Winning streak hits nine with victory over Voltigeurs
SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Sea Dogs extended their winning streak to nine games with a 4-1 victory over the Drummondville Voltigeurs Friday at Harbour Station.
Simon Bourque had a goal and two assists for Saint John (35-12-3-1) while David Comeau, Spencer Smallman and Joe Veleno also scored.
Mathieu Joseph extended his league-high and team-record points streak to 28 games (19 goals, 46 points) with an assist on Comeau’s goal.
Andrew Shewfelt scored the only goal for Drummondville (21-26-0-5).
The Voltigeurs found the net on the game’s first shot, which came 99 seconds in.
A turnover in the Sea Dogs’ zone ended up on Shewfelt’s stick. The Halifax-native stepped from the right circle into the slot and ripped a low wrist shot that got past the right leg of goalie Alex D’Orio.
But Saint John responded on its first shot as well when Bourque picked up the puck near the right circle, stepped to the middle and slid a shot along the ice that went between the legs of Olivier Rodrigue in the Drummondville net.
Comeau gave the Sea Dogs a 2-1 lead halfway through the period.
The Fredericton-native took a pass at the right point, stepped to the top of the circle and whistled a wrist shot past a screened Rodrigue on his blocker side.
The Sea Dogs scored the only goal of the second period on an early power play.
The puck moved around the outer portion of the offensive zone and came back to Alexandre Bernier at the middle of the blueline. He set up Smallman for a one-timer in the left circle, and the Sea Dog captain made no mistake with a blast that got by Rodrigue’s blocker.
Veleno’s goal midway through the third period was also a power play strike.
Jakub Zboril sent a half-slap shot from the top of the left circle toward the goal. Veleno, parked in front of the crease, deflected the waist-high puck past Rodrigue’s glove to create a 4-1 final score.
The Sea Dogs went two-for-two on the power play in the game.
D’Orio earned the win with 18 saves. Rodrigue made 40 stops in defeat.
Bourque’s three-point effort was rewarded with first star honours while Zboril’s helper made him second star. Julien Gauthier’s +1 rating and five shots on goal warranted a third-star selection in front of 4,761 fans in attendance.
Saint John’s next game is Saturday, February 11th at 7 p.m. against the Shawinigan Cataractes at Harbour Station. It’s First Responders Night, where the Sea Dogs will honour the work of local police, RCMP, firefighters and paramedics with special ceremonies and tributes throughout the game.
Written by Tim Roszell