Saturday, January 6, 2018

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 5-4 (OT)

FINAL: Halifax 5, Saint John 4 (OT)
SAINT JOHN - A strong effort wasn't quite enough for the Saint John Sea Dogs on Saturday night at Harbour Station, falling 5-4 in overtime to the Halifax Mooseheads.

The Sea Dogs were up 3-1 in the first period and then came back from a 4-3 third period deficit in the loss. It was a hard fought, back-and-forth game by the Sea Dogs, who are not doubt fairly pleased with how they performed against one of the league's top teams.

Ostap Safin and Radim Salda - playing their third game in as many days thanks to the world juniors - both scored in their return. Luke Wilson and Anthony Boucher also scored for Saint John. Alex D'Orio was solid once again in net, making a few spectacular saves - particularly in the first period.

Brett Crossley scored twice for Halifax while singles came from Benoit-Olivier Groulx, Jared McIsaac and Raphael Lavoie. The Mooseheads pulled goaltender Alexis Gravel after he allowed three goals on 11 shots in 16:35 of action. The move paid off and Blade Mann-Dixon made 25 stops in relief.

The Sea Dogs got off to a bad start with Crossley scoring just 3:23 in. But Saint John tied things up just 19 seconds later when Wilson scored his first QMJHL goal, putting in a rebound past Gravel.

At 12:08, Safin entered the zone and fired a backhand shot past Gravel to make it 2-1. Saint John wasn't done there as Boucher jammed a loose puck past the Moose netminder at 16:35, making it 3-1. That would end Gravel's night in net.

The Moose made it a 3-2 game just 1:49 into the second when D'Orio dropped a Maxime Fortier shot out of his glove. Groulx was on the doorstep to put the loose puck in and make it a one-goal game.

After Saint John failed to connect on a power play, the Mooseheads managed to score on a man advantage. At 17:53, a McIsaac point shot beat D'Orio up high to tie things up at 3-3.

Halifax scored early in a period again in the third. At 2:01, Crossley fired a shot that was deflected by something and past D'Orio, giving Halifax their first lead since early in the opening frame.

Saint John quickly tied things up again, though. Just 49 seconds after Crossley's goal, Salda fired a bomb from the point that beat Mann-Dixon clean to make it a 4-4 game.

The remainder of the third period was back-and-forth, setting up overtime. At 1:57 of the extra frame, Lavoie scored to give the Mooseheads the extra point.


The Sea Dogs were without defencemen Tyler Smith (healthy) and Brendan Sibley (healthy); and forwards Cole Reginato (suspension), Matt Green (upper body) and Aiden MacIntosh (healthy).

Bailey Webster wore the 'C' for Saint John. Brendan O'Reilly and Anthony Boucher each wore an 'A'... surprisingly, Ostap Safin and Radim Salda, who played both Thursday and Friday in Buffalo at the world juniors, were in Saint John's lineup. Filip Zadina sat out for the Mooseheads... there was a pre-game ceremony to honour Safin, Salda and Zadina for their participation in the tournament... Ben Reid and Kevin Mason were called up for this game... weird amount of one assisted goals in this game... Blade Mann-Dixon was awarded an assist on the overtime goal... Kevin Gursoy extended his point streak to four games... the Mooseheads have now won four straight - all without Zadina... still four meetings left between these two teams.

The Sea Dogs begin a three-game, four day road trip in Victoriaville on Thursday night.

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