Saturday, January 14, 2017

RECAP: Sea Dogs win 4-1

FINAL: Saint John 4, Cape Breton 1
SYDNEY - The new-look Saint John Sea Dogs looked pretty good on Friday night.

Matthew Highmore scored twice while Joe Veleno and Julien Gauthier added singles in a 4-1 victory over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles at Centre 200. Callum Booth made 20 saves in the win.

Gauthier, along with Team Canada teammates Thomas Chabot and Mathieu Joseph, joined the rest of the Sea Dogs' stacked post-deadline lineup for the first time. The team looked decent, scoring three quick goals in the third period to secure the win.

While the new and returning players took a lot of the spotlight, it was fifth-year forward Highmore that once again led the Dogs to victory, recording three points and eight shots.

Drake Batherson scored Cape Breton's lone goal. Kyle Jessiman made 29 saves in the loss.

To the notes...
  • Batherson opened the scoring at 8:24, firing a wrist shot from the circle that beat Booth up high.
  • The Sea Dogs quickly tied the game at 1-1 at 10:20. On a power play, Joseph sent a perfect pass to Highmore who had an open net to get Saint John on the board.
  • Dove-McFalls and Highmore both had great shorthanded chances in the first period.
  • There was no scoring in a second period that saw the two teams combine for just 10 shots.
  • At 5:07 of the third, Oliver Felixson - of all people - delivered a nice pass to Veleno who netted his fourth of the year to put Saint John in front.
  • Then at 6:20, Gauthier scored his first as a Sea Dog, beating Jessiman from a sharp angle.
  • The Sea Dogs weren't done there. At 9:52, Highmore scored a bit of a strange one straight off a faceoff, making it 4-1.
  • The Eagles pulled Jessiman with roughly a million hours left in the game but couldn't score.
  • Chabot and Joseph made their returns to the Sea Dogs lineup while Gauthier made his debut. Gauthier and Joseph played on the team's top line with Highmore up the middle. Chabot was on the top pairing with Simon Bourque.
  • Gauthier recorded his first point as a Sea Dog in the first period, assisting on Highmore's goal.
  • Matt Green made his return to the Saint John lineup, playing in his first contest since Nov. 12.
  • Veleno celebrated his 17th birthday by centering the team's second line.
  • The Screaming Eagles held a pre-game ceremony to honour Chabot, Joseph and Gauthier for their performance with Team Canada.
  • Saint John's top power play unit consisted of Joseph, Gauthier, Chabot, Highmore and Spencer Smallman. My goodness!
  • Joseph extended his point streak to 19 games.
  • Bourque took two minor penalties in the first period while Saint John was called for too many men twice in the second period.
  • Highmore moved into third in Sea Dogs franchise scoring.
  • Good crowd of 3,093 at this game.

The Sea Dogs were without Nathan Noel (upper body), Chase Stewart (upper body), John Warren (upper body), Landon Quinney (healthy) and David Comeau (healthy).

Julien Gauthier's goal, which came 1:13 after Joe Veleno put Saint John in front, was huge.

1. Matthew Highmore
2. Mathieu Joseph
3. Julien Gauthier

The Sea Dogs host the Screaming Eagles on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Harbour Station.

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