Sea Dogs sink Titan with four-goal first period

Saint John, Sea Dogs

SAINT JOHN – Matthew Highmore tallied two goals and an assist and Alex D’Orio made thirty saves to lead the Saint John Sea Dogs to a 5-1 victory over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan Friday at Harbour Station.

Samuel Dove-McFalls, Simon Bourque and Bokondji Imama also scored for Saint John (24-10-3-1) while Joe Veleno chipped in with two assists.

Highmore’s three points gave him 217 in his career, tying him with Ryan Sparling for fourth spot on the Sea Dogs’ all-time scoring list.

Christophe Boivin responded for Acadie-Bathurst (19-17-2-2), which have lost two straight games.

The Sea Dogs got the game’s opening goal while shorthanded five-and-a-half minutes into the game.

Dove-McFalls intercepted a pass at his own blueline and broke away. The Philadelphia Flyers prospect charged straight to the net and beat goalie Reilly Pickard with a snap shot between his legs.

The power play connected more than three minutes later.

Jakub Zboril, playing his first game since representing the Czech Republic at the World Junior Championship, snapped a low shot from the middle of the blueline that Pickard kicked to his right. Bourque ripped the rebound from a sharp angle that got past Pickard’s shoulder.

The Titan struck back 57 seconds after that when Boivin potted the rebound of a Vladimir Kuznetsov chance in tight.

But Highmore restored the two-goal lead with six minutes left in the period.

The overage centre carried the puck down the right wing and whistled a wrist shot past Pickard’s glove on the short side.

Highmore made it a 4-1 game with three minutes left in the period. He took a pass on the left side and cut to the net, deking to the backhand and sliding a backhand shot into an open net.

Pickard was replaced by Anthony Dumont-Bouchard to start the second period.

Saint John got the only goal of the frame with six minutes left.

Imama took a pass in the high slot and rifled a low wrist shot that got past Dumont-Bouchard’s glove to make it 5-1.

There was no scoring in the third period.

D’Orio earned the win and a second star selection with thirty stops. Pickard took the loss with four goals allowed on 12 shots in the first period. Dumont-Bouchard made 14 saves in forty minutes of relief.

Highmore’s three points made him first star. Imama’s goal and assist prompted a third-star selection in front of 3,550 fans in attendance.

Saint John’s next game is Saturday, January 7th, at 4 p.m. against the Halifax Mooseheads at Scotiabank Centre. Listen LIVE on 96.1 New Song FM or Watch LIVE on Neulion. This game is also being televised nationwide on Sportsnet.

The Sea Dogs’ next home game is Sunday, January 8th at 3 p.m. against Halifax at Harbour Station. Tickets are available at the Harbour Station Box Office, or fans can save money and buy online.

Written by Tim Roszell

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