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SAINT JOHN - The Victoriaville Tigres and Saint John Sea Dogs continue to head in opposite directions.
With a 7-3 win over the Sea Dogs on Saturday night at Harbour Station, the Tigres have now won six straight games, taking all three matches on a Maritime road trip that featured stops in Halifax, Bathurst and Saint John.
The Sea Dogs, meanwhile, have now lost nine straight games. With seven games remaining in their season, the team has been all but eliminated from playoff contention.
The first period of Saturday's contest was played fairly even, but a four-goal second period would be all the Tigres would need. Maxime Comtois scored twice for Victoriaville while singles came from Dominic Cormier, Chase Harwell, Simon Lafrance, Vitalii Abramov and Jimmy Huntington. Tristan Cote-Cazenave made 24 saves in the win.
Nathan Larose, Cole Reginato and Aiden MacIntosh scored for Saint John. Alex D'Orio made 42 saves in the loss.
Larose opened the scoring at 6:57 of the first, firing a wrist shot that beat Cote-Cazenave glove side to give the Sea Dogs a 1-0 lead.
The Tigres tied the game at 15:41. A pass from the boards went in front of the net where Cormier scored, making it a 1-1 game.
Victoriaville opened the second period on a lengthy five-on-three power play that had carried over from the first. The Tigres hit iron twice on the man advantage but the puck stayed out both times, keeping the game tied.
The Tigres took a 2-1 lead at 5:08 of the second. Harwell was trying to cut through the crease and in front, but the puck rolled off his stick as he tried and rolled under a moving D'Orio, putting the visitors in front.
With 9:18 remaining in the second, Comtois beat D'Orio with a low wrister, giving the Tigres a 3-1 lead.
Abramov finished off a beautiful passing play at 1:38, giving Victoriaville a 5-1 advantage.
The Tigres made it 6-1 early in the third when Comtois netted his second of the game, beating an outstretched D'Orio.
Huntington scored on a breakaway at 10:50, sliding the puck five-hole on D'Orio to extend Victoriaville's lead to 7-1.
With 3:44 remaining in regulation, Reginato put in a rebound of a Ben Reid shot, making it 7-2. The with 3:21 to go, MacIntosh scored, making it 7-3.
SCRATCHESGame night vs Victoriaville.— Saint John Sea Dogs (@SJSeaDogs) March 3, 2018
Here’s a look at tonight’s #SJSeaDogs lineup, brought to you by @CantrburyDental. #AlwaysWearYourMouthGuard pic.twitter.com/covwbocUli
The Sea Dogs were without forwards William Poirier (suspension), Yohan Plamondon (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 (flu).
Poirier was suspended two games for his boarding major during Friday's game in Bathurst.
The Sea Dogs honoured Maxime Comtois before the game for his participation in Team Canada's gold medal winning world junior tournament... Vitalii Abramov was also honoured for recently becoming the highest scoring import player in QMJHL history... Saint John opened the scoring in a game for just the 16th time this season... Radim Salda was in some pain after being hit by a shot early in the second period. He would stay in the game.
The Sea Dogs host the Acadie-Bathurst Titan tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m.