The Saint John Sea Dogs (2-1-0-0) took the series lead with a win over the Rimouski Océanic (1-2-0-0) in Rimouski tonight. A more physical game than the first two, the Sea Dogs found their scoring touch, hitting the back of the net five times in the win. Philippe Daoust earned first star honours with two shorthanded goals, Raivis Kristians Ansons was named the second star with a goal and an assist, and Cam MacDonald and William Dufour rounded out the scoring in the 5-2 win.
Thomas Couture got the start for Saint John, making 22 stops on 24 shots from Rimouski. Gabriel Robert was between the posts for the Oceanic, stopping 32 of the 37 shots he faced.
Rimouski scored the first goal of the night, Luka Verreault scoring only 2:13 into the game.
After that initial goal, the Sea Dogs were able to turn on the pressure, even shorthanded. At 9:08, Connor Trenholm was sent off for roughing, the Sea Dogs kept the pressure on and kept generating chances. Philippe Daoust scored on the penalty kill, following a strong push from Bezeau and Ansons at one end and big saves from Couture at the other. Daoust skated into the offensive zone and fired a slap shot from the slot to tie the game up.
At 15:24, Cam MacDonald gave the Sea Dogs the lead, picking up a perfect pass from Ansons and finishing the play.
Shots after the first were 12-9 for Saint John.
The second period was a quick one. Filled with scoring opportunities for the Sea Dogs, who outshot their opponents 17-8 in the period, and big saves from Rimouski netminder Gabriel Robert. The Sea Dogs scored the only goal of the second frame at 17:04, when Philippe Daoust scored his second shorthanded goal of the night.
Shots after the second were 29-17 for Saint John.
A scrum broke out after the buzzer and after the penalties were handed out, the Sea Dogs began the final period on the penalty kill. The penalty was successfully killed and the Port City team kept their 3-1 lead until former Sea Dog Alex Drover found the back of the net at 6:47.
It didn’t stay a one goal game for long, as the regular season’s top goal scorer William Dufour did what Sea Dogs fans have become accustomed to seeing, and scored, firing a shot off a pass from Captain Vincent Sevigny at 8:15.
After having his hand in a few good chances and putting up an assist, Raivis Ansons scored one of his own at 10:31. Ansons made his way into the Rimouski zone, took the puck from goaltender Gabriel Robert behind the net and tucked it into the open net with a wraparound, making it a 5-2 game.
The Sea Dogs maintained that lead to finish out the game and took the win 5-2 in Rimouski, taking a 2-1 series lead.
Final shots were 36-24 for Saint John.
Alpine 3 Stars
1 Philippe Daoust (2G)
2 Raivis Kristians Ansons (1G 1A)
3 Alex Drover (1G)
The playoff action continues tomorrow for game four and the Sea Dogs can wrap the series up with a win in Rimouski. Puck drop is at 8:30 PM Atlantic and you can follow the action live at watch.chl.ca or listen to Sea Dogs Radio presented by TD on CFBC 930 AM.
Tickets for home playoff games are available at the TD Station Box Office and online, get yours now to follow the Road to the Cup presented by TD, live!