Dogs double up the Moose 6-3
On paper it was a lopsided matchup. The Maritimes Division-leading Mooseheads visiting the last place overall Saint John Sea Dogs. The difference of 40 points between the teams is more than the Sea Dogs have accumulated this season, but all of that went out the window as the home team used a big third period to pick up a 6-3 upset win.
The Dogs tallied three times in the final 20 minutes to secure the win in front of a healthy Friday night crowd of 4,349 at Harbour Station and Saint John avenged an 8-2 loss from late last month in Halifax. Ostap Safin and Robbie Burt led the way with two goals and one assist each to earn the first and second stars respectively while third star Cedric Pare had a trio of assists. Alex D’Orio picked up the W in goal with 28 saves.
It wasn’t a spectacular night at the other end of the rink for Mooseheads goalie Blade Mann-Dixon who was under fire from an aggressive Sea Dogs team. The 20-year-old faced a 42 shot attack and while he did make some timely saves, the six goals allowed weren’t going to cut it in this game. It was a pretty evenly matched back and forth battle through 39 minutes and the division rivals were locked in a 2-2 tie until Saint John regained the momentum just before the horn. Robbie Burt’s first goal of the night came with only 3.5 seconds left on the clock as the Herd couldn’t find a way to clear the zone and escape the period. The goal proved to be huge as the Dogs doubled their lead to 4-2 less than a minute into the third period and never looked back.
Anthony Boucher swept in a puck as it sat in the crease behind Mann-Dixon after trickling through the pads of the goalie and the Herd were in a big hole. Xavier Parent appeared to give the Moose life when he struck on the backhand shot only 11 seconds after the Boucher tally to make it 4-3 but the period and the game belonged to Saint John. Burt made it 5-3 at the 7:10 mark and Ben Reid iced it with less than five minutes remaining in regulation.
The loss drops Halifax to 34-13-6-1 on the season and the division lead is down to five points over Acadie-Bathurst after the Titan dumped Shawinigan 5-2. Filip Zadina scored one of the most highlight reel goals of his career in the game when he went between his legs before putting a high backhand shot short side on D’Orio for his 35th of the season. Otto Somppi had the first goal of the night for the Mooseheads while Jake Ryczek, Arnaud Durandeau, Jocktan Chainey, Ben Higgins, Connor Moynihan and Maxime Fortier had the assists.
The Mooseheads return to home ice on Sunday against Shawinigan at 3pm where they will look to snap the two-game losing skid. Tickets are on sale now at the Ticket Atlantic Box Office, select Superstore Outlets, TicketAtlantic.com, the Official Mooseheads Shop in Scotia Square or call 451-1221.