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May 9, 2012
RIMOUSKI, Que. – The Saint John Sea Dogs are within one win of their second straight President’s Cup after downing the Rimouski Oceanic 6-4 Wednesday.
Danick Gauthier scored twice for the Sea Dogs, with Stephen MacAulay, Stanislav Galiev and Tomas Jurco adding a goal and an assist each. Charles Roussel tallied a single and Mathieu Corbeil made 23 saves for the win as Saint John took a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Quebec Major Junior Hockey League championship series.
Jerome Leduc had a goal and an assist for Rimouski while absorbing a minus-4 rating, while Alexandre Mallet, Petr Straka and Francis Beauvillier added singles. Starting goalie Jacob Chouinard stopped 15 of 20 shots in the loss before giving way to Carl Hozjan, who stopped three of four.
A trailing Roussel beat Chouinard with a wrist shot to the blocker side during a 4-on-4 at 8:53 of the first. MacAulay picked up the assist on the goal, Roussel’s third.
Rimouski was granted three days rest by the schedule and came out re-energized, throwing their bodies around and holding an 8-4 edge in shots over the first 11 minutes. Corbeil had to be sharp early, making a series of solid saves in the opening minutes. Rimouski was the beneficiary of four power plays in the first, and Leduc scored on their third opportunity at the 11-minute mark. Saint John got a power-play chance late in the opening frame but Charlie Coyle hit the post.
Corbeil kept the game tied in the second period, stopping two Straka breakaways and another chance on Alex Belzile in close. Saint John took a 3-1 lead on two quick markers late in the middle frame. First MacAulay struck at 17:30, burying a puck thrown on net by Ryan Tesink. Then 33 seconds later it was Gauthier scoring on a deke after Jonathan Huberdeau forced a turnover in the right-wing corner and set him up in front.
Mallet tipped one home just 18 seconds into the third period. But Galiev extinguished any momentum lift the early goal would have given the home team by restoring the two-goal margin just 17 seconds later. Galiev finished a passing play with Jurco for his 13th of the playoffs.
Ian Saab and Belzile were sent off with coincidental roughing minors shortly thereafter, setting up another 4-on-4. This time it was Coyle forcing a Rimouski turnover to set up Gauthier, who finished to the five-hole to make it 5-2 and end Chouinard’s night.
Straka scored at 11:03 and Beauviller connected at 16:05 to make it a one-goal game.
But Jurco gave the Dogs a bit of breathing room with his 11th at 18:01, assisted by Galiev and Zack Phillips.
Game 4 is set for 8:30 p.m. Atlantic Time in Rimouski and will be televised on TVA Sports. Tim Roszell will have the call on News 88.9 FM and fans can also catch all the action online via the official TELUS QMJHL webcast (click HERE to order; charges apply).
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