Garland, Barbashev lead Wildcats in rout of Sea Dogs

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The Saint John Sea Dogs allowed six or more goals for the third straight-game and dropped an 8-4 decision to the Moncton Wildcats Friday night at the Moncton Coliseum.

Conor Garland had a total of four points, Ivan Barbashev had three points, and Dominic Talbot-Tassi added three assists to lead the home side to the lopsided victory.

Mathieu Joseph potted his 20th of the season at 16:35 of the opening frame to start the scoring. Daniel Del Paggio grabbed the only assist as the Sea Dogs took a 1-0 lead.

Late in the period, Stephen Johnson tied the game up with his 22nd goal of the year. Barbashev and Talbot-Tassi each had assists on the goal at 19:37 on the man advantage.

Four minutes into the second period Barbashev got the puck behind the Saint John net off a turnover and found Garland in front to give the home side a 2-1 lead. The goal came at 4:26.

Just three minutes later, Moncton struck again. This time it was William Bower scoring his fifth of the season, assisted by Lane Cormier and Kyle Tibbo at 7:33.

With two Wildcats players in the box, Jakub Zboril fired a wrist shot past Alex Dubeau to bring the visiting Sea Dogs back within a goal. Scored at 12:58, the goal was assisted by Adam Marsh and Spencer Smallman.

Not long after that, Joseph got the puck down low and found Del Paggio cross-ice for a tap-in goal to tie the game at 14:01. Nathan Noel also notched an assist.

Will Smith restored the Wildcats lead on a powerplay. His 14th made it 4-3 at 15:18, with assists to Talbot-Tassi and Garland.

Still on the powerplay, Garland scored his second of the night at 16:57. Smith and Talbot-Tassi each grabbed helpers.

Saint John got back within a goal once again as Zboril scored under four minutes into the third period to make it 5-4. Noel and Smallman had the assists on Zboril’s second of the game.

Barbashev responded for Moncton a minute later stealing the puck from Mitchell Dempsey and going all the way down on Sébastien Auger for the breakaway goal. The goal was unassisted and gave the Wildcats a 6-4 advantage.

Moncton went up by three goals with just over six minutes to play as Zachary Malatesta roofed one past Auger for his eighth goal of the season, assisted by Garland at 13:42.

It became an 8-4 Wildcats lead with 11.7 seconds left in the game as Cormier beat Auger. A flurry of fights broke out after the goal and it was several minutes delay before penalties were sorted out and the official goal announcement was made.

Dubeau made 30 saves while his counterpart Sebastien Auger stopped 31 in the loss.

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