The Saint John Sea Dogs closed out the 2020 preseason with an overtime loss to the rival Moncton Wildcats on Friday night at TD Station.
Creed Jones made his debut in goal for the Sea Dogs after completing 14 days of isolation following his trade to Saint John from the Rimouski Oceanic. He finished with 36 saves on 39 shots and was the story of the game for Saint John.
Charles Savoie returned to the lineup after missing the last two preseason games with an upper body injury. Hunter Gartley and Cam MacDonald were the healthy scratches for this, the final game of the preseason.
Moncton was held shotless for the first 5 minutes of the first period but scored on their first chance when Dominic Leblanc handcuffed Jones in close. It took almost 15 minutes for Saint John to answer when Leighton Carruthers gained the zone shorthanded and made a cross ice pass to Jérémie Poirier who deked in and sniped it home to tie the game at 1-1.
Dominic Leblanc scored his second of the game at 15:37 of the second period. Former Sea Dog Connor Richard had a clear breakaway but William Villeneuve raced back to shut him down and draw a high sticking penalty. The Sea Dogs ended the second on the power play and began the third with a minute of man-advantage.
Saint John tied the game three minutes into the third period after Alex Drover laid a solid hit and William Villeneuve scooped up the loose puck just in time to feed Brady Burns for a breakaway and Burns’ third goal of the preseason.
Jérémie Poirier and Alex Drover both left the ice after blocking shots. The pair returned to the bench minutes later and seemed to be alright. Creed Jones was phenomenal down the stretch with a cross crease glove save being his highlight of the night. The game went to overtime, Saint John’s third straight game going to OT.
Saint John had chances galore in overtime but a bouncing puck turned into a turnover in their zone and left three Wildcats undefended in front of Creed Jones. Jacob Hudson had the OT winner at 3:08.
The Sea Dogs will have a week of rest before opening the season on the road in Bathurst next Friday night at 7pm. They’ll return to Saint John the following night for our home opener at TD Station at 7pm against the Charlottetown Islanders.