Saturday, December 17, 2016

RECAP: Sea Dogs win 8-2

FINAL: Charlottetown 2, Saint John 8
SAINT JOHN - Now that's an ending.

The Saint John Sea Dogs wrapped up the first half of the 2016-17 QMJHL season on Saturday night at Harbour Station, defeating the Charlottetown Islanders 8-2.

Spencer Smallman led the Sea Dogs with a hat trick and two assists. Matthew Highmore added two goals and two assists while Samuel Dove-McFalls had one goal and three helpers. Bokondji Imama and John Warren added Saint John's other goals. Alex D'Orio made 23 saves in the win.

Saint John's league leading power play was also put on display in this game, going an impressive 5/6.

The victory gives the Sea Dogs a record of 22-7-3-1 for 48 points, placing them on top of the QMJHL standings. The team's record is certainly impressive given how many games the Sea Dogs have played with key players missing.

Charlottetown's goals came from Cody Donaghey and Gregor MacLeod. Matthew Welsh was left in for all eight goals, facing 39 shots.

To the notes...
  • Highmore opened the scoring on a power play at 6:27 when he put in his own rebound.
  • The Sea Dogs struck again on another power play at 18:22. Joe Veleno fed Smallman who made no mistake, giving Saint John a 2-0 advantage after one period of play.
  • Just 33 seconds into the second, Imama blasted a shot past Welsh to give Saint John a 3-0 advantage.
  • The Sea Dogs scored their third power play goal of the night on their third man advantage. Smallman was able to put the puck past Welsh after it was tossed towards him, making it 4-0 Saint John at 13:20.
  • Early in the third, Chase Stewart put a big open ice hit on Ian McKinnon. The two had a quick fight after the hit.
  • During a five-on-three power play at 3:17, Donaghey got the Islanders on the board with a point shot that beat D'Orio.
  • Hunter Drew was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for checking to the head on Joe Veleno at 6:07.
  • On the ensuing power play, a shot hit Dove-McFalls and then Highmore put the puck past Welsh, making it 5-1 Saint John at 6:55.
  • Smallman completed his hat trick at 9:09 on the same power play, making it 6-1 Sea Dogs.
  • At 13:00, Dove-McFalls posted his fourth point of the night, giving the Sea Dogs a 7-1 lead. Then at 15:21, Warren made it 8-1 a nice feed from Liam Conrad.
  • MacLead scored at 19:33, making it an 8-2 final.
  • Highmore now has goals in six straight games.
  • Veleno and Warren made their log awaited returns to the Saint John lineup. Veleno played in his first game since Oct. 21 while Warren hadn't played since Sept. 24. Both had good returns - Veleno had two assists while Warren scored a goal.
  • Conrad, signed as an affiliate player and recalled by Saint John, made his QMJHL debut. He played on the fourth line with Warren and Veleno. Conrad picked up his first QMJHL point, an assist, on Warren's goal.
  • Saint John's power play went from 29.7% to 31.8% tonight.
  • Matthew Williams backed up Alex D'Orio. According to Tim Roszell, Alex Bishop is not with the team right now. Bishop is rumoured to be heading to Quebec in the Callum Booth trade.
  • The Sea Dogs do not play at home again until New Year's Eve.
The Sea Dogs were missing Thomas Chabot, (WJC - Canada), Mathieu Joseph (WJC - Canada), Jakub Zboril (WJC - Czech Republic), Nathan Noel (upper body), Matt Green (upper body), Alex Bishop (not with team) and Bryson Michel.

Saint John's two goal first period - with both goals coming on the power play - seemed to deflate the Islanders. The Dogs cruised to victory from there.

1. Spencer Smallman
2. Matthew Highmore
3. Samuel Dove-McFalls

The Sea Dogs return to action on Dec. 28 in Bathurst.

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