September 21, 2012,
SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Sea Dogs beat the Acadie-Bathurst Titan 3-2 in overtime in Bathurst during Friday’s Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action as the teams split the home-and-home series.
Oliver Cooper scored his first of the year to complete the Sea Dogs comeback from a 2-0 deficit. Jonathan Huberdeau and Kevin Gagne each had a goal and an assist and Ryan Tesink added two assists for the Sea Dogs while Sebastien Auger made 29 saves on 31 shots in the win. The win puts the Sea Dogs’ record at 1-1-0-0.
Matthew Bissonnette and Brandon Hynes replied for the Titan while Jacob Brennan made 34 saves on 37 shots. The Titan fell to 1-1-0-0 in the loss.
The Sea Dogs went to the power play early, but as the penalty expired, Bissonnette opened the scoring for the Titan at 4:05.
With another power play following a scuffle in front of the net, the Sea Dogs had a great chance off a Stephen MacAulay wrist shot as Huberdeau was situated right on the doorstep as Brennan covered the puck.
Kevin Gagne and MacAulay used a give-and-go play for a great chance, but the puck deflected off a stick as Gagne headed for the net.
Hynes made it 2-0 with 1:27 remaining in the first.
Huberdeau put the Sea Dogs on the board with his first goal of the 2012-2013 season. Only 23.8 seconds remained in the opening frame, and while sitting on the doorstep, Huberdeau poked the puck across the line under Brennan. Gagne and Tesink nabbed the assists on the play.
The Sea Dogs went a man down less than a minute into the second period, but the Titan took a penalty 15 seconds later. Both teams exchanged chances, but things remained 2-1.
The Dogs were short-handed again at 4:06, but they had the best chance when MacAulay cut in with Huberdeau on the opposite wing. MacAulay slid the puck to Huberdeau who snapped a shot that Brennan used a quick blocker to knock away. Auger made an impressive pad save to keep things as they ended in the first.
After killing off the consecutive penalties, the Sea Dogs turned things up offensively. Several chances came out of consistent pressure in the Titan zone by the Dogs forwards with just over five minutes remaining in the period.
The hard work paid off as an excellent pass from MacAulay found Huberdeau heading into the Titan zone full steam. Huberdeau snapped a hard pass to Gagne heading for the hash marks who made no mistake, finding space just under Brennan’s glove at 14:45 for his first of the year.
The continual Sea Dogs pressure forced Brennan to make exceptional saves including a monster save on Tesink robbing what was a sure goal.
While shorthanded, Tesink made an excellent move to cut in around the Titan defender, but was foiled on the wrap around. Olivier LeBlanc made an excellent poke check to spring Tesink.
The top line was at it again on the power play, forcing Brennan to be at his best. Huberdeau, Tesink and MacAulay connected for one chance, before LeBlanc had a blast from the point to test Brennan again.
Auger made an excellent blocker save to keep things even with the Sea Dogs on the power play and continued his exceptional play into the final few seconds when the Titan pushed hard for the game-winner but couldn’t get one past Auger.
The teams headed to the extra frame tied 2-2.
Excellent vision gave the Sea Dogs their first victory of the season. Cooper gets his first of the year on a quick pass from Tesink who was sprung by LeBlanc. Cooper cut in front of the net and chopped the puck past Brennan on a great centering feed from Tesink at 3:32.
The Sea Dogs return to Harbour Station to take on the Moncton Wildcats Wednesday night at 7 PM. Fans can purchase tickets by visiting the Harbour Station box office, www.tickets.harbourstation.com and by calling 657-1234.