FINAL: Tigres 1, Sea Dogs 4
SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Sea Dogs continued their winning ways in Game One of their quarter-final series against the Victoriaville Tigres.
The Sea Dogs defeated the visiting Tigres 4-1 on Friday night at Harbour Station, taking a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven second round Quebec Major League Hockey League playoffs series.
Tomas Jurco, Jonathan Huberdeau, Stanislav Galiev, and Steven Anthony all scored for Saint John. The Sea Dogs have now outscored their opposition 30-3 in five post-season games.
Goaltender Jacob DeSerres was solid, making 29 stops for his fourth playoff victory.
Both teams looked a bit sluggish to start off the game. Neither team has played in over week thanks to four-game sweeps in the first round. The Sea Dogs carried the play for most of the game, but, the Tigres didn’t play terrible.
Goaltender David Honzik was a big reason why the score was so close. Honzik, who played a major role in the Tigres’ upset over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in the first round, made some incredible stops and earned second star honours. He struggled with rebound control, but certainly kept the Tigres in the game.
Victoriaville’s only goal came from Yanni Gourde during the second period.
The two teams do battle again on Saturday at Harbour Station.
Steven Anthony had the first chance of the game from a sharp angle but was stopped by Victoriaville goaltender David Honzik.
The Sea Dogs opened the scoring at 5:09 of the first frame. Eric Gelinas blasted a point shot and Tomas Jurco was able to get a stick on it and tipped it into the cage to give Saint John a 1-0 lead.
The home side kept the pressure on as a point pass went down low to the opposite side and found Michael Kirkpatrick. The 20-year old waited too long to hit the empty cage and was denied by Honzik. Kirkpatrick then picked the puck up again but sent backhand through the crease.
Jonathan Huberdeau had a good opportunity soon after but was denied on his wraparound chance. Steven Anthony had the next opportunity, ripping a shot off the blocker of Honzik. Later on, Anthony fed Kirkpatrick in the slot but fired wide.
At 13:18, Stanislav Galiev was trying to bang the disc in in the crease area but was knocked down, giving Saint John a man advantage. On the ensuing power play, Kirkpatrick walked out into the crease area but was denied and the rebound was quickly recovered by Victoriaville and cleared away. The Dogs had a great power play but could not score.
The Tigres had a couple of good chances late in the frame. Yannick Dube fired a shot that was bobbled by Saint John goaltender Jacob DeSerres but the rebound was whistled high and wide by Philippe Maillet.
Shots in the opening frame were 18-6 Sea Dogs.
Tomas Jurco headed to the penalty box at 2:05 to give the Tigres a power play chance. The visitors had an okay man advantage but could not connect.
Just after the penalty expired, Saint John tried the bang the disc in at the side. The puck got through Honzik but sat on the line and stayed out. The play would go under a review but the call would stand.
On a delayed penalty call against Saint John, the Tigres tipped the puck just wide. On their man advantage, the team couldn’t get anything going.
Saint John went to a power play at 8:56. Nathan Beaulieu started it off with a point shot but it was blocked. Then , Gelinas blasted the puck but it was gloved by Honzik. Late in the power play, the Victoriaville netminder dropped his stick behind the goal, allowing Huberdeau to dish a pass to Anthony but he couldn’t get a shot off.
With the man advantage over, Galiev made some sick move to get around his man before being stopped by Honzik. Then, Scott Oke, made a similar move to get in alone but was denied on the backhand.
Alexandre Beauregard headed off at 13:28 for roughing. On the man advantage, a point shot was stoped but Phillip Danault quickly grabbed the loose puck and sent a pass to Yanni Gourde at the side. Gourde had an open cage to tie the match at 1-1.
At 17:16, the Sea Dogs retook the lead. Pierre Durepos fired a point shot that was stopped. Kirkpatrick found the rebound but was denied as well, allowing Huberdeau to slide in the second rebound to give Saint John a 2-1 advantage.
Late in the period, Brandon Hynes walked out from behind the net and had a wide open cage but missed.
Shots in the middle stanza were 16-14 Saint John.
Honzik was on his game early in the frame as he made a big stretching toe stop to keep it a one-goal game.
Kevin Gagne had a decent chance moments later as he fired a wrist from the dot that just sailed high of the Tigres backstop’s glove. Victoriaville came back the other way a few moments later, forcing DeSerres to make a nice pad stop on Gourde at the side of the net.
The Sea Dogs created some breathing room at 7:18 as they made it a 3-1 game. Huberdeau made a great pass to a wide open Galiev. The Russian was all alone in front, making some unreal spin move before going upstairs on Honzik to give the Dogs a two-goal lead.
After the Dogs killed off an Eric Gelinas penalty, Galiev headed to the sin bin at 14:25. Danick Gauthier had a good shorthanded opportunity as he broke through the defense and made a move to the backhand but was denied by Honzik.
Following the failed power play, the Tigres pulled Honzik with well over a minute left and then called a time-out. Mike Thomas then took a delay of game penalty at 19:27, giving the Tigres some space to work with.
But Victoriaville couldn’t anything going and Anthony scored into the empty net at 19:36 to give Saint John a 4-1 win.
Shots in the third period were 11-6 Victoriaville.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs host the Tigres tomorrow night at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station in Game Two of their quarter-final series.
Photo Credit: Marc Grandmaison