Jonathan Huberdeau had a hattrick and added an assist as the league-leading Saint John Sea Dogs dropped the P.E.I. Rocket 5-0 on Hockey Day in Canada.
The game began at 4 p.m. and was featured at times on CBC’s national broadcast in celebration of the game.
“Hockey Day in Canada is the biggest event outside the Stanley Cup I think in the game of hockey for Canada,” said head coach Gordie Dwyer.
“CBC does a tremendous job of it. The Island people have responded well to the event being here and Hockey Day in Canada has done a tremendous job on the Island, giving everybody a real sense of the importance of the game of hockey for our country.”
Despite the heightened pressures of playing on national television, the Rocket were unable to score in the contest, which could have been a preview to a potential first-round QMJHL playoff matchup.
Sea Dogs’ goalie Mathieu Corbeil was sharp too, stopping 22 shots for the shutout.
Maxime Lagacé stopped 27 in the loss, as the Rocket dropped to 17-33-2-2.
Huberdeau opened the scoring with his 14th of the year at 4:12 of the first period,from Kevin Gagné and Tomas Jurco.
American star Charlie Coyle’s seventh of the year was scored shorthanded at 14:32, to put Saint John up 2-0. Jurco and Nathan Beaulieu drew assists.
The first period also featured a heavyweight bout between Alex Gallant and Grant West, as the two traded haymakers in front of the crowd of 2,748.
In the second Huberdeau picked up his second of the game at 12:14 on a powerplay, from Zack Phillips and Beaulieu.
Then just 1:42 into the third, he picked up the hattrick with his 16th of the year, again from Jurco.
Danick Gauthier’s 38th of the season rounded out the scoring at 17:38, from Huberdeau and Jurco.
Jurco had four assists in the game.
Saint John swept the three stars: 1. Huberdeau, 2. Corbeil, 3. Jurco.
The Rocket and Sea Dogs will do battle again Wednesday in Charlottetown. Game time is 7 p.m.
Former NHL enforcer Troy Crowder’s “Enforcers for the Forces” raffle raised $2,800 at the game.
CBC’s Gord Stellick did a number of live interviews for the HDIC broadcast from the Charlottetown Civic Centre throughout the game.