Thursday, May 11, 2017

RECAP: Sea Dogs win 5-1

RECAP: Saint John 5, Blainville-Boisbriand 1
BOISBRIAND, Que. - The Saint John Sea Dogs are President Cup champions once again.

The Sea Dogs clinched the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League championship with a a 5-1 win over the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada on Wednesday at the Arena With A Really Long Name, completing a four-game sweep.

It's the third President Cup title for Saint John and the first since 2012.

Even though the Armada got within a goal in the second period, the game never felt in doubt. The victory capped off an impressive performance in the President Cup Final, a performance that saw the Sea Dogs allow just four goals.

Spencer Smallman scored twice for Saint John while singles came from Bokondji Imama, Simon Bourque and Matthew Highmore. Mathieu Joseph had four assists in the contest. Callum Booth was solid once again, making 20 saves in the win.

The Armada's lone goal came from Pierre-Luc Dubois, which was his first and only point of the series. Samuel Montembeault allowed five goals on 34 shots in the loss.

To the notes...

  • The game started out quite differently than Game 3. The Sea Dogs were buzzing early and created several solid scoring chances. Joe Veleno had the best chance on a power play when he wasn't able to connect on an open net.
  • Imama opened the scoring at 7:29. After accepting a pass from Matthew Highmore in the corner, Imama fired a quick wrist shot past Montembeault to make it 1-0 Saint John.
  • The Armada finally started pressuring offensively near the six-minute mark, which got Booth flopping around in his crease a bit but the puck stayed out.
  • Smallman made it 2-0 Saint John at 17:38 on a power play. Joseph fed Highmore down low who then fired a lovely backhand pass to a wide open Smallman. The Saint John captain had an open net to double the Sea Dogs' lead.
  • The first half of the second period was a nasty one with both teams slashing and hacking away at each other.
  • The Armada came close to scoring near the midway point of the second, beating Booth but not the post.
  • Dubois got the Armada on the board at 13:53, beating a screened Booth on a power play to make it 2-1.
  • But not long after after at 15:21, Bourque scored to restore Saint John's two-goal lead.
  • Smallman scored another power play goal at 5:16 of the third, this time during a five-on-three, firing into an empty net after another nice Saint John passing play.
  • At 15:07 of the third, Highmore rounded out the scoring by fooling Montembeault with a long wrist shot. It was that kind of night for the Armada. That made it a 5-1 final.
  • With Julien Gauthier serving the second game of his two-game suspension, the Sea Dogs went with the same lineup they went with in Game 3.
  • Imama's goal was his first of the series and first since Game 6 of the semifinals.
  • The Armada finished the series 1/16 on the power play.
  • Joseph took over the league's playoff scoring lead with 32 points.

The Sea Dogs were without defencemen Oliver Felixson, Ian Smallwood, and David Comeau along with forwards Julien Gauthier and Landon Quinney.

Simon Bourque's goal, which came less than two minutes after Pierre-Luc Dubois got the Armada on the board, ended any chance of an Armada comeback.

1. Mathieu Joseph
2. Spencer Smallman
3. Matthew Highmore

The Sea Dogs play their first Memorial Cup game on Friday, May 19 against the host Windsor Spitfires.

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