The Saint John Sea Dogs opened the 2019 pre-season with a convincing 6-3 win over the Charlottetown Islanders on Sunday at the Quispamsis qplex.
Sea Dog Connor McCluskey had the honor of scoring the first pre-season goal in the QMJHL when his point shot found twine at 5:21 of the first to give Saint John the early lead. McCluskey, a native of Grand-Bay is attending training camp alongside his younger brother Carter who was drafted by the Sea Dogs in the 14th round of the 2019 QMJHL Entry Draft.
The second period kicked-off with a flurry of goals for the blue and white. Charles Savoie scored on a wrister at 2:27 with the assist going to Connor McCluskey.
43 seconds later Charles-Antoine Dumont corralled a rebound and fired a snapshot from the circle to make it 3-0. 24 seconds later Alexis Belisle poked home a loose puck in the crease for his first of the game to make it 4-0 Sea Dogs.
Charlottetown would get on the board at 4:56 of the second when Justin Gill beat Stewart Bagnell. Bagnell played 30 minutes making 10 saves on 11 shots.
Carter McCluskey scored his first of the pre-season at 7:39 on a feed from his older brother Connor to bring the lead to 5-1. William Villeneuve had the second assist on the play.
Halfway through the second both teams relieved their netminders as Justin Pace took over for the Dogs, while Nolan Boyd backed the Islanders net in relief of Isaak Pelletier.
Charlottetown would go on to score at 15:53 of the second on a power play marker from Cameron Brown.
Saint John held a 26-16 shot advantage as they headed into the third.
Less than two minutes into the third period Alexis Belisle notched his second of the day. Belisle joined the Sea Dogs from Rimouski in a Christmas period trade last January. He logged seven games with the Dogs during the second half of the 2018-19 season.
William Poirier and Nathan Martel dropped the gloves in the Isles end at 9:18 of the third. Both players received roughing majors and two-minute unsportsmanlike for a highly spirited affair.
With just under five minutes to go in the game Charles-Olivier Nadeau scored for Charlottetown to bring them within three for the final score of 6-3 for your Saint John Sea Dogs.
Justin Pace finished with nine saves in the victory. Boyd and Pelletier combined for 33 saves in the Isles loss.
Connor McCluskey was the unofficial star of the game with a goal and two assists, he was +3 on the day. Charles Savoie also looked impressive adding a goal and an assist in his first taste of QMJHL action.
The Sea Dogs return to pre-season action on Tuesday when they visit the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.