A three goal third period from the Acadie-Bathurst Titan (1-0) was a dagger for the Saint John Sea Dogs (1-1) on Thursday night at the K.C. Irving Regional Centre in a 7-5 loss. Thursday’s playoff game was considered a Sea Dogs home game even though it was played in Bathurst. Jérémie Poirier scored two goals in the loss while Ryan Francis, Cam MacDonald and Nicholas Girouard each had a goal and an assist.
Zachary Emond made his second start in goal for the Sea Dogs this postseason, the Titan turned to Chad Arsenault.
Liam Leonard was suspended by the QMJHL prior to the start of the game for failing to follow COVID protocols. Charlie DesRoches (lower body) is listed as day-to-day and did not play on Thursday. Vladislav Kotkov returned to the lineup from a lower body injury after being out of action for nine days.
In a rerun of Tuesday night, Jérémie Poirier opened the scoring for Saint John. Poirier joined the rush for the Sea Dogs’ first good scoring chance and knocked in a rebound for his second goal of the postseason at 5:49.
The Titan responded during the first Saint John power play of the night. A blueline pass was picked off and the Titan rushed the other way before Emond made the initial save but Félix-Antoine Marcotty was on the doorstep to slip the rebound past Emond for a shorthanded goal, tying the game.
Two minutes later the Titan took the lead on a goal from Jacob Melanson.
The lead was short lived though as the Sea Dogs returned to the power play less than a minute later when Jaxon Bellamy was called for cross-checking. Ryan Francis wired a shot on goal from the top of the circle and found Nicholas Girouard streaking to the goal who redirected the puck over the glove of Chad Arsenault for his second goal of the playoffs.
Bennett MacArthur continued his scoring ways against the Sea Dogs to open the second period, retaking the lead for the Titan. The 2001-born forward had 11 goals against Saint John this season.
Again the Sea Dogs responded when Cam MacDonald recorded his first postseason point when he corralled a loose puck and buried the puck to tie the game 3-3.
With three minutes to play in the period Vladislav Kotkov laid a heavy hit in the corner resulting in a delayed penalty that saw the Titan rush the ice and it was Bennett MacArthur finding twine for his second of the game.
The Titan offence continued to pressure in the third period as Logan Chisholm scored just 1:39 in. Saint John returned fire 17 seconds later when Poirier took the puck off the draw and released a hammer of a shot for his second of the game to cut the lead to 5-4.
The momentum didn’t last long though as Jacob Melanson scored 49 seconds later. The Titan then took a strangle hold at 13:41 after the Sea Dogs couldn’t convert on a 5-on-3 power play and Riley Kidney capitalized on the rush to make it 7-4.
Ryan Francis scored with 16 seconds left but it was too little, too late as the Titan came out on top, 7-5.
Stats & Highlights
Alpine 3 Stars
1 – Riley Kidney
2 – Bennett MacArthur
3 – Jacob Melanson
Saint John will have a day of rest before visiting Moncton to take on the Wildcats at 7PM on Saturday night. Catch the call on Sea Dogs Radio presented by TD on CFBC 930AM. Saturday’s game will also be broadcast on Rogers TV.
The Sea Dogs return home for their final scheduled home game of the round-robin tournament on Sunday for a special 7PM start. Season Ticket Members can use their tickets from March 6th, 2021 for this game. This is also the final opportunity for fans to redeem unused tickets/voucher from the 2019-20 season (February 7th, March 20th and March 21st, 2020) for games this season. Terrapure Bubble Packs are also available at the TD Station Box Office in sets of 2,4 or 6.