A five on three power play in the second period helped put the Saint John Sea Dogs in control in a 4-1 win over the Cape Breton Eagles on Thursday night in Saint John.
The first period saw just one goal, at the 6:54 mark when Peter Reynolds zapped a shot off the right wing by Cape Breton’s Nicolas Ruccia. The Eagles had the only power play of the period but couldn’t solve Thomas Couture. The goal was the difference in play in the opening frame as the shots were 13-12 for Saint John at the first siren.
The game appeared to turn after the five minute mark of the second period. Eagles defenseman Romain Rodzinski was sent to the penalty box, and just 13 seconds later FJ Buteau flipped the puck over the glass to create a lengthy 5 on 3. Ruccia and the Eagles three penalty killers stood tall for the first minute, limiting chances, but William Dufour snapped it by the Eagles netminder before the first penalty ended. The Eagles killed off the second penalty, but not long after Brady Burns pushed the edge to 3-0.
Burns hit the back of the net before the 12 minute mark, making it 4-0 Saint John, but the Eagles would get on the board before period’s end. Shooting from an improbable angle behind the net, Carter McCluskey scored from a sharp angle to make the score 4-1 with just over three minutes to go. Late in the period, Vincent Sévigny was given a penalty that would carry over into the third frame.
The Eagles were not able to find the back of the net on the power play. Saint John outshot the Eagles 14-8 in the third frame, but neither team could pad their score and the game finished 4-1.
Thomas Couture stopped 29 of 30 shots in the win, Ruccia turned aside 40 of 44 in the loss.
Prior to the game, the Sea Dogs held a ceremony to honour their three 20 year old players and they were chosen as the game’s three stars following the game.
The same two teams will do battle tomorrow night in Saint John. Puck drop is at 7 PM. The game is available for purchase online at https://watch.chl.ca. You can also hear all the action beginning with the pre-game show with Patrick McNeil at 6:30 PM on 1270 AM CJCB or online at www.cjcbradio.com
THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1. Vincent Sévigny (Saint John) 1 assist, 3 shots
2. Philippe Daoust (Saint John) 1 assist, 2 shots
3. Ryan Francis (Saint John) 1 assist, 5 shots
Scratches For Cape Breton: Jérémy Langlois (lower body injury), Sean Larcohelle (face), Matis Ouellet (illness), Lucas Canning
Scratches For Saint John: Riley Bezeau (lower body injury), Noah Patneaude (lower body injury), Nicholas Blagden, Vincent Despont
Final Shots On Goal: 44-30 in favour of Saint John
Cape Breton Power Play: 0/2
Saint John Power Play: 1/4