SEA DOGS – OLYMPIQUES GAME AT A GLANCE
Final Score: Saint John 7, Gatineau 5
Saint John Goals: Zach Phillips (12, 13), Jonathan Huberdeau (14), Tomas Jurco (21), Nathan Beaulieu (9), Mike Hoffman (39), and Mike Thomas (9)
Gatineau Goals: Tye McGinn (24), Hugo Laporte (9), Alex Noel (7), Christian Ouellet (15), and Alexander Beaton (15)
Winning Goaltender: SNB – Marco Cousineau (22-16-0)
Losing Goaltender: GAT – Maxime Clermont (21-28-0)
News 88.9 Top Dog: Not Available
Power Play: Olympiques: 2/5, Sea Dogs: 0/4
Shots on Goal: Olympiques: 5+10+13=28, Sea Dogs: 11+12+9=32
Saint John dominated their opponents in the opening moments of play, registering the first five shots on goal as Clermont was forced to endure an early barrage of sustained offensive pressure. Rookie winger Zack Phillips had the visitors’ best scoring chance during an early-match power play, very nearly converting on a close-range backhand shot at the end of a lengthy scramble in Gatineau territory. Clermont managed to stymie the New Brunswicker with a sliding pad save.
The Olympiques’ best scoring chance of the first period came courtesy of Ontario-born forward Tye McGinn; the second-year winger corralled the puck along the boards in the visitors’ zone and swiftly maneuvered his way into the slot only to have his wrist shot stopped by the lightning-fast blocker of Marco Cousineau. The Anaheim Ducks prospect came up big again a few minutes later, blocking a hard one-timer from Christian Ouellet to keep things all square on the scoreboard.
A blistering wrist shot off the stick of Zack Phillips broke the scoreless tie in the 18th minute of play, as the burgeoning sniper wired his 12th goal of the year to the back of Gatineau’s net after being afforded a generous shooting lane by Olympiques defenders. Jonathan Huberdeau doubled the Sea Dogs’ lead 4:00 into the second period, jamming home the 14th goal of his rookie season after Nathean Beaulieu deftly faked a cross-ice pass from the point and fired a hard shot on goal that Clermont surrendered a generous rebound upon. The hosts responded almost immediately however, as a net-charging Tye McGinn beat Cousineau on the game’s next shift to end the Sea Dogs’ amazing 3:10:24 shutout streak in head-to-head games with the Olympiques.
Saint John’s two-goal advantage was restored at the behest of a sensational play by Michael Kirkpatrick in the 29th minute of play. Carrying the puck on his backhand along the boards in Gatineau territory, the veteran centre made a crisp, no-look-behind-the-back pass through traffic which hit a streaking Zack Phillips in stride. The freshman forward then made a nifty deke on Clermont prior to sliding his second of the night across the Olympiques’ goal line. Clermont was beaten again 22 seconds later, with import winger Tomas Jurco netting his 21st goal of the season on a well-placed shot.
A pinching Nathan Beaulieu knocked home a loose puck shot at the 13:35 mark of the middle frame, improving his 2009-10 goals total to nine in the process. Ottawa Senators prospect Mike Hoffman then got in on the action, ripping a wrist shot over Clermont’s right shoulder to send Wednesday’s contest into the second intermission with the Sea Dogs in possession of a commanding 6-1 lead.
Rookie Dereck Tait took over goaltending duties for Gatineau at the start of the third period, an apt coaching maneuver which appeared to provide a much-needed boost for the Telus West Division’s third-place squad. The Olympiques tallied three unanswered goals during the opening dozen minutes of regulation’s final frame to reduce their deficit to only two.
Team Captain Mike Thomas then took it upon himself to quash any hopes of a Gatineau comeback, tallying his ninth marker of the 09-10 campaign at the 15:37 mark of the third period. The Olympiques managed to once again pull to within two of their opponents on a late-match goal by Alex Beaton, but that would be as close as Gatineau would get as Saint John held on to take the decision by a 7-5 final.
SAINT JOHN SCRATCHES
Gabriel Bourret and Steven Anthony missed last night’s game. Anthony is out with a groin injury that he suffered during Saturday night’s loss versus Shawinigan.
Stephen MacAulay and Kevin Gagne both returned to the Sea Dogs lineup after missing both weekend games.
GOOD START, BAD FINISH
Saint John outshot Gatineau 11-5 in the first but only held a 1-0 lead.
The Sea Dogs exploded in the second period for five goals including four straight to round out the scoring. In the period, Olympiques starter Maxime Clermont allowed five goals on 12 shots while his team fired 10 in the period at Marco Cousineau.
Gerard Gallant was likely not to happy with his team after the third period. Leading 6-1, Gatineau scored three straight goals in a span of less than two minutes to make the game 6-4. Mike Thomas scored an insurance marker to put the game out of reach. Gatineau got one more on the power play but it was too late.
FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
In two games against Saint John this season, Gatineau had yet to score a goal. They scored five on this night to end that streak. In the season series, Saint John outscored them 17-5 in the three games.
The last time Saint John visited “The Bob,” the home side couldn’t even get a shot on goal in the second period and fell 8-0 to a Sea Dogs team on the tail end of a three game road trip. The Olympiques fired 10 shots on goal in the second period of this game.
BIG NIGHT FOR PHILLIPS
Welcome to the show Zach Phillips.
The 17-year old lit up the Olympiques for two goals and three assists for a five point night. He now has 13 goals and 23 assists in 57 games this year.
The three assists tied his personal record for helpers in one game. The Fredericton native has scored a hat trick this year so his two goals set no historical markers. His five points is the best of his career so far and ties Simon Despres’ Sea Dogs rookie record for points in a game.
If you watched this game on the internet, you are a better fan than us.
With the Olympic (not Olympiques) hockey game airing on News 88.9, Tim Roszell had the night off from doing Sea Dogs play-by-play. This forced fans to pay $7.00 to watch a webcast that is the size of a coaster on a computer screen. Did we mention that the video was in French as well?
Now, it looks like Friday’s game in Val-d’Or may also be in doubt with Team Canada taking on Team Slovakia at 10:30 pm. Two hours could be enough time though so we will keep you all upadated.
There are a lot of questions over the score sheet from this game.
First of all, Christian Morin was designated as an alternate captain. Yann Sauve and Michael Kirkpatrick wear the other "A's" with Mike Hoffman and Nicholas Petersen believed to be sharing the third.
The other thing that is strange is the fact that all Saint John goals – with the exception of one being unassisted – were awarded just one assist. All but one of Gatineau’s goals were given two assist's.
OUT OF TOWN
THE CANADIAN PRSS
Eric Faille scored twice for Acadie-Bathurst, including the winner at 4:05 of overtime, as the Titan topped the Halifax Mooseheads 2-1 in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play Wednesday.
Tomas Knotek replied for Halifax (13-42-6).
Guillaume Nadeau made 26 saves to pick up the win for Acadie-Bathurst (21-34-6), while Mathieu Corbeil-Theriault made 40 saves in defeat.
Elsewhere in the QMJHL it was: Drummondville 3 P.E.I 1; and Saint John 7 Gatineau 5.
At Halifax, Knotek opened the scoring for the Mooseheads at 15:47 of the first.
After a scoreless second, Faille tied things at 7:22 of the third before winning it in overtime.
The Titan finished 0-for-1 on the power play, while the Mooseheads went 0-for-5.
The Olympiques have now lost eight straight games which is the longest active streak in the QMJHL… Marc Brassard of Le Droit wrote that only about half of the 2,331 fans were actually at the game with Canada taking on Russia at the Olympics. He said that it was probably better off… the Sea Dogs are now only one win away from their first 50 win season in franchise history… in his first game back from injury, Kevin Gagne was a +4… Saint John had 19 dangerous shots to Gatineau’s 13… the Sea Dogs now have a 12 point lead with 8 games to go for the regular season title… Chris DiDomenico was held pointless in their win over PEI. The Voltigeurs have now won eight straight games… the last time Saint John won in Gatineau, they won their next seven games.
Friday night in Val-d’Or the Sea Dogs take on the Foreurs at 8:30 pm. Team Canada plays against Slovakia at 10:30 pm.