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Dove-McFalls scores OT winner as Sea Dogs take game 1
Saint John, Sea Dogs

SAINT JOHN – Samuel Dove-McFalls scored the winning goal 9:58 into overtime as the Saint John Sea Dogs came from behind to defeat the Val-d’Or Foreurs, 2-1, in Game 1 of their President Cup quarterfinal series at Harbour Station.

The victory spoiled a 66-save performance by Foreurs’ goaltender Etienne Montpetit. The Sea Dogs set a new franchise record for shots in a playoff overtime game with 68.

Spencer Smallman also scored for Saint John (5-0).

Alexis Pepin had the lone marker for Val-d’Or (4-3).

The Sea Dogs lead the best-of seven series, 1-0.

There was no scoring in the opening period, despite the Sea Dogs outshooting the Foreurs 19-6.

Saint John’s best chance to score came late in the period, on a power play, when Bokondji Imama grabbed the rebound of a sharp-angled shot and fired a blast of his own that was turned aside by the stick of Montpetit.

Pepin opened the scoring three-and-a-half minutes into the second.

The overage forward helped create a turnover in the Sea Dog’s zone. He ended up having the puck come to him in the slot. The 2014 draft choice of the Colorado Avalanche turned a rifled a wrist shot that beat Callum Booth on his glove side.

The Sea Dogs peppered Montpetit with twenty more shots in the period, but could not score.

Mathieu Joseph had a shorthanded breakaway late in the frame, and attempted to deke to his forehand. The third-year netminder stoned Saint John’s second-leading goal scorer in the regular season with a right pad save.

A short time later, Imama ripped a heavy wrist shot from the right side that went off the right post.

Smallman tied the game nearly seven minutes into the third period with a power play goal.

The Sea Dogs worked the puck down to the right side of the crease for Matthew Highmore, who fed a cross-crease pass to the captain. Smallman snapped a quick one-timer past Montpetit to even the score.

Saint John outshot Val-d’Or 19-1 in the third period, but the game would require overtime.

The Sea Dogs carried play in the extra session as well before Dove-McFalls ended the game nearly halfway through the first overtime period.

Cole Reginato took a long pass near the right side of the Foreurs’ blueline and got the puck into the corner. Nathan Noel picked it up in front of the goal line and spun a backhand pass to the front of the goal to a streaking Dove-McFalls, who tapped it past Montpetit’s blocker to end the game.

Saint John outshot Val-d’Or 68-14 on the night.

Booth made 13 saves to earn the win. Montpetit took the loss, but was an easy choice for first star. His selection received a standing ovation from what remained of 4,353 fans in attendance.

Dove-McFalls snared second star with the winning goal. Reginato got third star with an assist and seven shots on goal.

Game 2 is Saturday, April 8th, at 7 p.m. at Harbour Station. Tickets are available at the Harbour Station Box Office. CAA members can save 10% on their purchases at the box office. Fans can also save money by buying online.

Listen LIVE on 96.1 New Song FM or newsongfm.ca. Watch LIVE on Neulion.

Written by Tim Roszell

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