STATION NATION RECAP
FINAL: Olympiques 2, Sea Dogs 7
SAINT JOHN – It’s so far, so good for the Saint John Sea Dogs.
The Sea Dogs were all over the Gatineau Olympiques and won 7-2 in rather convincing fashion. Saint John now has a 2-0 series lead in the best-of-seven quarter-final playoff bout.
The Sea Dogs used a strong offensive attack to de-flame the Olympiques on Saturday night. Rookie Jonathan Huberdeau scored a pair while singles came from Stanislav Galiev, Tomas Jurco, Zack Phillips, Mike Hoffman, and Stephen MacAulay.
Gatineau got their goals from Adam Janosik and Alexander Beaton.
Marco Cousineau was exceptional in the Saint John goal, stopping 30 shots on his way to a third star honor. Maxime Clermont had a strong game for the Olympiques, but fell victim to the wicked Sea Dogs offence.
Saint John had control early and took a 1-0 lead at 10:46. Stanislav Galiev finished off a beautifully executed two-on-one with Mike Hoffman to make it a 1-0 Sea Dogs lead.
Gatineau gained some momentum following the goal as Christian Ouellet sent a pass through the crease and hit something in front before the puck trickled just wide. Then Tye McGinn was stopped in close by Cousineau with the pad.
With Philippe Halley in the box for the Olympiques, Hoffman sent a cross crease pass to an invading Tomas Jurco who scored over the glove of Clermont to double the home teams lead.
Jonathan Huberdeau then fed Nicholas Petersen down low in front of the goal but had his tipped shot stopped by a tremendous glove save.
Shots in the first period were 17-8 Saint John.
Just 5:30 into the second period, Huberdeau made a nice move around a falling Gatineau defenseman. He let go a deadly wrist shot that beat a snoozing Clermont low blocker to make it 3-0 for the Port City.
On the following rush, Hubert Labrie was robbed by Cousineau’s pad. A few minutes later, Michael Kirkpatrick found himself with an open cage but sent a shot off the outside of the post. Mike Thomas then flew in trying to corral a loose puck but was forced to show off his ballet skills and jump over the Gatineau goaltender.
Everyone’s favourite player, Hugo Laporte, went to the box at 14:38 and got a standing ovation from the Harbour Station crowd. Clermont came up huge during the kill, making a cross crease glove save on Hoffman.
After Huberdeau served his sentence in the box, he and Hoffman formed a two-on-one but the pass was broken up nicely by Vincent Barnard.
Shots in the middle stanza were 11-9 Gatineau but they still trailed 3-0.
Saint John opened up a 4-0 lead when Huberdeau was sprung on a breakaway. The rookie went backhand-to-forehand like he has done so many times this season to pick up his fifth of the post-season.
Nathan Beaulieu headed off for two minutes in the box at 4:40. On the man advantage, Cousineau made a nice save on a shot from the slot. The puck sat in the crease before Alexander Beaton scored to make it a 4-1 affair. Laporte got an assist.
Beaton had another chance following the goal, but Cousineau stood taller than the Easter Bunny to make the huge save with the trapper. As the Gatineau defense packed their bags and boarded the bus, Petersen was stopped on a breakaway with the glove. Moments later, Kirkpatrick was in alone but was denied with the pad.
At 11:28 Hoffman wired a shot from just inside the point that beat Clermont over the blocker to make it a 5-1 game. The goal went under a short review to see if Nicholas Petersen got a high stick on it but it was ruled a goal.
Saint John native Ben Miller grabbed onto the sweater of Christian Morin at 12:04 looking for a fight. Miller swung Morin around and threw him to the ice before receiving a 10-minute misconduct. On the power play, Beaulieu sent a pass from the point across the ice to Stephen MacAulay. The Nova Scotian went low glove side to make it a 6-1 game at 13:03.
A massive pile up was created at 16:31 following a whistle behind the Saint John goal. Everybody grabbed a dance partner and began throwing punches as well as Happy Easter pleasantries. That took about 10 minutes to play out.
Gatineau was given a power play after the scrum, with Adam Janosik beating Cousineau high over the glove from the faceoff dot at 18:28. The Sea Dogs net minder sat in his crease for a few moments wishing to have that shot back.
After Beaulieu was thrown out of the game for no obvious reason, there was a big collision as a Saint John player tried to enter the Gatineau zone. With the Olympiques’ defense down like bowling pins, Nicholas Pard was in a small break. He gave a short pass to a waiting Zach Phillips who beat Clermont on a nice deke to make it a 7-2 final.
Shots in the third period were 15-13 Saint John.
NEXT GAME: Game three goes Tuesday in Gatineau.