Simon Bourque's goal with 3:18 remaining in the third period proved to be the winner in a 4-3 Sea Dogs victory over the Rimouski Oceanic, completing a four-game opening round sweep. It was a far from perfect performance by the Sea Dogs, who never led in the game before Bourque's goal.
Thomas Chabot, Kyle Ward and Matthew Highmore also scored for Saint John, who outshot the Oceanic 46-16. Callum Booth made 13 saves in the win.
Carson MacKinnon, Samuel Laberge and Alex-Olivier Voyer scored for Rimouski. Charles-Olivier Levesque made 42 stops in the loss.
To the notes...
- The Oceanic scored shorthanded at 5:46, making it 1-0. MacKinnon fired a shot on net that Booth wasn't quite able to glove, giving the home side an early advantage.
- Chabot tied the game on a power play at 15:26, ripping a quick wrist shot past the glove of Levesque.
- Near the midway point of the second, and with Saint John on a power play, Booth made a huge pad save off Tyler Boland to keep the game tied.
- Saint John's struggles continued at 12:23 when Laberge made it 2-1 Oceanic on a delayed penalty call. Tyler Boland slid the puck through the crease to an open Laberge to put Rimouski back in front.
- Ward scored at 15:10 to even things at 2-2, beating Levesque upstairs with a blistering shot.
- The Oceanic retook the lead at 16:33 when Voyer beat Booth up high. That made it 3-2 Oceanic.
- Saint John created some excellent offensive pressure early in the third period but could not connect.
- The Sea Dogs continued to pour the pressure on and finally scored at 11:41. Joseph made a nice play to get the puck into the crease where Highmore finished it off, tying the match at 3-3.
- With 3:18 to go, Bourque fired a shot off the boards that bounced back in front and beat Levesque, giving Saint John a 4-3 advantage.
SCRATCHESHere is tonight's lineup for your #SJSeaDogs in Game 4 vs. the @oceanicrimouski brought to you by @CantrburyDental #AlwaysWearYourMouthguard pic.twitter.com/OTAV9J0pWQ— Saint John Sea Dogs (@SJSeaDogs) March 29, 2017
The Sea Dogs were without forwards John Warren, Cole Reginato and Landon Quinney along with defencemen Oliver Felixson, Ian Smallwood and David Comeau.
According to Tim Roszell, Reginato was out with a lower body injury, not a hand injury. Reginato appeared to bloody his hand in a fight during Wednesday's game.
Simon Bourque's late third period goal, which ended up being the winner.
SN THREE STARS
1. Thomas Chabot
2. Matthew Highmore
3. Charles-Olivier Levesque
TWEET OF THE GAME
Saint John's round two schedule should be released soon. The series will start at home.