BATHERSON BURNS SEA DOGS WITH HAT TRICK, OT WINNER
SAINT JOHN – Drake Batherson completed a hat trick with the overtime winner as the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles came from behind to defeat the Saint John Sea Dogs, 6-5, Sunday at Harbour Station.
Brooklyn Kalmikov, Ryan Francis and Adam McCormick also scored for Cape Breton (8-5-1-0).
Alexandre Lafreniere had a goal and an assist for Saint John (3-7-3-1), while Daniel Hardie, Ostap Safin, Samuel Leblanc and Matt Green also found the net. The Sea Dogs have lost seven straight games.
A scoring summary is available HERE.
The Screaming Eagles opened the scoring with a power play goal three minutes into the game, a hard wrister from the right circle by Kalmikov that was beyond goalie Alex D’Orio’s glove.
Hardie evened the score just past the halfway mark in the period.
Tyler Smith flipped the puck from the right side of his own zone out to neutral ice. It rolled into the Cape Breton zone, creating a race between Hardie and Screaming Eagles’ goalie Kevin Mandolese. Hardie got to the puck first and batted a one-handed shot along the ice and into the vacated net.
Six seconds later, Safin gained the blueline on the left wing and fired a wrist shot that went off Mandolese’s glove and in.
Two goals in six seconds established a new team record for fastest two goals in a game, beating the previous mark of seven seconds. Kyle Jessiman replaced Mandolese in the Cape Breton goal.
The Sea Dogs made it a two-goal lead with power play goal three minutes into the second.
Leblanc helped Saint John win a puck battle along the left boards, took the puck into the circle and ripped a low shot that got between the legs of Jessiman.
Batherson’s first of the night cut the Sea Dogs’ lead to 3-2 halfway through the period.
The Ottawa Senators prospect took a cross-ice pass in the bottom of the left circle and hammered a slap shot past a sprawling D’Orio for a power play goal.
But the home team responded on the very next shift.
Nathan Larose’s shot from the right point was blocked near the right side of the crease. Green dug it loose and lifted it into the top of the goal to make it 4-2.
Lafreniere extended the lead to three with under three minutes left in the middle frame.
An errant Cape Breton pass behind the goal deflected off William Poirier to the front of the net where Lafreniere snapped a quick shot past Jessiman’s glove hand.
The Screaming Eagles launched a comeback less than two minutes into the third when Francis took a cross-crease pass on the left side and chipped it past D’Orio’s glove.
About six minutes later, with the teams skating 4-on-4, McCormack snapped a shot from the left circle that got over D’Orio’s right shoulder to make it a 5-4 game.
Batherson, the QMJHL’s leading goal scorer, put Cape Breton back on even terms with eight minutes to go, surprising D’Orio with a shot from the right corner that went off the goalie’s back and in.
He scored the overtime winner with 41.1 seconds remaining in 3-on-3 play, a breakaway chance where he deked to his forehand and beat D’Orio inside the left post.
Jessiman earned the win in relief with 19 saves in almost 54 minutes. Mandolese made six stops in eleven minutes. D’Orio took the loss with 33 saves.
Batherson’s hat trick and four points made him first star while Pare’s assist and +1 rating warranted a second-star selection. Safin snared third star with a goal and three shots in front of 3,471 fans in attendance.
The Sea Dogs’ next home game is Saturday, October 28th, at 7 p.m. against the Val-d’Or Foreurs at Harbour Station. Tickets are available at the Harbour Station Box Office and online.
(Photo by Dan Culberson/Saint John Sea Dogs)