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The Saint John Sea Dog may have dropped their first game at the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup, but now they are two wins away from repeating as champions....
Saint John knocked off the host Shawinigan Cataractes 4-1 in the final game of the round robin. The win gives the QMJHL championship a berth in Friday's semi-final, avoiding the tiebreaker route.
"It's big, it's a nice day of rest," said forward Ryan Tesink. "Now we don't have to possibly play three nights in a row. It's just huge for guys who might be banged up - it's a big day of rest."
Tesink scored his third goal of the tournament while Jonathan Huberdeau added a pair to give him four on the tournament for Saint John. Stanislav Galiev rounded out the scoring for the winners with his first of the event.
"I think our whole line, our whole team actually, everyone played well," added Tesink. "Everyone played their role, this worked out tonight...we really wanted to set the tone and beat this team."
Anton Zlobin scored the long goal for the host team.
The rivalry between the two boiled over in the final minutes of the game with a fight and plenty of other shenanigans. Coaching staffs from both teams got into a yelling match near the final buzzer.
"What coaches? I wasn't involved in nothing!" Gerrard Gallant said slyly.
"I was just asking Gerrard why he had to spend so much time talking to the Maritime referee," Veilleux added, referring to referee Jonathan Langille, who hails from Upper Sackville, Nova Scotia. He worked the game with fellow QMJHL arbiter Nicolas Dutil.
For the record, it appeared Veilleux's verbal barbs towards the Saint John bench were returned by assistant coach Mike Kelly.
The silliness in the final minute was not a surprise considering Shawinigan defenceman Dillon Donnelly and Sea Dogs blueliner Ian Saab were separated by the linesmen twice during warm-up. Saint John's Grant West and Vincent Arseneau of Shawinigan were the only ones to actually drop their gloves during the festivities. Donnelly was sent to the room shortly after when the defenceman lined up as a forward and took a jab at Maxime Villemaire. Aiden Kelly picked up a double-minor for Saint John at the final buzzer.
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