The Saint John Sea Dogs scored three goals in a 4:10 span early in the second period as part of a 4-1 victory over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in Game 1 of the President Cup semifinals.
Simon Bourque, Cole Reginato, Mathieu Joseph and Julien Gauthier scored for Saint John.
Nicolas Roy replied for Chicoutimi.
Saint John leads the best-of-seven series, 1-0.
There was no scoring in the first period. The Sea Dogs were forced to kill three penalties in the opening frame, but were successful.
Bourque netted the opening goal nearly four minutes into the second period, moments after he stepped out of the penalty box himself.
Bailey Webster cleared the puck from his own zone, off the right side glass and into neutral ice. Bourque waited for the puck at the Sagueneens’ blueline. He broke in alone and snapped a wrist shot past the glove of Julio Billia in the Chicoutimi goal.
Reginato doubled the lead about three minutes later.
Nathan Noel carried the puck in on the left side, cut to the middle and ripped a quick shot toward the net that was blocked. Reginato pounded the rebound past Billia.
One minute later, Joseph worked a give-and-go on the left wing and rifled a heavy wrist shot past the blocker of Billia to make it a 3-0 game.
All three goals came in a 4:10 span.
Chicoutimi got its goal with three minutes remaining in the period.
Frederic Allard took a pass at the left point, and then found Roy parked off the left side of the crease. The Sagueneens’ top goal-scorer in the playoffs slipped a backhander along the ice and under the glove of goalie Callum Booth.
But Saint John got that one back with 16.6 seconds remaining in the period.
The puck came to Gauthier near the left point. The Carolina Hurricanes’ prospect turned and whipped a wrist shot beyond the blocker of a surprised Billia to make it 4-1.
A scoreless third period gave the Sea Dogs the series-opening triumph.
Booth made 21 saves in the win. Billia turned aside 35 shots in defeat.
Joseph was named first star with his goal while Reginato took second star with a goal and four hits. Webster earned third star with an assist and a +2 rating in front of 4,118 fans in attendance.
Game 2 is Saturday, April 22nd, at 7 p.m at Harbour Station. Tickets are available at the Harbour Station Box Office. CAA members can save 10% on their purchases at the box office. Fans can also save money by buying online.
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Written by Tim Roszell