Regi­nato scores as Saint John ad­vances to Me­mo­rial Cup semi­fi­nal

Cape Breton Post - - Sports - BY KYLE CICERELLA

Cole Regi­nato of Al­bert Bridge scored as the Saint John Sea Dogs downed the Seat­tle Thun­der­birds 7-0 on Tues­day to ad­vance to the Me­mo­rial Cup semi­fi­nal.

Cal­lum Booth made 31 saves and Joe Ve­leno had two goals and an as­sist for the Sea Dogs. They will face the loser of the last round-robin game be­tween host Wind­sor (2-0) and On­tario Hockey League cham­pion Erie Ot­ters (2-0). The win­ner of the all-OHL matchup earns a direct route to the cham­pi­onship game on Sun­day.

The sea­son is over for the Western Hockey League cham­pion Thun­der­birds af­ter go­ing 0-3 at the tour­na­ment. They scored just three goals and gave up 18.

Chase Ste­wart, Mathieu Joseph, Spencer Small­man and Bokondji Imama sup­plied the rest of the of­fence for the Que­bec Ma­jor Ju­nior Hockey League cham­pion Sea Dogs (12). Imama tacked on two as­sists for a three-point out­ing.

Seat­tle’s Carl Stankowski gave up four goals on 14 shots be­fore get­ting yanked for the sec­ond straight game of the tour­na­ment for Ry­lan Toth, who made 11 saves in re­lief.

Chabot got in alone on Stankowski in the game’s open­ing minute only to wring a shot off the post.

For the next 10 min­utes both sides played a con­served game, un­will­ing to take any chances.

But some 4-on-4 hockey led to Booth hav­ing to bail out his team by turn­ing away Scott Ean­sor on a break­away af­ter a turnover by Ve­leno just out­side the Saint John blue line.

Shots were 8-6 Seat­tle af­ter a score­less first pe­riod.

Ve­leno put his team on the board first, 1:14 into the sec­ond pe­riod, snap­ping a shot from be­tween the top of the cir­cles low glove side on Stankowski af­ter Seat­tle turned the puck over on the side­boards.

Thun­der­birds cap­tain Mathew Barzal blocked a shot with the back of his left leg that left him slow to get up, but he was out for his next shift and nearly scored with a wrist shot Booth had to turn away.

Seat­tle had the bet­ter scor­ing chances in the first half of the sec­ond, but Booth was per­fect on the 20 shots he faced in the game’s first 30 min­utes.

Only a night ear­lier Booth gave up five goals on 14 shots and found him­self on the bench watch­ing his team drop a 12-5 de­ci­sion against Erie. He en­tered Tues­day’s tilt with a 5.46 goals-against av­er­age and a .784 save per­cent­age in two tour­na­ment starts.

Booth’s play proved to be big as it al­lowed Saint John to take a 4-0 lead with three goals in a 53-sec­ond span.

Ste­wart scored on a pass from Jakub Zbo­ril at 14:04, and Joseph snapped it blocker side on Stankowski be­fore the P.A. an­nouncer had a chance to call Ste­wart’s goal just 15 sec­onds later.

Small­man ended Stankowski’s night with 4:03 to play in the sec­ond, putting a back­hand past the help­less keeper.

The goalie change didn’t spark Seat­tle, though, as Regi­nato and Imama added goals only 44 sec­onds apart to make it 6-0.

Just af­ter killing off a Sea Dogs power play, Ve­leno made it 7-0 seven min­utes into the third with he sec­ond of the night.

THE CANA­DIAN PRESS/ADRIAN WYLD

Saint John Sea Dogs left wing Cole Regi­nato of Al­bert Bridge (right) cel­e­brates his goal with team­mates cen­tre Nathan Noel and de­fence­man Bai­ley Web­ster dur­ing sec­ond pe­riod Me­mo­rial Cup round robin hockey ac­tion against the Seat­tle Thun­der­birds in Wind­sor, Ont. on Tues­day.

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