Monday, December 20, 2010

POSTSCRIPT: Sea Dogs 2, Screaming Eagles 1

Final Score: Saint John 2, Cape Breton 1
Saint John Goals: Michael Kirkpatrick (11) and Stephen MacAulay (10)
Cape Breton Goals: Pier-Antoine Dion (10)
Winning Goaltenders: SNB - Jacob DeSerres
Losing Goaltender: CAP - Alexandre Veronneau
News 88.9 Top Dog: Ryan Tesink

Power Play: Screaming Eagles: 0/2, Sea Dogs: 1/2
Shots on Goal: Screaming Eagles: 3+16+4=23, Sea Dogs: 16+9+13=38
Length: 2:06
Attendance: 2,813

Defenseman Simon Despres is still away preparing for the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championships with Team Canada.

Forward Tomas Jurco is away with Team Slovakia who are also preparing themselves for the upcoming world junior tournament.

Barely, the Saint John Sea Dog pulled off a dramatic 2-1 victory Saturday night over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action at Centre 200.

Cape Breton took an early 1-0 lead at 1:46 following a Sea Dogs turnover. Pier-Antoine Dion grabbed the puck and carried over it the line before ripping a wrist shot over the glove of Saint John goaltender Jacob DeSerres to give the Eagles an early goal advantage.

Saint John would get some great chances in the period, though, buy failed to register on any of them. The Dogs outshot the home team 16-3 in the opening frame.

Cape Breton would gain some momentum back in the second period, outshooting the visitors 16-9. But Cape Breton could not double their lead, including failing to do so on two power play opportunities.

In the third, Michael Kirkpatrick fired a hard wrist shot from the slot that went up high on Eagles backstop Alexandre Veronneau to finally tie the affair at 6:38.

With Saint John widely outshooting the Eagles in the period once again, almost eight minutes on non-stop action commenced with the officials putting their whistles away. In the final 10 seconds of the game, Ryan Tesink carried the puck into the zone and skated to the goal line in the Cape Breton zone. He sent a pass in front for Stephen MacAulay who simply tipped the puck past Veronneau to give the Dogs a 2-1 win with less than a second remaining on the clock.

Stephen MacAulay’s last second goal is certainly the clutchest of the season, beating Nathan Beaulieu’s and Jonathan Huberdeau’s pair of last minute goals back in a November game against Chicoutimi.

"I heard from our bench (there were) 10 seconds left when Ryan was making the rush,'' MacAulay said to the Telegraph-Journal. "He put the puck to the net and I just had my stick on the ice and redirected it in. If you don't have the puck, you have to go hard to the net in case there's a rebound and in case you get the pass.''

MacAulay expressed his thoughts on the goal on Twitter after the game as well:

Most opportune goal of my career, 0.4 seconds on the clock to win it! Let the holidays begin!!
With the goal, the St. Louis Blues prospect also cracked the 10-goal mark after just 28 games. He had eight in 56 contests last season.

If you’re looking to cheer someone up this holiday season, look no further than Alexandre Veronneau. The Screaming Eagles goaltender was tremendous in the game, stopping 36 shots. The QMJHL website considers 26 of the 38 shots he faced to have been dangerous.

Keeping the high powered Sea Dogs to two goals is an impressive feat for a young goaltender. Saint John is averaging just under five goals per game.

"It's pretty disappointing after all the work our guys did tonight,'' Veronneau said after Saturday's game to the Telegraph-Journal. "We showed a great effort and there's still a lot of good points to remember from this game.''

Despite his great work in the game, Veronneau left empty handed as he has after every game so far this season. He is 0-13-0-0 on the year with a 4.50 goals against average and a 0.846%.

This game certainly had the looks of the October 3 game between the Sea Dogs and Screaming Eagles at Centre 200.

Saint John played a better game than they did back then, but it was still close right down to the wire. In the previous contest, a late goal by Viktor Hertzberg in the final seconds of the game gave Cape Breton a 2-1 win.

Zach Phillips had his 11-game point streak snapped after going pointless in the match. Over that span, Phillips has an incredible 12 goals and 15 assists.

The Fredericton native now has 51 points on the year, placing him sixth in league scoring. In 65 total contests last season, he had 44 points.

The first half of the 2010-11 season came to end on Saturday as the holiday break begins for all QMJHL teams.

The Sea Dogs go into the break first in the division, first overall in the QMJHL, and ranked first in the country with a 29-4-0-2 record. They close out the break on a bit of a hot streak as well, going 9-1-0-0 in their last 10 games and have won three straight.

Nothing says Christmas more than when you see Mike Thomas and Morgan Ellis taking part in a ceremonial faceoff performed by Santa… Brad Cuzner returned from a two-game suspension. He assisted on Pier-Antoine Dion’s first period goal… Zach Phillips was 1/11 on faceoffs… Saint John outscored Cape Breton 8-3 in their two-game mini set… Michael Kirkpatrick and Stanislav Galiev each had a team high five shots.

Following the holiday break, the Sea Dogs travel to Charlottetown to face the Rocket on December 28 at 7:00 pm.

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