Abols punches Titan’s playoff ticket with overtime winner in Saint John
Rodrigo Abols needed just 13 seconds to end a wild game in overtime that secured the Acadie-Bathurst Titan’s playoff berth, downing the Saint John Sea Dogs by a score of eight-to-seven on Wednesday.
Despite falling behind early to the Sea Dogs, the Titan would build up both a three and a two-goal lead during the first and second periods before the home side would battle back to either tie or take the lead. It would be a late third-period goal by Russian forward Vladimir Kuznetsov that would force overtime.
Spencer Smallman opened up the scoring for the Sea Dogs with his first of two goals on the night before Daniil Miromanov (21st), Kuznetsov (24th), Joakim Paradis (1st) and Christophe Boivin (37th) would give the Titan a 4-1 lead at the end of 20 minutes of play.
The Sea Dogs would battle back to tie the game with three goals in a span of two minutes and 29 seconds. Bokondji Imama made it a 4-2 game before Nathan Noel would score back-to-back goals to even things up. Christophe Boivin (38th) and younger brother Félix (12th) rounded out the second period scoring, sending the Titan into the break leading 6-4.
The Sea Dogs once again mounted a comeback in the third period with Smallman and Thomas Chabot scoring to tie the game at six goals apiece before Noel would complete the hat trick with 6:05 remaining in the third to give the Sea Dogs a 7-6 lead. Kuznetsov (25th) then netted the game-tying goal with 4:19 left in regulation to force overtime where Abols (15th) poked home the overtime winner after Miromanov’s initial shot was stopped, but left exposed in the crease.
Anthony Dumont-Bouchard stopped 23 of 30 shots to pick up his fifth-straight decision and improve his record to 17-8 on the year while Alex D’Orio allowed four goals on 22 shots in 40:13 of relief after Callum Booth, who started the game for the Sea Dogs, allowed four goals on 21 shots in the first 20 minutes of ply. D’Orio’s record falls to 16-3.
Christophe Boivin’s three-point night, which included his 37th and 38th goals of the season, moved him ahead of Olivier Fillion for fourth all-time in goals by an Acadie-Bathurst player. His 97 career goals leave him five behind Mathieu Roy for third all-time.
Titan first-year defenceman Joakim Paradis scored his first career QMJHL goal Wednesday night on a point shot that got past the outstretched pad of Sea Dogs goaltender Callum Booth. The 17-year-old right-handed defenceman joined the Titan from the Gatineau Olympiques on the final day of the recent trade period and in six games with his new club has one goal and a plus-two rating.
19-year-old Russian forward Daniil Miromanov had a four-point night, scoring once while adding three assists, inching him closer to the 100 point plateau in his QMJHL career. In 58 games played this season, Miromanov has 55 points to his credit.
Veteran defencemen Adam Holwell and Zachary Malatesta and second-year forward Vladimir Kuznetsov each enjoyed three-point nights. Holwell and Malatesta each picked up three assists while Kuznetsov had two goals and an assist.
SHOWDOWN AT SCOTIABANK CENTRE
The scene now shifts to Halifax, N.S. and the Scotiabank Centre this Friday night as the Titan continues their two-game road trip to battle the Mooseheads with a 7:00pm start. The Titan will be looking for their sixth victory over their divisional rivals and extend their winning streak to seven games. The Titan are 3-1 at Scotiabank Centre this season and in their final trip to the Nova Scotia capital. The game can be seen live on the big screen at the Cast & Crew Gastropub.
MAXIMUS INVITES YOU TO HIS BIRTHDAY PARTY THIS SUNDAY
When the Titan returns home on Sunday, February 26 they, along with Maximus, invites everyone to join them for Maximus’ third birthday celebration! Admission is free for children as long as they are accompanied by an adult. The Sherbrooke Phoenix are in town for the 3:00pm game and the Chase the Ace jackpot is estimated at an impressive $36,000! Tickets are available for purchase at the K.C. Irving Regional Centre box office, by phone at 549-3200 (local) or 1-877-549-3200 (toll free) and online at admission.com.