Mikhail Denisov made 34 saves to complete the shutout as the Sea Dogs downed the Moncton Wildcats 1-0 at Harbour Station on Sunday. The Sea Dogs have won back-to-back games and are now 5-5-0-0 in their last 10 games, improving to 7-26-2-1 overall. Moncton drops to 23-11-2-2.
Saint John came out with good pressure early in the first period before Moncton quickly took over the shots on goal category. Saint John opened the scoring at 9:21 when Nicholas Deakin-Poot found himself in front of Wildcats net minder Francis Leclerc and released a high wrister going bar down to put Saint John up 1-0. Mikhail Denisov made several highlight reel saves on his way to stopping all 17 Wildcats shots in the first period. The New Brunswick rivalry is alive and well as both teams provided some heavy hits. Christian Clark got the better of Foreman and Jonathan Aspirot returned the favor laying out Robbie Burt at the blueline. Shots in the period favored Moncton 17-2.
Play evened out in the second period with scoring chances for both sides. Moncton kept Denisov busy with 10 shots on goal, but the Sea Dogs net minder could not be fooled. Christian Clark took an interference penalty at 11:47 but Moncton was unable to convert with the man advantage. Brendan Sibley will have a few new war wounds tomorrow as he put his body in the lane to stop multiple heavy shots to keep the lead intact. Moncton led the shots in the second, 10-4.
Tempers flared in the third period when Tristan DeJong jumped Robbie Burt causing a scrum at the Moncton blueline. Christian Clark got involved with Jacob Hudson and both received unsportsmanlike conduct penalties with Clark getting the additional misconduct. DeJong received a game misconduct for being the aggressor and a five minute fighting major. 50 seconds into the man advantage Gabriel Sylvester lifted the puck up and over the boards during a clearing attempt and was called for delay of game, giving Saint John a 5-3. With the Sylvestre penalty expiring William Poirier took a slashing penalty in the offensive zone to make it 4-on-4 with just over 10 minutes to go. Denisov continued to dazzle while the Sea Dogs did a good job of keeping the puck out of their zone holding Moncton to just seven shots in the frame. Newly acquired defenceman Benjamin Gagne was solid in his own zone and showed off a heavy shot. The Sea Dogs would hold on to take this one 1-0.
Denisov finished with a 34 save shutout while Leclerc stopped 10 of 11.
Alpine 3 Stars
1 – Mikhail Denisov
2 – Nicholas Deakin-Poot
3 – Benjamin Gagne
Saint John returns to action tomorrow for their New Year’s Eve game against the Charlottetown Islanders at 2PM. One lucky fan will be chosen to shoot for $10,000! The team will also hold an autograph session on the concourse following the game. Tickets are available at the Harbour Station Box Office and online at www.harbourstation.ca