Saturday, February 28, 2015

RECAP: Sea Dogs Lose 6-2

FINAL: Gatineau 6, Saint John 2

SAINT JOHN – A night after producing a solid offensive performance in a win over the Charlottetown Islanders, the Saint John Sea Dogs had just eight shots on goal in the first two periods of a 6-2 loss to the Gatineau Olympiques on Saturday night at Harbour Station.

The Sea Dogs managed to score twice in the first period – on just five shots – thanks to goals from Mathieu Joseph and Mark Tremaine. But that would be all Saint John’s offense could produce. The Dogs also went 0-for-8 on the power play.

Alex Bishop got the start and made 26 saves in the loss. Francois Brassard made 19 saves in the win and scored his second (!) goal of the season.
Yan Pavel Laplante scored twice for Gatineau while singles came from Brassard, Valentin Zykov, Jonathan Bourcier and Yakov Trenin. Alexandre Carrier had three assists.

It was a big win for Gatineau who now have a four point lead over the Drummondville Voltigeurs for the league’s final playoff spot. The Sea Dogs remain in sixth.

Saint John travels to Bathurst on Friday to play the Titan.

GAME DAY 61: vs Olympiques

A preview of tonight’s game between the Gatineau Olympiques and Saint John Sea Dogs…

When and where: Tonight at 7 p.m., Harbour Station

TV/Radio/Webcast: None/96.1 NewSong FM/QMJHL Live

Records: The Olympiques are fifth in the West Division and 16th overall in the QMJHL with a record of 24-30-0-5 for 53 points. The Sea Dogs are second in the Maritimes Division and sixth overall with a 30-21-3-6 record for 69 points.

Last games: The Olympiques are coming off a 7-3 win over the Wildcats in Moncton last night. Valentin Zykov scored twice while singles came from Tommy Veilleux, Marc Beckstead, Yakov Trenin, Alex Dostie and Louick Marcotte. Francois Brassard was pulled after allowing two goals on five shots. Nicolas Lachance made 25 saves in relief. The Sea Dogs are coming off a 7-3 win over the Charlottetown Islanders last night at Harbour Station. Daniel Del Paggio, Mark Tremaine, Mathieu Joseph, Adam Marsh, Spencer Smallman, Justice Dundas and Thomas Chabot scored for the Sea Dogs while Sebastien Auger made 25 saves.

2014-15 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 0-1-0-0 against the Olympiques this season while Gatineau is 1-0-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Jan. 17 in Gatineau where the Olympiques edged the Sea Dogs 4-2. Jake Coughler and Marc Beckstead each scored twice for the ‘Piques while Justice Dundas and Mathieu Joseph each scored for the Dogs. Francois Brassard made 30 saves in the win while Sebastien Auger made 35 in the loss.

Previous meetings this season:
Saint John 2 @ Gatineau 4 (Jan 17 2015) Final

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Olympiques: Joey Richard

Random stat: Former Sea Dogs forward Joey Richard, who had five points in 25 games with Saint John last year, has nine goals and 17 assists in 56 games with the Olympiques this season.

RECAP: Sea Dogs Win 7-3

FINAL: Saint John 7, Charlottetown 3
Lorne Webster | SN Staff

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs (30-21-3-6) managed to open the floodgates in the second period and earn a convincing 7-3 victory over the visiting Charlottetown Islanders (28-26-1-3) Friday evening at Harbour Station.

The win was important for the Sea Dogs in their quest to earn home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. It could prove to be a turning point as the Sea Dogs look to find the mojo they had during the first half of the season - especially in light of the five close losses in eight games against the Islanders thus far this season.

Dan Del Paggio, Mark Tremaine, Mathieu Joseph, Adam Marsh, Spencer Smallman, Justice Dundas and Thomas Chabot scored for the Sea Dogs. Ross Johnston tallied two goals and Oliver Cooper added one for Charlottetown.  

A fairly open first period didn't produce any goals. The period was highlighted by a fight between Dundas and Johnston after the Islander cross checked Jakub Zboril into the end boards. Charlottetown led 13-7 on the shot clock in the first period.

The Sea Dogs came out flying to start the second period. At 6:41, Del Paggio swatted the rebound of a Joseph shot past Mason MacDonald to break the ice. Under two minutes later, Tremaine took Nathan Noel's clean face-off win and fired a bullet over MacDonald's blocker to extend Saint John's lead to 2-0. Less than a minute later, Kameron Keilly carried the puck into the Sea Dogs' zone, cut to the high slot and sent a hard pass to Johnston who tipped it past Sebastien Auger at the edge of the crease to make it 2-1. 

An apparent goal by Noel at 12:28 was disallowed when the video judge determined that the Sea Dogs were offside well before the goal. Joseph did in fact make it 3-1 when he came out of the penalty box and one-timed a pass from Tremaine past MacDonald at 14:45. Less than two minutes later, Marsh collected the puck after a mad goal mouth scramble and snapped it past MacDonald to extend the lead to 4-1. Smallman capped the second period onslaught with 14 seconds left when he blasted a slap shot through MacDonald's legs after a lovely cross ice feed from Noel to make it 5-1. Saint John fired 22 shots on net versus eight for the Islanders in the second period.

Darryl MacCullum relieved MacDonald to start the third period.  The Sea Dogs continued their strong play to start the third period and, on a power play at 4:55, Dundas tipped a back-door pass from Noel past MacCullum to extend Saint John's lead to 6-1. On a power play at 6:58, Cooper banged in a rebound to make it 6-2. A few seconds after that goal, Cooper suffered a TKO at the hands of Boko Imama. 

On another power play at 10:16, Johnston tipped a point shot past Auger to bring Charlottetown back to 6-3. The power play onslaught continued when Chabot took a cross ice feed from Jason Bell and his booming slap shot found the top corner to make it 7-3. Noel chipped in with his fourth assist of the game on Chabot's goal. Saint John outshot Charlottetown 12-7 in the third to end the game up 41-28 overall.

Friday, February 27, 2015

GAME DAY 60: vs Islanders

A preview of tonight’s game between the Charlottetown Islanders and Saint John Sea Dogs…

When and where: Tonight at 7:30 p.m., Harbour Station

TV/Radio/Webcast: None/96.1 NewSong FM/QMJHL Live

Records: The Islanders are fourth in the Maritimes Division and 11th overall in the QMJHL standings with a 28-25-1-3 record for 60 points. The Sea Dogs are second in the Maritimes and eighth overall with a 29-21-3-6 record for 67 points.

Last games: The Islanders are coming off a 2-1 loss to the Halifax Mooseheads on Saturday at Eastlink Centre. Daniel Sprong had Charlottetown’s only goal while Mason McDonald made 28 saves in the loss. The Sea Dogs are coming off a 3-2 loss in Cape Breton on Tuesday. Mark Tremaine and Spencer Smallman scored for Saint John while Sebastien Auger made 21 stops in the loss.

2014-15 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 2-3-1-1 against the Islanders this season while Charlottetown is 5-1-0-1 against Saint John.

Previous meetings:
Saint John 2 @ Charlottetown 4 (Feb 20 2015) Final
Saint John 4 @ Charlottetown 5 (Jan 4 2015) Final
Saint John 5 @ Charlottetown 6 (Nov 27 2014) Final
Charlottetown 3 @ Saint John 2 (Nov 22 2014) Final OT1
Charlottetown 1 @ Saint John 4 (Oct 12 2014) Final
Charlottetown 4 @ Saint John 5 (Oct 1 2014) Final SO
Saint John 2 @ Charlottetown 3 (Sep 12 2014) Final SO

Last meeting: Feb. 20 at Eastlink Centre where the Islanders defeated the Sea Dogs 4-2. Bradley Kennedy, Ross Johnston, Oliver Cooper and Filip Chalpik scored for Charlottetown while Nathan Noel and Spencer Smallman had Saint John markers. Mason McDonald made an impressive 50 saves in the win while Sebastien Auger made 30 in the loss.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Islanders: Will Thompson and Oliver Cooper

Random stat: In five games against the Islanders with Cape Breton, Jason Bell had a goal and four assists.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Nine Games To Go

With nine games left to play in the 2014-15 regular season, every one of them will be important for the Saint John Sea Dogs.

The Sea Dogs are currently in a fight for home ice advantage in the first round of this year’s playoffs. As pictured above, Saint John currently sits eighth with 67 points. The top eight teams in the league receive home ice advantage.

Saint John has gained a bit of ground over division rivals Halifax and Charlottetown – but the Sea Dogs have played two more games than each of them. The Dogs will play both of those teams twice down the stretch.

Here’s a look at the rest of Saint John’s schedule with each team’s winning percentage attached (Saint John's winning percentage is .568).

Feb. 27 vs Charlottetown - .526
Feb. 28 vs Gatineau - .440
March 6 at Bathurst - .310
March 8 vs Moncton - .698
March 11 vs Cape Breton - .500
March 13 at Moncton - .698
March 14 vs Halifax - .544
March 20 at Charlottetown - .526
March 21 at Halifax - .544

As you can see, the Sea Dogs have just three games left against teams that are at or below the .500 mark. Winning those games could prove to be crucial.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesday News & Notes

The return of Jakub Zboril is a welcome addition to the Saint John Sea Dogs' lineup.

In his two games since returning from injury, the rookie defenseman has a goal and two assists.

His time away from Saint John’s lineup hasn’t hurt his draft status all that much. Sportsnet’s Damien Cox has him ranked 17th in his February draft rankings while the Chronicle Herald’s Willy Palov believes he is the fourth best prospect available from the QMJHL.

Zboril’s agent, Allan Walsh, has shockingly chimed in via Twitter.
Some other Sea Dogs news and notes…

  • In Cox’s draft rankings, he mentions that Thomas Chabot has been “limping along on sore hip flexor of late. Has had to stay in the lineup because of injuries to other Sea Dogs defenders.
  • In Palov’s rankings, Chabot was ranked as the fifth best prospect available from the QMJHL. Sherbrooke’s Jeremy Roy topped the list.
  • In Buzzing the Net’s CHL ‘Hot or Not’ this week, the Sea Dogs are not considered to be the league’s hottest team right now.
  • According to La Presse, Harbour Station has one of the QMJHL’s highest property values.
  • Saturday is Country Night at Harbour Station.
  • The Sea Dogs are back in action on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Harbour Station when they host the Charlottetown Islanders. The Isles were scheduled to host the Moncton Wildcats tonight but the game was postponed due to weather.