Sea Dogs edge Islanders, stays in first place
Callum Booth made 28 saves and Nathan Noel scored the eventual game-winner 53 seconds into the third period as the Saint John Sea Dogs defeated the Charlottetown Islanders, 2-1, at the Eastlink Centre.
Thomas Chabot also scored for Saint John (36-13-3-1), which opened up a three point lead on the Islanders for first place in the Maritimes Division and took sole possession of first overall in the QMJHL.
Tyler MacArthur scored the only goal for Charlottetown (35-16-3-0), which saw a six-game winning streak ended.
The Islanders opened the scoring nearly nine minutes into the first period when MacArthur took a pass on the right side of the slot and ripped a wrist shot that got under the glove of Booth.
Chabot countered with a power play marker two-and-a-half minutes later.
Julien Gauthier teed up his Canadian world junior teammate in the middle of the blueline for a one-timer that got through the legs of goalie Mark Grametbauer and into the Charlottetown goal. Gauthier’s assist was the 200th point in the QMJHL.
Booth was the busier of the two goaltenders in a scoreless second period with nine stops. His best save came late in the frame when sniper Daniel Sprong took a pass on the right side and rifled a wrist shot that Booth caught with his trapper as he sprawled forward.
The game-winning goal came 53 seconds into the third period.
Spencer Smallman took a pass on the right boards and chipped the puck to Noel in the circle. The Chicago Blackhawks’ prospect turned into the slot and lifted a quick backhand shot past Grametbauer’s glove. The goal snapped a five-game pointless skid for Noel.
The Islanders pulled Grametbauer for an extra skater with under two minutes remaining, but were not able to tie the game.
Booth was named first star in a 28-save performance. Grametbauer took second star with 22 stops while Noel’s game-winner made him third star in front of 2,064 fans in attendance.
The Sea Dogs’ next home game is Wednesday, February 22nd, at 7 p.m. against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan at Harbour Station. Tickets are available at the Harbour Station Box Office, or fans can save money and buy online.