Bouthillier the Top Star in 3-1 Win over Wildcats
Goaltending was the main attraction at TD Station on Wednesday night as the Saint John Sea Dogs (15-17-1-0) faced off against the Moncton Wildcats (22-9-0-0) for the third time this season. The Sea Dogs won the low-scoring affair 3-1, with goals from Alex Drover, Josh Lawrence, and Jérémie Poirier.
Maxim Cajkovic and Nicholas Deakin-Poot did not play due to injuries.
17-year-old forward Riley Bezeau was called up from the Campbellton Tigers of the Maritime Junior A League to play his first game with the Sea Dogs.
Zachary Bouthillier got the start for the Sea Dogs, stopping 43 of the 44 shots sent his way in an outstanding performance. The Wildcats gave backup goaltender Charles-Antoine Lavallée the start.
The Sea Dogs opened the scoring at 2:41 when Joshua Roy passed the puck from behind the net to Alex Drover. Drover was ready and waiting in front and sent a one-timer between the Moncton goaltender's arm and the post, scoring his third goal of the season.
Moncton controlled the play for most of the period, keeping the puck in the Sea Dogs zone and producing lots of shots. Bouthillier stood tall in net and turned all their attempts away.
As the period progressed, the Sea Dogs picked up speed and created scoring opportunities for themselves.
Shots after the first period were 11-7 for the Wildcats.
Spectacular saves and shots pinging off the posts filled the scoreless second period. It was a battle of the goaltenders as both teams created high-scoring opportunities but were stopped at every turn.
The first penalty of the game was given to Joona Lehmus at 3:35 for interference after he tried to stop a scoring opportunity for the Wildcats.
Moncton's Mark Rumsey went to the box for slashing against William Villeneuve, sending the Sea Dogs to the power play for the first time of the game at 6:42.
The Sea Dogs got the man advantage once again when the Wildcats were called for too many men at 11:24, a penalty that was served by Eliot Bergbauer.
An exciting last-second diving save by Bouthillier allowed the Sea Dogs to keep the lead going into the third period.
The shots at the end of the second period were 28-17 for the Wildcats.
Bouthillier continued to impress from the start of the third, coming out of his crease and challenging a shooter in an aggressive play that payed off.
After a scramble in front of the net at 4:43, the Wildcats thought they had tied up the game, but after a review, it was decided that the team had not scored and Bouthillier maintained his shutout.
Josh Lawrence scored on a two-on one chance, out-dekeing Charles-Antoine Lavallée and forcing him out of position before skating around the netminder and tucking the puck into the open net at 9:20.
The Sea Dogs penalty kill took to the ice at 12:20 after Ben Badalamenti tried to slow down Mika Cyr, who was making his way to the net with speed, and received a penalty for hooking.
After some shoving in the crease, Zachary Bouthillier and Jacob Hudson received offsetting penalties at 12:54.
The Wildcats pulled their goalie and scored their first goal of the game with two and a half minutes remaining. A shot by Jordan Spence from the blueline got deflected past Bouthillier.
Moments later, Jérémie Poirier fired the puck into the open Wildcats net, scoring the final goal of the game and solidifying the win.
With 48 seconds remaining in the period, Joona Lehmus was sent to the box and the Wildcats had a last-minute push with two extra men, but the Sea Dogs kept the puck out of the net.
Shots at the end of the game were 44-27 for the Wildcats.
The Sea Dogs are now 7-3-0-0 in their last 10 games.
Full Stats & Highlights
Alpine 3 Stars
1 Zachary Bouthillier (43 Saves)
2 Josh Lawrence (1G)
3 Joshua Roy (1A)
The Sea Dogs will head out to take on the Titan in Bathurst on Friday, December 13th. The two teams have met four times this season, with Saint John taking the win in all four games.
Images from this story
Saint John Sea Dogs centre Joshua Roy (left) vs. the Moncton Wildcats
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