BOUCHER SCORES SHOOTOUT WINNER AS SEA DOGS EDGE WILDCATS
SAINT JOHN – Anthony Boucher scored the only goal of the shootout and Alex D’Orio made 43 stops to lead the Saint John Sea Dogs to a 4-3 victory over the Moncton Wildcats, Friday at Harbour Station.
Robbie Burt, Matt Green and Kevin Gursoy scored in regulation for Saint John (11-19-5-2), in the team’s final home game of the 2017 calendar year. The Sea Dogs have won three of their last four games.
Jeremy McKenna registered a goal and an assist for Moncton (15-16-3-3) while Daniil Miromanov and Alexander Khovanov also found the net.
A scoring summary is available HERE.
The Sea Dogs opened the scoring more than twelve minutes into the first period.
Cedric Pare’s aggressive forechecking in the right circle prompted a turnover. He batted the puck in front of the net for Burt, who whipped a wrist shot over the glove of goalie Mark Grametbauer.
Green made it a 2-0 game three minutes later, on the three-year anniversary of his first QMJHL goal.
The Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia, product carried the puck into the left circle, used a fake to avoid a Moncton defender, and then rifled a wrist shot past Grametbauer’s glove.
Saint John extended its lead with a power play strike ninety seconds into the second period.
Gursoy corralled a loose puck on the left side of the Moncton blueline, raced down the wing and ripped a low wrist shot through the legs of Grametbauer to make it 3-0.
Matthew Waite replaced Grametbauer following the third Saint John goal.
The Wildcats responded with a power play goal of their own nearly four minutes later.
Former Sea Dog Julien Tessier carried the puck on the right wing side and fed it into the slot for a trailing McKenna, who rifled a heavy wrister past the blocker of Saint John goalie Alex D’Orio.
Miromanov got the Wildcats back to within one with under three minutes left in the frame, using a hard wrist shot from the left side of the slot to beat D’Orio under his blocker.
Moncton tied the game seven minutes into the third period.
Khovanov, the second-overall pick in the 2017 CHL Import Draft, drove the front of the net without the puck and finished off a pass from the right side of the goal line by McKenna.
Overtime produced back-and-forth action.
Saint John’s Alexis Girard and Cole Reginato both created opportunities on partial breakaways, but could not end the game.
Khovanov provided Moncton’s best chance with under a minute left in the extra period, breaking in alone and firing a wrist shot that deflected off D’Orio’s glove and went out of play.
Boucher opened the shootout with what would prove to be the only goal of the penalty shot contest.
The 19-year-old forward carried the puck on the right side of the slot and whistled a wrist shot under Waite’s blocker.
D’Orio stopped all three shootout attempts from the Wildcats. The Pittsburgh Penguins’ prospect was named second star.
Waite took the loss in more than 43 minutes of relief. He stopped all 16 shots he faced, two of three in the shootout, and picked up an assist in a losing cause. Grametbauer allowed three goals on eight shots in more than 21 minutes.
Boucher’s shootout winner gave him first star. Miromanov took third star in front of 4,250 fans in attendance.
The Sea Dogs’ next home game is Wednesday, January 3rd, at 7 p.m. against the Rimouski Oceanic at Harbour Station. Tickets are available at the Harbour Station Box Office and online.