Wildcats explode in second period to thump Sea Dogs

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In a Sunday afternoon tilt between two division rivals, it was the Moncton Wildcats coming out on top over the Saint John Sea Dogs.

The Wildcats are now 18 points up on the Sea Dogs for first in the Maritimes Division after a 6-2 win that saw Moncton score four goals in the second period at Harbour Station.

The visitors lead 1-0 after the first 20 minutes on a power play marker from Dominic Talbot-Tassi. Ivan Barbashev and Conor Garland assisted on the goal scored at 8:26.

In the second frame, the Wildcats exploded to grab a commanding 5-0 lead heading into the intermission. It started with Bronson Beaton potting his 16th of the season at 7:32. Assists were given to Cameron Askew and Kyle Tibbo.

20 seconds later, the league’s leading scorer Conor Garland netted his 31st goal of the campaign with the lone helper going to Stephen Johnson.

Barbashev scored his 41st of the season at 15:25 to continue the scoring parade. The powerplay goal was assisted by Talbot-Tassi and Garland.

Three minutes later, Stephen Johnson scored to round out the second period scoring with his 21st on the power play. Barbashev and Garland each grabbed helpers.

Nathan Noel got Saint John on the board just under five minutes into the third. His 22nd made it a 5-1 game and still a large margin to overcome. Mark Tremaine and Spencer Smallman had assists.

Mathieu Joseph brought the home side within four at 8:43. His 19th goal was assisted by Tremaine and Dove-McFalls.

The Wildcats sealed the deal with a powerplay goal from Askew at 14:48 on the powerplay. Will Smith and Taylor Burke had assists as Moncton lead 6-2.

That’s how this one would end as the Moncton Wildcats improved to 43-17-0-3, and the Saint John Sea Dogs dropped to 31-23-3-6 on the season.

Alex Dubeau stopped 26 shots in the win, while Sébastien Auger was peppered with 41 shots and made 35 saves.

Photo: Kaitlin Arseneault

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