In front of a rowdy crowd of 2,100 fans, the Acadie-Bathurst Titan closed out 2016 at home on a high note, shutting out the QMJHL’s top team, the Saint John Sea Dogs by a score of three-to-zero.
Neither team found the back of the net in the first period, despite some very good chances by the Titan. Shots were 15-9 in favour of the Titan after 20 minutes of play.
The Titan wasted little time getting on the score sheet in the second period as Jordan Maher took a pass from Samuel L’Italien for his 11th of the season just 43 seconds into the period. Titan captain Jeffrey Viel also picked up an assist on the play. After Saint John called their timeout following several minutes of consistant pressure by the Titan, Félix Boivin banged home his ninth of the year on the rebound from Aaron Brisebois’ initial shot. William Lemay-Champagne picked up an assist on the play. With just over three minutes to play in the period, Vladimir Kuznetsov fired home his ninth of the year on another rebound, this time off Zachary Malatesta’s point shot. Antoine Morand was also credited with an assist to give the Titan a three-to-nothing lead after two periods.
The Sea Dogs were able to mount a small measure of pressure in the third period, but were out-matched by the Titan in the final 20 minutes, leading to the Titan holding on to the three-to-zero lead for their third win of the season over the Sea Dogs in four tries.
Anthony Dumont-Bouchard, making his Titan debut after being acquired on the first day of the QMJHL Winter Trade Period, stopped all 21 shots faced to pick up his third shutout of the season and first in a Titan uniform, improving his record to 8-3 on the year. In his debut for the Sea Dogs, Callum Booth allowed three goals on 39 shots, dropping his record to 13-9.
Special Teams saw both teams shut down their opposition with the man-advantage as the Titan were unsuccessful on five power plays while the Sea Dogs were zero-for-three when they were presented with the man-advantage.
The newly acquired trio of Adam Holwell, Zachary Malatesta and Anthony Dumont-Bouchard made their presence felt Wednesday night as Holwell finished a plus-one with a shot on net and one hit while Malatesta picked up an assist to go with his plus-one rating and three shots on net. Dumont-Bouchard picked up both his first win and his first shutout in net for the Titan.
Samuel L’Italien made his long-awaited return from a lower body injury and finished with one assist, a plus-one rating, one hit and went nine-for-16 in the face-off circle.
Aaron Brisebois picked up his first QMJHL point, assisting on Félix Boivin’s second period goal.
The three stars of the game saw Jordan Maher named the third star while the Sea Dogs’ Booth was the second star. Dawson Theede, who stepped up his physical game, landing five solid hits and firing three shots on net, was named the game’s first star.
ON THE ROAD TO CLOSE OUT 2016
The Titan hit the road on Friday to close out 2016 with a mini two-game road trip. The first stop sees the Titan travel to Charlottetown to battle the Islanders with a 7pm start before making the jump back across the Northumberland Strait to Saint John for a return match against the Sea Dogs on New Year’s Eve with a special 2pm puck drop. Both games can be seen live on the big screen at the Cast & Crew Gastropub, with live text updates on our Twitter feed.
Written by Bryan Willett