FINAL: MAINEiacs 1, Sea Dogs 4
SAINT JOHN – Olivier Dame-Malka’s hit from behind on Jonathan Huberdeau proved to be costly for the Lewiston Maineiacs on Saturday night at Harbour Station.
Malka was given a game misconduct and five-minute major penalty for the hit, giving the Saint John Sea Dogs a long power play opportunity. The Sea Dogs would connect not once, not twice, but three times during Malka’s penalty, making it 4-0 at point.
Saint John would cruise to a 4-1 win from there, taking a 2-0 series lead in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League semifinal playoff series. Games Three and Four now shift to Lewiston on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Game Two proved to be much better than Game One for the Sea Dogs. They controlled the play for most of the game and both their offense and defense were both clicking. Goaltender Mathieu Corbeil, who replaced Jacob DeSerres in the third period of Game One, was dialed in in net and made 24 stops for the victory.
Michael Kirkpatrick, Stanislav Galiev, Kevin Gagne, and Jonathan Huberdeau all scored for Saint John.
Kirill Kabanov had the lone Lewiston goal near the halfway point of the third period. Nicholas Champion allowed four goals on 29 shots before being pulled in favour of Andrey Makarov who stopped all 13 shots he faced.
Saint John had a good chance early in the period as a shot was deflected off the crossbar. Then Lewiston came back with a great chance of their own on a two-on-one. Etienne Brodeur let the shot go in close but Mathieu Corbeil was there to make the stop.
The Sea Dogs opened the scoring at 2:16. Michael Kirkpatrick had the puck at the bottom rim of the circle and let a shot go that beat Lewiston netminder Nicholas Champion to make it 1-0.
The Dogs had another great chance just moments following a turnover in the Maineiacs zone. The puck went down low to Stanislav Galiev who made a sipn move but was stopped nicely by the pad of Champion.
The Sea Dogs had a five-on-three power play chance at 6:50. During that time span, Zach Phillips tried to center the puck for Kirkpatrick but he couldn’t get a shot off. Then, Eric Gelinas blasted a point shot but Champion made a big pad stop.
Saint John went back to the power play at 16:29. Phillips had another good opportunity as he threw it through the blue paint but it went out the other side. Saint John had some okay pressure on the man advantage but could not connect.
Some four-on-four action took place at 18:45 following a couple of penalties from a scrum. Pierre-Olivier Morin let a big point shot go during the span but was stopped by Champion. The puck came out for Kirill Kabanov but he just couldn’t reach the disc.
Shots in the first period were 17-6 in favour of the Sea Dogs.
Saint John was buzzing early in the second frame. Mike Thomas fed Stephen MacAulay in front but had the puck tipped away. Then Phillips let a sharp angle shot go that just sailed wide and may have deflected off the toe of Champion. Finally, Huberdeau was at the dot and let a weak shot go through traffic that just trickled wide.
At 7:57, Olivier Dame-Malka nailed Huberdeau from behind along the backboards. Malka was given a misconduct and five-minute major, giving Saint John a huge opportunity to break the game open.
On that man advantage at 9:50, Galiev made it a 2-0 game with a low shot from the bottom of the circle that beat Champion.
Not long after at 10:08, Kevin Gagne came flying down the wing and slowly cut in front. He let a bad angle wrist shot go that fooled Champion to give the Dogs a 3-0 advantage. Just after that marker, Galiev had a great chance in front but was denied by the pad of Champion.
Lewiston took another penalty at 11:38 with Malka still in the box. On the five-on-three, Nathan Beaulieu was stopped but the rebound came right to Huberdeau who chipped it upstairs to make it a 4-0 game. That would chase Champion from the net and put in rookie Andrey Makarov.
With the power play finally over, MacAulay fed Scott Oke in front but was robbed by Makarov. Lewiston then had an opportunity as the puck was centered for Bryce Milson but he couldn’t get a shot off.
The Maineiacs had their first power play of the game at 15:03 as MacAulay headed off for hooking. Then Beaulieu took a cross checking penalty at 16:30 to give the visitors a five-on-three man advantage. On the power play, Brodeur had an open net but couldn’t get a shot off.
After the penalties expired, Pierre-Olivier Morin sent a shot through traffic but Corbeil was there to make the pad stop.
Shots in the second period were 19-6 Saint John.
Lewiston went to the power play at 1:10. The Maineiacs had some decent pressure on and the puck even went to the goal line but couldn’t get across. After the man advantage, Morin had a clear shooting lane from the dot but was stopped nicely by Corbeil who came out of his net a bit to make the save.
After Corbeil made another nice toe save on Stefan Fournier, Tomas Jurco made some unreal move around a Lewiston defenseman along the boards but failed to register a shot on goal.
The Maineiacs got on the board at 9:54. Kirill Kabanov fired a shot on goal that Corbeil couldn’t handle. Kabanov skated down low to the goal line and picked up his own rebound to make it a 4-1 game.
Soon after Pierre Durepos was denied in the slot, the Sea Dogs went back to the power play at 15:31. Mike Thomas had a decent scoring opportunity as he came down the wing, cut in front, but had his shot stopped by Makarov.
Lewiston had a late power play chance but couldn’t get anything going.
Shots in the third stanza were 13-10 Lewiston.
NOTES: See Sea Dogs Postscript later today on SN.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs travel to Lewiston to face to the Maineiacs on Tuesday at 8:00 pm at Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation