Thursday, March 2, 2017

RECAP: Sea Dogs win 4-2

FINAL: Halifax 2, Saint John 4
SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs made it back-to-back wins over the Halifax Mooseheads on Wednesday night at Harbour Station.

In a make-up game for the postponed Dec. 16 match, the Sea Dogs defeated the Mooseheads 4-2. The two teams also met on Sunday in Saint John with the Sea Dogs winning that one, 5-3.

It was far from an easy win for the Sea Dogs. After a strong first period, the team struggled in the second, getting outshot 13-3 by Halifax. After the Moose got off to a good start in the third, the Dogs started to turn things around and got a key insurance goal from Bokondji Imama.

Along with Imama, Matthew Highmore, Julien Gauthier and Spencer Smallman scored in Saint John's Wednesday win. Alex D'Orio made 27 saves in the victory.

Jared McIsaac and Keigan Goetz scored for Halifax. Alexis Gravel made 22 saves in the loss.

To the notes...
  • Highmore opened the scoring on a power play at 11:29 of the first period. Mathieu Joseph fed Julien Gauthier in the slot area but, rather than firing the puck on net, Gauthier fed Highmore down low and beat Gravel with a one-timer to give the Dogs a 1-0 lead.
  • Saint John went to another power play shortly after Highmore's goal. At 12:49, Highmore skated down low and delivered a great backhand pass to an open Gauthier in front. Gauthier fired a quick shot past Gravel, giving Saint John a 2-0 lead.
  • Joseph had a great chance in the final seconds of the period but was stopped on a breakaway by Gravel.
  • The Mooseheads got on the board at 2:31 of the second period. On a power play, McIsaac beat D'Orio five hole with a one-time shot from the circle.
  • Saint John quickly got their two-goal lead back at 4:08. Joe Veleno was on the goal line and found Smallman in the slot. The Sea Dogs captain fire a wrist shot that snuck through Gravel.
  • Goetz got Halifax back within one at 11:48. Arnaud Durandeau carried the puck into the zone and found Goetz in the slot, who ripped a shot past D'Orio to make it 3-2.
  • After outshooting Halifax 17-8 in the first period, shots were 13-3 in favour of the Moose in the second.
  • After surviving some Mooseheads pressure early in the third, Imama scored at 8:59 to give Saint John a 4-2 lead. The puck was in slot area and made its way to the faceoff circle where Imama fired it past an outstretched Gravel.
  • Saint John nearly hit the empty Halifax net in the dying seconds but Frederic Aube made a great diving play to keep the puck out.
  • Gauthier returned to the Saint John lineup after missing the past five matches due to injury.
  • Highmore is now one assist away from tying Jonathan Huberdeau's franchise assist record.
  • Smallman is one game away from tying Mike Thomas' franchise games played record.
  • Jake Coughler, who was the victim of Nathan Noel's hit to the head on Sunday, did not play. He is listed as day-to-day.

The Sea Dogs were without Thomas Chabot (suspension), Bailey Webster (suspension), Nathan Noel (suspension), John Warren (upper body) and Oliver Felixson (upper body).

With Chabot, Webster and Felixson out, forward Kyle Ward once again spent time on the backend, joining David Comeau on the third pairing.

Saint John surviving the second period and early parts of the third. It was all Halifax at times. Bokondji Imama's third period goal gave the Dogs back some life.

1. Matthew Highmore
2. Julien Gauthier
3. Arnaud Durandeau

The Sea Dogs host the Rimouski Oceanic on Friday at 7 p.m.

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