Thursday, October 19, 2017

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 3-2

FINAL: Saint John 2, Charlottetown 3
CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI - The Saint John Sea Dogs suffered their fifth straight loss on Thursday night in Charlottetown.

The Sea Dogs struggled to generate and sustain offence in a 3-2 defeat to the Charlottetown Islanders at Eastlink Centre, dropping yet another one-goal game. The loss pushes the Isles, who have now won three straight, ahead of Saint John in the standings.

Saint John has now lost four straight one goal games. Thursday's was similar to the other's - the Sea Dogs didn't play all that badly nor did they play absolutely amazing. But they matched their opponent only to fall by a single goal. The Dogs just can't break out of this slump at the moment.

Adding sting to this loss is that Saint John was outscored by the league's worst offensive team - a team that was missing it's top two scorers on Thursday due to illness and injury.

You have to give the Isles some credit for how they played in this game - and the fact that they have now won three straight.

Cayse Ton, Pascal Aquin and Matthew Grouchy had goals for Charlottetown. Matthew Welsh made 26 saves in the win.

Cedric Pare and Nathan Larose scored for the Sea Dogs. Alex D'Orio made 21 stops in the loss.

Game Day 12: at Charlottetown

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI - The Saint John Sea Dogs will look to snap a losing streak again tonight.

The Sea Dogs were able to take their last match to overtime, which the Moncton Wildcats ended up winning. Saint John carries a four-game losing streak into tonight's match against the Charlottetown Islanders at Eastlink Centre - which is the building their last win came in.

Puck drop this evening is 7 p.m.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 3-6-2-0 (8 points, 5th Maritimes, 16th QMJHL) while the Islanders are 3-6-1-0 (7 points, 6th Maritimes, 17th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 4-3 overtime loss in Moncton on Sunday. Cedric Pare scored twice while Robbie Burt added a single. Matt Williams made 25 stops in the loss. The Islanders are coming off a 4-3 shootout win in Bathurst on Saturday. Sam King had a pair of goals for the Isles while Adam Marsh added a solo marker. Matthew Welsh made 40 stops in the win.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 1-0-1-0 against the Islanders this season while Charlottetown is 1-1-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Oct. 6 in Charlottetown where the Sea Dogs defeated the Islanders 4-0. Ostap Safin scored a pair of goals for Saint John while singles came from Kevin Gursoy and Daniel Hardie. Cody Porter made 28 saves in the shutout win. Dakato Lund-Cornish made 29 saves in the loss.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Islanders: Forward Adam Marsh

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Alumdate: Hot starts in the AHL

Matthew Highmore isn't the only Saint John Sea Dogs alumnus off to a hot start in the American Hockey League.

Highmore leads the Rockford IceHogs in scoring with three goals and five points through three games. He also sits second in AHL rookie scoring - one point behind former Charlottetown Islander Daniel Sprong.

The IceHogs might be the favourite AHL club of Sea Dogs fans right now. Tomas Jurco sits second on the team in scoring - and he setup Highmore's first AHL goal in the team's season opener on Oct. 7 in Cleveland (yes, Brett Gallant had a fight in that game).

The IceHogs received another former Sea Dog on Wednesday with the Chicago Blackhawks assigning Nathan Noel to the club. Noel has yet to play anywhere this season after suffering a knee injury at Blackhawks training camp.

In Belleville, Thomas Chabot is back from the big club, joining former Sea Dog Chris DiDomenico. DiDomenico, who spent a few years in the AHL and ECHL before going to Europe, has a Senators high three goals and two assists.

Alex Grant, meanwhile, is off to a fairly good start with the Iowa Wild. His first goal of the season came in the first period against Rockford on Oct. 8 - a period that saw Highmore score twice and Jurco record an assist. It's neat to see all three generations of Sea Dogs playing in the same game.

Here's a look at all the former Sea Dogs currently playing in the AHL.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Porter no longer with Sea Dogs

According to Cody Porter, Cody Porter is no longer with the Saint John Sea Dogs.

Porter tweeted Monday night that his brief time with the club has come to an end.
The 20-year-old netminder signed with the Sea Dogs as a free agent on Sept. 20. He appeared in two games with Saint John, recording a 1-1 record, one shutout, a 2.54 goals against average and a .919 save percentage.

Porter spent his entire junior career in the WHL before joining the Sea Dogs. In 117 career WHL games with the Vancouver Giants and Calgary Hitmen, Porter recorded a 52-42-5-4 record to go along with a 3.30 GAA and a .887 SV%. Last season, Porter appeared in 34 games with the Hitmen, posting a 14-16-2-1 record with a 3.46 GAA and a .888 SV%.

Porter has been removed from Saint John's roster on the team website. Alex D'Orio and Matt Williams will be the Sea Dogs' goaltending tandem.

The Sea Dogs now have a vacant 20-year-old spot. Bailey Webster and Cole Reginato are the team's only overage players at the moment.

18 Thoughts: Sea Dogs' offence has brought a mixed bag of results

SAINT JOHN - While the Saint John Sea Dogs have struggled to score this season, they have had some players meet and exceed expectations offensively.

Daniel Hardie, who scored 18 goals and 38 points in 45 games with a below .500 Rimouski Oceanic team last year, leads Saint John in scoring with five goals and 14 points in 11 games.

Import forward Ostap Safin has been living up to the hype, registering three goals and eight assists. Import defenceman Radim Salda has exceeded all expectations and has three goals and six assists. After some rough years and bad luck in the Import Draft, it's nice to see a couple guys come to Saint John and make an immediate impact.

Safin is fourth overall in QMJHL rookie scoring while Salda leads all rookie defencemen in points.

Captain Joe Veleno has found the back of the net just once this year, but has - somewhat quietly - recorded eight assists in 11 games. Not bad for a team that's averaging 2.16 goals per game (only Charlottetown is averaging fewer).

The big question: can these four keep this going all season? If not, who is going to step up?

As expected, Saint John's secondary scoring has been lacking - especially during this four game losing streak. After Veleno, Saint John's next leading scorer in Cedric Pare with four points.

Pare had a big game in Moncton on Sunday, which is hopefully a sign of things to come. Other guys have produced at times, but not consistently. But this was an expected problem heading into the season, and it's an issue that has no easy fix.

It's still early, though. There's plenty of time for the Sea Dogs to get their offence running smoother. We'll see.

Some other random thoughts...

Sunday, October 15, 2017

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 4-3 (OT)

FINAL: Saint John 3, Moncton 4 (OT)
MONCTON - A frustrating trend continued for the Saint John Sea Dogs on Sunday afternoon.

The Sea Dogs have now lost three straight one-goal games - and four straight matches overall - following a 4-3 overtime loss to the Moncton Wildcats.

Like their previous two loses, the Sea Dogs played well enough to win but simply couldn't outscore their opposition. Saint John's offence was able to score more than it has recently, though, even taking a third period lead for a short time.

The Sea Dogs aren't catching many breaks these days. Saint John, up 3-2 near the midway mark of the third, could have taken a 4-2 lead if Landon Quinney's shot had gone in rather than hitting the post. A two-goal lead at that moment could have changed the final result as the Wildcats ended up tying the game a short time later. That's the kind of puck luck the Sea Dogs have had over the past week or so.

Cedric Pare scored twice for Saint John while Robbie Burt recorded his first QMJHL goal. Matt Williams, making his first QMJHL start, played very well in the loss, making 25 saves.

Brady Pataki scored twice for Moncton while singles came from Julien Tessier and Mika Cyr. Mark Grametbauer made 32 stops in the win.