Sunday, November 21, 2010

PRE-GAME: Rivalry Cup Game 2 - Saint John Sea Dogs vs Moncton Wildcats

By Station Nation Staff

WHO: Saint John Sea Dogs vs Moncton Wildcats
WHEN: Today, 7:00 pm
WHERE: Moncton Coliseum

VISITING TEAM: Saint John Sea Dogs
Record: 18-3-0-2 (1st in Maritimes Division)
Last Game: 6-0 win vs Quebec Sunday
Leading Scorer: Jonathan Huberdeau (23GP-15G-15A-30Pts) and Michael Kirkpatrick (23GP-8G-22A-30Pts)
Notes: The Saint John Sea Dogs enter today’s action with a 18-3-0-2 which is good for first in the Maritimes Division and a tie for second overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League... ranked third in Canada this week in the BMO CHL MasterCard Top 10 Rankings… Saint John is coming off a dominating performance against the Remparts on Sunday afternoon at Harbour Station. The Sea Dogs won 6-0 on goals from Tomas Jurco, Stanislav Galiev, Pierre Durepos, Jonathan Huberdeau, Mike Thomas, and Stephen MacAulay. Goaltender Jacob DeSerres made 22 saves for his second shutout of the season… the Sea Dogs are also tied with the Remparts for tops in the league with 106 goals. The Dogs are averaging just under five goals per game… Saint John has allowed the fewest goals against in the QMJHL with only 59 scored against them in 23 contests… they are 8-1-0-1 in their last 10 games with their last loss coming in Bathurst against the Titan on October 22…. the Sea Dogs are on their hottest stretch of the season. They have only won two consecutive games but have collected at least a point in their last nine contests… 7-3-0-1 on the road this season and have outscored their opposition 45-33 along the way. Their last road game was on October 31 in Rouyn-Noranda where they trounced the Huskies 7-0. Their last road loss was a 5-1 defeat in Bathurst on October 22… Saint John’s power play continues to be middle-of-the-pack despite being one of the league leaders on offense. They enter action ranked ninth in the league with a rating of 0.206… the Sea Dogs’ penalty kill has slipped to fifth overall in the league with a rating of 0.830… Jonathan Huberdeau and Michael Kirkpatrick are tied for the team lead in points with 30 in 23 games… Huberdeau leads the team in goals with 15, plus/minus with a rating of +26, and penalty minutes with 31… Kirkpatrick leads the club in helpers with 22… if Saint John’s goaltending rotation holds true, Frederic Piche should get the call between the pipes today. The former Titan netminder has a goals against average of 2.33, a save percentage of 0.917 to go along with a solid 9-1-0-2 record… 9-2-0-0 against Maritimes Division teams this year… Huberdeau’s +26 rating is the best in the QMJHL.

HOME TEAM: Moncton Wildcats
Record: 16-8-0-2 (2nd in Maritimes Division)
Last Game: 5-2 win vs Rouyn-Noranda yesterday
Leading Scorer: Alex Saulnier (26GP-10G-22A-32Pts)
Notes: With a victory last night, the Moncton Wildcats enter today’s game with a 16-8-0-2 record to give them sole possession of second place in the Maritimes Division. Moncton’s record is good for sixth overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League… the Wildcats are coming off a 5-2 win over the bottom feeding Rouyn-Noranda Huskies last night at the Moncton Coliseum. Daniel Milan, Olivier Daoust, and Alex Saulnier, all scored singles while Daniel Pettersson added a pair. Devon MacAusland had two assists. Goaltender Shane Owen stopped 30 shots for the win as the Huskies surprisingly outshot Moncton 32-28 including 14-6 in the final frame… 5-5-0-0 in their last 10 games and have won two straight contests… Moncton has the fifth best power play in the league with a rating of 0.268… owners of the seventh best penalty kill with a rating of 0.808… Alex Saulnier is a point ahead of his twin brother, Allain, for the team point scoring lead with 32. Alex also leads the team in assists with 22… Pettersson leads the team in goals with 16 in 26 games… Shane Owen will likely get the start in goal for Moncton this afternoon. The 20-year old has a 9-6-0-2 record, a 2.85 goals against average, and a 0.915 save percentage… Pettersson and Marek Hrivik are the only Wildcats to score against Saint John in the one meeting between the two teams back on October 8 at Harbour Station. Olivier Daoust had a team high four shots on goal. Netminder Shane Owen allowed six goals on 28 shots before being pulled. The Wildcats were outshot 35-21 in the game… star defenseman Brandon Gormley is fourth in the league in power play goals with six… Moncton has been hit by the injury bug. According to the Times & Transcript yesterday, defenseman Simon Jodoin (concussion) and forwards Jordan Carroll (knee) and Ted Stephens (concussion) are all expected to be out of today’s game… Moncton will also be without Cedric Leblanc and Tyler Howe who have both been suspended for today’s match following their actions in a game against the Gatineau Olympiques last weekend… the Wildcats have recalled Matt Tomah from the junior ‘A’ Woodstock Slammers to help fill some of the holes in the lineup. Tomah had an eventful game last night, dropping the gloves with Gabriel O’Conner, the Huskies’ captain, in the first period.

The Sea Dogs defeated the Wildcats 6-2 earlier this season at Harbour Station. From the Sea Dogs website:

Sophomore sniper Zack Phillips was named the #1 star in Game One of the 2010-11 Brunswick News Rivalry Cup Challenge after dishing out three assists on the night. Import winger Tomas Jurco, meanwhile, scored two goals in picking up Second Star of the Game honours, while rugged winger Danick Gauthier (game-high five hits) and veteran defenseman Nathan Beaulieu (1G-2A-3P, +4) also turned in solid efforts for Sea Dogs in front of a season-high crowd of 5,678 at Harbour Station. Saint John has yet to win the Rivalry Cup since its inception two years ago.
Moncton – it’s been a long time. This is the first time the Sea Dogs have travelled to Moncton since Game Six of the 2010 President’s Cup Final, where the Wildcats were lifting the QMJHL’s top prize and packing their bags for Brandon, Manitoba.

Maybe it’s a good thing it’s taken the Sea Dogs this long to play at the Moncton Coliseum this year.

Saint John has not won a game in regulation in Moncton since February 3, 2008 when the Sea Dogs downed the Wildcats 6-5. Last season, the Dogs won twice at the Coliseum but both were in a shootout.

Saint John also won in overtime at “the Cage” during the QMJHL Finals.

This is Game Two of the 2010-11 Brunswick News Rivalry Cup. Saint John has a 5-0 lead in the season long series.

Here is this years point system:

1) Head-to-head on-ice results: Three (3) points awarded to a team for a regulation win, two (2) points awarded for an overtime/shootout victory, and one (1) point awarded for an overtime/shootout loss.

(2) Head-to-head attendance figure (per game): Three (3) points awarded for 6,000 fans, two (2) points for 5,000 fans, and one (1) point for 4,000 fans.

(3) EA Sports NHL 11 Fan/Player Video Game Challenge: Saint John and Moncton will each select one fan to participate in an online video game series (best two-out-of-three) using the virtual versions of the Sea Dogs and Wildcats. The winning fan will collect five (5) points for his team/city. In addition, the Sea Dogs and Wildcats will select one player from their current roster to compete in a single-game competition, with the winner set to earn three (3) points for his side. More details regarding this portion of the challenge will be announced at a later date.

Wildcats head coach Danny Flynn with some solid quotes in the Times & Transcript:

"I think their talent and their depth of talent is the best in the league at this point. It's no surprise where they are in the standings because they're a very strong team. They're solid in all areas.

"They have the nuts and bolts and core of a team that went to the league final last season. They're a year older, they're more experienced and they're better because of that. We're going to be challenged to bring our best game against them on Sunday."

"They've got an explosive team so you've got to play a full game against them," said Flynn. "They've been able to capitalize on a number of teams that have let down for 10 minutes or a period. They have four good lines and lots of firepower."
Yesterday’s scheduled Sea Dogs game in Bathurst was postponed because of poor weather conditions. The game will be up in the future on an undetermined date.

Venue: Moncton Coliseum
Seating Capacity: 6,554
Year Built: 1973
QMJHL Arena Guide

Radio (Sea Dogs): News 88.9 FM
Live Web Feed: Telus
Television: None
Live Blog: Station Nation
Post-Game Coverage: Station Nation, L’Acadie Nouvelle, Times & Transcript, Telegraph-Journal

Follow Station Nation on Twitter at for in-game updates, scores, stats, and live coverage during tonight’s game.

The Sea Dogs host the Acadie-Bathurst Titan Friday night at 7:30 pm at Harbour Station.

Photo Credits: Station Nation Graphics Department, Marc Henwood/Station Nation, Unknown

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