Imama netted his third hat trick of the season as the Sea Dogs erased a two-goal deficit to defeat the Wildcats 7-2 at the Moncton Coliseum. The Dogs looked rather flat until Imama got Saint John on the board at 15:48 of the second period. That goal was the first of seven unanswered.
Joe Veleno, Ian Smallwood, Kyle Ward and Cole Reginato also scored for Saint John. Alex D'Orio made 19 saves in the win.
Moncton's goals came from Liam Murphy and Simon Le Coultre. Matthew Waite allowed seven goals on 41 shots.
To the notes...
- Murphy gave Moncton a 1-0 lead at 10:23 of the first on a power play, beating D'Orio over the blocker from the high slot after accepting a pass from Jeremy McKenna.
- With 13:20 left in the second, Le Coultre scored to give the Wildcats a 2-0 advantage.
- Finally at 15:48, Imama made some nice moves to get to the net and beat Waite five-hole to get Saint John on the board.
- Alexandre Renaud was given a give-minute major and game misconduct for a slash on Veleno at 16:19. On the ensuing power play at 18:58, Imama beat Waite with a hard wrist shot to tie the match at 2-2.
- Veleno gave Saint John their first lead of the game at 4:33 of the third on a power play, redirecting a Spencer Smallman shot past Waite. That made it 3-2 Sea Dogs.
- Saint John went up 4-2 at when Smallwood blasted a shot from the point.
- Imama completed the hat trick at 12:28, giving the Sea Dogs a 5-2 lead.
- Then at 13:56, Ward beat Waite blocker side with a wrist shot, making it 6-2.
- At 13:56, Ward fired a slap shot that Waite stopped but produced a big rebound. Reginato was there to put in the rebound, making it 7-2.
- Saint John scored five goals and outshot Moncton 20-6 in the third period.
- Nathan Noel returned to the Sea Dogs lineup after missing the past few games with an upper body injury.
- Alexandre Lafreniere was called up for this game and was in the lineup.
- Defenceman David Comeau, acquired in a trade earlier this week, made his Sea Dogs debut. He assisted on Ward's goal.
- Smallwood's goal was the first of his QMJHL career.
- Veleno's goal was his second of the season and first since Oct. 9. He has been held pointless in just four of the 12 games he has appeared in this season.
- How good has Imama been of late? He has 10 goals in nine games this month, seven of which have come in the past four games. He now has an impressive 23 goals on the season.
- Former Sea Dogs forward Julien Tessier was in Moncton's starting lineup.
- Waite played in his first game since Nov. 20 against Saint John - a game he got hurt injured in.
- This was the sixth of nine meetings between Saint John and Moncton this year.
SCRATCHES#SJSeaDogs lineup for tonight against the Moncton Wildcats! #PortCityRise #TeamDK pic.twitter.com/zkrUTrwtYP— Saint John Sea Dogs (@SJSeaDogs) December 30, 2016
Simon Bourque (not with team yet), John Warren (upper body), Mathieu Joseph (World juniors - Canada), Thomas Chabot (World juniors - Canada), Jakub Zboril (World juniors - Czech Republic), Matt Green (upper body), Chase Stewart (upper body) and Ben Reid (healthy).
Bokondji Imama's goals late in the second period really got the engines started for Saint John. They started to cruise from there - especially in the third period.
SN THREE STARS
1. Bokondji Imama
2. Matthew Highmore
3. Kyle Ward
TWEET OF THE GAME
NEXT GAMEAtta boy Smallzee! https://t.co/WPb5btzirO— Saint John Vito's (@sjvitoshockey) December 31, 2016
The Sea Dogs host the Acadie-Bathurst Titan tomorrow at 2 p.m.