Monday, May 4, 2015

Alumdate: Jurco Joins Slovakia

With his NHL season over, Tomas Jurco has joined Slovakia at the 2015 World Hockey Championships in the Czech Republic.

Jurco appeared in Slovakia’s 2-1 overtime victory over Belarus yesterday, helping set up Andrej Meszaros’ OT winner.

Slovakia is now 2-0 at this year’s championships with both of their wins coming in overtime. Their four points place them third in Group B behind Russia and the United States.

Slovakia’s next game is tomorrow against Slovenia.

Jurco’s season came to an end this past week when the Detroit Red Wings were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Tampa Bay Lightning. The former Sea Dogs forward registered a goal and an assist in seven playoff games.

Some other news and notes…
  • Simon Despres had two shots and two hits in 19:12 of ice time last night in Anaheim’s 3-0 victory over Calgary. The Ducks lead that series 2-0. The series resumes tomorrow in Calgary.
  • Charlie Coyle and the Minnesota Wild are down 2-0 in their series against the Chicago Blackhawks after a 4-1 loss last night. Coyle was a -2 but recorded a team high seven hits in 13:56 of ice time. The series resumes tomorrow in Minnesota.
  • In the Calder Cup Playoffs, Stanislav Galiev and the Hershey Bears have advanced to round two. Galiev is listed as day-to-day after taking a slash in the clinching game four win. The Bears scored three times on the ensuing power play, though. Hershey will play the Hartford Wolf Pack in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
  • The Wolf Pack advanced to the next round by eliminating Zack Phillips and the Providence Bruins in five games. Phillips was held pointless in the two playoff games he appeared in.

Photo: IIHF website

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Rimouski To Play Quebec In QMJHL Final

It’s been a fantastic post-season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. But the semifinals… they weren’t so great.

The Quebec Remparts and Rimouski Oceanic both advanced to the President Cup finals with sweeps over the Moncton Wildcats and Val-d’Or Foreurs, respectively. Quebec outscored Moncton 20-5 and Rimouski outscored Val-d’Or 17-5.

Of course, with Quebec hosting this year’s Memorial Cup, Rimouski has automatically earned a berth in the tournament.

Although it’s hard to believe given the regular season success of the Remparts over the past decade, this will be Quebec’s first appearance in the league final since 2006 when they lost to the Wildcats. Rimouski returns to the final for the first time since 2012 where they lost to Saint John.

Rimouski won the regular season series between the two, going 5-2-1-0.

With both teams getting their semifinal series done so quickly, the schedule for the final will be a bit funky.

Game 1 - Tue May 5 | 7:00 PM | Québec @ Rimouski
Game 2 - Fri May 8 | 7:00 PM | Québec @ Rimouski
Game 3 - Sun May 10 | 3:00 PM | Rimouski @ Québec
Game 4 - Wed May 13 | 7:00 PM | Rimouski @ Québec
Game 5 - Fri May 15 | 7:00 PM | * Québec @ Rimouski
Game 6 - Sun May 17 | 3:00 PM | * Rimouski @ Québec
Game 7 - Mon May 18 | 7:00 PM | * Québec @ Rimouski

The Memorial Cup begins on Friday, May 22.

Some other news and notes…
  • Marcus Cuomo is the only former Sea Dog taking part in the President Cup final.
  • Tomas Jurco and the Detroit Red Wings had their season come to an end last night with a 2-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in game seven of their first round series. Jurco only saw 7:19 of ice time last night, recording one shot.
  • The Lightning will now face Nathan Beaulieu and the Montreal Canadiens in the second round. That series begins tomorrow night. Beaulieu has been ruled out for at least the first four games with an upper body injury.
  • Simon Despres and the Anaheim Ducks begin their second round series against the Calgary Flames tonight.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wildcats Eliminated

There won't be a Maritimes based team in the President Cup final this year.

The Moncton Wildcats, the last non-Quebec team remaining, had their season come to an end last night with a 7-0 loss to the Quebec Remparts. The Remparts swept the semifinal series in four games, outscoring the 'Cats 20-5.

Quebec, this year’s Memorial Cup host team, has been steadily improving ever since their seven-game first round series against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. The Remparts have now won nine straight games and swept their past two series.

Moncton’s season ending means an end to former Sea Dogs forward Noah Zilbert’s season. He had eight goals and eight assists in 33 regular season games with the Wildcats and added another two assists in 12 playoff games.

The Remparts feature former Sea Dogs forward Marcus Cuomo but he has not played since the first round.

Meanwhile, in the other semifinal, the Rimouski Oceanic lead the Val-d’Or Foreurs 3-0 heading into game four tonight. With Quebec advancing to the league final, the winner of the Rimouski-Val-d’Or series will automatically earn a trip to the Memorial Cup.

Some other news and notes…
  • Tomas Jurco and the Detroit Red Wings are in Tampa Bay tonight to face the Lightning in game seven of their first round series. The winner will go on to play Nathan Beaulieu and the Montreal Canadiens in the second round.
  • Charlie Coyle and the Minnesota Wild will face the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round while Simon Despres and the Anaheim Ducks will take on the Calgary Flames. The Anaheim series begins tomorrow and the Minnesota series on Friday.
  • Mike Hoffman finished the playoffs with one goal and two assists in six games with the Ottawa Senators.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Canada Wins U-18 Bronze

After suffering a 7-2 loss in the semifinals, Team Canada rebounded with a 5-2 victory over host Switzerland on Sunday to win bronze at the 2015 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.

Sea Dogs forward Nathan Noel and defenseman Thomas Chabot were both held pointless in the game but were each a +1. Noel also had two shots.
Noel finished the tournament with two assists in seven games. Chabot had one goal and five assists in seven games, placing him third in tournament defensemen scoring.

Sea Dogs defenseman Jakub Zboril had his tournament end in the quarterfinals when the United States defeated the Czech Republic 7-2. He registered a goal and an assist in the three games he was eligible to play in.

The United States, which also defeated Canada 7-2 in Saturday’s semifinal, defeated Finland 2-1 in overtime this afternoon to take home the gold.

Photo: IIHF website

Thursday, April 23, 2015

SN's Third Round Predictions

MONCTON – Four teams remain in the hunt for the QMJHL’s President Cup.

The quarterfinals just ended on Tuesday night but the semifinals start swinging right away with the Quebec Remparts taking on the Moncton Wildcats tonight at the Coliseum. In the other series, the top seeded Rimouski Oceanic take on the red hot Val-d’Or Foreurs beginning tomorrow night.

This year’s playoffs have been exceptional and hopefully this round will be as well. Here are the Station Nation staff’s picks.

Val-d’Or Foreurs (6) vs Rimouski Oceanic (1)
Kevin Chambers – SN Draft Guru: Rimouski in 5
The Rimouski Oceanic are coming off another short series against an underrated Gatineau squad and have still only lost a single game through the first two rounds of the playoffs. The Val-d’Or Foreurs are coming off an improbable victory in seven games after being down three games to none against the Baie Comeau Drakkar. Both teams will be riding a wave of momentum so something has to give and I’m sticking with the favorites in this one – the Oceanic. Their offense will expose the Foreurs’ defense and goaltending. The Oceanic are better in all areas and the stakes are high given the winner could potentially get a bye into the Memorial Cup (with a Quebec victory over Moncton).

Lorne Webster – SN Writer: Rimouski in 5
After a huge comeback from 0-3 to defeat Baie-Comeau of OT in game seven, the Foreurs behaved poorly. I have a feeling that karma is going to come back to haunt them. A powerful - and well-rested - crew from Rimouski are simply too strong for Val-d'Or this time around. The Oceanic entered the season as big time favorites and appear to be on their way to an appearance in the Memorial Cup.

Jamie Tozer – SN Editor: Rimouski in 5
I see this series being like the Winnipeg – Anaheim series that just ended. The games will be close but the series will end quickly. The Foreurs, although they are no doubt feeling some fatigue from their quarterfinal series, will be riding plenty of momentum and should give the Oceanic a decent run – but not a long run. Rimouski is just too good and they’ve shown that so far in this year’s playoffs.

Hoffman's Goal Keeps Sens Alive

MONCTON – Mike Hoffman has kept the Ottawa Senators alive.

Hoffman scored at 9:05 of the third period last night, a goal that ended up being the only one scored in the game. The Senators, facing elimination, are now down 3-1 in their first round series against the Montreal Canadiens.

The goal was Hoffman’s first of the playoffs. He had a few good scoring chances in the game, finishing the night with four shots in 12:54 of ice time.

According to Hockey Night in Canada, the shot clocked in at 124.9 km/h.

As expected, Nathan Beaulieu did not play for the Habs last night. He will miss the remainder of the series with an upper body injury.

Some other news and notes…

  • Simon Despres helped set up the game and series winning goal as the Anaheim Ducks defeated the Winnipeg Jets 5-2 last night to complete a series sweep. Despres registered an assist on Ryan Kesler’s third period goal at 6:41, making it 3-1 Ducks at the time. Despres also had two shots and four hits in an impressive 20:49 of ice time. Only one Duck had more ice time than Despres.
  • It was a rough night for Charlie Coyle and the Minnesota Wild as they fell 6-1 to the St. Louis Blues on home ice last night. Coyle was held pointless with one shot and a -1 rating in 14:43 of ice time. The series is now tied 2-2.
  • Tomas Jurco and the Detroit Red Wings return to action tonight. They lead the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in the series after a 3-0 win on Tuesday. Jurco played just 6:49 in game three. The former Sea Dog has been credited with a goal in this year’s playoffs thanks to a scoring change in game one, a goal that came eight seconds into the second period. From the Red Wings website: “by changing the goal, it also means that Jurco now owns the Wings’ club playoff record for the fastest goal at the start of a period. The previous mark was 0:09 set by Gordie Howe in the first period of Game 5 of the 1954 Stanley Cup semifinals against Toronto goalie Harry Lumley.”
  • At the Under-18 World Hockey Championship today, the Czech Republic takes on the United States and Team Canada faces Sweden.
  • The QMJHL semifinals begin tonight with Noah Zilbert and the Moncton Wildcats hosting Marcus Cuomo’s Quebec Remparts. Cuomo has not played since the first round.