Final Score: Shawinigan 3, Saint John 7
Saint John Goals: Zack Phillips (31, 32), Michael Kirkpatrick (26), Jonathan Huberdeau (36), Stanislav Galiev (27), Tomas Jurco (27), and Gabriel Bourret (8)
Shawinigan Goals: Tommy Giroux (3, 4) and Michael Bournival (28)
Winning Goaltender: SNB – Jacob DeSerres
Losing Goaltenders: SHA – Gabriel Girard and Alex Dubeau
News 88.9 Top Dog: Gabriel Bourret
Power Play: Cataractes: 0/5; Sea Dogs: 1/2
Shots on Goal: Cataractes: 11+8+7=26; Sea Dogs: 10+18+11=39
SAINT JOHN SCRATCHES
Forwards Jason Cameron and Aidan Kelly and defenseman Jason Seed were all healthy scratches.
A second period rally would prove to be all that was needed as the Saint John Sea Dogs downed the Shawinigan Cataractes 7-3 on Saturday at Harbour Station in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action. The Sea Dogs struck four times in the middle frame in what was a dominant period. The Sea Dogs outshot the Cataractes 18-8 in the second stanza and 39-26 through the entire tilt.
Saint John got off to a bit of a slow start but played well for most of the game. It was the Sea Dogs’ 13th straight victory and 20th straight contest in which they at least picked up a point.
The Cataractes opened the scoring at 12:52 of the opening period as Ryan Kavanagh threw the puck on the crease, allowing Tommy Giroux to slide it home and give visitors a 1-0 lead. But Saint John would tie the affair up at 17:06 as Zack Phillips sent the puck on goal from a very sharp angle and somehow getting it over the shoulder of Cats goaltender Gabriel Girard and into the corner. There was a lengthy review, but it was ruled a good goal. Just 31 seconds after the Sea Dogs tied the match, Michael Kirkpatrick scored to give the Dogs a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.
In the middle frame, Saint John’s offense would explode. The party started at 3:43 on a power play as Jonathan Huberdeau was setup beautifully and had an wide open net to make it a 3-1 game. Then at 10:18, Stanislav Galiev found the back of the cage to make it 4-1. Just under two minutes later, Tomas Jurco scored and that would chase Girard from the Shawinigan crease.
Replacement goaltender Alex Dubeau couldn’t do much better as Gabriel Bourret blasted a point shot through some traffic to make it a 6-1 game after two periods.
Shawinigan would not just go away however. At 1:15 of the third, Michael Bournival came down the wing and beat Sea Dogs netminder Jacob DeSerres with a low wrist shot on a two-on-one to make it a 6-2 tilt. But the Dogs would get one right back as Phillips registered his second of the night on a rebound at 4:40. The Cataractes would close out the scoring as Giroux scored his second of the night at 5:52 to make it a 7-3 final.
STILL GOING STRONG
In case you needed some reassurance, the Sea Dogs have proven to be a pretty good hockey team since the New Year. The top-ranked team in Canada has now gone an incredible 20 consecutive matches of not losing in regulation, going 19-0-1-0 over that span. On top of that, Saint John is on a 13-game winning streak.
But the Sea Dogs’ most impressive feat is still their home ice record. With yesterday’s victory, the Sea Dogs improved to 27-0-1-1 at Harbour Station this season. They have five home games remaining including Tuesday’s against Halifax.
In the overall standings, the Dogs are getting closer and closer to their second consecutive regular season crown. They now have a nine-point lead over the second-place Montreal Juniors.
It was a special night at Harbour Station as the Sea Dogs held a tribute to the Saint John Flames’ 2001 Calder Cup Championship team. There were a ton of Flames jerseys and foam claws around the building that once was home to the American Hockey League.
Along with graphics on the video board, there were clips shown all night long from moments in Flames history as well as videos talking to former players. There was also a very, very well done video montage shown before the game along with former members of the organization being honoured at centre ice. The Calder Cup was in the building and was once again lifted at centre ice by Flames captain Marty Murray.
But the most noticeable moment of the evening was the return of the inflatable dragon.
Even some tunes from way back in 2001 were played to go along with the Flames goal horn.
The whole night was very well put together.
HUBERDEAU BACK AT IT
You don’t see this too often, but Jonathan Huberdeau had a Gordie Howe Hat Trick last night.
Huberdeau scored once and added three assists to go along with his first period fight against Jonathan Racine. The four points gives the skilled centre 86 on the year and moves into second-place in the league point getting department. He is eight points back of league leader Philip-Michael Devos.
As for the fight, well, let’s just say Huberdeau isn’t going to be the second coming of Brett Gallant. Full props for sticking up for himself, though.
THE OTHER FIGHT
Not much of a scrap between Alexandre Beauregard and Mathieu Gagnon.
WE WANT THE CUP
As the Calder Cup left the building, someone made a gutsy move by starting to chant ‘we want the cup.’ It caught on and lasted for a good amount of time. What a moment.
The chant tried to start up again in the third period but it couldn’t catch on.
Another great crowd on hand as 5,954 watched this one… the game-worn jerseys were auctioned off during the game and handed out once the match was completed… Sea Dogs assistant coach Yvon Vautour was hit in the head with a puck during the second period. He would stay in the game… The Cataractes beat Saint John in both meetings last season. This season’s second meeting goes next Sunday at Centre Bionest… Shawinigan struggled on the power play, going 0-for-5… overall beast Michael Bournival had a Cataractes high five shots… Shawinigan closed out their Maritime road swing with a 3-0 loss in Bathurst this afternoon.
- Flames goal horn was solid.
- Huberdeau has been ridiculous against Halifax this season. Good chance on Tuesday to try and move up in the scoring race.
- The Georgoudis brothers have unreal hats.
The Sea Dogs host the Halifax Mooseheads at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station on Tuesday. It will be the teams last game at Harbour Station until March 4.
Photo Credits: Marc Henwood/Station Nation, Marc Henwood/Station Nation