Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Saint John – For the second game in less than one week, the Sea Dogs won a game they had no business in winning. This time Nicholas Pard was the hero has he scored with just over a minute remaining to give Saint John a 3-2 decision over the Halifax Mooseheads.

The Mooseheads, who sit last in the league with only one win this season, played their hearts out with a great road performance but could not defeat the surging Sea Dogs. Halifax has now lost 12 straight games while Saint John has now won a franchise best nine consecutive games.

Scoring Wednesday night for Saint John was Nicholas Petersen, Stanislav Galiev, and Nicholas Pard. Replying for the Herd was Carl Gelinas and Gerrad Grant.

Saint John came out of the gate with two good chances after an initial shot from the point was deflected with a big rebound that couldn’t find the back of the net. Mooseheads starting goalie Mathieu Corbeil followed that up with a nice glove save off Sea Dogs leading scorer Steven Anthony.

Following the scoring chances the Sea Dogs played flat for match of the first period with not many offensive rushes or dangerous scoring opportunities.

Nicholas Petersen put an end to that as he netted his eighth goal of the season at 11:19. Mike Hoffman let go a weak wrist shot from the point after he dangled around a Moosehead. The shot seemed to fool Corbeil as he let out a juicy rebound to the ever dangerous Petersen who scored to make it 1-0.

A few minutes later it looked as if Steven Anthony had made it 2-0. The goal was immediately called off by the lone referee Guy Pellerin who was out of position to see that the puck was loose. This was Saint John’s best chance on the power play and had Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant upset. Gallant than sent out five forwards on a five-on-three power play but could not connect.

Marc-Antoine Gelinas made a nice pad save off of Gabriel Desjardins. Petersen had another terrific scoring chance on a wraparound but was followed the entire time by Corbeil.

The Mooseheads played one of their better periods against Saint John this season but were outshot 12-9 through 20 minutes.

I had to blow the dust off the good ole’ thesaurus after this game was over to look up the word ‘terrible.’ Awful, horrible, dreadful, appalling, horrendous, horrific, shocking, and somewhat terrifying was the second period for the Sea Dogs.

Halifax leading scorer Tomas Knotek broke loose to start the second period but was stoned solid by Gelinas. Shortly after Carl Gelinas ripped a hard shot off the post of the Sea Dogs net but the score remained 1-0 Saint John.

A strong fore-check by Hoffman caused a Halifax turnover on the penalty kill but could not get a shot away. Saint John took a too many men penalty at 8:41 and would be costly.

Carl Gelinas took a shot from the top of the right face-off circle and found its way through a crowd to tie the game 1-1. After a lengthy review of the goal by the off-ice officials the goal was given to Gelinas, his fourth of the season.

Half way through the second period Saint John had yet to register a shot on goal and were being outshot by the last place Moose.

Saint John finally found some (little) life near the end of the period. Petersen centered for Hoffman but shot it high and over the net. Then, Steven Anthony was tied up on a breakaway with no penalty on the play. Anthony immediately went to the referee but could not change his mind even though his stick was lifted on the play by a defenseman.

After a dismal second period, Saint John finally recorded a shot at 18:07. Halifax outshot the Sea Dogs 5-2 and tied the total shots at 14-14.

Gallant said something to the Sea Dogs during the intermission that woke the junior squad up. Stanislav Galiev gave Saint John the lead at 1:04 of the third. Nathan Beaulieu made a nice play at the blue line to keep the puck in and threw it on goal. The slap was redirected by the rookie forward and gave the Dogs a 2-1 lead.

The goal seemed to lift the Dogs who had some good scoring chances after. Michael Kirkpatrick split the defense but sent it wide and then Corbeil stopped Mike Thomas with a toe save.

At 12:07 Sea Dogs captain Mike Thomas got the extremely rare “clipping” penalty. The penalty is defined by Wikipedia as, “hitting an opposing player at or below the other player's knees.” The penalty was followed by a Gerrad Grant goal which tied the game 2-2. The initial point shot was deflected and got of sight of Gelinas. Grant was on the doorstep to score his eighth of the season.

But Saint John did reply as the heroics on this night belonged to Nicholas Pard who scored at 18:37 to give Saint John the lead. Olivier Ouellet did all the work to fool the Halifax defensemen and then threw it out to a streaking Pard who scored the game winner for Saint John.

After a small scare in the dying seconds caused by Garret Clarke, Saint John improved to a league best 17-4-1-0 with the win while Halifax fell to a league worst 1-18-0-1. Marc-Antoine Gelinas improved to 12-3-0 on the year while Mathieu Corbeil’s struggles continue and falls to 1-12-0.

NOTES: The attendance was an impressive 3,426. It was $5 upper bowl ticket night at Harbour Station… according to the Sea Dogs official Twitter page, there was over 50 scouts on hand for this one which is apparently a record… one of the scouts was Hockey Canada’s Al Murray who is head of scouting for the World Junior National team… Telegraph-Journal reporter Andrew McGilligan did the colour on News 88.9 tonight and unofficially named Konrad Abeltshauser the best hockey name in the QMJHL… Stephen MacAulay was named the News 88.9 Top Dog… former Sea Dog Pascal Amyot had an assist in this game… Nicholas Petersen had a team high five shots on goal… Halifax went 2/4 on the power play while Saint John went 0/2… Saint John outshot Halifax 26-19.

NEXT GAME: Rouyn-Noranda Huskies vs Saint John Sea Dogs. Saturday, November 7, 2009, at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station. The game is designated “Sea Dogs Night Out” featuring the 97.3 The Wave (not so) Extreme Team.

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