In one of the biggest games of the regular season, the Saint John Sea Dogs did not look like themselves, falling 3-0 to the Shawinigan Cataractes on Saturday night at Harbour Station.
Alexis D'Aoust, Brandon Gignac and Dennis Yan all scored for the Cataractes while Mikhail Denisov made 25 saves in the shutout.
While Shawinigan's offence had a decent night, it was their defence that was strong in this one. The team kept Saint John's mighty offence - which was without Spencer Smallman and Thomas Chabot due to suspensions - to just 25 shots. The Cataractes also had a tremendous night on the penalty kill, keeping the league's top power play off the scoreboard on six different occasions.
The Sea Dogs simply didn't have a good game, and the team's big scoring guns - Mathieu Joseph, Bokondji Imama, Matthew Highmore and Julien Gauthier - are officially in a bit of a goal scoring slump.
In net, Callum Booth made 17 stops in the loss.
The loss ended a nine-game winning streak for Saint John and creates another big divisional game on Tuesday night in Charlottetown.
To the notes...
- D'Aoust made it 1-0 Shawinigan at 4:21 of the first period. The Cataractes captain crossed the blue line and accepted a drop pass, skating into the high slot and wristing the puck past Booth.
- Late in the first period, there was a big collision between Gabriel Sylvestre and Mathieu Joseph at the blue line. Joseph was slow to get up but did return for the second period.
- Midway through the second period and with the game a little flat, Kyle Ward and Sylvestre dropped the gloves.
- Following a couple minutes of good offensive pressure by the Sea Dogs, Shawinigan took a 2-0 lead at 15:54. Booth allowed a rebound that went right to Gignac, doubling Shawinigan's lead.
- In the third, after failing to connect on a couple of great power play chances, the Sea Dogs had a few great opportunities during one sequence but somehow did not score.
- The Sea Dogs pulled Booth with over three minutes remaining in the third. Yan wasted no time hitting the net, scoring at 16:57 to make it 3-0.
- Joseph's franchise record point streak ends at 28 games.
- Simon Bourque and Jakub Zboril were both a -3.
- Saint John didn't reach double digit shot totals in any period. Very odd game.
- This was a nice rebound game for the Cataractes, who got destroyed 8-2 in Bathurst on Friday.
- The win ended a two-game losing skid for Shawinigan.
- There was a Shawinigan fan bus in town.
- Great crowd for this one. The crowd of 5,958 was a season high.
The Sea Dogs were without Thomas Chabot (suspension), Spencer Smallman (suspension), John Warren (upper body), David Comeau (healthy), Landon Quinney (upper body).
Smallman received a one-game suspension for his "staged fight" in Friday's game. Cedric Pare was inserted into the lineup to replace the Dogs captain.
Saint John's inability to score on numerous power play chances in the third period. The opportunities to generate offence were there.
SN THREE STARS
1. Dennis Yan
2. Alex D'Aoust
3. You, the fans
TWEET OF THE GAME
The Sea Dogs are in Charlottetown on Tuesday to take on the Islanders at 7 p.m.