The Saint John Sea Dogs opened the 2018-19 Regular Season with a nail biting overtime loss to the Halifax Mooseheads on Friday night at Harbour Station. Saint John’s young core excelled on both sides of the puck adding two goals on first ever QMJHL goals from Brady Burns and Josh Lawrence.
In a pre-game ceremony highlighted by returning Memorial Cup Captain Mike Thomas, Anthony Boucher was named the Sea Dogs 16th captain in team history. This is Anthony’s second year with the team, and his final in the QMJHL as one of three overagers with the Dogs.
Halifax opened the scoring on a low shot from Arnaud Durandeau that slipped past Alex D’Orio. D’Orio was recently returned from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Gavin Hart then added another at 8:53 to put the Mooseheads up 2-0. Shots on goal favored Halifax in the frame, 12-6.
The Sea Dogs came out with a fury in the 2nd period with relentless pressure but couldn’t quite solve Alexis Gravel. Jeremie Poirier quickly became a crowd favorite with constant offensive pressure and multiple scoring chances. Robbie Burt finally cracked the code on a nifty breakaway move to bring the Dogs within one. Saint John out shot Halifax in the period, 11-9.
The third period brought momentum shifts for both sides after Brady Burns fired a shot that trickled over the shoulder of Gravel tying the game at two a piece. Halifax retook the lead after Durandeau knocked in his second of the game at 9:33. The Sea Dogs responded with three minutes to go after Josh Lawrence tapped in his first of the season and of his QMJHL career. It didn’t take long for Halifax to retaliate as Justin Barron fired a shot from the point that fooled D’Orio putting the Mooseheads up 4-3 with 1:25 left in the game. With D’Orio pulled from the net William Poirier knocked in a rebound over a sprawling Gravel to tie the game for the Dogs and push the match-up to overtime. Sea Dogs out shot Halifax 20-13 in the period.
After a near miss from rookie Josh Lawrence almost took the game for the Dogs, a long shift proved detrimental as Patrick Kyte tucked in a rolling puck to give the Mooseheads the win.
Alex D’Orio finished with 31 saves while Gravel turned aside 34 for Halifax.
Alpine 3 Stars
1st – Brady Burns
2nd – Josh Lawrence
3rd – Arnaud Durandeau
The Sea Dogs return to action at home on Sunday at 2pm as they host the Moncton Wildcats. Tickets are available at the Harbour Station Box Office and online at www.harbourstation.ca