Sunday, May 6, 2012

RECAP: Two Down, Two To Go. Dogs Win 3-2.

FINAL: Rimouski 2, Saint John 3

SAINT JOHN – For the first time in a long time, the Saint John Sea Dogs didn’t need overtime.

Charlie Coyle’s second period shorthanded penalty shot proved to be the winner as Saint John defeated the Rimouski Oceanic 3-2 in Game 2 of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Championship Series. With Saint John’s win on Saturday and their 3-2 double overtime victory on Friday, the Dogs now lead the best-of-seven President’s Cup final 2-0.

The next two games – three if needed – will be played on the road in Rimouski. So no matter what, Saint John fans will either get to see their team play on Harbour Station ice again or will see them come home with a trophy.

Coyle led the way for Saint John, recording a goal and an assist to give him 32 points this post-season. The point total is the most by any Sea Dog in one playoff run, surpassing Michael Kirkpatrick’s mark of 31 in 2010.

The American forward’s penalty shot goal felt like a huge goal at the time and it proved to be a huge goal. With an electric Harbour Station crowd on their feet, Coyle made a terrific move to beat Rimouski goaltender Jacob Gervais-Chouinard to give Saint John a 3-0 lead at the time. The Oceanic would score twice to make for a close finish.

Danick Gauthier and Tomas Jurco also scored for the Sea Dogs. He wasn’t tested a whole lot, but Mathieu Corbeil made 14 saves to earn the win in net.

It was a much better showing by the Sea Dogs. It felt like they were in control of this game for the most part. Saint John outshot Rimouski 32-16 in the game but the Oceanic did have several dangerous scoring opportunities.

Petr Straka had both Rimouski goals. Chouinard allowed three goals on 32 shots in the loss.

This was the first time since Game 2 of the semifinals against Chicoutimi that the Sea Dogs did not go into overtime, a streak of four consecutive playoff games.

Charles Roussel was hitting everything that moved in the opening frame. The Oceanic came close to scoring a couple of times as Straka and Casey Babineau both hit the post. Chouinard made a few good stops to keep it scoreless. Shots were 14-4 Saint John in the first but the Oceanic had a few terrific scoring chances.

The Sea Dogs made it 1-0 at 6:12 of the second period as Gauthier ripped a shot top corner for his 10th of the playoffs. Just 50 seconds later, Jurco collected the puck and made a move to his backhand to lift it over Chouinard to make it 2-0 Sea Dogs.

With the Oceanic on a 4-on-3 power play, Coyle got hauled down on a break by Alex Belzile, setting up the rare shorthanded penalty shot opportunity. Coyle made no mistake, making a big time move to make it 3-0.

The Oceanic would get one back though. At 15:50, Straka scored to make it 3-1 after two. Shots in the middle stanza were 10-6 in favour of the Dogs.

Fast-forward to late in the third period and Chouinard on the bench, the Dogs missed an open net a couple times to give Rimouski a chance to get back in this one. Shortly after, Straka fired one top corner on Corbeil to make it a 3-2 affair at 18:56.

The Sea Dogs would hang on for a 3-2 win though, outshooting the Oceanic 8-6 in the third.

Saint John went 1-for-2 on the power play while Rimouski went 0-for-5.

NOTES: See Sea Dogs Postscript tomorrow on SN.

NEXT GAME: Game 3 of the series is on Wednesday at 8:30pm in Rimouski.

Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

1 comment:

  1. And it also means the Oceanic now cannot win the Preident's Cup at home. They would have to win it on the road.