Saturday, March 28, 2015

Team History Is Against Sea Dogs

If the Saint John Sea Dogs want to move on to the next round of the 2015 President Cup Playoffs, they’ll have to make some team history.

The Sea Dogs have never won a playoff series when they’ve lost the opening game. In fact, they’ve been swept three of the four times it's happened.

Here’s a rundown of how the Sea Dogs have performed in every game one they've ever played and the series result.

2008 First Round: Defeated PEI 10-4; won series 4-0
2008 Second Round: Defeated Bathurst 4-3; won series 4-2
2008 Third Round: Lost to Rouyn-Noranda 5-3; lost series 4-0

2009 First Round: Lost to Cape Breton 5-4 (OT); lost series 4-0

2010 First Round: Defeated PEI 8-3; won series 4-1
2010 Second Round: Defeated Gatineau 7-4; won series 4-0
2010 Third Round: Defeated Victoriaville 4-2; won series 4-2
2010 Fourth Round: Lost to Moncton 5-1; lost series 4-2

2011 First Round: Defeated Cape Breton 10-0; won series 4-0
2011 Second Round: Defeated Victoriaville 4-1; won series 4-1
2011 Third Round: Defeated Lewiston 5-4 (OT); won series 4-0
2011 Fourth Round: Defeated Gatineau 2-1; won series 4-2

2012 First Round: Defeated Cape Breton 13-4; won series 4-0
2012 Second Round: Defeated Baie-Comeau 9-3; won series 4-0
2012 Third Round: Defeated Chicoutimi 4-1; won series 4-1
2012 Fourth Round: Defeated Rimouski 3-2 (OT); won series 4-0

2013 First Round: Lost to Halifax 11-1; lost series 4-0

2015 First Round: Lost to Baie-Comeau 3-1; down 1-0

The Sea Dogs look to even their series against Baie-Comeau today at 5 p.m.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

PLAYOFF GAME DAY 2: at Baie-Comeau

A preview of today’s game between the Saint John Sea Dogs and Baie-Comeau Drakkar…

What: 2015 President Cup playoffs, first round, game two. Baie-Comeau leads the best-of-seven series 1-0.

When and where: Today at 5 p.m., Henry Leonard Centre

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

Records: The Sea Dogs finished the regular season third in the Maritimes Division and 10th overall in the QMJHL with a record of 32-26-4-6 for 74 points. The Drakkar finished fourth in the East Division and seventh overall with a 35-25-5-3 record for 78 points.

2014-15 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 1-2-0-0 against the Drakkar this year while Baie-Comeau went 2-1-0-0 against Saint John.

Previous meetings:
Game 1: Saint John 1 @ Baie-Comeau 3 (March 27 2015) Final
Reg. Season: Saint John 1 @ Baie-Comeau 3 (Nov 15 2014) Final
Reg. Season: Baie-Comeau 2 @ Saint John 6 (Oct 25 2014) Final

Last meeting: In game one last night, the Drakkar defeated the Sea Dogs 3-1. Jasmin Boutet had two goals for Baie-Comeau while Nicolas Meloche added a single. Luke Green had Saint John’s only goal. Philippe Cadorette made 26 saves in the win while Sebastien Auger made 24 stops in the loss.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Drakkar: None

Random stat: With last night’s loss, Sebastien Auger is now 0-5 in playoff games with a GAA of 5.35 and SV% of .883. His only other playoff action came in the first round of the 2013 playoffs against Halifax.

Friday, March 27, 2015

RECAP: Sea Dogs Lose 3-1

FINAL: Saint John 1, Baie-Comeau 3

BAIE-COMEAU – An ineffective power play proved costly for the Saint John Sea Dogs on Friday night, losing game one of their first round series against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar by score of 3-1 at the Henry Leonard Centre.

Saint John scored just one goal on eight man advantage opportunities in the game. They had plenty of offensive zone time but struggled to create many quality scoring chances. Their one goal, which came from Luke Green, came from a ways out and with some traffic in front.

This is expected to be a penalty filled series and game one lived up to the hype. The Sea Dogs and Drakkar each had eight power plays and while Baie-Comeau failed to score on any of their man advantage chances, they were opportunistic at even strength.

Jasmin Boutet had two goals for Baie-Comeau while Nicolas Meloche added a single. Philippe Cadorette made 26 saves in the win.

Sebastien Auger made 24 stops in the loss.

After a scoreless opening period, Green opened the scoring at 2:49 of the second while the Sea Dogs were enjoying a power play. Green accepted a pass and fired a low shot from inside the line and past Cadorette to make it 1-0 Saint John.

Mitchell Dempsey was called for charging at 3:03, giving Baie-Comeau a chance to quickly tie things. Luca Ciampini walked in all alone and tried to go five-hole on Auger but was stopped. Then, while on a penalty kill, Jeremy Gregoire fired a shot off the post.

Baie-Comeau tied things up at 1-1 at 12:20 just after a power play expired. A pass through the top of the crease found Boutet and he slid the puck under a sprawled out Auger.

With 2:06 to play in the second period and after a scramble above the crease, Meloche found the puck and put it in to give Baie-Comeau a 2-1 lead after two.

In the third, Saint John had three power plays but failed to convert on any of them. Their best chance came late in the frame when Jakub Zboril fired a long shot off the post.

At 19:05, a point shot bounced off the back boards and Boutet was in perfect position to put the puck past Auger and make it a 3-1 final.

PLAYOFF GAME DAY 1: at Baie-Comeau

A preview of tonight’s game between the Saint John Sea Dogs and Baie-Comeau Drakkar…

What: 2015 President Cup Playoffs, first round, game one

When and where: Tonight at 8:30 p.m., Henry Leonard Centre

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

Records: The Sea Dogs finished the regular season third in the Maritimes Division and 10th overall in the QMJHL with a record of 32-26-4-6 for 74 points. The Drakkar finished fourth in the East Division and seventh overall with a 35-25-5-3 record for 78 points.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 4-1 win in Halifax last Saturday. Mark Tremaine had two goals while singles came from Samuel Dove-McFalls and Braydon Blight. Alex Bishop made 27 saves in the win. The Drakkar are coming off a 3-2 win over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens on home ice on Saturday. Vaclav Karabacek, Maxime St-Cyr and Jeremy Gregoire scored for the Drakkar while Philippe Cadorette made 21 saves in the win.

2014-15 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 1-1-0-0 against the Drakkar in the regular season while Baie-Comeau went 1-1-0-0 against Saint John.

Previous meetings:
Saint John 1 @ Baie-Comeau 3 (Nov 15 2014) Final
Baie-Comeau 2 @ Saint John 6 (Oct 25 2014) Final

Last meeting: Nov. 15 in Baie-Comeau where the Drakkar defeated the Sea Dogs 3-1. Alexis Vanier, Nicolas Meloche and Luca Ciampini scored for the Drakkar while Samuel Dove-McFalls had Saint John’s goal. Philippe Cadorette made 26 saves in the win while Bobby Dugan made 20 stops in the loss.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Drakkar: None

Random stat: Mitchell Dempsey has a goal and two assists in two games against the Drakkar this year.

Notebook: The Predictions Are In

Long story short: most QMJHL followers are predicting the Sea Dogs-Drakkar series to go six games but not many are picking Saint John to win.

Here are some first round predictions from around the interweb.
Game one of the Sea Dogs-Drakkar series is tonight at 8:30 p.m. AST.

PLAYOFF NUMBERS
Here’s a nice chart of the first round matchups.
AMONG THE TOP 10
Sea Dogs defenseman Thomas Chabot made Buzzing the Net’s list of top 10 NHL Draft prospects to watch in the CHL playoffs this year.

“While racking up 12 goals and 41 points in 66 games, he developed quality offensive abilities, especially a good first pass, and the know-how to read plays well in all three zones,” writes Kelly Friesen.

Chabot ended the regular season with two goals and four assists in his past five games.

ON THE HOT LIST
Jake Massie, a Sea Dogs prospect who committed to UMass Amherst this week, has cracked The Hockey News’ Hot List.

“An intriguing prospect due to the fact he was playing Quebec high school hockey last year, Massie is a lanky blueliner with smarts who can really skate. He’ll return to the Wildcats next season in preparation for college; he just committed to UMass recently,” writes Ryan Kennedy of THN.

Massie, a 1997-born d-man selected by Saint John in the fifth round of the 2014 QMJHL Entry Draft, had five goals and 15 assists in 34 games with Kimball Union Academy this past season. He is ranked 81st by Central Scouting amongst North American skaters for the upcoming NHL Draft.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

SN's First Round Playoff Predictions

Lorne Webster | SN Staff Writer

Welcome to the QMJHL's "March Madness." Much like the NCAA basketball brackets - where a monkey spinning a wheel has arguably an equal chance as many so-called experts at predicting all of the first round winners - projecting the results of this year's QMJHL playoffs is nearly impossible. So here are the thoughts of the Station Nation staff.

Rimouski (1) vs. Victoriaville (16)
Lorne Webster – SN Staff Writer – Rimouski in 4
Rimouski was strong - not dominant - down the stretch, while Victoriaville pretty much stumbled into the playoffs. Led by a league high 13 19-year-old players, Morin, Gauthier et al will be simply too strong for the Tigres.

Kevin Chambers – SN Draft/Prospect Writer – Rimouski in 4
The Oceanic are my pick to win it all and they will get little resistance from a rebuilding Tigres team. There is just too much offensive firepower from the Oceanic. This one will end quickly.

Jamie Tozer – SN Editor – Rimouski in 4
The Oceanic are a tank this season and I’m picking them to be playing in late May. The Tigres… they are not a tank.

Moncton (2) vs. Chicoutimi (15)
Lorne – Moncton in 6
After the Christmas break, the Wildcats jumped onto the backs of Conor Garland and Ivan Barbashev and tore their way through the Maritimes Division. IF - and this is a huge if - the veteran squad from Chicoutimi (with 11 19-year-old players) can ever find a way to contain Moncton's dynamic duo, the Sagueneens could pull off an upset. But doing that for over 30 minutes per game for an entire series will likely prove to be too much. 

Kevin – Moncton in 5
The Wildcats were close to winning the regular season crown, coming right down to the final weekend. Their reward is a dangerous 15th seeded Sags squad. In the end the Wildcats will be too much for the Sags led by leading scorer Conor Garland.

Jamie – Moncton in 5
Chicoutimi has a respectable roster and finished just a few games below .500. They could be dangerous, but not too dangerous for the Wildcats to handle. I think the funky schedule this series is forced to play under will help the Sags out a bit and they’ll win a game somewhere. Moncton is too strong, though.