FINAL: Saint John 5, Sherbrooke 3
SHERBROOKE – The Saint John Sea Dogs continued their road trip through Quebec on Sunday, picking up their fifth straight win with a 5-3 victory over the Sherbrooke Phoenix
The victory moved the Sea Dogs into sole possession of first place in the Maritimes Division.
Goal scorers for the Sea Dogs were Matthew Highmore (two), Mathieu Joseph, Alexandre Bernier and Joe Veleno. Alex D’Orio made his second career start and improved to 2-0 by stopping 21 of the 24 shots he faced.
Phoenix goal scorers were Benjamin Tardif, Kevin Gilbert and Anderson MacDonald. Evan Fitzpatrick took the loss for Sherbrooke, stopping 32 of 37 shots.
- Cole Reginato and Olivier Schingh-Gomez had a scrap in the opening period. It was the highlight of the period as no goals were scored by either team. Reginato did go to the dressing room briefly after his fight but did return.
- The Sea Dogs got on the board first in the second period when Joseph cut back across the middle and went high glove on Fitzpatrick, making it 1-0 at 12:17.
- Bernier would score on the power play just 1:29 after the Joseph goal, beating Fitzpatrick glove side.
- The Phoenix closed the gap to 2-1 when the rookie Tardif was able to bang home a loose puck, picking up his first career QMJHL goal at 2:51 of the third period.
- Highmore added his fifth goal of the campaign at the 12:25 mark by picking up a loose puck and beating a downed Fitzpatrick to restore the two goal advantage.
- It took just 33 seconds for Gilbert to reply for the Phoenix. On a power play, the puck bounced off a Phoenix player and right to Gilbert who made no mistake. That made it a 3-2 contest at 12:58.
- The Sea Dogs would regain the two goal advantage at 14:05 of the third when Veleno fired a wrist shot that beat Fitzpatrick low blocker side. Veleno’s first of the campaign gave the Dogs a 4-2 lead.
- MacDonald, a Quispamsis native, would close the gap once again for the Phoenix on a power play at 18:33. With the goaltender pulled, MacDonald hammered a one time shot blocker side on D’Orio, making it 4-3 late.
- Highmore would cap off his four-point night with a shorthanded tally into an empty net at 19:47, securing the 5-3 victory for the Sea Dogs.
- With four points on the night, Highmore has moved into top spot in the QMJHL scoring race.
- MacDonald is currently tied for the most goals in the QMJHL with eight and is tied for the lead in rookie scoring with nine points in seven games played.
- With a goal and an assist, Veleno has 50 career points as a Sea Dog.
- Tim Roszell noted before the game that Alex D’Orio’s parents are the billets of Sherbrooke goaltender Evan Fitzpatrick.
Veleno - Highmore - Joseph
Smallman - Noel - Imama
Grzelewski – Dove-McFalls - Green
Reginato - Pare
Zboril - Webster
Bernier - Green
Felixson – Stewart
SCRATCHES: The Sea Dogs were without Thomas Chabot (Ottawa Senators); John Warren, Gabriel Bettez, Kyle Ward (did not make the trip); and Vincent Martineau.
When Luke Green joined the rush making it a 3-on-2 for the Sea Dogs, he fed a pass to Highmore who then slid a pass over to Veleno who powered a wrist shot low blocker side on Fitzpatrick, giving the Sea Dogs a two-goal edge for the third time in the game.
SN PLAYERS OF THE GAME
1. Matthew Highmore
2. Joe Veleno
3. Carl Neill
The Sea Dogs continue their trek through Quebec in Blainville-Boisbriand where they will face the Armada on Wednesday night. Game time is 8 p.m.