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SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs recorded a surprising win on Wednesday night at Harbour Station.
Despite allowing the game's first goal just 37 seconds in, the Sea Dogs won a back-and-forth affair with the Charlottetown Islanders, ending a 10-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory.
Ostap Safin scored a pair of goals, giving him 26 on the season and tying the Sea Dogs franchise record for a goals in a single season by a rookie. Luke Wilson, Alexis Girard and Aiden MacIntsoh added solo markers for Saint John.
After facing 66 shots on Sunday, Alex D'Orio had a lighter night, making 42 saves in the win.
Nikita Alexandrov, Taylor Egan and Derek Gentile all scored for Charlottetown. Matthew Welsh made 19 saves in the loss.
Saint John's last victory came on Feb. 9 at Harbour Station when the team pulled off a major upset, defeating the division-leading Halifax Mooseheads 6-3.
Charlottetown opened the scoring just 37 seconds into the first period. Gentile skated hard to grab a loose puck at the icing line and then threw it in front. Alexandrov was there to fire it past D'Orio, giving the Islanders a 1-0 lead.
The Sea Dogs tied the game at 14:48. Welsh made the initial stop off of Girard, but Safin was on the doorstep, putting in the rebound to make it a 1-1 game.
The Isles jumped back in front at 7:09 of the second when Egan fired a point shot through some traffic and through D'Orio's pads. That made it 2-1 Charlottetown.
Safin netted his second of the night at 11:11. The Edmonton Oilers prospect was fed the puck in the slot and wired a wrist shot past Welsh, tying things back up.
Wilson gave Saint John a 3-2 lead at 13:39. After stepping out of the penalty box, Wilson kept the puck as he skated towards the net, firing it over the shoulder of Welsh to put the Dogs in front for the first time in the game.
At 18:01, Girard beat Welsh five-hole with an innocent looking wrist shot, putting Saint John up 4-2.
Gentile got Charlottetown within one at 11:42. While shorthanded, Gentile caught the Sea Dogs off guard after Safin was shaken up, skating into the circle and ripping a wrist shot past D'Orio.
Saint John quickly regained their two-goal lead. Not long after their power play ended, MacIntsoh beat Welsh high glove side to make it a 5-3 match at 12:47.
Charlottetown pulled Welsh with lots of time left but, despite a decent amount of puck possession, could not chip away at Saint John's lead.
SCRATCHESHere is tonight's lineup for your #SJSeaDogs brought to you by @CantrburyDental #AlwaysWearYourMouthGuard pic.twitter.com/BfoDzz3yBL— Saint John Sea Dogs (@SJSeaDogs) March 7, 2018
The Sea Dogs were without forwards Yohan Plamondon (upper body), Matt Green (upper body), Landon Quinney (upper body) and Nicholas Deakin-Poot (upper body); defenceman Brendan O’Reilly (lower body); and goaltender Tommy Da Silva (healthy)
This was the ninth and final meeting of the season between the Sea Dogs and Islanders... forward William Poirier returned from a two-game suspension... Ostap Safin is now tied with Tomas Jurco (2009-10) for the Sea Dogs franchise record for goals in a single season by a rookie with 26... Alexis Girard had a goal and an assist... Anthony Boucher had two assists... Saint John entered a third period with the lead for just the 14th time this season. The team is now 10-2-2-0 in those games... the Sea Dogs ended a five-game home losing streak.
The Sea Dogs take on the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Friday at 7 p.m. at Harbour Station.