Sunday, May 15, 2011

Saint John Claims the Q Crown

It was another overtime thriller in the CHL to decide a league title as the Saint John Sea Dogs scored in double OT to eliminate Gatineau en route to their first ever QMJHL title. Alex Beauregard's first ever playoff goal came at 15:45 of the second extra session but better late than never - the Sea Dogs will head to Mississauga and represent the QMJHL at the Memorial Cup.

The game certainly was not without its dramatic moments. The teams traded first period goals and Gatineau's marker at 14:38 of the third frame looked like it might be enough to force a 7th game.

However, Saint John's big guns came to play and with their net empty, Jonathan Huberdeau scored the equalizer. Stanislav Galiev picked up an assist on the play which came with just 23 ticks left on the clock.

Overtime is always exciting and both goalies had their moments to shine.

early on in the second extra session Nicolas Deslauriers was called for a delay of game penalty after clearing the puck over the glass. An ugly penalty at such a key point of the game but a penalty none the less. Interestingly, after Gatineau head coach Benoit Groulx went up one side of the referee and down the other, the call on Deslauriers was reversed and the power play opportunity for Saint John was negated. I don't know if I've ever heard of that before but it will be interesting to hear the explanation from coach Gerard Gallant during Tuesday's Memorial Cup Preview Show.

The Sea Dogs scored the winner and claimed the first title of their short 6-year existence. They now head to Mississauga and will play the hosts in the first game of the tournament on Friday night.

All games can be seen on Rogers Sportsnet with TPS regulars Peter Loubardias and Sam Cosentino.

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