FINAL: Saint John 3, Chicoutimi 2 (OT)
CHICOUTIMI, Que. – For the second straight game, the Saint John Sea Dogs and Chicoutimi Sagueneens needed overtime to decide a game. This time, it had a different result.
Charlie Coyle scored at 6:13 of the extra frame to give Saint John a 3-2 victory in Game 4 of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League semifinal. The Sea Dogs now lead the series 3-1 and can advance to the league final for a third straight year with a victory on Saturday at Harbour Station.
The Sags could have evened the series this evening after beating Saint John 5-4 in overtime on Tuesday. But it wasn't meant to be on this night.
Coyle was the hero on Thursday, scoring the OT winner but also scoring once in regulation and assisting on another. Jonathan Huberdeau had the other Saint John goal while Zack Phillips recorded two assists.
Mathieu Corbeil had a strong performance in goal, making 28 saves for the win. He made a huge stop just before Coyle scored in overtime.
Chicoutimi, who never led in this game, had goals from Charles Hudon and Jeremy Gregoire. Christopher Gibson made 28 saves in the loss.
It was another entertaining hockey game. Once again, the Sea Dogs seemed a little but off and just couldn’t seem to get rolling like they have at times this year. But, they got the win, and now have a chance to wrap it up on Saturday night.
Both teams had some chances early in the first with the best coming from Tomas Jurco when he tried to jam the puck past Christpher Gibson during a scramble at the side of the crease.
The Sags headed to the power play at 2:20 but couldn’t get anything going. They had another man advantage opportunity at 5:09. Guillaume Asselin had a great chance in front but was denied by Mathieu Corbeil.
After the halfway point, the Sags were really buzzing and had lots of pressure on. Lukas Sedlak had a terrific opportunity, firing the puck wide while being a trailer on a two-on-one.
Soon after that chance, the Dogs started to bounce back. They had a good chance on a scramble in the crease but once again could not beat Gibson.
At 18:04, Charlie Coyle came down the wing and fired what looked to be an innocent looking shot on net. The puck got past Gibson and went in to give Saint John a 1-0 advantage.
Saint John had a ton of pressure on following the goal but couldn’t score.
At 19:06, Chiocutimi was awarded another power play following some rough stuff.
Shots in the opening frame were 12-11 in favour of the Sea Dogs.
The Sags couldn’t get anything going on the power play that carried over into the second so the Dogs remained up by one.
Saint John headed to their first power play at the three-minute mark. They had lots of pressure on and a few good chances but were just not able to connect.
Soon after the Dogs power play expired, the puck came to Asselin who was alone in front. But Corbeil came over to make a great chest stop to keep the puck out.
The Sags tied things up at 6:38. Jeremy Gregoire was down low and beat Corbeil up high to tie things up and crank up the volume inside the Georges Vezina Centre.
But the crowd was silenced at 7:21 when Jonathan Huberdeau beat Gibson to give Saint John a 2-1 advantage.
But then at 7:41, Charles Hudon was given a breakaway and beat Corbeil with a quick shot blocker side to tie things up once again. It felt like Tuesday’s third period all over again.
During some four-on-four play, the Sags nearly took the lead but the disc was deflected just wide of the net.
Late in the period, Zack Phillips was alone in front but was absolutely robbed by Gibson. Just after that, Charles Roussel blasted a point shot through some traffic that just missed the net.
Shots in the middle stanza were 12-9 Saint John.
The third period was just flat out uneventful.
Saint John went to the power play 57 seconds in but didn’t do anything.
Midway through the frame Chicoutimi had lots of pressure on but couldn’t even record a shot. Soon after, Danick Gauthier had a solid scoring opportunity but fired it wide.
Late in the frame, both teams had a couple chances but couldn’t score.
Shots were just 4-3 Saint John in the third.
Coyle would score the overtime winner at 6:13 of the extra frame, cutting through the crease and banging in his own rebound. Lots of credit to Corbeil as well who made a huge glove save off Steve Lebel just moments before the goal.
Shots were 7-3 Chicoutimi in overtime.
Saint John went 0-for-2 on the power play while Chicoutimi went 0-for-3.
NOTES: See Sea Dogs Postscript tomorrow on SN.