SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Sea Dogs shook off a shaky opening 20 minutes to defeat the Chicoutimi Sagueneens 4-0 on Friday at Harbour Station in Game 5 of the President Cup semifinal series.
The win gives the Sea Dogs a 3-2 series lead heading into Game 6 on Sunday in Chicoutimi. A win by Saint John on Sunday would put them into the league final for the first time since 2012.
Picking up goals for the Sea Dogs of Friday were Jakub Zboril, Nathan Noel, Thomas Chabot and Joe Veleno. Callum Booth recorded another shutout with a 23-save performance.
The Sagueneens stayed in the game for some time thanks to the play of goaltender Julio Billio, who took a 48-save loss.
To the notes…
- There was no scoring in a very tight checking opening period. Chances were very limited on both sides.
- The Sea Dogs scored the game’s first goal at 13:19 of the second period when Zboril hammered a shot from the blue line by Billia to make it 1-0.
- The Dogs didn’t waste much time adding to their lead as Noel picked up his first of the playoffs at 15:45. After a nifty passing play, Noel was left with a yawning cage, making it 2-0.
- Chabot scored on a great individual effort at 5:46 of the third, skating through the entire Sags team and whipping a wrist shot past Billia. That made it 3-0 Sea Dogs.
- Saint John extended their lead once again at 10:09 of the third when Veleno buried a Julien Gauthier feed past Billia. That would make it a 4-0 final.
- Booth recorded his second shutout of the playoffs both against Chicoutimi
- Brendan Hamelin missed Friday's game after a big hit by Zboril in Game 4. Hamelin has been released from hospital but is out with a concussion.
- Matthew Highmore and Mathieu Joseph had their point streaks come to an end at 12 games.
- Saint John had 52 shots in this game - 44 of which came in the final two periods.
SCRATCHESHere is tonight's Game 5 lineup for your #SJSeaDogs brought to you by @CantrburyDental #AlwaysWearYourMouthGuard pic.twitter.com/qBbQBdOYlk— Saint John Sea Dogs (@SJSeaDogs) April 28, 2017
There were no changes in the Sea Dogs lineup once again as Oliver Felixson, Samuel Leblanc, David Comeau and Landon Quinney were scratched.
Nathan Noel’s first goal of the playoffs. giving the Sea Dogs a 2-0 lead in the second period. Saint John was able to lock it down defensively from that point on.
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Chicoutimi head coach Yannick Jean had Fleaburn removed from his seat. Apparently Fleaburn caused the glass the hit Jean in the head. No report of any concussions.
The Sea Dogs travel back to Chicoutimi for Game 6 on Sunday. Game time is 5 p.m. The Sea Dogs have a chance to punch their ticket to the President Cup final with a win.