March 9, 2012
CHICOUTIMI – The Chicoutimi Sagueneens found a way to beat the Saint John Sea Dogs, eking out a 4-3 shootout victory over the No. 1 team in the country to bring the longest winning streak of the junior hockey season to an end.
Danick Gauthier had two goals and Zack Phillips added a single in regulation for the Sea Dogs. Huberdeau converted in the shootout while Mathieu Corbeil made 27 saves in the loss. The loss snapped the streak at 17, but Saint John remains undefeated in regulation in 18 straight Quebec Major Junior Hockey League games, going 17-0-1. Saint John remains first overall in the QMJHL at 47-14-0-3, and gained a point on the Shawinigan Cataractes. The Sea Dogs visit Shawinigan Sunday, a 5 p.m. Atlantic Time start.
Steve Lebel, Jeremy Gregoire and Guillaume Asselin had Chicoutimi’s goals in regulation. Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Charles Hudon converted in the shootout for the Sagueneens, who climbed to 34-21-3-6 with Christopher Gibson making 27 saves in regulation and two more in the shootout.
Former Sea Dog Alexandre Beauregard made his return Friday after a battle with thyroid cancer this season that caused him to miss 25 games.
Click HERE to view a complete scoresheet from Friday’s game. For interviews and highlights, visit Sea Dogs TV, the team’s official YouTube channel.
The return of Beauregard certainly gave Chicoutimi a boost. Lebel got the Sagueneens on the board early with a goal just 48 seconds in. The Sagueneens also outshot the Sea Dogs 4-1 with continuous pressure in the opening five minutes.
Ryan Tesink was levelled behind the Chicoutimi net by Andrew O’Brien at 9:41, giving the Dogs their second power play in the first 10 minutes. With the extra man, Gauthier opened the Sea Dogs scoring at 11:07 of the first. Gauthier gathered up a Pierre Durepos rebound and fired the puck just inside the right post to tie things up. Stanislav Galiev notched the other assist on the play.
With just under five minutes remaining in the opening frame, Corbeil made an excellent glove save on the goal scorer Lebel to keep things tied up. Not to be out-done, Gibson squeezed his pads together on a sharp-angle Charlie Coyle shot halfway through Saint John’s third man advantage.
The first half of the second period was all Corbeil as he kept things tied up making a flurry of saves during the second Chicoutimi power play at the three-minute mark of the second. He followed that up four minutes later, keeping the puck out on two separate dangerous chances for Chicoutimi. The Sags finally extended their lead on a power-play goal by Gregoire at 9:34 of the middle frame.
Gauthier continued chasing down Mike Hoffman’s single-season Sea Dogs goals record of 46 and tied the game up again with his 44th of the season at 13:35. Charlie Coyle’s pass out front to Gauthier was the only assist on the play.
Phillips gave the Dogs their first lead of the game at 7:58. Kevin Gagne made the pass from the left wing to send Phillips in alone, where the Minnesota Wild first-rounder made no mistake, deking Gibson and slipping the puck in just behind his outstretched pad just inside the right post for his 33rd of the year.
Asselin tied things up again on a penalty shot at 8:14. Chicoutimi kept up the pressure with another power play opportunity at 9:51. Just past the halfway point of the third, Beauregard tipped a point shot from O’Brien right on to Corbeil, who made the pad save to preserve the tie.
The four-on-four overtime frame offered plenty of action and reaction, yet solved nothing and gave way to a skills competition.
Huberdeau converted on the first attempt in the shootout for the Sea Dogs, with Pageau and Hudon converting to end the winning streak at 17 games.
The Sea Dogs remain on the road with Sunday’s game in Shawinigan, followed by a 7 p.m. visit to the Halifax Mooseheads Wednesday. Tim Roszell will have the call on News 88.9 FM and fans can also catch all the action online via the official TELUS QMJHL webcast (click HERE to order; charges apply). The Sea Dogs return home on March 23 to kick off another playoff run. Tickets are available beginning at noon