Adam’s late goal not enough as Sea Dogs edge Eagles
SAINT JOHN (N.B.) – In a hardfought game that had the intensity of a playoff battle, the Saint John Sea Dogs edged the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 3-2 Friday night before 4,515 fans at Harbour Station in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action.
The Port City squad, winners of seven straight, held period leads of 1-0 and 3-1 while improving to 468-1-0. The Screaming Eagles fell to 31-20-2-3 and lost their second straight. The clubs have a rematch Sunday at 4 p.m.
“I think the effort was there,” Cape Breton head coach Mario Durocher said. “ We were physical and that’s what we wanted to do. We have a big team and we have to create the battles in the corner by dumping the puck and finishing our checks.
“ We didn’t build this team to be pretty. We built this team to use our big bodies. I think tonight was good playoff preparation for us. We can build on (our effort.)”
Sea Dogs forward Steven Anthony was called for slashing at 10:32 of the first period, but with 1:19 left in his sentence, Saint John centre Mike Hoffman scored a short-handed marker for his team-leading 36th goal of the season. The 20-year-old Ottawa Senators prospect gained possession of the puck just outside the Cape Breton blue-line and moved into the offensive zone before unleashing a slapshot that beat Screaming Eagles netminder Olivier Roy high to the glove side.
Durocher stood on his team’s bench and hollered at the officials, arguing that Saint John forward Nicholas Pard was offside on the play.
When play resumed, the Sea Dogs proceeded to kill the rest of the penalty and maintained their 1-0 lead through the first 20 minutes.
Cape Breton evened the affair when 20-year-old forward Nick MacNeil scored during a two-man advantage at 10:42 of the second period. The equalizer came after Mike Thomas took two for boarding, followed by an elbowing minor to Pard 32 seconds later.
MacNeil was called for interference at 12:57 of the middle session, and the Sea Dogs cashed in on the ensuing power play. Saint John defenceman Simon Despres had the puck in the neutral zone and fed it to partner Kevin Gagne, who then one-touched a perfect pass to Pard.
From there, Pard didn’t break stride as he flew into the offensive zone and snapped one past Roy for a 2-1 lead at 14:34.
Fredericton’s Zack Phillips made it 3-1 with 1:40 left in the second stanza, banging home the rebound of Yann Sauve’s point shot. Gagne picked up his second assist on the play.
It appeared the hosts had taken a three-goal lead with just over a minute left in the second, but the tally was called back on account of a goaltender interference call on 19-year-old centre Michael Kirkpatrick of North Sydney.
The Sea Dogs held their twogoal lead through 40 minutes and then killed the rest of Kirkpatrick’s penalty for the first 45 seconds of the third period.
The home team had to kill another penalty when rookie winger Jonathan Huberdeau was called for hooking near the nineminute mark.
PORT HAWKESBURY — Fourpoint nights by Devin Landry and Josh McGrath led the Strait Pirates in their 11-0 thumping of the Glace Bay Junior Miners in Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League play Friday at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre.
Both Landry and McGrath had three goals and an assist in the triumph. Kyle MacMullin scored twice, Johnny Carabin scored and chipped in two assists, Evan Sparling had a goal and a helper, while Brent Fraser rounded out the onslaught with a single tally.
The Pirates held leads of 4-0 after the first and 6-0 after the second.
Alex Drake posted the win in goal and split duties with Dwight Howlett, combining for eight saves.
For the Miners, Brennan Late was bombarded with 53 shots and made 42 saves in the loss. He was replaced by Scott MacDonald at 11:09 of the third, who deflected five shots in relief.
The Miners continue play tonight at the Bayplex in Glace Bay when they host the Antigonish Bulldogs at 8 p.m.
Saint John Sea Dogs forward Michael Kirkpatrick of North Sydney, right, pushes past Luke Adam of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles during a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League game Friday at Harbour Station. The Sea Dogs won the game, 3-2.