FINAL: Cape Breton 2, Saint John 3
The score may have been 3-2, but the Sea Dogs had a relatively dominant performance in a victory over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Friday night at Harbour Station, earning the club’s first win of the season.
The Sea Dogs’ 0-2 start to the year had a lot to do with so many players being away at NHL camps. Several players made their season debut on Friday – and their impacts could been seen.
Mathieu Joseph scored two goals and added an assist for Saint John while Spencer Smallman added a solo marker. Matthew Highmore had two helpers. Alex Bishop made 15 saves in the win.
Cape Breton goals came from Olivier LeBlanc and Olivier Bourret. Kevin Mandolese made 41 stops in the loss.
To the notes:
- The Sea Dogs wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as Joseph netted his first of the season just 49 seconds in. A misplay by Mandolese left Joseph alone in front with the puck.
- LeBlanc, current Eagles captain and a former Sea Dogs captain, tied the game during a five-on-three power play at 9:49.
- Bokondji Imama nearly gave the Sea Dogs a 2-1 lead with 3:40 left in the first period but Mandolese swiped the puck off the goal line.
- Joseph gave the Sea Dogs a 2-1 lead with a power play marker at 3:22 of the second.
- At 12:10 of the second, Smallman wired a shot from the circle while on a power play to make it 3-2 Saint John.
- The only scoring in the third period came with 11.8 seconds left. With the goaltender pulled, Bourret scored on a scramble to make it 3-2 – but the Eagles would get no closer.
- Joseph, Imama, Smallman, Nathan Noel and Samuel Dove-McFalls all played their first games of the season. All five were sent back from NHL camps this week.
- Highmore has two goals and two assists in three games this season.
- Smallman was sporting a full-face shield. According to Tim Roszell, Smallman was hit the face by a puck by former Screaming Eagle Clark Bishop during a game at Carolina Hurricanes rookie camp.
- LeBlanc’s goal marked only the second time the defenceman has scored against his old team.
- Chase Stewart was thrown out of the game for removing his opponent’s helmet during a fight in the second period. That forced the Sea Dogs to play with five defencemen for the rest of the game. Forwards Highmore and Kyle Ward were both used on D.
- Assuming Stewart is suspended, the Sea Dogs are short on D heading into Saturday’s game.
- Bourret’s goal was the first of his QMJHL career.
- Bryson Michel made his QMJHL debut for Saint John.
- Solid crowd of 5,018 on hand for Saint John’s home opener.
- The ice-level bar seemed popular.