The Saint John Sea Dogs (19-19-1-0) dropped the first of two games in two nights against the Charlottetown Islanders (22-13-5-0) in their first game of 2020 on Friday night. The game was close but turned when a goal by Nicholas Deakin-Poot was called back because of an Islanders goal that went uncalled earlier in the same play, giving the Islanders a 2-0 lead instead of tying the game. A late game push sparked by a Josh Lawrence goal was not enough and the Sea Dogs fell 4-1 at TD Station.
The Sea Dogs were missing roster regulars Maxim Cajkovic, who is away at the World Junior Championships, and Ben Badalamenti, who did not play due to a lower body injury.
Zachary Bouthillier started in net for the Sea Dogs, stopping 27 of the 30 shots he faced in the 4-1 loss. Matthew Welsh got the start in net for the Islanders.
The Sea Dogs went to the penalty kill early in the period after Nicholas Deakin-Poot sent the puck over the glass and received a penalty for delay of game. The Islanders leading scorer Brett Budgell opened the scoring at 6:17 picking up a rebound in front of the net on the power play.
Midway through the period, Ethan Crossman hit Josh Lawrence and Matt Gould dropped the gloves with the Islanders’ forward. Ethan Crossman was ejected from the game, receiving a five-minute major and game misconduct for charging, as well as a five-minute major for fighting. Matt Gould received a five-minute major for fighting, as well as two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The Sea Dogs got another chance on the power play when Zachary Beauregard was called for hooking at 18:34, the man advantage continued into the second frame.
Shots at the end of the first period were 10-5 for the Islanders.
An interference penalty to Thomas Casey at 7:59 sent the Sea Dogs power play out once more, they were unable to even the score with the extra attacker, but a stellar save by Bouthillier on a two-on-one rush just after the penalty ended kept the Sea Dogs within one.
Jordan Spadafore received a double minor for high sticking at 10:57. James White cleared the puck over the glass and was sent off for delay of game and the Sea Dogs were forced to defend the five-on-three Islanders advantage for 1:04. The Sea Dogs successfully killed both penalties.
Shots after the second period were 20-12 for the Islanders.
Nicholas Deakin-Poot thought he tied the game up early in the third period, sending the puck in front of the net, where it bounced off of a Charlottetown players skate and into the net, but the goal was called back after a review showed that Charlottetown had scored earlier in the play when a puck that appeared to have bounced off the crossbar actually crossed the goal line.
Play went to four-on-four when Nicholas Deakin-Poot received a roughing penalty and Noah Laaouan was sent off for kneeing at 3:22. Neither team scored with the extra room.
A diving save by Bouthillier stopped a shot by the Islanders, but the puck slipped free and Cédric Desruisseaux tapped the loose puck into the net at 8:31.
Josh Lawrence broke Matthew Welsh’s shutout, tapping a rebound into the open net and bringing the Sea Dogs within two with 5:42 remaining in the game.
The Sea Dogs pulled their goaltender and called a timeout to attempt to rally and force overtime, but they were unable to score with the extra man. The Islanders scored in the empty net and won the game 4-1.
Final shots of the game were 30-28 for the Islanders.
Full Stats & Highlights
Alpine 3 Stars
1 Cédric Desruisseaux (2G)
2 Charles Savoie (1G)
3 Thomas Casey (2A)
The Sea Dogs will meet the Islanders again tomorrow, January 4 at 7PM. Tickets are available at the TD Station box office and online.