SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs faced off against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in a 7:00pm home game at Harbour Station on Thursday. Before the game got underway, one major point of business had to be handled by the team. Jonathan Huberdeau brought the President’s Cup to centre ice and presented it to the crowd with a huge roar from the 4,193 attending fans and within moments all were staring at yet another championship banner being raised to the rafters.
With the 2012-13 Sea Dogs introduced and banner raised, all that was left was to get down to the game. Sébastian Auger stood between the pipes for the Dogs while Jacob Brennan prepared to defend the nets for Bathurst.
The first penalty of the night went to Bathurst’s Samuel Robert at 4:59 as he was called for holding, sending Saint John to an uneventful power play.
Jason Cameron pulled the next penalty as he too was called for holding at 7:09.
At 11:43 fans were treated to the most exciting save of the entire game. Alec Jon Banville took aim at an empty net while his teammates kept the Saint John goaltender busy off to the side of his net. Catching sight of the attack in time, Auger slid out in front of the night in time to deflect the puck at the last second.
The Saint John high was short lived however as Robert Davis, assisted by Etienne Salvail and Michael Lyle, scored the first goal of the game for the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. With 7:29 left of the first period, the score was 1-0 Titan.
Saint John newcomer Jakub Izacky took a nasty hit which left him stunned on the ice with just under two minutes left of the first period. Teammate Ryan Tesink was quick to react, grabbing the offending Jeremy Doucet. In a flash, fists were flying. When the dust settled, Izacky was taken back to the locker room as a precaution. Tesink and Doucet were each handed five for fighting. Doucet earned an extra five for checking from behind as well as a game misconduct.
The first period ended with Bathurst holding onto the only point of the game so far. Saint John however outshot the Titan 12-6.
This time however, Saint John was able to produce on the power play. Stephen MacAulay scored the first goal for Saint John at 1:43 with veterans Jonathan Huberdeau and Kevin Gagné assisting in balancing the score to 1-1.
MacAulay’s slashing penalty at 3:24 sent the Titan on another strong power play. Raphael Lafontaine rose the score to 2-1 as he broke through Auger’s defenses thanks to Alex Jon Banville and Christophe Lalancette who each took a point with their assists.
MacAulay would once again find himself sent to the box with a goaltender interference call. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Bathurst increased their lead 3-1 as Brandon Hynes slipped one past Auger, with Zach O’Brien and Patrik Zdrahal each grabbing an assist at 15:47.
This would be the last goal of the game as the teams went into a pretty uneventful third period.
The second period had Bathurst leading the shots on goal tally with 10-14, with a final game total of 27-29 in favour of Bathurst.
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs travel to Bathurst on Friday to once again take on the Titan. Puck drops at 7:30 pm.