FINAL: Saint John 4, Bathurst 9
The Titan scored four times in the first and third periods en route to a 9-4 win over the Sea Dogs in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League preseason play at the KC Irving Regional Centre.
Friday's result - just like Wednesday's - didn't come as a huge surprise. The Dogs dressed a fairly veteran lineup on Wednesday while the Titan dressed mostly rookies and inexperienced players. The roles were flipped on Friday, with Bathurst dressing what many would consider a "stacked" lineup.
Ethan Crossman scored four goals for Bathurst while singles came from Domenic Malatesta, Jordan Maher, Jeffrey Truchon-Viel, Antoine Morand and former Sea Dog Dawson Theede. Dominik Tmej made 11 stops through 40 minutes of play while Simon Boudreault-Belzile made eight saves in the third period.
Ian Smallwood, Cedric Pare, Aiden MacIntosh and Samuel Leblanc all scored for Saint John. Matthew Williams was pulled after allowing four goals on 10 shots in the first period. Joel Goguen allowed five goals on 21 shots in roughly 45 minutes of action.
The Titan took a 1-0 lead on a power play at 2:57 of the first period. After a scramble in front, the puck came out to Crossman who had a wide open net to give the home side an early advantage.
With the Titan shorthanded at 5:20, Cole Rafuse was on Williams' goal line and fed Malatesta in front, giving Bathurst a 2-0 advantage.
The Sea Dogs didn't record their first shot on net until the game was six minutes old. The team then produced a decent power play, applying some good pressure despite recording few shots.
The Titan scored at 12:15 to make it 3-0. A rebound went out in front and Williams wasn't able to get ready, allowing Maher to bat the puck five-hole. Then at 14:07, Crossman netted his second of the period on a two-on-one passing play, making it 4-0. That would end Williams' night.
Saint John was outshot 12-4 in the opening frame.
The first half of the second period was much calmer than the first and featured some fairly even, uneventful back-and-forth play. That would end at 10:47 when Theede finished off a nice passing play, making it 5-0 Titan.
Saint John received a four-minute power play at 11:51 when Louis-Philip Fortin high sticked Kevin Gursoy in the face. On the man advantage, the Dogs applied some strong pressure but were unable to generate more than a couple quality chances.
Saint John went back to the power play at 16:32 and would connect this time. With some traffic in front, Smallwood blasted a shot from the line that beat Tmej, making it 5-1 after 40 minutes.
The Titan struck early in the third period with Crossman completing his hat trick at 1:39. Saint John responded at 4:17 with Pare scoring to make it a 6-2 contest.
Saint John kept the goals coming. At 9:26, MacIntosh scored and then at 9:53 Leblanc connected. That made it a 6-4 game with a half a period to play.
But Saint John's momentum was wrecked when Truchon-Viel scored at 10:34. Then, at 11:32, Crossman scored with a slap shot from just inside the line, making it 8-4. Then with 3:22 remaining, Morand scored on a breakaway to make it a 9-4 final.
NOTES: From some reason the Titan goal horn went off a couple time when Ian Smallwood scored... there was a pretty small crowd on hand for this game (1,455 officially), as with most preseason games. The game was free to attend... Kevin Gursoy had six shots.