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SAINT JOHN - Things were going well for the Saint John Sea Dogs on Wednesday night - until they weren't.
Saint John was playing well against one of the league's top teams and were enjoying a 1-0 lead in the second period thanks to a Kevin Gursoy goal. But the Rimouski Oceanic's wave of offence in the final few minutes of the middle frame proved to be the difference.
Charle-Edouard D'Astous scored at 14:19, Yannik Bertrand scored at 16:03 and then Parker Bowman scored at 16:21 to quickly give Rimouski a 3-1 advantage and grab all of the momentum. Alexis Lafreniere scored twice in the third period and Carson MacKinnon added a solo marker to make it a 6-1 Oceanic win over the Sea Dogs at Harbour Station.
Colten Ellis made 34 saves in the victory.
Saint John had a glorious opportunity late in the second when D'Astous was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for a hit to the head on Matt Green. The Dogs had another five minute power play in the third when Bertrand was given a game misconduct for a hit to the head on Daniel Hardie. But the Sea Dogs were unable to get much going against the league's best penalty kill unit.
Alex D'Orio played well again - especially in the first period - making 25 stops in the loss.
SCRATCHESHere's tonight's #SJSeaDogs lineup, brought to you by @CantrburyDental. #AlwaysWearYourMouthguard pic.twitter.com/C3lAzY2JCW— Saint John Sea Dogs (@SJSeaDogs) January 3, 2018
The Sea Dogs were without defencemen Radim Salda (world juniors) and Brendan Sibley (healthy); and forwards Ostap Safin (world juniors), Robbie Burt (suspension) and Cole Reginato (suspension).
Nick Deakin-Poot and Landon Quinney both returned to Saint John's lineup from injuries.
Alex D'Orio was named the Sea Dogs' student of the month for Decemeber while Cedric Pare was named the player of the month... the Sea Dogs wore white at home for the first time this season... former Sea Dogs defenceman Chase Stewart did not play due to injury. Another former Dogs defenceman, Vincent Martineau, is also out injured... Stewart and Samuel Dove-McFalls were honoured with a video tribute before the game... Cole Reginato served the first game of his two game suspension... Matt Green did not return to the game after his head hit... Dove-McFalls was named the first star of the game.
The Sea Dogs host the Halifax Mooseheads on Saturday night at 7 p.m.