Sunday, August 20, 2017

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 5-1

FINAL: Saint John 1, Cape Breton 5
MONCTON - The Saint John Sea Dogs are heading home without a win at the 2017 Rookie Challenge.

The Sea Dogs suffered their third straight loss on Sunday morning at Moncton's Superior Propane Centre, falling 5-1 to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Both teams entered the fifth-place game winless.

Isiah Campbell scored Saint John's lone goal. Andrew MacLeod made 11 stops in the loss while  Joel Goguen made 12 saves.

Cape Breton had a pair of goals from Antoine Rochon and Jake Martin. Nicolas Sauve also scored. Tommy DaSilva made 20 stops in the win.

It's the second straight year that Saint John went winless at the event. They fell 4-1 to Halifax, 7-3 to Moncton and 7-2 to Bathurst in 2016. This year, they lost 5-4 to Halifax (OT), 7-1 to Moncton and 5-1 to Cape Breton.

The Sea Dogs will no doubt be disappointed to go winless, but it's not overly surprising. Saint John doesn't have the prospect depth other teams currently have and they didn't have any first round picks playing this weekend. That's the cost of success in junior hockey. Saint John will surely have a better showing the next couple seasons.

Penalties proved costly for the Sea Dogs on Sunday. After killing off a four-minute high sticking penalty to Matt O'Leary and a hooking minor to Jack McGovern, the Dogs couldn't keep the Eagles of the board with Aiden MacIntosh in the box for a trip. At 19:48, Martin jammed the puck past MacLeod, giving Cape Breton a 1-0 advantage.

With O'Leary in the box for interference, Martin scored his second power play goal of the game at 5:01 of the second, banging in a rebound. Then at 9:24, Rochon beat MacLeod with a great wrist shot into the top corner.

Campbell gave the Sea Dogs some life at 10:07, beating DaSilva five hole on a short breakaway to make it a 3-1 game.

Cape Breton added some more insurance at 16:20 of the third when Sauve scored. Rochon netted his second of the game at 19:09 to round out the scoring.

NOTES: Matt O'Leary finished the game with 13 minutes in penalties - eight minutes in minors along with a fighting major... the game took just two hours and two minutes to complete... Cape Breton went 3/9 on the power play while Saint John was not awarded a single man advantage... Randy Jones joined Jeff Cowan behind the Sea Dogs bench all weekend... Isiah Campbell finished the tournament with a Sea Dogs high four points (one goal and three assists).

NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs host the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in a pre-season game on Wednesday night at Harbour Station.

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