Wednesday, October 26, 2016

RECAP: Sea Dogs win 5-2

FINAL: Charlottetown 2, Saint John 5
Lorne Webster | SN Staff

SAINT JOHN – Spencer Smallman's first QMJHL hat trick was the key to a decisive 5-2 victory for the Saint John Sea Dogs over their division rivals from Charlottetown Wednesday evening at Harbour Station. 

In addition to Smallman's three goals and an assist, Bokondji Imama and Nathan Noel scored for the Sea Dogs.  Filip Chlapik and Pascal Aquin responded for the Islanders. Alex Bishop had 15 saves for the win while Matthew Welsh stopped 29 shots in defeat. 

The notes …
  • Smallman got the scoring started, on a power play at 4:45 of the first, when he unloaded a one-timer off a cross ice feed from Mathieu Joseph.
  • While shorthanded at 16:23 of the first, Chlapik intercepted a pass in his defensive zone, rushed the puck to the high slot and used the sole Sea Dog back as a screen to beat Bishop just over the shoulder to tie the game at 1-1.
  • Early in the second, while Charlottetown was down five men to three, Welsh made the save of the game with a lunging glove save on Joseph in tight.
  • At 14:47 of the second, Smallman finished off a tic-tac-toe play with Imama and Luke Green by snapping the puck past a sprawling Welsh. Credit to Cedric Pare for a solid dangle at the blue line to start off the play.
  • The visitors responded at 17:49 when Aquin's wrist shot past a defender, from the top of the right face-off circle, eluded Bishop to tie the game again at 2-2.
  • The hosts came out firing in the third and, at 1:46, Imama found himself all alone in front and made no mistake with a backhander to score the game-winning goal. Pare was a major figure once again with strong work in the corner to get the puck to Matt Green who, in turn, fed Imama.
  • There was a little controversy at 3:17 when a heavy Jakub Zboril point shot was deflected in front by Noel past Welsh. The Islanders argued that shot was redirected with a high stick.  But a video review was unable to overturn the call on the ice.  4-2 Sea Dogs.
  • At 6:37, a little more than a minute after Pare fired a laser off the cross bar, Smallman completed his hat trick when he took a short pass from Noel and unloaded a heavy wrist shot past Welsh to set the final at 5-2.
  • Chlapik - the Islanders leading scorer - showed tons of skill but also a bit of frustration, especially when he initiated a scrum by punching rugged Sea Dogs defenceman Chase Stewart. The Islanders were fortunate that the linesmen jumped in quickly to protect the star import.
  • In what is becoming an unsettling recurring theme, reports out of Ottawa stated that Sea Dogs star defenceman Thomas Chabot was - once again - a healthy scratch. UGH.
  • Cole Reginato was given an automatic one-game suspension for what the officials deemed to be a "staged fight" against Rouyn-Noranda on Saturday.
  • Saint John fans surely can appreciate just how bad the flu bug has been around the team recently, when reports surfaced that the Sea Dogs' ultimate warrior and ironman - David ('DK') Kelly - was unable to report for duty earlier this week. However, while still not fully recovered, DK was at his post again tonight. 

Dove-McFalls - Highmore - Joseph
Smallman - Noel - Grzelewski
Imama – Pare - M. Green
LeBlanc - Quinney - Ward

Zboril - Stewart
Bernier - L. Green
Felixson – Webster


SCRATCHES: Thomas Chabot (Ottawa Senators); John Warren and Joe Veleno (injuries); Cole Reginato (suspended); Vincent Martineau and Bryson Michel (healthy).

A pair of goals - just over a minute apart, early in the third period - by Imama and Noel was essentially a knock out blow to the Islanders.

1. Spencer Smallman (please see definition of "no doubter")
2. Cedric Pare
3. Chase Stewart

The Sea Dogs host the Moncton Wildcats Friday evening at 7 p.m. in the Harbour Station Halloween celebration contest.   

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