Tuesday, April 25, 2017

RECAP: Sea Dogs win 5-0

FINAL: Saint John 5, Chicoutimi 0
CHICOUTIMI, Que. - What looked like a barn burner ended up being anything but.

The Saint John Sea Dogs scored three goals in a 49-second span - including two in six seconds - early in the third period on Tuesday, propelling the team to a 5-0 victory over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in Game 3 of the QMJHL semifinals. The victory gives the Dogs a 2-1 series lead.

The first 40 minutes of the game were quite close and saw the Sea Dogs cling to a 1-0 lead. Callum Booth was sensational, especially during a penalty kill late in the second period.

Saint John exploded while Chicoutimi imploded in the third period. Bing, bang, boom and it was 4-0 Sea Dogs and eventually 5-0.

Bokondji Imama scored two goals for the Sea Dogs while singles came from Joe Veleno, Samuel Dove-McFalls and Mathieu Joseph. Booth made 25 saves in the shutout win.

Julio Billia made 24 saves in the loss.

To the notes...
  • Imama gave the Sea Dogs a 1-0 lead just 3:30 into the first period, ripping a wrist shot over the shoulder of Billia. 
  • The Sags were awarded a couple power plays in the first but the Sea Dogs did a fairly good job at killing them off.
  • 18 seconds into the second period, the unthinkable happened and the Sea Dogs were awarded a power play. With that out of the way, we were reminded that Saint John's power play has had its struggles this post-season. Matthew Highmore had a good chance, but that was about it.
  • The Sags and their fans were all wound up about a potential goal late in the second period. It was quickly reviewed and ruled no goal.
  • Booth made a huge save off Joey Ratelle late in the second while the Sags were on a power play. Chicoutimi hit a couple posts as well.
  • Imama gave the Sea Dogs a 2-0 lead at 7:25 of the third when he ripped a wrist shot from the slot past Billia.
  • Then, after Julien Gauthier nearly deked out Billia, the puck made its way to the corner. Spencer Smallman then centred the puck to Veleno in front who scored, making it 3-0 at 8:08.
  • Just six seconds later, Dove-McFalls carried the puck into the zone and fired an innocent looking shot on Billia that went in, making it 4-0.
  • Joseph rounded out the scoring with a goal at 16:28.
  • Before Olivier Galipeau's second period penalty, the Sea Dogs' last power play came in the opening minutes of Game 1's third period. Crazy.
  • Both coaches used their time outs in the second period. That may have played a role in Chicoutimi's third period struggles, with the team unable to take a break during Saint John's rapid fire.
  • Shortly after Imama's second goal, linesman Nicolas Piche took a puck off the leg and was in a lot of pain. He would stay in the game, though.
  • Two goals six-seconds apart is a new Sea Dogs playoff record, according to Tim Roszell. Three goals in 49 seconds is also a record.
  • Highmore and Joseph extended their point streaks to 11 games. 
  • Gauthier's five-game goal streak came to an end.
  • Saint John was awarded just one power play in this game. Chicoutimi had four.

There were no lineup changes for the Sea Dogs once again. Oliver Felixson (cancer treatments) and Landon Quinney (appendicitis) remain out while goaltender Matt Williams, forward Samuel Leblanc and defencemenn David Comeau and Ian Smallwood were healthy scratches.

Joe Veleno's goal, which came less than a minute after Bokondji Imama's goal, made it 3-0 and put the Dogs in total control.

1. Callum Booth
2. Bokondji Imama
3. Joe Veleno

Game 4 of the series is tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m. in Chicoutimi.

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