February 26, 2012
SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Sea Dogs hammered the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 9-1 Sunday to run their winning streak to 14 games, the longest in the Canadian Hockey League this season.
Ryan Tesink had a goal and three assists, Maxime Villemaire scored twice and added a helper and Jonathan Huberdeau also tallied a pair as the Dogs rode a six-goal second-period to the win. Stephen MacAulay racked up three assists, Charlie Coyle scored and added two assists and Danick Gauthier had a goal and a helper to send the sold-out crowd of 6,488 home happy from Harbour Station. Tomas Jurco and Nathan Beaulieu chipped in single goals and Zack Phillips contributed two assists for the winners. Sebastien Auger made 15 saves to earn the victory for the Dogs, who remain first overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with a 44-14-0-2 record.
Jonathan Brunelle scored Cape Breton’s goal and William Racicot made 35 saves in a losing cause as the Eagles fell to 21-36-1-2.
Play was tentative in the early going, with each team managing just one shot through the first seven minutes. Tesink had the first great chance, taking a pass from MacAulay on a 2-on-1 and ringing it off the post to Racicot’s left.
Beaulieu drew first blood at 9:51 of the first. After taking an interference penalty in the offensive zone, the Montreal Canadiens prospect jumped out of the penalty box, took a breakaway feed from Tesink and deked to the backhand to beat Racicot for his ninth of the year.
The Dogs outshot the Eagles 15-6 in the first period but the floodgates opened in the second as Saint John held a 20-5 edge in shots. Huberdeau notched his first of the night just 1:40 into the middle frame. The Sea Dogs captain fell down in front of the Cape Breton net, but jumped up just in time to intercept a clearance and rip a shot past Racicot.
Jurco made it 3-0 at 9:38 when Zack Phillips fed him a back-door pass and he finished from his perch to Racicot’s left for his 29th. Just 31 seconds later, Tesink took a pass from Villemaire and managed to bank it in off Racicot from a sharp angle to the goalie’s left. MacAulay picked up the other assist on the goal, Tesink’s 10th.
The barrage continued with Huberdeau’s 22nd of the year at 10:54. Huberdeau waited out Racicot and roofed it from low in the left-wing faceoff circle to finish a three-way passing play with Coyle and Gauthier.
Gauthier notched a goal of his own at 16:08, picking the puck out of a crowd in front and throwing a low shot that found its way through. Coyle had the lone assist on the goal, Gauthier’s team-best 41st.
Villemaire made it 7-0 on the power play at 19:02, taking a pass from MacAulay and burying it high to Racicot’s glove side. Tesink collect the other assist.
Brunelle broke the shutout at 9:50 of the third, knocking a puck out of the air behind Auger for a power play goal.
Villemaire struck again on the power play at 17:18 of the third for his 15th, from MacAulay and Tesink. Coyle rounded out the scoring with his 10th of the year at 18:33, with the assist going to Phillips.
Saint John’s homestand continues Tuesday with the finale of the Brunswick News Rivalry Cup against the Moncton Wildcats at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the Harbour Station box office, by calling 506-657-1234 or online at www.tickets.harbourstation.ca. Fans are reminded to cash in their flex packs early as just three home games remain.