SAINT JOHN – Thomas Chabot’s shorthanded goal early in the second period proved to be the game-winner, as the Saint John Sea Dogs defeated the Rimouski Oceanic, 4-1, in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series, Saturday at Harbour Station.
Chabot added an empty-net goal and an assist for a three point night for Saint John (2-0). Bokondji Imama had a goal and an assist while Mathieu Joseph also scored.
Tyler Boland netted the lone goal for Rimouski (0-2).
The Sea Dogs lead the best-of-seven series, 2-0.
Imama opened the scoring more than five minutes in.
The Tampa Bay Lightning prospect was parked in front of the crease and buried the rebound of a point shot by Alexandre Bernier.
Boland tied the score with under four minutes remaining in the period.
The league’s second-leading scorer in the regular season carried the puck down the right wing on a 2-on-1 and attempted a toe-drag. He got the puck around Callum Booth in the Saint John goal and, as he was falling, pushed the puck across the goal line.
The Sea Dogs got the only goal of the second period, and it came shorthanded.
A faceoff win in the left circle, just before the six-minute mark, saw the puck come to Chabot in the high slot. The Ottawa Senators’ first-rounder blasted a slap shot that went off of a Rimouski player and floated over the left shoulder of Alexandre Lagace in the Oceanic net.
Saint John killed four penalties in the second, including two minutes of 3-on-5 play.
Joseph made it a two-goal game with under seven minutes to go in the third.
The fourth-year forward swung a wraparound from behind the net that got underneath Lagace to make it 3-1.
Chabot wrapped up the scoring with an empty-netter with 15.4 seconds remaining. He flipped the puck high in the air from inside his own blueline. It bounced inside the Rimouski zone and slid into the middle of the empty cage.
Booth earned the win and was named the game’s second star with 17 saves. Lagace made 32 stops in a losing cause.
Chabot’s three points and ten shots on goal made him first star. Joseph’s goal gave him third star in front of 3,875 fans in attendance.
Game 3 is Tuesday, March 28th, at 8:30 p.m. at Colisee Financiere Sun Life.
Written by Tim Roszell