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SAINT JOHN - The Moncton Wildcats ended a six-game losing streak with a 4-3 overtime win over the Saint John Sea Dogs on Wednesday night at Harbour Station.
It certaintly wasn't an easy win for the Wildcats. Despite outshooting Saint John 49-26 overall, Moncton never led by more than two goals. Two third period goals by the Sea Dogs - one that probably shouldn't have counted and one shot Mark Grametbauer should have stopped - sent the game into overtime. Jeremy McKenna secured the victory 49 seconds into overtime.
Alexander Khovanov, Nicholas Welsh and James Phelan also scored for Moncton. Grametbauer made 23 stops in the win.
Once again, Alex D'Orio gave Saint John a chance in this game. He made 45 saves on the night, facing 37 shots in the first two periods combined.
Anthony Boucher scored a pair for Saint John while William Poirier added a solo marker.
The Sea Dogs' struggles keep on chugging along as the season slowly grinds to an end. The Dogs have now lost five straight games.
The Wildcats opened the scoring at 14:35 of the first period when Khovanov finished off a nice three-way passing play with Jack Tucker and Phelan.
Radim Salda was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for a check to the head 18 seconds into the second period. Moncton generated some shots but could not score on the lengthy man advantage.
The Sea Dogs did not record a shot on goal in the second period until the 9:31 mark. Shots were 31-5 in favour of the Wildcats when that shot took place.
Saint John continued to be massively outshot as the second period continued but, predictably, the Dogs would tie it. At 15:54, Poirier netted his seventh of the season to tie things up at 1-1.
Moncton wasted little time retaking the lead. At 16:48, Welsh fired a wrist shot from the slot that beat D'Orio, giving the Wildcats a 2-1 advantage.
The Wildcats grabbed a 3-1 lead on a power play at 11:09 when Phelan scored. The goal came just six seconds into a Bailey Webster kneeing penalty.
Saint John's comeback began at 11:43 when Boucher scored a controversial goal. The ruling on the ice was a goal, but Grametbauer's glove likely blocked the overhead view, which meant the goal was ruled good by the off ice officials as well. However, a Rogers TV angle showed the puck not crossing the line. Saint John caught a break, making it a one-goal game.
At 13:02, Boucher netted his second on an innocent looking shot that beat Grametbauer, tying things up at 3-3.
McKenna wasted little time ending the game in overtime, scoring his 30th of the season just 49 seconds into the extra frame.
SCRATCHESHere is tonight's lineup for your #SJSeaDogs brought to you by @CantrburyDental #AlwaysWearYourMouthGuard pic.twitter.com/cR6HwiLVCf— Saint John Sea Dogs (@SJSeaDogs) February 21, 2018
The Sea Dogs were without forwards Yohan Plamondon (upper body), Cedric Pare (upper body), Matt Green (upper body), Landon Quinney (upper body) and Nicholas Deakin-Poot (upper body); and defencemen Brendan O’Reilly (lower body) and Brendan Sibley (upper body).
Saint John recalled defenceman Thomas Ashe from the MHL's Amherst Ramblers before the game.
Cole Reginato returned to Saint John's lineup after missing over a month with a lower body injury. He got belted by a large Nicholas Welsh open ice hit in the second period, but remained in the game... Alexander Khovanov extended his point streak to nine games... Ostap Safin's goal scoring streak ended at five games... William Poirier's goal was his first since Dec. 15... there was a nice post game moment when Mark Grametbauer skated over to Alex D'Orio to give him a fist bump... this was the eighth of nine meetings between these two teams this year.
The Sea Dogs host the Charlottetown Islanders tomorrow night at 7 p.m.