Julien Gauthier’s power play goal late in the second period proved to be the game-winner, as the Saint John Sea Dogs defeated the Val-d’Or Foreurs, 4-1, in Game 2 of their President Cup quarterfinal series Saturday at Harbour Station.
The former Val-d’Or winger established a new franchise playoff record with 13 shots on goal.
Cedric Pare, Spencer Smallman and Mathieu Joseph also scored for Saint John.
Simon Lafrance responded for Val-d’Or while goalie Etienne Montpetit had his second straight standout performance with fifty saves.
The Sea Dogs lead the best-of-seven series, 2-0.
Saint John carried play in the opening period and scored the only goal nearly five minutes in.
Pare won a faceoff in the left circle, drove to the front of the net and had a point shot by Alexandre Bernier deflect off his skate and under Montpetit.
The Foreurs tied the game midway through the second when Sean O’Brien fired a shot from the left wing and Lafrance had the rebound bounce off his leg and under the glove of Sea Dogs’ goalie Callum Booth.
But Saint John regained the lead about three minutes later on a power play.
Gauthier, who played three-and-a-half seasons in northern Quebec, parked himself in the slot, took a pass from the bottom of the right circle and rifled a one-timer over Montpetit’s blocker.
Smallman buried a shorthanded goal with under nine minutes left in the third period.
Nathan Noel carried the puck down the left wing and saw Smallman streaking toward the left side of the crease. The captain took the pass, stepped to his left and slid the puck under a sprawling Montpetit to make it 3-1.
Joseph rounded out the scoring with an empty-netter with three minutes to go.
Booth made 17 stops to get the win for Saint John.
Gauthier was named first star while Montpetit snared second star. Noel’s assist made him third star in front of 4,675 fans in attendance.
Game 3 is Tuesday, April 11th, at 8:30 p.m. at Centre Air Creebec in Val-d’Or.
Written by Tim Roszell