan while Sea Dogs backstop Alex Bishop had a stellar 25 save performance.

The notes…

  • The Sea Dogs appeared to be a tad flat after their long road trip in a scoreless first period. Pickard made a highlight reel save off a Matthew Highmore one-timer during a power play late in the opening frame.
  • Joseph scored the first goal of the night - while on a power play - when he corralled a loose puck in the slot off a scramble and fired a hard wrist shot over a fallen Pickard at 14:33 of the second.
  • Maher responded at 18:28 of the second - while skating 4-on-4 - when he fired a laser past Bishop's mask and just inside the cross bar to tie the game 1-1.
  • At 1:34 of the third, a turnover deep in the Sea Dogs zone went directly to Maher in the left face-off circle. The Titan forward then one-timed the puck just inside the short side post to give Bathurst a 2-1 lead.
  • With just under six minutes remaining in the third, Pickard made another highlight reel save - and potential game saver - this time a beautiful sliding butterfly toe save off a Cedric Pare blast from the slot off a two-on-one break.
  • Saint John applied tons of pressure in the final minutes but were unable to beat Pickard and the Titan's five men in the box defence. A blocked shot ultimately led to a breakout and an empty net goal by Truchon-Viel with 39.5 seconds remaining.
  • Following the game, Sea Dogs radio play-by-play man Tim Roszell indicated that a flu bug from the recent road trip to Quebec adversely affected a number of Sea Dogs and it forced star defenceman Jakub Zboril to sit this game out. However, the Titan deserve full marks for a gritty road game performance against their provincial and division rivals. The Titan seem to bring their 'A' game to Saint John each and every time they travel to the Port City.
  • Word out of Ottawa today was that Thomas Chabot looked quite good in his NHL regular season debut with the Senators, in somewhat limited action, on Tuesday. However, the Senators' coaching staff expect him to learn a few valuable lessons from turnovers which led to goals against. The debate - at least amongst the Sea Dogs faithful - is if or when Chabot could be returned to Saint John for continued development under the tutelage of Paul “Boots'” Boutilier.
  • While the Sea Dogs have not issued an official statement, it appears defenceman Gabriel Bettez was released from the 25-man roster to open up a spot for forward Landon Quinney.
Smallman - Highmore - Joseph
Dove-McFalls - Noel - Imama
Grzelewski – Pare - Green
Reginato - Quinney - Leblanc

Bernier - Green
Felixson – Webster
Michel - Stewart


SCRATCHES: The Sea Dogs were without Thomas Chabot (Ottawa Senators); Jakub Zboril (flu); John Warren, Kyle Ward and Joe Veleno (injuries); and Vincent Martineau (scratched following warm-up)

A pair of goals just over three minutes apart - with the second intermission in between - by Jordan Maher gave Bathurst all the offense they'd need on this night.

1. Reilly Pickard
2. Jordan Maher
3. Alex Bishop

The Sea Dogs host the Val-d'Or Foreurs on Friday night at 7 p.m. In a rare QMJHL scheduling anomaly, the Foreurs will actually be playing the backend of a home-and-home matchup against Saint John, since Val-d'Or has not played since they hosted the Sea Dogs last Saturday night.  

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