FINAL: Bathurst 2, Saint John 5
SAINT JOHN – Second periods continue to be the Saint John Sea Dogs’ strongest stanza.
A three-goal second period propelled the Sea Dogs past the Acadie-Bathurst Titan by score of 5-2 on Saturday night at Harbour Station. The win was Saint John’s 17th straight, which is the longest streak in the Canadian Hockey League this season.
The Sea Dogs entered tonight’s game outscoring opponents 112-53 in second periods this season. They added three more tonight, meaning they have scored 115 of their 276 total goals in middle frames.
Saint John got off to a slow start and entered the second down 1-0 and outshot 12-9. But Nathan Beaulieu’s power play goal that tied things up seemed to spark the Dogs. They would outshoot the Titan 29-17 the rest of the way.
Beaulieu, Stephen MacAulay, Tomas Jurco, Jonathan Huberdeau and Danick Gauthier each had goals for the winners. Maxime Villemaire had two assists. Mathieu Corbeil made 27 saves for the victory.
Bathurst’s goals came from Christophe Losier and Christophe Lalancette. Robert Steeves allowed five goals on 38 shots in the loss.
The Sea Dogs improved to 47-14-0-2 with the victory. They now have a seven-point lead on the Shawinigan Cataractes in the race for first place. The Cataractes have six games remaining while the Sea Dogs have five.
The Titan headed to the power play at 2:56 but couldn’t get much going.
At 5:52, Matthew Bissonnette spun in front and got a shot off but was denied by Mathieu Corbeil. The Sea Dogs would then head to the power play but couldn’t generate many scoring opportunities.
Then Bathurst would get some pressure on. Robert Davis let a shot go from the circle but Corbeil got a toe on it to keep it out. Alec Jon Banville had a couple of chances in front a few moments later but was denied as well. A point shot then found its way to Corbeil but he quickly covered it.
Christophe Losier made a great move to get around Spencer MacDonald just past the midway mark. But as he was getting close to the crease, Tomas Jurco came in and smoked him. Soon after, Maxime Villemaire laid a big hit as well.
Saint John then had a couple of chances. Jonathan Huberdeau was in the slot but couldn’t get much of a shot away because a Bathurst player was in his way. Then Stanislav Galiev and Jurco had a two-on-one but shot it wide.
Bathurst headed back to the man advantage at 16:11. At 16:57, Losier pushed the puck past Corbeil to give the visitors a 1-0 advantage.
Late in the period, there was a scrum in the Titan crease but the Dogs were unable to bang the puck in.
Shots were 12-9 Bathurst in the opening frame.
In the early moments of the second period, Charlie Coyle sent the puck through the crease for Danick Gauthier but he couldn’t get a stick on it.
Saint John headed to the power play at 2:35 but that quickly ended as Huberdeau took a high sticking infraction at the three-minute mark. Not a whole lot happened during the four-on-four play.
The Dogs headed back to the man advantage at 5:21. Zack Phillips had a decent chance in front just before Jordan Murray headed off at 6:35, giving Saint John a five-on-three opportunity. Although they didn’t score in the two-man advantage, Nathan Beaulieu would tie things up on the single man advantage at 7:41. A hard wrist shot from inside the circle beat Robert Steeves to make it a 1-1 game.
Saint John took the lead at 10:28. A Pierre Durepos point shot was tipped by Stephen MacAulay to give the Dogs a 2-1 advantage. The goal would be reviewed but it would stand.
Soon after the goal, Bathurst forward Sean Girard got hurt and had to be helped off the ice.
The Titan headed back to the power play at 14:54. Sebastien Trudeau had Bathurst’s best chance, hitting the post early on. At 16:12, the Titan committed a turnover. Jurco went in and sniped the puck high blocker side and past Steeves to give the Dogs a 3-1 lead.
Late in the period, the Dogs had all kinds of pressure on but could not connect.
Shots in the first period were 16-7 Saint John.
Huberdeau gave the Sea Dogs a 4-1 lead just 42 seconds into the third. His original shot was blocked by a defenseman but he regained control and made his way towards the goal. He made a move to his backhand and slid the puck past Steeves.
The Sea Dogs took a 5-1 lead at 4:17. Gauthier was on a partial breakaway and beat Steeves top shelf for his 42nd of the year.
The Titan had some pressure on after the Sea Dogs’ fifth goal. Finally at 8:22, Christophe Lalancette managed to get the puck past Corbeil to put the Titan within three.
After the goal, Saint John started to get things rolling again. Galiev had a good chance in front but could not connect. Then Tesink was alone in the slot but was denied by Steeves. Jurco then tipped the puck on goal but was stopped. A little later on, Huberdeau hit the post.
Shots in the final frame were 13-10 Saint John.
Both teams went 1-for-4 on the power play.