Charlottetown Islanders logo
By Scott Briggs
SAINT JOHN – David Weckworth’s first goal of the season with 1:30 left in regulation lifted the Saint John Sea Dogs to a 3-2 victory over the Charlottetown Islanders before 3,148 fans Friday night in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action at Harbour Station.
Samuel Dove-McFalls and Olivier LeBlanc also scored for the Sea Dogs (13-27-1-3), while Noah Zilbert tallied two assists. Nineteen-year-old netminder Sebastien Auger stopped 35 of 37 shots.
Nathan Yetman and Kameron Kielly answered for the Islanders (17-24-1-4), while goalie Eric Brassard stopped 28 of 31 shots.
Zilbert set up Dove-McFalls to give Saint John a 1-0 lead at 5:38 of the first period. Sea Dogs centre Jason Cameron was awarded a penalty shot with 59.8 seconds left in the opening frame, but the 20-year-old missed the mark.
The hosts held their one-goal lead through 20 minutes and had outshot Charlottetown 19-5. But Yetman’s goal evened the affair at 3:23 of the second period.
The Sea Dogs regained the lead when LeBlanc’s wrister went through traffic and got by Brassard with 2:52 left in the middle session. Just over a minute later, however, Kielly’s rebound goal tied the tilt again and the score remained 2-2 through 40 minutes.
The Islanders appeared to get a break when Dove-McFalls was called for interference just 47 seconds into the third period. But the Charlottetown power play had barely begun when winger Bradley Kennedy took two penalties – one for slashing and the other for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The Sea Dogs applied decent pressure on their power play, but with 1:09 left in the man-advantage opportunity, Saint John winger Oliver Cooper was slapped with a five-minute major for checking to the head, along with a game misconduct.
Auger was forced to come up big shortly after, stopping the Islanders on a three-on-one. The veteran goaltender followed with several more saves during the Charlottetown power play, allowing the Sea Dogs to escape the scare.
Auger’s effort appeared to inspire his teammates as Saint John got things rolling offensively shortly after killing the penalty. Charlottetown’s Mike DiPaolo was called for tripping with 4:17 left, but the Sea Dogs couldn’t capitalize on the ensuing power play.
Regardless, Weckworth’s blast from the right point beat Brassard on the far side for the eventual game-winner. Meanwhile, the Sea Dogs will return to action when they host the Drummondville Voltigeurs on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Harbour Station, also the site of Tuesday’s tilt against the Halifax Mooseheads at 7 p.m.
Saint John’s five-game home stand continues with a contest against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar on Jan. 25 at 7 p.m., followed by a battle against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan the following day at 3 p.m.
The Sea Dogs on Friday signed goaltender Kyle Porter as an affiliate player. The 17-year-old St. Andrews native has played 17 games this season for the Saint John Vito’s of the New Brunswick/P.E.I. Major Midget League, posting a 12-3 record with a 2.63 goals-against average, a .898 save percentage and one shutout. Porter joined the Sea Dogs due to an injury suffered earlier this week by netminder Antoine Landry.