Thursday, October 30, 2014

RECAP: Dogs Win 6-5

FINAL: Saint John 6, Cape Breton 5
SYDNEY, NS – In a wild Thursday night game, Adam Marsh’s goal with 4:23 remaining in regulation time gave the Saint John Sea Dogs a 6-5 victory over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles at Centre 200.

Marsh bookended the scoring on Thursday as he opened things up and ended it. The rookie now has an impressive nine goals on the season.

Marsh’s performance proved to be the most normal thing to happen in this game. It was a back-and-forth contest with neither team leading by more than one goal throughout. The third was especially crazy with a plethora of minor penalties, major penalties and game misconducts handed out after a fairly tame opening 40 minutes.

Along with Marsh, Thomas Chabot, Samuel Dove-McFalls, Matthew Highmore and Olivier LeBlanc also scored. Blade Mann-Dixon made his second career start and earned his first victory, making 29 stops.

The Eagles had a hat trick from Evgeny Svechnikov while singles came from Maxim Lazarev and Loik Leveille. Francois Brassard made 14 saves in 40:17 of action while Miguel Sullivan made 11 stops in 15:20 of action.

Marsh opened the scoring at 5:45 of the first period, firing the puck after accepting a drop pass from Nathan Noel. Cape Breton tied it at 10:19 as Svechnikov connected to make it 1-1. Saint John retook the lead at 16:56 when Chabot beat Brassard through a screen.

Shots were 10-9 Saint John in the first period.

36 seconds into the second, Lazarev scored to tie things up at 2-2. After successfully killing off a few penalties, Dove-McFalls put in a Juraj Siska rebound to give Saint John a 3-2 advantage at 12:03. Cape Breton would battle back again though. Less than two minutes after Dove-McFalls’ goal, Leveille scored to make it 3-3. But Highmore’s five-hole goal at 16:26 put Saint John back up by one, 4-3.

Shots in the second were 10-10.
Noel received a five-minute major and game misconduct at 11:00 following a hit on Cameron Darcy. 22 seconds into the man advantage, Svechnikov tipped in a Jason Bell point shot to tie it up at 4-4.

At 11:46, Sullivan, the Eagles netminder that replaced Brassard in the second, was given a five minute major and game misconduct for punching Highmore with his blocker. At 12:29, LeBlanc was called for diving to send Cape Breton back to the power play. At 13:02, Svechnikov completed his hat trick to give the Eagles their first lead of the game.

Saint John tied it at 14:23 on a power play of their own. A LeBlanc point shot flew past Brassard to make it 5-5. Just over a minute later, Marsh sped through the Cape Breton defense and netted his second of the contest to put the Dogs back in front. Mann-Dixon would keep his team in the lead the rest of the way.

Shots were 15-11 Eagles in the third and 34-31 overall.

Saint John went 1-for-3 on the power play while Cape Breton went 2-for-6.

GAMEDAY 16: at Cape Breton

A preview of tonight’s game between the Saint John Sea Dogs and Cape Breton Screaming Eagles…

When and where: Tonight at 7 p.m., Centre 200

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are first in the Maritimes Division and third overall in the QMJHL with a 9-3-0-3 record for 21 points. The Screaming Eagles are fourth in the Maritimes and 14th overall with a 7-8-1-1 record for 16 points.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to the Quebec Remparts on Sunday. Juraj Siska had both Saint John regulation time goals while Sebastien Auger made 34 saves. The Screaming Eagles are coming off a 2-1 loss in Charlottetown on Sunday. Kyle Farrell had Cape Breton’s lone goal while Francois Brassard made 25 stops in the loss.

2014-15 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 1-1-0-0 against the Screaming Eagles this season while Cape Breton is 1-1-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Oct. 4 in Sydney when the Screaming Eagles edged the Sea Dogs 4-2. Duncan MacIntyre had two goals for the Eagles while Colby Tower and Kyle Farrell added singles. Spencer Smallman and Samuel Dove-McFalls had Saint John goals. Blade Mann-Dixon made 23 saves in the loss while Francois Brassard made 26 in the win.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Screaming Eagles: None

Random stat: Samuel Dove-McFalls has a goal and two assists in three games against Cape Breton this season.

Thursday Stuff

Some news, notes and stuff…

  • Former Sea Dogs goaltender Antoine Landry, traded to Bathurst during the off-season, made his season debut with the Titan last night. He made 29 saves in a 4-1 loss to Victoriaville.
  • RDS has a real nice article on Sebastien Auger en franca is.
  • The Sea Dogs announced yesterday that Support our Troops Night, originally scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 1, has been pushed back to Sunday, Feb. 22. According to a release, “the decision was made in consultation with Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, and other military personnel scheduled to be involved, in light of recent tragedies in Quebec and Ottawa.”
  • Meanwhile, the annual Teddy Bear Toss, originally slated for Saturday, Jan. 10, has been moved to Sunday, Dec. 7.
  • Saint John visits the Screaming Eagles tonight in Sydney. They host the Eagles at Saturday night at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday’s Sea Dogs game will be broadcast on Rogers TV. It’ll be the team’s final appearance until Nov. 30.
  • Also worth noting about Saint John’s television schedule: their Jan. 17 game in Gatineau will be broadcast. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sea Dogs Move Up To 7th

The Saint John Sea Dogs continue to gradually climb up the BMO CHL Top 10 Rankings.

The team made the Top 10 for a third consecutive week this week, climbing up to No. 7. The Dogs posted a win over the Baie-Comeau Drakkar and a shootout loss to the Quebec Remparts over the weekend.

The Rimouski Oceanic at No. 3 and the Sherbrooke Phoenix at No. 9 were the only other QMJHL teams to crack the Top 10. The WHL’s Kelowna Rockets sit in first.

The weekly rankings of the Canadian Hockey League’s Top 10 teams are selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts.

Here are the rankings for week six:
This week, the Sea Dogs play a home-and-home against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Surprising Sea Dogs

The Saint John Sea Dogs have been a pleasant surprise this season.

The goaltending has been solid. The young and improving defense core has been getting the job done. Sure there have been some bumps along the way, but a 9-3-0-3 record in the final week of October is much better than most predicted.

But, by far the most surprising part of this team has been the offense. This team is scoring goals - a lot of goals.

Their 62 markers is the second most in the Maritimes Division and fifth overall in the QMJHL. Their 4.04 goals per game average is the second highest in the league.

Despite these solid offenisive numbers, not a single Sea Dog sits among the top 20 scorers in the league. This team is getting it done with depth and chemistry.

Not surprisingly, Nathan Noel is leading the way with 16 points. But after Noel sits Adam Marsh, Thomas Chabot, Justice Dundas and Mitchell Dempsey – not guys many had predicted to be offensive leaders in the early goings.

I don’t know if the Sea Dogs can keep this pace going all year; but, at least they’ve proven they have the ability to score.

Some other random thoughts…

  • The Sea Dogs/Drakkar rivalry is just weird. Pretty much every game between the two over the past few seasons has been ugly.
  • Nice to see Juraj Siska score a pair – and a shootout goal – on Sunday. Hopefully that gets him going.
  • Sunday’s loss dropped Saint John to 1-3 in shootouts this season. They’ve scored four goals on 13 attempts and allowed six on 14.
  • Matthew Highmore is off to a slow start, registering just three assists in 10 games this season. At this point last season, Highmore had only three goals and six assists in 17 games... so I don’t think it’s anything to be concerned about yet.
  • It’s pretty fantastic to finally see some free agents come in and find success. The past couple seasons have been rough in that department. Darrell Young has produced as advertised.
  • Watched both Rogers TV broadcasts this weekend and they’re doing a solid job. The commentary is knowledgeable, the camera work is good and the production is well done. So nice to have these broadcasts back (they also act as the league webcast for games that are broadcasted).
  • Speaking of the webcasts, what’s going on there? Another free month on the horizon? I know some markets are still having problems with audio hook up. Curious to see what the pricing is.
  • Sebastien Auger has more points (two assists) this season than Lukas Walter had all of last season. So there’s that.
  • Cape Breton and Charlottetown are certainly off to underwhelming starts.
  • The Sea Dogs play a weird Thursday-Saturday home-and-home against the Screaming Eagles this week.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Justice Being Served

From Saturday's game against Baie-Comeau.