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It was déjà vu all over again at Harbour Station on Friday night, as the Saint John Sea Dogs defeated the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in a dramatic overtime affair exactly two weeks after having vanquished their provincial rivals in similar fashion.

After sixty minutes of exciting major junior action produced a 2-2 deadlock, Michael Kirkpatrick scored the skate-off, game-winning goal 3:35 into overtime to cap off a stellar evening for the star centre.

Kirkpatrick also scored in regulation for Saint John, as did rookie forward Danick Gauthier. Acadie-Bathurst's quantitative offence, meanwhile, came courtesy of Jonathan Lessard and Artem Demkov.

Between the pipes, import goalie Robert Mayer made 24 saves in picking up his 24th win of the year for the hosts, while freshman puck-stopper Frederic Piche fell to 0-17 after allowing three goals on 39 shots faced in net for the visitors.

In his first game of the season after having missed six months due to a torn ACL, veteran centre Alexandre Leduc turned in a highly-impressive performance for Saint John, earning Second Star of the Game honours in recognition of his tremendous effort on home ice.

The Sea Dogs wrap up their season series with the Titan having earned 15 of a possible 16 points. Friday's win gives the Port City's major junior squad 30 victories on the season. Their lead over fourth-place Acadie-Bathurst in the Atlantic Division Standings is now at a dozen points.

Saint John struck first on Friday, with rookie forward Danick Gauthier capitalizing on a neutral zone turnover forced by line-mate Josh Schram in netting his second career goal 7:45 into the first period.

Payton Liske came incredibly close to doubling the hosts' lead midway through the opening frame, ringing a low shot off of the far post of Acadie-Bathurst's net after some impressive work down low afforded the overage winger a strong scoring chance from point-blank-range.

The Titan pulled even with the Sea Dogs 14:59 into the match, with Jonathan Lessard finishing off a lengthy scramble in Saint John's zone by burying his 12th goal of the year.

Goaltending took centre stage in the second period, with Mayer and Piche combining to make 18 saves throughout twenty minutes of exciting back-and-forth action. The most spectacular stop of the stanza came courtesy of Piche, who committed highway robbery upon Nicolas Pard, denying the rookie forward of a tap-in goal after a perfect tic-tac-toe setup left him with a wide open net to shoot at. The 17-year old net minder's diving stop kept the score knotted at one apiece as Friday's contest reached the forty minute mark.

Acadie-Bathurst took their first lead of the night on a power play 7:13 into the third period, with Artem Demkov beating Mayer from a sharp angle to improve his 2008-09 goals total to 11.

Saint John responded on a man-up opportunity of their own six minutes later, as Michael Kirkpatrick hammered a one-timer to the back of the visitors' net from the right face-off circle. The power play marker made Kirkpatrick the fourth 30-goal scorer in franchise history, placing him in elite company alongside Scott Howes, Chris DiDomenico, and Ryan Sparling.

The closing seven minutes of regulation failed to determine a victor on Friday, as the Titan and Sea Dogs went to overtime for the sixth time of the season.

In the fourth minute of extra time, Michael Kirkpatrick netted his second goal of the evening, stick handling his way through Acadie-Bathurst's zone prior to sneaking a low snap shot through Piche's pads to deliver his team an instant victory. Nathan Beaulieu and Steven Anthony both picked up assists on Kirkpatrick's game-winner, which ensured the crowd of 4,084 departed Harbour Station in good spirits.

Up next for Saint John is a Saturday night showdown with the P.E.I. Rocket at the Charlottetown Civic Centre. The puck drops at 7pm as the Sea Dogs look to wrap up their February schedule with a road win in the Garden Province.
 
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