SAINT JOHN – Matthew Williams turned aside 36 shots and Daniel Hardie netted the game-winner as the Saint John Sea Dogs defeated the Moncton Wildcats, 2-1, Sunday at Harbour Station.
Radim Salda also scored for Saint John (7-14-4-2), which earned its third win in the last five games.
Riley McRae replied for Moncton (13-11-2-1), which lost its fifth straight.
A scoring summary is available HERE.
The Wildcats opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal halfway through the first period.
Defenceman Simon Le Coultre waited behind his own goal for several seconds before ripping a stretch-pass through the middle to McRae at the Saint John blueline. He broke in and beat Williams with a shot past his blocker.
Salda evened the score with a first-period buzzer-beater, as the teams skated 4-on-4.
With 3.5 seconds left in the frame, Joe Veleno won a faceoff in front of the Moncton bench and muscled his way into the Wildcats’ zone on the right wing. The captain one-handed the puck to Salda on the left side. The Czech blueliner snapped a quick shot past the glove of Mark Grametbauer and under the crossbar as time expired. The play was reviewed and the goal stood.
The second period saw a parade of Sea Dogs go to the penalty box. Moncton enjoyed seven power play chances, including nearly two minutes of 5-on-3 time, but could not beat Williams.
Saint John scored the only goal of the second more than eleven minutes in.
Cedric Pare ripped a wrist shot from the left point that Grametbauer stopped. The rebound bounced in front of the goal, allowing Hardie to slide it between the goalie’s legs to give the Sea Dogs a 2-1 lead.
The teams traded chances in the third period, but Williams and Grametbauer would not be beaten.
Williams earned first star with 36 saves in the win. Grametbauer took second star, also making 36 saves, in a losing cause.
Veleno’s assist and four hits made him third star in front of 4,116 fans in attendance.
Saint John’s next game is Friday, December 1st, at 8:30 p.m. against the Gatineau Olympiques at Centre Robert-Guertin. Listen LIVE on 96.1 NewSong FM or newsongfm.ca. Watch LIVE on Neulion.
The Sea Dogs’ next home game is Wednesday, December 6th, at 7 p.m. against the Drummondville Voltigeurs at Harbour Station. Tickets are available at the Harbour Station Box Office and online. Buy before the day of the game and SAVE!