Sunday, February 28, 2010

SEA DOGS POST-GAME NOTEBOOK

SEA DOGS – HUSKIES GAME AT A GLANCE
Final Score/SO:
Saint John 6, Rouyn-Noranda 5
Saint John Goals: Mike Hoffman (41, 42, 43), Nicholas Petersen (37), and Michael Kirkpatrick (28)
Rouyn-Noranda Goals: Gabriel O’Conner (9), Jerome Gauthier-Leduc (20), Jean-Sebastien Berube (23), Gabriel Levesque (23), and Christopher Losier (13)
Winning Goaltender: SNB – Karel St. Laurent (17-4-0)
Losing Goaltender: Nicholas Champion (24-20-0)

THE NUMBERS
Power Play:
Huskies 0/6, Sea Dogs: 2/5
Shots on Goal: Huskies: 13+9+15+5=42, Sea Dogs: 6+11+9+6=32
Attendance: 2,248

SAINT JOHN SCRATCHES
Aiden Kelly was a healthy scratch in favour of Gabriel Bourret. Head coach Gerard Gallant wanted to get Bourret in the lineup before the road trip ended. Steven Anthony missed his fourth straight game with a groin injury.

Other injury news involves Jonathan Huberdeau who left the in their period with an upper body injury.

ROUGH START
Rouyn-Noranda came out of the gates flying and outshot the Sea Dogs 13-6 in the first period. The huskies scored twice but Saint John managed to beat Nicholas Champion twice also to send the game into the intermission all tied up.

After the Huskies took the lead again in the second, Saint John scored two goals in the first minute of the third period. The game would then go to the eventual shootout.

THIS IS RIDICULUS
Mike Hoffman - this guy in is not human.

The 20-year old scored three goals, one assist, had four penalty minutes, took seven shots, and was a +2 on the night. That is not to mention the fact that he tied the game in the last minute of the third period to send this one to an eventual overtime.

In the shootout, Hoffman went all Peter Forsberg on Champion to net the winner. Tomas Jurco also scored while Karel St. Laurent stopped both Rouyn-Noranda shooters.

Hoffman leads the league with 15 game winning goals. No other player is even double digits in the category.

NEW RECORD
By scoring his 41st, 42nd, and 43rd goal of the season, Mike Hoffman has now placed his name in the Sea Dogs’ record.

He tied and broke Scott Howes’ goals in a season team record which was previously set by Howes during the 2007-08 campaign when he scored 42.

Just like Hoffman, Howes wore number 27 and was a native of Ontario.

SOLID SWEEP
With their 6-5 victory in Rouyn-Noranda, the Sea Dogs swept their final three game Quebec road trip of the season. They defeated Gatineau 7-5 on Wednesday and Val-d’Or 9-3 on Friday.

Saint John has now won four straight games and seven straight on the road. They are also 9-1-0-0 in their last 10 games and have the best road record (26-4-1-0) in the league.

The Sea Dogs have one more three game road trip remaining this year. March 10 to 14, the Sea Dogs play in Cape Breton, Charlottetown, and Moncton to close out the regular season.

ZAMBONI PLAY-BY-PLAY/KEON FUN FACTS
This is why Tim Roszell gets paid the big bucks by News 88.9.

There was a small delay before the shootout started as the Zamboni had left a pile of snow on the ice in the Huskies crease area. The ice resurfacing machine came back out and was described beautifully by Roszell as it wiped away the slush. He went on to describe how the Zamboni has to back in to the exit to get off the ice. Doesn’t get much more modern then the ole’ Dave Keon Arena.

Speaking of “The Keon,” the music is still cranked up beyond legal limits and the fans are very loud. The creepy, yet cool Husky eyes are still shining bright on the concourse wall. “Disastromatic” sent us this on Twitter:

@station_nation It's not haunted, it's just old man Keon scaring folks away! Woulda got away with it, if it weren't for those meddling kids.

OUT OF TOWN
CHRONICLE HERALD
Screaming Eagles 6, Titan 1: At Sydney, Luke Adam had a hat trick for Cape Breton.

Juniors 6, Cataractes 1: At Shawinigan, Que., Eliezer Sherbatov scored twice for Montreal in the win.

Drakkar 4, Rocket 3 (SO): At Baie-Comeau, Que., Simon Olsson and Marc-Olivier Mimar scored in the shootout for the Drakkar.

Wildcats 4, Mooseheads 3: "I think we played pretty good but in the third period they showed how good they really are," said Halifax captain Tomas Knotek. It was Halifax’s last home game of the season due to the Brier taking over the Metro Centre.

QUICK HITS
Saint John improves to 3-0-0-0 this year against Rouyn-Noranda… the Huskies have already clinched first place in the Telus Western division… Saint John is 9-0 in the shootout this season and have gotten 21 points out of the breakaway contest this year. The next best team is Bathurst who has gotten 12 points… Gerard Gallant flipped out at the linesman during the third period after they missed an obvious icing call against the Huskies. Rouyn-Noranda came back up ice and scored… Jordan Caron lost his cool on the bench in the second period. The official skated over and handed him a 10 minute misconduct.

NEXT GAME
Up next for the league-leading Sea Dogs is a Wednesday night home game versus the P.E.I. Rocket at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station. Special $5.00 upper bowl seats are available for this match, which is being sponsored by Irwin Industrial Tools.

It is also been designated “Faith and Family Night,” which will feature an inspirational post-game speech by Team Chaplain Bruce Smith.

GATINEAU COACH RESIGNS

Being 1-9-0-0 in your last 10 games as head coach of the Gatineau Olympiques just isn’t good enough. The franchise is one of the best in the history of the QMJHL and is in danger of finishing below .500 for the first time in years.

The head coach of the Olympiques, Jérôme Dupont, announced his resignation Saturday. The Ottawa native will remain with the organization as a consultant until further notice. Guy Lalonde will assume the coaching duties until a successor is found.

The move comes just three days after losing 7-5 to the Saint John Sea Dogs on home ice. It was a game where the Sea Dogs lead 6-1 after two periods. Since that game, the Piques finally found the win column thanks to a shootout win over Montreal. Yesterday they lost 7-0 to the surging Drummondville Voltigeurs.

One of the Olympiques’ worst loss of the season came when they lost 8-0 to the Dogs on January 24.

Dupont had a 59-49 record as the Olympiques’ bench boss in just under two seasons with the club.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

HOFFMAN STARS IN “THE CHRONICLES OF NORANDA”

STATION NATION RECAP
FINAL/SO:
Sea Dogs 6, Huskies 5

ROUYN-NORANDA – Mike Hoffman almost one this game by himself.

Hoffman scored three goals and added assist as the Saint John Sea Dogs slipped by the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 6-5 in a shootout Sunday evening in northern Quebec. The win capped off another perfect road trip for the Sea Dogs as they go 3-0 on their last Quebec road swing of the season.

For the man who wears number 27, he tied and broke Scott Howes’ team record for goals in a season by scoring his 43rd of the year in the dying minutes of Saturday’s game. He would also score in the shootout.

Despite allowing five goals in this game, the sometimes shaky Karel St. Laurent played an excellent game and made 37 saves on the night. Saint John fired 32 shots on former Acadie-Bathurst net minder Nicholas Champion.

Scoring for the victors were Mike Hoffman, Nicholas Petersen, and Michael Kirkpatrick. Rouyn-Noranda had offensive production from Gabriel O’Conner, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, Jean-Sebastien Berube, Gabriel Levesque, and Christopher Losier.

FIRST PERIOD
It was all Rouyn-Noranda early in the first period. After two good chances by the Huskies and lots of pressure, Gabriel O’Conner scored at 1:45 to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead. He beat goaltender Karel St. Laurent up high on the first shot of the game.

Moments later O’Conner had another good chance but was stopped by St. Laurent and missed on his rebound opportunity. Then Jean-Sebastien Berube sent a shot from close range off the side of the goal.

Saint John finally had a chance to open up their scoring when Nicholas Petersen fed Mike Hoffman but he sent the shot wide. Shortly after at the other end, Sergey Ostapchuck tipped a Jerome Gauthier-Leduc shot off the crossbar.

The huskies made it two goal game at 6:29 when Leduc went forehand to backhand to beat St. Laurent on a deke. The goal came on a delayed penalty against the Sea Dogs.

The next shift, Jordan Caron was stopped by the pad of St. Laurent as the Husky onslaught continued. Then Saint John started to take some momentum.

Berube got called at 7:58 for a slash to give Saint John a power play. On the man advantage, Hoffman blasted his 41st goal of the year past Nicholas Champion from the point to make it a 2-1 Huskies lead.

At 10:47, Sainy John captain Mike Thomas and Christopher Losier dropped the gloves in the Sea Dogs end. It was spirited tilt with both players throwing some solid punches. The officials eventually ended the bought.

On another power play at 11:43, Michael Kirkpatrick sent a point shot that was stopped by Champion in the crease. He couldn’t hold on to the rebound as Petersen netted his 37th of the season to tie the game at 2-2.

After Christian Morin went to the box at 12:10, Hoffman sent a shot off the post while shorthanded. The Huskies could not get anything going on the power play but had another chance at 16:09 when Kevin Gagne got called for the hold. Rouyn-Noranda had some good pressure but struggled to get any quality chances.

Shots in the first period were 13-6 for the home team.

SECOND PERIOD
The second period was much more evenly played. Saint John had the first chance early on as Hoffman sent a point shot on goal but was tipped in front, forcing Champion to make a good save in close.

The Huskies went to the power play at 5:23 when Gagne got called for tripping. Opstapchuck had a wide open net on the man advantage but sent his shot through crease. Rouyn-Noranda was excellent on the power play but couldn't get the go-ahead goal.

Zach Phillips, who has been hotter than Cyprees Mountain lately, fed Jonathan Huberdeau in front but cranked the puck off the post. The Sea Dogs went back to power play at 10:06 and had some good chances. Nicholas Pard had a sharp angled shot stopped as the Dogs had great pressure. However, they failed to score.

With this being such an evenly played period, Caron decided he better take some action of some sort. In a bizarre turn of events, an official skated over to the Rouyn-Noranda bench and slapped a misconduct of the former Rimouski Oceanic. It is believed he was yapping at the referee.

At 11:05, Saint John went back to the power play but couldn’t score despite some solid possession. Hoffman took a tripping call at 12:10 to make the play four-on-four. The Huskies had two terrific chances when their P.P. but St. Laurent was there to keep the disc out.

In the final minute of the period, the Huskies got their lead back. Berube scored at 19:27 after the Sea Dogs couldn’t clear the puck to make it 3-2 heading into the intermission.

Shots in the middle frame were 11-9 in favour of the second ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League.

THIRD PERIOD
The Sea Dogs came out firing in the third period. Just 39 seconds in, Hoffman tied the team record for goals in a season after his shot deflected in off a Husky defender to tie the game 3-3.

Then just 17 seconds later, Saint John took the lead for the first time as Kirkpatrick scored at 0:56. The Nova Scotian picked up a loose puck behind the goal and beat Champion on what was a bit of a weak goal against to make it a 4-3 Sea Dogs lead.

The Huskies began to fall apart after that as Berube hauled down Nathan Beaulieu to give Saint John a power play. Hoffman had his shot stopped with Petersen there to get the rebound but sent it wide. Tomas Jurco and Kirkpatrick also had opportunities on the man advantage.

Rouyn-Noranda tied it at 6:28. Gabriel Levesque finished off a nice passing play to make it a 4-4 game with still lots of time left.

Then Pier-Luc Giguere sent a shot in on St. Laurent that caused a mad scramble in the crease. Out of that, Hoffman got called for cross check but the Huskies could not score.

There was lots of back-and-forth play until the 15:01 mark. After a missed icing call against the Huskies, Losier found the back of the net to put the home team back in front by score of 5-4. That caused Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant to flip his lid at the linesmen. That lasted for several minutes until Gallant was given an unsportsmanlike penalty.

On the power play, Giguere had the best Rouyn-Noranda chance as he missed an open cage.

The Sea Dogs had some good pressure until they took a timeout. Then with just 44 second left in the game, Hoffman made history by scoring his 43rd goal of the season and breaking the team record. A slick backhander went through some traffic and beat Champion five hole to send this one to overtime.

Shots in the third were 15-9 Huskies.

OVERTIME
Extra time was pointless. Pard had the best chance in overtime on a partial break but was stopped by the blocker of Champion.

Shots in the extra session were 6-5 Sea Dogs.

SHOOTOUT
The Sea Dogs in the shootout this season have become as predictable as the women’s hockey Olympic final. St. Laurent stopped both Ostapchuck and Leduc while Hoffman and Jurco scored to give Saint John the extra point.

NOTES: See Station Nation tomorrow for Sea Dogs Post-Game Notebook.

NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs host the PEI Rocket on Wednesday at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station. The two teams will likely play each other in round one of the playoffs.

PRE-GAME: Saint John Sea Dogs vs Rouyn-Noranda Huskies

Game Day
Saint John Sea Dogs vs Rouyn-Noranda

Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 5:00 pm
Dave Keon Arena

Visiting Team: Saint John Sea Dogs
Record: 50-10-1-0 (1st in Atlantic Division)
Last Game: 9-3 win at Val-d’Or last night
Leading Scorer: Mike Hoffman: 50 GP-40 G-36 A-76 Pts
NHL Draft Picks: Yann Sauve (Vancouver), Marco Cousineau (Anaheim), Simon Despres (Pittsburgh), Steven Anthony (Vancouver), Mike Hoffman (Ottawa), and Nicholas Petersen (Pittsburgh).
Notes: Saint John is first on the Atlantic, first overall in the QMJHL, and are ranked second in country this week after five straight weeks at number one… coming off a rather convincing victory in Val-d’Or last night as they won 9-3. Michael Kirkpatrick and Zach Phillips both had two goal nights while Marco Cosuineau stopped 18 pucks for the win… Karel St. Laurent will likely get the start in goal today after Cousineau played Wednesday in Gatineau and last night. He has a record of 16-4 with a goals against average of 2.71 and save percentage of 0.902… became the first team in the league this year to acheive 50 wins and 100 points. Both are franchise firsts… 8-2-0-0 in their last 10 games and have won three straight against the teams frim Val-d’Or, Gatineau, and Rimouski… this is the fifth straight game for Saint John in which they have played a Quebec based team. They are 3-1… this ends a three game Quebec road trip, their last of the season. They are 2-0 so far on the trek. They have one more three gamer in the last week of the season when they are in Cape Breton, PEI, and Moncton… the Sea Dogs will likely reach 300 goals scored by the end of next week. In 61 games this year, Saint John has scored a league high 285 goals… Saint John is a league best 25-4-1-0 on the road this season. They are 9-1-0-0 in their last 10 games away from Harbour Station and have won six straight. It is the longest active road winning streak… Mike Hoffman is on a three game point scoring streak. In that span, he has three goals and one assist… Zach Phillips has been the hottest Sea Dog of late. In his last two games, the 17-year old has four goals and three assists… Danick Gauthier of all people has a team high three goals against the Huskies this season… Michael Kirkpatrick has a team high three assists versus Rouyn-Noranda this year… Kevin Gagne is a team high +5 in two games against the Huskies.

RECORDS READY TO BE SMASHED
SAINTJOHNSEADOGS.COM
In the team record watch, Michael Kirkpatrick is seven assists shy of Chris DiDomenico’s franchise-best mark of 56 headed into today’s action, while superstar sniper Mike Hoffman is now only two back of Scott Howes’ single-season goals record of 42 with seven games remaining on the 09-10 campaign. Kirkpatrick (27G-49A) and Hoffman (40G-36A) are both tied for seventh place onthe QMJHL scoring list with 76 points apiece.

Home Team: Rouyn-Noranda Huskies
Record: 37-20-2-3 (1st in Telus Western Division)
Last Game: 4-1 Win vs Val-d’Or on Thursday
Leading Scorer: Gabriel Levesque: 61 GP-22 G-55 A-77 Pts
NHL Draft Picks: Steven Delisle (Columbus), Nicolas Deslauriers (Los Angeles), Jean-Sebastien Berube (New Jersey), Jordan Caron (Boston), Philippe Cornet (Edmonton), and Patrice Cormier (Atlanta)
Notes: The Huskies sit sixth overall in the league with 79 points and are first in the Telus West division. They are 7-2-0-1 in their last 10 games and have won four straight games… Rouyn-Noranda has the fourth best power play in the league with a percentage of 24.4… owners of the third best penalty kill in the league with a percentage of 83.1. They sit behind Moncton and Victoriaville for tops in the league while playing shorthanded… have allowed the fourth most shorthanded goals against with nine… have the fourth best home record in the QMJHL with a record of 21-7-1-2. They are 8-1-0-1 in their last 10 games at Dave Keon Arena and have won four straight games… Nicolas Deslauriers and Pier-Luc Giguere both have three game point scoring streaks… Philippe Cornet leads the team in goals with 26. He is second in team scoring with 72 points… former Team Canada captian Patrice Cormier will miss the game after he was suspended for the rest of the season by the QMJHL because of his elbow to the head of Rempart Mikael Tam… Jeff Desjardins has a team high three points (one goal and two assists) against Saint John this year… no player has scored more than a single goal in two games against the Dogs earlier this season… Desjardins and Cornet are a team worst -6 versus the Sea Dogs this season… former Acadie-Bathurst Titan goalie Nicholas Champion is 14-5 since joining the Huskies at the deadline. He is 0-2 against Saint John this year with a goals against average of 4.98.

HUSKIES APPEALING FOR A SECOND TIME
CBC SPORTS/THE CANADIAN PRESS
The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies on Friday announced they would appeal centre Patrice Cormier's suspension for a second time. The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's board of governors have submitted three potential candidates for an independent arbitrator, who will then begin the appeals process with a hearing expected in the coming weeks.

"The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies have exercised their right to appeal, which is a right granted to them by the league's constitution," QMJHL commissioner Gilles Courteau said in a statement. "The right exists as a last resort."

Courteau had rejected the Huskies' initial appeal after QMJHL disciplinarian Raymond Bolduc suspended the 19-year-old Cormier for the balance of the season, including playoffs, following his elbow to the head of Quebec Remparts defenceman Mikael Tam in a Jan. 17 game. After hearing the testimonies of Cormier and Huskies head coach and general manager André Tourigny along with the position and arguments of the team and its legal counsel, Courteau concluded, "Patrice Cormier's gesture was very violent and susceptible of inflicting severe damage to the victim.

"The decision is consistent with the need to establish new and more severe disciplinary standards to dissuade players from taking these actions."

Courteau added Bolduc's decision to suspend Cormier is "justified, reasonable and consistent with the league's new policy."

Cormier, who is from Moncton, N.B., was only in his third game with Rouyn-Noranda when the hit on Tam took place. Rimouski acquired him along with fellow Canadian world junior teammate Jordan Caron for two 17-year-olds and a package of draft picks. A former New Jersey Devils prospect, Cormier was part of a Feb. 4 trade that saw the Devils pick up Ilya Kovalchuk from Atlanta.

Saint John vs Rouyn-Noranda:
This Season
(GP-W-L-OTL-SOL-PTS):
2-2-0-0-0-4
Home: 2-2-0-0-0-4
Road: 0-0-0-0-0-0
Goals For: 12
Goals Against: 5

Last Season (GP-W-L-OTL-SOL-PTS):
2-1-1-0-0-2
Home: 1-0-1-0-0-0
Road: 1-1-0-0-0-2
Goals For: 7
Goals Against: 11

All-Time- Not Including This Season (GP-W-L-OTL-SOL-PTS):
8-3-4-1-0-7
Home: 4-1-2-1-0-3
Road: 4-2-2-0-0-4
Goals For: 24
Goals Against: 42

STATION NATION FACTS:
  • Rouyn-Noranda and their funky bus have already played in Saint John twice this season as part of a double header. The Huskies lost both games 6-2 and 6-3.
  • In 1996, the Rouyn-Noranda “Huskies” were born. They enjoyed one of their best season in 1997-98 as they finished second in the overall standings thanks to a club-record 43 wins in 70 games. The following year, Mike Ribeiro (167), James Tremblay (135) and James Desmarais (132) would become the third batch of forwards to finish 1-2-3 in the scoring standings.
  • The 2007-08 season was exceptional as the Huskies registered 97 points in 70 games, finishing 1st in the overall standings. Although heavy favourites, they were defeated in the QMJHL final by the Gatineau Olympiques. Their playoff run included a four game sweep of the Sea Dogs in the semi-finals.

AROUND THE TOWN
WIKIPEDIA
Rouyn-Noranda (2006 population 39,924) is a city on Osisko Lake in northwestern Quebec, Canada. The city of Rouyn-Noranda is coextensive with a territory equivalent to a regional county municipality (TE) and census division (CD) of Quebec of the same name. Their geographical code is 86.

Since 1966, Rouyn and Noranda constitute the capital of the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region. It is also the seat of public university UQAT since 1983.

The population tends to increase or decrease dramatically depending on the economic situation. The city's population dropped by 5 per cent between the 1996 and 2001 census, before increasing slightly by 0.8 per cent for the 2006 census. This more closely parallels the demographic patterns of Northern Ontario than those of Quebec during this period. Rouyn-Noranda also has other cultural affiliations with Northern Ontario, being the only municipality in Quebec that holds a membership in the Francophone Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

THE RINK
Venue:
Dave Keon Arena
Capacity: 2,150
Average Attendance: 1,935
Arena Guide Info: http://www.qmjhlarenaguide.com/huskies.htm
Notes: Rink dimensions are 190 X 85… Rouyn-Noranda city council has voted as of June 2009 to expand the QMJHL's smallest arena. No details have yet been announced.

MEDIA
Saint John Media:
Radio- News 88.9 FM (www.news889.com)
Live Video Streaming: www.qmjhl.mytelus.com
Post-Game Coverage: www.stationnation.blogspot.com

TWITTER
Follow Station Nation on Twitter at www.twitter.com/station_nation for in game updates from tonight’s game.

Friday, February 26, 2010

101 REASONS TO LIKE THIS SEASON

STATION NATION POST-GAME
FINAL:
Sea Dogs 9, Foreurs 3

VAL-D’OR – For the first time in franchise history, Saint John’s point total will read three digits.
With their 9-3 blowout win in Val-d’Or on Friday night against the Foreurs, Saint John picked up point number 100 and 101 as well as win number 50 – also a franchise first. Their previous highest point total came in 2007-08 when they captured 89 points while playing a 70 game schedule.

Saint John got better as the game progressed and bounced back from a rough outing Wednesday night in Gatineau. Sporting the exact same lineup as their game against the Olympiques, Marco Cousineau made 18 saves to pick up his 23rd win of the year.

Zach Phillips and Michael Kirkpatrick had two goal nights for the Sea Dogs. Nicholas Petersen, Jonathan Huberdeau, Nicholas Pard, Mike Hoffman and Nathan Beaulieu added singles for the winners. For Phillips, he has now scored four goals and three assists in his last two games.

The non-victorious home team from the “Valley of Gold” had a two goal performance Jonathan Hazen. Jean Francois Leblanc added a single.

Saint John went 1/4 on the power play while Val-d’Or went 1/6.

It was a fairly even first period of play. Saint John had the first power play of the game at 2:07 when Alex Filiatrault knocked Nicholas Pard’s stick out his hands. On the man advantage, Saint John had lots of pressure but few shots early on. Kevin Gagne had two shots but could not beat Jacob Chouinard.

Val-d’Or captain Simon Lacroix let a good shot go from the slot but was stopped. That caused a mad scramble in the crease but was kept out by Marco Cousineau. On the play, Stephen MacAulay went to the box but the Foreurs struggled on the power play and couldn’t get set-up to get any shots off.

Simon Despres had a good chance when he wristed a shot but was stopped by Chouinard. Then Despres had another good chance when he was left all alone in the slot area but hit the post.

Nicholas Petersen and Mike Hoffman entered the zone on a two-on-one chance. Petersen had the puck and used Hoffman as a decoy when he let a wrist shot go that beat Chouinard short side to make it 1-0 Sea Dogs at 16:33.

On the following shift, Hoffman carried the puck into the zone and went down to the icing line. He centered a back hand pass to Stanislav Galiev in front but was robbed by the pad of Chouinard.

At 18:29, Zach Phillips continued his hot play. The 17-year sat in front of the goal and simply used his stick to put in the puck that was thrown in front. This came thanks to some strong forechecking to allow Phillips to be parked in front.

Shots after 20 minutes were 9-8 for the visitors.

Simon Despres took a penalty to open the period at 0:38. Danick Gauthier had a great shorthanded chance on a wrap around but sent his backhand shot just wide of the post. That was followed by Mike Thomas getting called at 1:25. After two good stops by Cousineau, Hoffman went in on a breakaway but was robbed by the pad of Chouinard.

Hoffman then got called at 2:18 for a trip to give the Foreurs a long five-on-three. On the power play following a time-out, Vincent Couture sent a cross crease pass to Jonathan Hazen who was left alone. Cousineau dove to make the save but Hazen went roof-daddy to make it a 2-1 game.

With Val-d’Or still on the power play, Couture had a great chance but sent the shot wide.

Then it was Saint John’s chance at a five-on-three power play with two Foreurs players in the box. Hoffman had a shot stopped as Chouinard was in good position. Then Michael Kirkpatrick sent a cross ice pass to Hoffman but he hit the post. Finally, Pard finished off the power play by hitting Saint John’s third post of the game.

Nathan Beaulieu laid a big hit on first overall pick Olivier Archambault by the Sea Dogs bench. Couture was stopped again by Cousineau in front as the Val-d’Or played was snake bitten in the second period.

After Yann Sauve took a slashing call at 8:23, the Foreurs struggled again to get their power play setup. Archambault sent a cross ice feed but nobody was there to accept the puck on the best chance of the man advantage.

Beaulieu made it a 3-1 game when he took a drop pass from Galiev at 10:48 to beat Chouinard just inside the post on a hard shot. Then Hoffman made it 4-1 along the goal line as he sent a shot that sneaked just inside the post at 14:58.

Val-d’Or managed to keep it close when Jean-Francois Leblanc scored at 16:47. His backhand managed to get through a large amount of traffic and beat the Saint John net minder five-hole to make it 4-2.

But a pass through a maze of traffic made its way to the stick of Kirkpatrick at 17:41 and beat Sean Coulton, who replaced Chouinard following the Beaulieu goal, to make it 5-2 Sea Dogs after two periods.

Shots in the second were 9-6 for the home team.

Saint John got a power play chance early in the third period when Mathieu Leduc got called after taking down Jonathan Huberdeau. On the power play, Huberdeau got his revenge by deking around a few Foreurs players and beating Coulton in front to make it 6-2.

Just over three minutes later at 5:17, Hazen found the back of the net to make it a three goal game again. The play happened after a dump in was centered by the Foreurs with Hazen beating Cousineau high glove side.

Jurco had a great chance following the goal but was stopped by Coulton with the chest.

A point shot was stopped by Coulton at 6:22 but the rebound bounced up to Pard. The 19-year old swatted the puck in but looked like it may be waived off because of a high stick. The goal was reviewed and it was ruled that Pard didn’t have his stick over the crossbar so it became a 7-3 game.

Pard was hauled down by a Foreurs and was awarded a penalty shot at 6:41 but sent his shot high and over the net.

As everybody turned on the tube to watch Team Canada, Mike Thomas hit the post but deflected in off the skate of Phillips for his second of the game. The goal was reviewed but the call stood.

Saint John ended the scoring at 15:39 when Kirkpatrick beat Coulton from a beautiful cross ice pass from Petersen to make the final score 9-3 Sea Dogs.

Shots in the third were 18-4 Saint John.

SCRATCHES: Steven Anthony missed his third game with a groin injury while Gabriel Bourret was a healthy scratch. Val-d’Or was missing nine regulars and only dressed 15 playes.

NEWS 88.9 TOP DOG: Zach Phillips

NOTES: Tim Roszell returned after a game off due to Team Canada hockey. If you blinked, you probably missed the post-game… Christian Morin returned to Val-d’Or for the first time since being traded to Saint John during the holiday trading period… Mike Hoffman scored his 40th goal of the year and is only two back of tying Scott Howes’ team record… Nathan Beaulieu became the first defenseman to reach double-digits in goals.

NEXT GAME: Up next for the Sea Dogs (50-10-1-0) is a Saturday afternoon contest versus the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies at Dave Keon Arena (puck drop – 5pm AST).

EAGLES: “We’re quite confident we’re going to win”

The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles are hoping to throw a wrench into the Saint John Sea Dogs’ 2012 plans. Yesterday afternoon, the Eagles organization officially announced that they will bid on the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup.

“We’re quite confident we’re going to win,” said president Paul Mac Donald in the Cape Breton Post. The Eagles, Sea Dogs, and Halifax Mooseheads have all officially said that they will be bidding. Shawinigan is also reported to be making an offer on the tournament.

Renovations at Centre 200, slated to be completed this fall, include increasing seating to about 5,000, 13 new skyboxes, club seating and work to the concession area. A $700,000 video scoreboard has already been installed. Saint John announced a few weeks ago that they will have a new clock up in time for next season and already have a number of luxury suits. Harbour Station has a capacity of 6,297.

The major hurdle that the Eagles will face is the quality of their team on the ice. The bid process is done by looking at seven different categories: 25 per cent logistics (accreditation, transportation, lodging and volunteers), 20 per cent hockey operations, 20 per cent arena, 10 per cent organizing committee, 10 per cent marketing, 10 per cent hosting of CHL events, and five per cent finances.

Despite what logic says about the Eagles team in 2012, the organization is confident they will ice a competitive team.

“One of your major criteria is your hockey club,” said MacDonald. “That would be the thing that we’re going to work on the most. We had to give up some assets to allow us to be competitive this year. But I know from the hockey staff’s point of view, they were comfortable in doing that. If we’re going to host, we want to win.”

Even with the two best teams in the league in their division this year, Cape Breton chose to buy at the deadline instead of building for the future. There method of trying to put a solid team on the ice each year has been ridiculed by fans as the team falls short in the playoffs on most occasions.

Saint John and Halifax will be at the top of their game in 2012, which will make it difficult for the Eagles like it was this year.

“We’ll have a very easy time making a case that we’ll be a very strong team that year,” Mooseheads team president Bobby Smith said a few weeks ago.

This year’s tournament will be held in Brandon, Manitoba in May.

The winner will be announced in April of 2011.

SEA DOGS NOTEBOOK

THE MIRACLE ON ICE – SEA DOGS EDITION
The website “Hockey Zen,” whose Twitter feed is based out of Saint John, took at look at Gerard Gallant’s issuing of a bag skate following Saturday’s game. The site compared the skate to that of 1980 Team USA coach Herb Brooks doing the same thing to his gold medal winning squad.

Click HERE to view the article.

Thanks to Chris Nadeau who pointed this out on our Facebook page.

HUBERDEAU FAN CLUB
The Sea Dogs drafted Jonathan Huberdeau as a player who they plan on building their franchise around in the future. The fans love his sick hands in the shootout right now but some young folks took that passion a bit further.

"We cut out articles and we made a secret handshake about our favourite player," Stephanie Mackin said to the Telegraph-Journal during Sunday’s game. "I find it really fun to watch hockey live."

The girls said they know all of Huberdeau's statistics including his weight and height and have their own Sea Dogs fan club with only two members.

To view the entire article click HERE.
To join the Facebook group click HERE. Everyone join.

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK
We found this rather bizarre. Saintjohnseadogs.com was named the “TBayTel Internet Site” to visit this week in the Thunder Bay newspaper Chronicle Journal.

Not only do they have a catchy nickname the Saint John Sea Dogs are also currently the top ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League.

Playing out of the QMJHL, the New Brunswick-based Sea Dogs are a league-best 48-10-1 after nipping Rimouski 3-2 in overtime on Sunday.

You can learn more on the club by checking out the latest TBayTel internet site of the week at www.saintjohnseasdogs.com.

GAME OF THE WEEK
Rogers Sportsnet has named tomorrow night’s Sea Dogs game in Rouyn-Noranda the QMJHL game of the week.

“The league's top team, the Sea Dogs, will make the long trip north to Rouyn-Noranda,” wrote Patrick King in his column. “The Huskies learned on Friday the league denied their appeal and would be without suspended forward Patrice Cormier for the rest of the season and playoffs. Rouyn-Noranda is still a dangerous team without Cormier, and will have its best test in measuring themselves against the Sea Dogs. Saint John is winners of eight of their last 10 games and in the driver's seat to acquire home ice through the playoffs.”

To read the full “Who’s Hot, Who’s Not” article click HERE.

In other CHL news, the Windsor Spitfires are currently involved in a complete collapse.

HOFFMAN ALMOST WAS…
Mike Hoffman was almost a guest on the QMJHL’s weekly radio program “Inside the Q” this week but was cancelled due to technical difficulties. It is a taped show however and it could air this Wednesday on the league website.

GALLANT NOT PLEASED WITH COLLPASE
Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant was not too pleased with his team’s effort in the final 10 minutes of Wednesday’s game in Gatineau. In the last 10 minutes, Saint John allowed four goals but luckily they lead 6-1 entering the third.

"The first 50 minutes (of the game), we played really, really well,'' Gallant said to Telegraph-Journal. "In the last 10 minutes, we fell asleep. In the second period, we started to dominate the game and I thought our puck movement and our tempo was the difference. We did a good job in the offensive end with cycling the puck down low and getting the puck to the points and guys going to the net.''

YOU SHOULD GET…
The latest edition of Prospects Hockey (QMJHL edition) is loaded with Sea Dogs features, news, and stats. The magazine will likely be given out at one of three Sea Dogs games at Harbour Station this week.

After skimming by the Moncton Wildcat garbage, former beat reporter Nathan White has an excellent article on Saint John’s 22-game winning streak. White did the colour commentating on News 88.9 when the streak ended in Moncton. Also in the magazine, current beat reporter Scott Briggs is on a panel to choose the best of the best in the QMJHL.

Of all people, Karel St. Laurent and Travis Fullerton are in a goaltending equipment ad.

Good stuff and a must read.

FIVE DAYS, THREE GAMES - ALL AT THE STATION
SAINTJOHNSEADOGS.COM
Sea Dogs vs. Rocket: Wednesday, March 3 – 7:00pm
Saint John and P.E.I. clash in a potential first round playoff preview.
PROMOTIONS: This will be the third and final ‘V-alue Night’ of the year, with special $5 upper bowl seats available for purchase. Also designated ‘Faith & Family Night’, Team Chaplain and Hockey Ministries International Director Bruce Smith will be addressing the crowd in a post-game inspirational speech.

Sea Dogs vs. Wildcats: Friday, March 5 – 7:30pm
The penultimate meeting of the season between the top two teams in the QMJHL.
PROMOTIONS: Game 7 of the Brunswick News Rivalry Cup Challenge goes next Friday, with the Sea Dogs set to hold a charity food drive which will count towards the intercity contest (5 pts.). The Wildcats currently lead the overall standings 14.5 – 10.5 with two games remaining. This game has also been designated ‘Irish Night’, with fans being encouraged to dress in green as St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated early on what promises to be an exciting evening at the Station.

Sea Dogs vs. Mooseheads: Sunday, March 7 – 4:00pm
Saint John hosts Halifax in the final home game of what has been an incredibly successful fifth anniversary season.
PROMOTIONS: Designated ‘Fan Appreciation Day’, this game will feature several exciting giveaways throughout the afternoon. Special 4-for-40 family ticket packages are available for this contest, while members of the Sea Dogs will be signing autographs upon the conclusion of the action.

PRE-GAME: Saint John Sea Dogs vs Val-d'Or Foreurs

Game Day
Saint John Sea Dogs vs Val-d’Or Foreurs

Friday, February 26, 2010 at 8:30 pm
Air Creebec Centre

Visiting Team: Saint John Sea Dogs
Record: 49-10-1-0 (1st in Atlantic Division)
Last Game: 7-5 win at Gatineau on Wednesday
Leading Scorer: Mike Hoffman: 49 GP-39 G-36 A-75 Pts
NHL Draft Picks: Yann Sauve (Vancouver), Marco Cousineau (Anaheim), Simon Despres (Pittsburgh), Steven Anthony (Vancouver), Mike Hoffman (Ottawa), and Nicholas Petersen (Pittsburgh).
Notes: Saint John is first on the Atlantic, first overall in the QMJHL, and are ranked second in the country this week after five straight weeks at number one… coming off a rough outing Wednesday in Gatineau despite winning 7-5. The Sea Dogs almost blew a 6-1 lead entering the third period but hung on for the victory. Zach Phillips had two goals and three assists in the win… a win tonight would give Saint John their 50th victory of the season. It would be the Sea Dogs’ first ever 50 win season and would be the first (and possibly only) team in the QMJHL to reach the mark this season… the Sea Dogs only need a single point to get their 100th point this year… 8-2-0-0 in their last 10 games and are coming off two wins – 7-5 in Gatineau and 3-2 against Rimouski on Sunday… 24-4-1-0 on the road this season. They are 9-1-0-0 in their last 10 raid matches and have won five straight. Their 49 road points is eight more than second place Moncton… have scored the most goals of any team this year with 135 goals for on the road. They are tied with Cape Breton for the second fewest goals against with 87 on the road… Stanislav Galiev is a point back of Petr Straka for the league lead in rookie scoring. He has 15 goals and 41 assists for 56 points in 59 games this year… Jonathan Huberdeau scored a hat trick the last time he took on the Foreurs. He has a team high four goals and three assists for seven points against Val-d’Or this year… Simon Despres has the most assists against Val-d’Or amongst Sea Dog players with four… despite the Sea Dogs scoring 17 goals in two games against Foreurs this year, Steven Anthony is a -2… Anthony has been scratched the last two games with what is believed to be a groin injury.

RECORDS READY TO BE SMASHED
SAINTJOHNSEADOGS.COM
Nick Petersen is tied with Drummondville’s Sean Couturier for the league lead in plus/minus at +42. The team record for best +/- total in a single season is +26, set by Scott Howes in 2007-08.
Howes’ single-season goals record of 42 is also in jeopardy, with Mike Hoffman (39) and Petersen (35) both within striking distance of the impressive mark with eight games remaining on the 09-10 campaign.

MORIN IS BACK
Christian Morin was traded by the Foreurs to Saint John at the holiday trading period. This will be his first visit back to his former home building.

Home Team: Val-d’Or Foreurs
Record: 22-31-5-2 (4th in Telus Western Division)
Last Game: Played in Rouyn-Noranda last night
Leading Scorer: Samuel Morneau: 54 GP-30 G-32 A-62 Pts
NHL Draft Picks: Marco Scandella (Minnesota), Samuel Morneau (Carolina), and Maxime Sauve (Boston)
Notes: Val-d’Or has struggled this season after The Hockey News ranked them to finish fourth overall in the league at the start of the 2009-10 campaign. They currently sit in 14th… 4-4-1-1 in their last 10 games are have lost two straight… are tied with Rimouski for the most overtime loses this year with five… Val-d’Or really isn’t good at anything by looking at the stats. In almost every category, they sit fourth or fifth last in the league. That includes goals for, goals against, points, power play percentage, and penalty killing percentage… 13-12-4-0 at home this season. They are 4-5-1-0 on the road this season and have lost two straight… Alexandre Touchette is on an epic four game point scoring streak. In that span he has two goals and three assists… Vincent Couture, who was acquired from Bathurst at the deadline, has a team worst -22 rating this season and is a -9 since joining the club… Marco Scandella, who is suspended for this game, has a team high +11 rating. He is a beast… Scandella and Couture both have two points against the Dogs this year. Couture’s are all with Bathurst while Scandella’s are both assists… no player has a plus rating against Saint John in two games.

**All stats are as of yesterday afternoon**

SHAWIN MORTON-BOUTIN SUSPENDED
PRESS RELEASE
The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Disciplinary Prefect today announced that Shawn Morton-Boutin of the Val D'Or Foreurs has been suspended three games following a hit to the head of a Chicoutimi Saguenéens' player which occurred during last Saturday’s game.

The decision was rendered after reviewing the videotape of the incident and after consulting all concerned parties.

MARCO SCANDELLA SUSPENDED-FEB. 4
THE CANADIAN PRESS
BOUCHERVILLE, Que. — The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has suspended Val-d'Or Foreurs defenceman Marco Scandella indefinitely for hitting an opponent in the head.

The incident occurred in a game Wednesday against the Rimouski Oceanic.

"This afternoon, (QMJHL disciplinarian) Raymond Bolduc informed me of his decision to suspend Marco Scandella indefinitely," league commissioner Gilles Courteau said in a statement. "After seeing the hit, I believe it is the right decision while the disciplinary process runs its course.

"Our position is clear: We have a responsibility to protect our players. Their safety is our No. 1 priority."
Scandella was considered to be one of Canada's top defencemen at this year's world junior hockey championship.

Bolduc will gather testimonies from on-ice officials as well as players and members of both organizations, then analyse the facts and review his findings with a committee before deciding what action to take.

No timetable regarding when a decision will be reached has been set.

Last month, the QMJHL suspended Patrice Cormier of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies for the rest of the season for elbowing a Quebec Remparts player in the head during a game.

Cormier was the captain of Canada's world junior team.

Saint John vs Val-d’Or:
This Season
(GP-W-L-OTL-SOL-PTS):
2-2-0-0-0-4
Home: 2-2-0-0-0-4
Road: 0-0-0-0-0-0
Goals For: 17
Goals Against: 3

Last Season (GP-W-L-OTL-SOL-PTS):
2-2-0-0-0-4
Home: 1-1-0-0-0-2
Road: 1-1-0-0-0-2
Goals For: 10
Goals Against: 3

All-Time- Not Including This Season (GP-W-L-OTL-SOL-PTS):
8-4-3-0-1-9
Home: 4-2-1-0-1-5
Road: 4-2-2-0-0-4
Goals For: 27
Goals Against: 26

STATION NATION FACTS:
  • Saint John has defeated Val-d’Or 6-3 and 11-0 this season. Both games were at Harbour Station as part of a doubleheader.
  • Tim Roszell is back tonight after a night off due to the Team Canada Olympic hockey game on Wednesday. News 88.9 will cut into the Canada/Slovakia game following the broadcast.
  • Val-d’Or does not have one Atlantic Canadian player on their team. They have one player from Ontario and one from France.
  • Since tonight’s Olympic game features Canada taking on Slovakia, it seems fitting that Tomas Jurco – a Slovak – will face Roberto Luongo’s former team. Had to link these games up somehow.
  • Val-d’Or’s notables over the years include: Jean-Pierre Dumont, Steve Bégin, Gaston Therrien, Roberto Luongo, Simon Gamache and Kristopher Letang.
  • Following tonight’s game, the Sea Dogs head to Rouyn-Noranda to face the Huskies tomorrow at 5:00 pm.

AROUND THE TOWN
WIKIPEDIA
Gold was discovered in the area in 1923. The name of the town is French for "Valley of Gold." While gold is still mined in the area today, base metals, such as copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), and lead (Pb) have become increasingly important resources. The ore is usually found in volcanic rocks that were deposited on the seafloor over 2.7 billion years ago. They are referred to as volcanic-hosted (or volcanogenic) massive sulphide deposits (VMS).

The city is known for its vast parks, cycle tracks, and forests. Some other attractions include the City of Gold and the mining village of Bourlamaque, which were officially proclaimed historic sites in 1979.

The city hosted the Quebec Games in 1987. The local hockey team, the Val-d'Or Foreurs, have played in the QMJHL since 1993, winning the league championship in 1998 and 2001 to claim a spot in the Memorial Cup. They play at Centre Air Creebec. The Foreurs' mascot is called Dynamit, named after dynamite which was extensively used by the mining industry of Val-d'Or.

Val-d'Or was once home to CFS Val-d'Or, a Canadian Forces Station.

THE RINK
Venue:
Air Creebec Centre
Capacity: 2,398
Average Attendance: 1,744
Arena Guide Info: http://www.qmjhlarenaguide.com/foreurs.htm
Note: Rink dimensions are 190 X 85

MEDIA
Saint John Media:
Radio- News 88.9 FM (www.news889.com)
Live Video Streaming: www.qmjhl.mytelus.com
Post-Game Coverage: www.stationnation.blogspot.com

TWITTER
Follow Station Nation on Twitter at www.twitter.com/station_nation for in game updates from tonight’s game.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

SEA DOGS POST-GAME NOTEBOOK

SEA DOGS – OLYMPIQUES GAME AT A GLANCE
Final Score:
Saint John 7, Gatineau 5
Saint John Goals: Zach Phillips (12, 13), Jonathan Huberdeau (14), Tomas Jurco (21), Nathan Beaulieu (9), Mike Hoffman (39), and Mike Thomas (9)
Gatineau Goals: Tye McGinn (24), Hugo Laporte (9), Alex Noel (7), Christian Ouellet (15), and Alexander Beaton (15)
Winning Goaltender: SNB – Marco Cousineau (22-16-0)
Losing Goaltender: GAT – Maxime Clermont (21-28-0)
News 88.9 Top Dog: Not Available

THE NUMBERS
Power Play:
Olympiques: 2/5, Sea Dogs: 0/4
Shots on Goal: Olympiques: 5+10+13=28, Sea Dogs: 11+12+9=32
Attendance: 2,331

THE RECAP
SAINTJOHNSEADOGS.COM
Saint John dominated their opponents in the opening moments of play, registering the first five shots on goal as Clermont was forced to endure an early barrage of sustained offensive pressure. Rookie winger Zack Phillips had the visitors’ best scoring chance during an early-match power play, very nearly converting on a close-range backhand shot at the end of a lengthy scramble in Gatineau territory. Clermont managed to stymie the New Brunswicker with a sliding pad save.

The Olympiques’ best scoring chance of the first period came courtesy of Ontario-born forward Tye McGinn; the second-year winger corralled the puck along the boards in the visitors’ zone and swiftly maneuvered his way into the slot only to have his wrist shot stopped by the lightning-fast blocker of Marco Cousineau. The Anaheim Ducks prospect came up big again a few minutes later, blocking a hard one-timer from Christian Ouellet to keep things all square on the scoreboard.

A blistering wrist shot off the stick of Zack Phillips broke the scoreless tie in the 18th minute of play, as the burgeoning sniper wired his 12th goal of the year to the back of Gatineau’s net after being afforded a generous shooting lane by Olympiques defenders. Jonathan Huberdeau doubled the Sea Dogs’ lead 4:00 into the second period, jamming home the 14th goal of his rookie season after Nathean Beaulieu deftly faked a cross-ice pass from the point and fired a hard shot on goal that Clermont surrendered a generous rebound upon. The hosts responded almost immediately however, as a net-charging Tye McGinn beat Cousineau on the game’s next shift to end the Sea Dogs’ amazing 3:10:24 shutout streak in head-to-head games with the Olympiques.

Saint John’s two-goal advantage was restored at the behest of a sensational play by Michael Kirkpatrick in the 29th minute of play. Carrying the puck on his backhand along the boards in Gatineau territory, the veteran centre made a crisp, no-look-behind-the-back pass through traffic which hit a streaking Zack Phillips in stride. The freshman forward then made a nifty deke on Clermont prior to sliding his second of the night across the Olympiques’ goal line. Clermont was beaten again 22 seconds later, with import winger Tomas Jurco netting his 21st goal of the season on a well-placed shot.

A pinching Nathan Beaulieu knocked home a loose puck shot at the 13:35 mark of the middle frame, improving his 2009-10 goals total to nine in the process. Ottawa Senators prospect Mike Hoffman then got in on the action, ripping a wrist shot over Clermont’s right shoulder to send Wednesday’s contest into the second intermission with the Sea Dogs in possession of a commanding 6-1 lead.

Rookie Dereck Tait took over goaltending duties for Gatineau at the start of the third period, an apt coaching maneuver which appeared to provide a much-needed boost for the Telus West Division’s third-place squad. The Olympiques tallied three unanswered goals during the opening dozen minutes of regulation’s final frame to reduce their deficit to only two.

Team Captain Mike Thomas then took it upon himself to quash any hopes of a Gatineau comeback, tallying his ninth marker of the 09-10 campaign at the 15:37 mark of the third period. The Olympiques managed to once again pull to within two of their opponents on a late-match goal by Alex Beaton, but that would be as close as Gatineau would get as Saint John held on to take the decision by a 7-5 final.

SAINT JOHN SCRATCHES
Gabriel Bourret and Steven Anthony missed last night’s game. Anthony is out with a groin injury that he suffered during Saturday night’s loss versus Shawinigan.

Stephen MacAulay and Kevin Gagne both returned to the Sea Dogs lineup after missing both weekend games.

GOOD START, BAD FINISH
Saint John outshot Gatineau 11-5 in the first but only held a 1-0 lead.

The Sea Dogs exploded in the second period for five goals including four straight to round out the scoring. In the period, Olympiques starter Maxime Clermont allowed five goals on 12 shots while his team fired 10 in the period at Marco Cousineau.

Gerard Gallant was likely not to happy with his team after the third period. Leading 6-1, Gatineau scored three straight goals in a span of less than two minutes to make the game 6-4. Mike Thomas scored an insurance marker to put the game out of reach. Gatineau got one more on the power play but it was too late.

FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
In two games against Saint John this season, Gatineau had yet to score a goal. They scored five on this night to end that streak. In the season series, Saint John outscored them 17-5 in the three games.

The last time Saint John visited “The Bob,” the home side couldn’t even get a shot on goal in the second period and fell 8-0 to a Sea Dogs team on the tail end of a three game road trip. The Olympiques fired 10 shots on goal in the second period of this game.

BIG NIGHT FOR PHILLIPS
Welcome to the show Zach Phillips.

The 17-year old lit up the Olympiques for two goals and three assists for a five point night. He now has 13 goals and 23 assists in 57 games this year.

The three assists tied his personal record for helpers in one game. The Fredericton native has scored a hat trick this year so his two goals set no historical markers. His five points is the best of his career so far and ties Simon Despres’ Sea Dogs rookie record for points in a game.

NO RARDIO
If you watched this game on the internet, you are a better fan than us.

With the Olympic (not Olympiques) hockey game airing on News 88.9, Tim Roszell had the night off from doing Sea Dogs play-by-play. This forced fans to pay $7.00 to watch a webcast that is the size of a coaster on a computer screen. Did we mention that the video was in French as well?

Now, it looks like Friday’s game in Val-d’Or may also be in doubt with Team Canada taking on Team Slovakia at 10:30 pm. Two hours could be enough time though so we will keep you all upadated.

STRANGE SCORING
There are a lot of questions over the score sheet from this game.

First of all, Christian Morin was designated as an alternate captain. Yann Sauve and Michael Kirkpatrick wear the other "A's" with Mike Hoffman and Nicholas Petersen believed to be sharing the third.

The other thing that is strange is the fact that all Saint John goals – with the exception of one being unassisted – were awarded just one assist. All but one of Gatineau’s goals were given two assist's.

OUT OF TOWN
THE CANADIAN PRSS
Eric Faille scored twice for Acadie-Bathurst, including the winner at 4:05 of overtime, as the Titan topped the Halifax Mooseheads 2-1 in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play Wednesday.

Tomas Knotek replied for Halifax (13-42-6).

Guillaume Nadeau made 26 saves to pick up the win for Acadie-Bathurst (21-34-6), while Mathieu Corbeil-Theriault made 40 saves in defeat.

Elsewhere in the QMJHL it was: Drummondville 3 P.E.I 1; and Saint John 7 Gatineau 5.

At Halifax, Knotek opened the scoring for the Mooseheads at 15:47 of the first.

After a scoreless second, Faille tied things at 7:22 of the third before winning it in overtime.
The Titan finished 0-for-1 on the power play, while the Mooseheads went 0-for-5.

QUICK HITS
The Olympiques have now lost eight straight games which is the longest active streak in the QMJHL… Marc Brassard of Le Droit wrote that only about half of the 2,331 fans were actually at the game with Canada taking on Russia at the Olympics. He said that it was probably better off… the Sea Dogs are now only one win away from their first 50 win season in franchise history… in his first game back from injury, Kevin Gagne was a +4… Saint John had 19 dangerous shots to Gatineau’s 13… the Sea Dogs now have a 12 point lead with 8 games to go for the regular season title… Chris DiDomenico was held pointless in their win over PEI. The Voltigeurs have now won eight straight games… the last time Saint John won in Gatineau, they won their next seven games.

NEXT GAME
Friday night in Val-d’Or the Sea Dogs take on the Foreurs at 8:30 pm. Team Canada plays against Slovakia at 10:30 pm.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

PHILLIPS PUTS UP FIVE POINTS IN WIN

STATION NATION PRECAP – OLYMPIC EDITION
FINAL:
Sea Dogs 7, Olympiques 5

GATINEAU – Apparently, Zach Phillips doesn’t like the Olympics.

He doesn’t like the Gatineau Olympiques to much either, as he lit them up like a torch for two goals and three assists. His Saint John Sea Dogs would go on to victory by score of 7-5 on Wednesday night.

It was the game that nobody heard as News 88.9 aired the Canada Olympic Hockey game instead. It started well for the Sea Dogs as they led 6-1 after two periods. But the defense let their guard down in the final frame and allowed the Olympiques to score five goals.

Marco Cousineau stopped 23 shots on the night while Maxime Clermont and Derek Tait combined to allow seven goals on 32 shots.

Saint John went 0/4 on the power play while Gatineau went 2/5.

Zach Phillips had the only goal in the first period. His unassisted marker at 17:10 gave the Sea Dogs a 1-0 lead going into the intermission.

Saint John outshot the Piques 11-5 in the frame. Michael Kirkpatrick and Nicholas Pard both had two shots. No Gatineau player had more than one shot.

The only penalty in the period came at 00:31 when Vincent Bernard went to the box for Gatineau but they managed to kill it off.

Saint John took off in the second period. Jonathan Huberdeau scored his 14th of the year at 4:00 to give the Dogs a 2-0 lead.

Just 11 seconds later, Gatineau finally scored their first goal of the year against Saint John in two games played. Tye McGinn scored his 24th marker of the year to make it 2-1.

Phillips scored his second of the game at 8:50. That was followed by three straight goals that began with Tomas Jurco beating Clermont. Then Nathan Beaulieu scored at 13:35 followed by Mike Hoffman ending the second period scoring at 19:37.

All three goals - Jurco, Beaulieu, and Hoffman – were assisted by Phillips. Hoffman’s goal gives him 39 on the season which puts him just three back of tying Scott Howes’ team record of 42.

Shots in the middle stanza were 12-10 Saint John. The last time the Sea Dogs visited the Piques, the home team failed to register a shot on goal in the second.

Derek Tait took over in net for Gatineau in the third after Clermont allowed six goals on 21 shots.

In the third, Gatineau was determined to get back in this one. Hugo Laporte, Alex Noel, and Christian Ouellet scored three straight goals in under two minutes to make the score 5-4 Sea Dogs with half a game to go.

But at 15:37 Mike Thomas scored to give the Dogs back some insurance with his ninth of the year. Alexander Beaton, the only player who had scored a point against Saint John entering the game, scored at 19:35 to make things interesting but it was too late.

Shots in the third were 13-9 Olympiques.

NEXT GAME: Saturday night at 8:30 pm in Val-d’Or.

DOGS DOWN TO #2

The run at number one is over.

The Canadian Hockey League unveiled its latest BMO CHL MasterCard Top Ten rankings today, with the Saint John Sea Dogs coming in at number two on the prestigious list. The weekly rankings of the CHL’s Top Ten teams are selected by a panel of NHL scouts.

The Sea Dogs have been ranked number one in the country for five straight weeks entering this one. The rankings rarely reflect how a team is playing on ice, but most would agree that Saint John has not been playing like a number one team over the past two weeks.

The Dogs won a close game in Halifax by score of 6-2 on Wednesday at the Metro Centre. Then on Saturday, Shawinigan rolled in to town and upset the Dogs 3-1. Saint John rebounded with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Rimouski Oceanic.

Saint John still sits as the first overall team in the Quebec Major Hockey League. Moncton is fourth this week and Drummondville is eighth.

The Barrie Colts are the CHL’s top ranked team this week. They have been number two in the country for five straight weeks behind Saint John.

If anything, this will give Saint John some motivation for the rest of the year.

The full BMO CHL MasterCard Top Ten Rankings can be found below:
1 – Barrie Colts, OHL (48-8-0-2)
2 – Saint John Sea Dogs, QMJHL (48-10-1-0)
3 – Windsor Spitfires, OHL (45-10-0-5)
4 – Moncton Wildcats, QMJHL (41-13-1-4)
5 – Saskatoon Blades, WHL (41-14-3-4)
6 – London Knights, OHL (43-14-0-2)
7 – Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL (42-18-1-3)
8 – Drummondville Voltigeurs, QMJHL (42-15-0-2)
9 – Tri-City Americans, WHL (42-17-1-2)
10 – Calgary Hitmen, WHL (43-17-1-1)

MAYER GETS THE CALL

Robert Mayer has made Saint John Sea Dogs history.

The East Coast Hockey League’s Cincinnati Cyclones announced Tuesday that the former Sea Dog goaltender has been called up to the National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens. This is the first time in team history that a former player has been assigned to a NHL club.

Mayer was signed by the Canadiens as a free agent in September of 2008 after attending the club’s training camp.

This season with the Canadiens/Nashville Predators affiliate, Mayer has 16-7-1 rookie with a 2.68 goals against average to go along with a save percentage of 0.895. He has been called up to the American Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs several times this year to fill in for a injured net minder. He never saw any game time however.

One of the most heated debates in hockey at the moment is about the crowded crease in Montreal. Mayer will be a fill in at practice for Jaroslov Halak, who is the starting goaltender for Team Slovakia at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. The Habs’ other net minder is Carey Price.

ESPN The Magazine did a poll a few years ago to see what was the most pressure packed job in sports. Being a Montreal goaltender was named number one with the Boston Red Sox’s managerial job coming in second.

Just how hockey crazy is Montreal? The Montreal Gazette reported that Benoit Pouliot hit the ice for practice at precisely 2:51 pm eastern time.

Mayer was selected by Saint John as the third overall pick in the Canadian Hockey League Import Draft. He was once believed to be one of the best goalie prospects in the world and was projected to go in the first round of the NHL entry draft. In his rookie season, Mayer had a record of 16-10-1, a 3.77 GAA, and a 0.877 save percentage. He backed-up Travis Fullerton for much of the season.

He was handed the starting job for the 2008-09 season. He played great on some nights, and was awful on other nights. His inconsistent play led to then head coach and general manager Jacques Beaulieu blaming his 19-year old goaltender on many nights for his team’s loss. The most evident fact of Mayer’s lack of confidence came when he blamed himself for Saint John being swept out of the post-season last year.

In his second campaign, he had a record of 26-25-4, a 3.25 GAA, and a 0.900 save percentage. His two year QMJHL career featured 42 wins, 39 loses, and a GAA of 3.41.

Mayer played in the 2008 Home Hardware Top Prospects Game in Edmonton.

He still holds the team record for wins in a season with 26. He is also tied with Marc-Antoine Gelinas, Marco Cousineau, and Karel St. Laurent for most shutouts in a season with two.

NO RADIO FOR TONIGHT'S TILT

Fans looking to listen to tonight’s Saint John Sea Dogs game are out of luck. News 88.9, the official broadcaster of the Sea Dogs, is part of the national radio network covering tonight’s Olympic hockey game between Canada and Russia.

Saint John is in Gatineau with puck drop set to go at 8:30 pm.

The Sea Dogs left us this message on our Facebook page:

Game will actually not covered live tonight on News 88.9 due to the National broadcast of the Canada vs Russia game. If you want to tune into this game, we suggest purchasing the web cast!

It is unknown if Tim Roszell will be working the webcast tonight without a radio feed. The unfortunate part is that the Sea Dogs are in Quebec, meaning that both the visiting webcast and radio feeds are in French.

After tonight’s game, the Dogs head to Val-d’Or to face the Foreurs on Friday at 8:30 pm. The last part of their three game road swing goes Saturday at 5:00 pm in Rouyn-Noranda.

Friday’s game is also in doubt if Canada comes out victorious tonight against Ovechkin and the Russian’s. Both of the men’s hockey semi-final games are on Friday but it is unclear if Canada will play in the early or late game.

This may be the first time ever in the five year history of the Sea Dogs that a game has not been broadcasted over the airwaves. We can’t recall this ever happening before.

If there is no English video, in-game Tweets and post-game coverage will be put on hold.

On the Telus website, it costs $6.95 for a live single game or $3.95 for a single archived game.

Tonight’s game on News 95.7 in Halifax featuring the Mooseheads hosting Bathurst is also cancelled. Also, the QMJHL’s weekly “Inside the Q” radio program in postponed due to “technical issues.”

PRE-GAME: Saint John Sea Dogs vs Gatineau Olympiques

Game Day
Saint John Sea Dogs vs Gatineau Olympiques

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 8:30 pm
Centre Robert Guertin

Visiting Team: Saint John Sea Dogs
Record: 48-10-1-0 (1st in Atlantic Division)
Last Game: 3-2 overtime win vs Rimouski on Sunday
Leading Scorer: Mike Hoffman: 48 GP-38 G-36 A-74 Pts
NHL Draft Picks: Yann Sauve (Vancouver), Marco Cousineau (Anaheim), Simon Despres (Pittsburgh), Steven Anthony (Vancouver), Mike Hoffman (Ottawa), and Nicholas Petersen (Pittsburgh).
Notes: Saint John sits first in the Atlantic division, first overall in the QMJHL, and are ranked number one in the country… coming off a thrilling overtime victory over Rimouski at Harbour Station on Sunday afternoon. Mike Hoffman scored the winner in O.T. to give the Sea Dogs a 3-2 win. The last time Hoffman scored in overtime at Harbour Station, the Sea Dogs went on to win 22-straight games… 8-2-0-0 in their last 10 games but are 3-2-0-0 in their last five games and were outscored 5-4 in their weekend split… have scored the most goals in the QMJHL with 269 goals for and have allowed the second fewest goals against with 156… 23-4-1-0 on the road this season which is two regulation loses fewer than they have at home. 8-2-0-0 in their last 10 road games and have won four straight… Saint John has scored the most goals of any team on the road this season with 128 goals for. Moncton his close behind with 121goals for while Drummondville has 120… 13 of Hoffman’s 38 goals have been game winners. His goal total is good for third in the league. He needs five goals to break Scott Howes’ Sea Dogs record for goals in one season… Nicholas Petersen is second in goals scored on the road. He has 22 goals in 24 games… Kevin Gagne and Steven Anthony both missed Sunday’s game with groin injuries. Gagne has now missed three straight games while Anthony missed his first… Stephen MacAulay hurt his shoulder last Wednesday in Halifax and has not played since… Saint John has destroyed Gatineau this season and have yet to allow a goal. They have outscored them 10-0… Tomas Jurco, Danick Gauthier, and Nicholas Pard have all scored two goals this season against Gatineau… the goaltenders, Zach Phillips, Steven Anthony, and Christian Morin are the only players to have not scored a point against the Piques this season… Simon Despres is a +4 against Gatineau while Morin has registered a -2 rating with Val-d’Or against the Olympiques.

Home Team: Gatineau Olympiques
Record: 25-28-2-1 (3rd in Telus Western Division)
Last Game: 3-1 loss at Montreal on Sunday
Leading Scorer: Tye McGinn: 41 GP-23 G-28 A-51 Pts
NHL Draft Picks: Hubert Labrie (Dallas)
Notes: Former Sea Dog Alexandre Leduc was traded to Gatineau earlier this season but has left the team. He had quite a return in Saint John, checking Mike Hoffman from behind on his first shift of the game… former Sea Dog Benjamin Lecomte is no longer with the team as well. He was sent to Val-d’Or and later to Gatineau in the Christian Morin trade. In six games in Gatineau, he had one assist… also no longer with the team is Kevin Charland. Charland was traded to Val-d’Or during the 2009 Holiday trading period for the Foreurs’ first pick in the CHL Import draft – a pick that was used to draft Tomas Jurco… the only Gatineau player to record a point against Saint John this season is Alexandre Beaton, who got an assist before he was traded from Lewiston… Saint John native Ben Miller was traded to Gatineau at the deadline. In two games against Saint John this season, he is a -3… Gatineau has been struggling of late. They are 2-8-0-0 in their last 10 games and have lost seven straight games. It is the longest active streak in the league at this time. Lewiston has the longest losing streak this season with 15... during their losing streak, Gatineau has been outscored 12-28 and have lost all seven games in regulation… have the fifth best penalty kill in the league with a rating of 82.4%... 15-10-1-3 at home this season. They are 3-5-1-1 in their last 10 games and have lost two straight games… no Gatineau players have a plus rating against the Dogs this season. Adam Janosik and Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and Alexander Beaton all have a team worst -4… have yet to score against Saint John this season… in their two games versus the Dogs, the Piques are 0/7 on the power play and 8/13 on the penalty kill.

Saint John vs Gatineau:
This Season
(GP-W-L-OTL-SOL-PTS):
2-2-0-0-0-4
Home: 1-1-0-0-0-2
Road: 1-1-0-0-0-2
Goals For: 10
Goals Against: 0

Last Season (GP-W-L-OTL-SOL-PTS):
3-2-1-0-0-0
Home: 2-1-1-0-0-0
Road: 1-1-0-0-0-2
Goals For: 14
Goals Against: 7

All-Time- Not Including This Season (GP-W-L-OTL-SOL-PTS):
9-3-5-0-1-7
Home: 5-1-3-0-1-3
Road: 4-2-2-0-0-4
Goals For: 33
Goals Against: 40

STATION NATION FACTS:
  • The Hockey News named the Gatineau Olympiques organization the team of the decade in the QMJHL. They made the playoffs every season and had a below 0.500 winning percentage only once. Ironically, they are on track to be below .500 to start this new decade.
  • The team’s notables over the years include: Sylvain Turgeon, Sam Lang, Pat Burns, Luc Robitaille, Guy Rouleau, Martin Gélinas, José Théodore, Claude Julien, Colin White, Jiri Fischer, and Maxime Talbot.
  • Gatineau mascot “Hully” turned 12-years old the last time the Sea Dogs were in town. He wore a big hat.
  • The picture above is not photo shopped and was taken from the Olympiques website. The head shaving was part of fundraiser by the team to help the fight against cancer.

EPIC GAME
Editors Note: The following appeared in “Sea Dogs Post-Game Notebook” on January 25 following an 8-0 Sea Dogs win the day before.

This game was a miss match on paper but the result of the game was absolutely insane. Saint John dominated the game from start to finish, and as the second period shots show – everywhere in between.

"(Sunday) was a real good effort for us,'' Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant said to the Telegraph-Journal. "We played a full 60 minutes and controlled the play throughout the game. It was a real dominating performance.''

Gallant told Le Droit that he thought this was one of the best games played all season for the Sea Dogs, mentioning the fact that the team was coming off an ugly 6-4 win in Montreal the day before. He also said that his team skated very well and played with a lot of intensity even when the score was so lopsided.

Jean-Francois Plante of Le Droit smartly pointed out that if Saint John had no goaltender through the first two periods, Gatineau would have led the game 7-6 heading into the third. That’s incredible when you think about.

AROUND THE TOWN
WIKIPEDIA
Gatineau (as of 2006 census population 242,124) is a city in western Quebec, Canada, the fourth largest by population in the province (after Montréal, Québec City and Laval). It is paired with Ottawa,the capital of Canada. It is situated on the northern bank of the Ottawa River, immediately across from Ottawa, Ontario, and is located within Canada's National Capital Region. Ottawa and Gatineau comprise a single Census Metropolitan Area. Gatineau is coextensive with a territory equivalent to a regional county municipality (TE) and census division (CD) of the same name, whose geographical code is 81.

THE RINK
Venue:
Centre Robert Guertin
Capacity: 3,196
Average Attendance: 2,617
Arena Guide Info: http://www.qmjhlarenaguide.com/olympiques.htm

MEDIA
Saint John Media:
Radio- News 88.9 FM (www.news889.com)
Live Video Streaming: www.qmjhl.mytelus.com
Post-Game Coverage: www.stationnation.blogspot.com, Le Droit

TWITTER
Follow Station Nation on Twitter at www.twitter.com/station_nation for in game updates from tonight’s game.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

THE STRETCH DRIVE IS ON

STUTTERING TO A FINISH
It’s not all that visible in the standings, but the Saint John Sea Dogs are in a bit of a rut with nine games left in their 2009-10 QMJHL season.

It’s been a tremendous season that has seen the Sea Dogs sit in first place for almost the entire campaign. But now, they are faced with a bit of adversity.

Saint John is 8-2 in their last 10 games but are 3-2 in their last five games. Much of their hardships of late have come from a lack of effort that can be assumed when you have a big lead in the overall standings.

That was obvious when head coach Gerard Gallant had the number one team in the country bag skating after an ugly performance on Saturday against Shawinigan.

Their last five games have also featured something not seen in Saint John this season. Goals were hard to come by this past weekend and they were outscored a combined 5-4 against the Cataractes and Rimouski. Their only win was in overtime on Sunday.

Saint John has scored the most goals of any team this year with 269, but have the league’s sixth ranked power play. Their power play woes have decreased in the second half but struggled this past weekend with difficulty to gain the zone.

READY FOR THE FIRST ROUND
The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles have managed to brush off a surprising surge from the PEI Rocket and now have a six-point cushion for third in the Atlantic. That means Moncton will draw the Eagles in round one while the Rocket will head to Saint John – assuming all four teams stay on current pace.

PEI has given Saint John all they can handle this year and are 2-4-0-0 against the Dogs with two games remaining between the two. The next match is on March 3 in Saint John.

PEI’s two wins against Saint John means that 1/5 of the Sea Dogs' loses have been against the Rocket. They have fought, scored, shutout, and even broke Mike Hoffman’s foot in the six games against the Dogs.

The two teams met in the opening round of the 2008 playoffs with Saint John winning easily four games to none.

LAST THREE GAMER BEGINS TOMORROW
The Sea Dogs head to the Quebec-Ontario border tomorrow night to play the Gatineau Olympiques at 8:30 pm. Saint John has outscored Gatineau 10-0 in two games this year.

After that game, it’s off to northern Quebec where they play Val-d’Or on Friday and Rouyn-Noranda on Saturday. Saint John has yet to lose to either team this year and have caught a break with Marco Scandella and Patrice Cormier both suspended.

It will be the Sea Dogs’ last three game road trip of the year through Quebec. Against Quebec based teams (including Lewiston) on the road, Saint John is 8-2-1-0.

GAME OF THE WEEK
Rogers Sportsnet has named Saturday’s game in Rouyn-Noranda the QMJHL game of the week.
“The league's top team, the Sea Dogs, will make the long trip north to Rouyn-Noranda,” wrote Patrick King. “The Huskies learned on Friday the league denied their appeal and would be without suspended forward Patrice Cormier for the rest of the season and playoffs. Rouyn-Noranda is still a dangerous team without Cormier, and will have its best test in measuring themselves against the Sea Dogs. Saint John is winners of eight of their last 10 games and in the driver's seat to acquire home ice through the playoffs.”

To view the entire article click HERE.

HOME ICE IS AWESOME
Yeah, home ice will give the Sea Dogs a leg up in the playoffs when it comes to playing the tougher teams. But lets forget the team for a moment and think about the fans.

If the schedule holds true to what it has been in the past, Harbour Station will host game one and game two on Friday and Saturdy night. If long distance travel rules don’t apply, they will host game five on a Friday or Saturday as well.

With three home games left, Saint John is averaging 3,952 fans per game. In 2008 the Sea Dogs averaged 5,618 fans per game in the playoffs and had two sell-outs.

We don’t like to talk about last year’s playoff attendance. They averaged an awful 2,843 fans in two games against Cape Breton.

Monday, February 22, 2010

SEA DOGS POST-GAME NOTEBOOK

SEA DOGS – OCEANIC GAME AT A GLANCE
Final Score/OT:
Rimouski 2, Saint John 3
Saint John Goals: Nicholas Petersen (35), Simon Despres (9), and Mike Hoffman (38)
Rimouski Goals: Patrick Delisle-Houde (16), and Ryan Kavanagh (16)
Winning Goaltender: SNB – Karel St. Laurent (16-4-0)
Losing Goaltender: Matthew Dopud (19-16-0)
News 88.9 Top Dog: Stanislav Galiev

THE NUMBERS
Power Play:
Oceanic 1/5, Sea Dogs 1/4
Shots on Goal: Oceanic: 7+15+7+0=29, Sea Dogs: 17+13+16+1=49
Attendance: 6,128

SAINT JOHN SCRATCHES
Stephen MacAulay missed the game because of a shoulder injury and Kevin Gagne is still out with a groin injury.

Steven Anthony missed because of a groin injury and was not a healthy scratch like many believed. The News 88.9 post-game show on Saturday said that Anthony broke his stick over the boards and left while the rest of the team was bag skating. It now appears his actions may have come out of frustration over the injury.

THIS WAS YOUR WAKEUP CALL
After making his players play an extra 15 minutes after Saturday nights 3-1 loss in the form of a bag skate, head coach Gerard Gallant got his players to wakeup for this one.

The Sea Dogs got things going early and showed that they were here to compete for a win unlike Saturday night against Shawinigan. Saint John out shot Rimouski 17-7 in the first 20 minutes.

"I thought the first period was great,'' Gallant said to the Telegraph-Journal. "We really played hard, but in the second and third we got back to some bad habits that I didn't like. We turned some pucks over.''

Saint John just didn’t have the same energy after the first period, and fought a back-and-forth battle for the rest of the game.

OT TIME
Mike Hoffman is about as clutch as they come this side of Regina – home of Jordan Eberle.

Hoffman scored the overtime winner on the power play after a beautiful set up from Nicholas Petersen. Petersen deked around two defenseman and made Matthew Dopud commit to his play before passing over to Hoffman who scored into the empty cage.

Hoffman leads the league with 13 game winning goals which is almost half of his total of 38 markers this season.

The Sea Dogs improved to 11-1 in overtime this season.

BACK-TO-BACK FLASHBACK
After former goalie Marc-Antoine Gelinas stole the show on Saturday night, it was time for anathor former Sea Dog to take over.

Matthew Dopud played excellent in net all night long against the most offensivly talented team in the QMJHL. He no doubt fell good about his performance after the Sea Dogs released him in 2008.

Picking up first star honors meant that all six stars this weekend either play or have played with Saint John at some time.

"I liked the reaction of the crowd,''said Gelinas as everybody with a heart stood and clapped. "That was amazing.''

MASSIVE CROWD
It wasn’t a sell-out, but the crowd of 6,128 is the biggest attended game of the year. That is only 169 fans shy of a sell-out.

With three games left, Saint John is averaging 3,952 fans per game and will likely have an average of over 4,000 fans per game for the first time since 2005-06.

The crowd yesterday afternoon was the biggest since the 2008-09 home opener that was 50 fans short of capacity. Saint John has not posted a sell-out since game five of the 2008 quarterfinals against Bathurst. Their last regular season sell-out came on March 14, 2008 when the biggest crowd in franchise history watched the Sea Dogs deat the Moncton Wildcats on their last game of the regular season.

In other attendance notes, 11,304 fans entered Harbour Station this weekend for the pair of games. To put that into perspective, 12,715 watched the Sea Dogs play in Quebec City in Januray.

GETTING CLOSER
With nine games left, Saint John is 10 points ahead of Moncton for the overall lead in the QMJHL and 11 points up on Chris DiDomenico and the Drummondville Voltigeurs. The Volts have won seven straight.

On a side note, Saint John lost their 10th game on Saturday. Drummondville, last years Presidents Cup champion, had 10 loses.

"Getting the win was big for us,'' Mike Hoffman said of yesterday’s win. "We're trying to get first spot (overall).''

FRENCH FANS
In honor of it being “francofan” day yesterday at the Station, HERE is some francophone post-game coverage for you.

OUT OF TOWN
Elsewhere in the QMJHL it was Cape Breton 4 Halifax 1; Rouyn-Noranda 2 Chicoutimi 1; Moncton 4 Shawinigan 0 and Montreal 3 Gatineau 1.

Nicola Riopel (MON) - the Wildcats' goaltender has not allowed a goal in his last 162 minutes and six seconds. It's the 5th longest streak in the QMJHL history.

SEADOGSTV HIGHLIGHTS



QUICK HITS
Nicholas Petersen was on a mission on all game long. He finished the game with one goal, one assist, seven shots, a +2 rating, and took a minor penalty… Karel St. Laurent played a solid game in net. He is 2-2 in his last four games… referee Ryan Murphy’s whistle broke in the first period. He is the official that Mooseheads coach Cam Russell wasn’t to pleased with on Wednesday in Halifax… Jonathan Huberdeau’s little sister sang the national anthem. The Huberdeau family was also in the crowd… there was a lengthy pre-game ceremony involving “Francofan” day.

NEXT GAME
The Sea Dogs travel to Gatineau for a date with the Olympiques on Wednesday at 8:30 pm AST. The last time Saint John visited, they destroyed Gatineau 8-0 and have outscored them 10-0 in two games this year.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

HOFFMAN WINS IT IN OT

STATION NATION RECAP
FINAL/OT:
Oceanic 2, Sea Dogs 3

SAINT JOHN – For the second straight day, it was a former Saint John Sea Dog net minder that stole the show at Harbour Station.

Matthew Dopud stood on his head as he and the Rimouski Oceanic managed to take the number one team in the country into a session of overtime hockey with the game tied at 2-2. But Mike Hoffman ended the upset attempt as he beat Dopud to give the Dogs their 48th victory of the season.

The Sea Dogs dominated most of the first period but slowly let the Oceanic back into the game. Much of the third was back-and-forth with Saint John struggling to get anything going on offense. This comes a day after Saint John lost 3-1 to Shawinigan.

Scoring for the winners was Nicholas Petersen, Simon Despres, and Hoffman. Rimouski replied with goals from Patrick Delisle-Houde and Ryan Kavanagh.

Karel St. Laurent stopped 27 shots in the Saint John crease while Dopud faced 47. Rimouski went 1/5 on the power play while the Sea Dogs went 1/4.

FIRST PERIOD
Michael Kirkpatrick had a few good chances in the early minutes of the first period. After a point shot was released, Kirkpatrick was left alone in front but could not put the puck into the empty cage. Then Mike Thomas laid a big hit on Patrick Delisle-Houde.

The two captains playing in this game, Thomas and Felix Lefrancois, both took penalties at 3:59. On the four-on-four, Nicholas Petersen made some nice moves down low to get around the Rimouski defenders but had his shot stopped. Then Matthew Dopud stopped Nathan Beaulieu on the rebound chance.

At 4:33, Pierre Durepos sent a pass cross-ice that was deflected in front. Petersen was right there to pick up the puck and sweep it home to make it 1-0 Sea Dogs.

Rimouski started to gain some momentum after that. A shot went wide of the goal and bounced right in front to the side of the crease but Karel St. Laurent was there to make the stop. The Oceanic had another good chance right after that on a wraparound try but sent the puck wide.

Petersen used his speed to beat the Oceanic in their own zone. He walked around the net and tried to center the puck but Dopud committed and stopped the pass from happening.

Petersen, the story of the first frame, then took a boarding call. But not to long after that Alexandre Mallot got caught taking down Thomas. When the four-on-four ended, Thomas set up Danick Gauthier in front but was robbed by the pad of Dopud and nearly did a 360-degree turn on his backside.

Gabriel Bourret sent a big shot from the point and hit Dopud in the shoulder. He seemed confused over the play but recovered to get his eye on the puck.

Michael Kirkpatrick almost found a loose puck from just inside the blue line and would have had a partial breakaway. But Dopud came all the way out of his crease to make a diving stab at the disc and tossed it down the ice.

Alex Belzile had a good chance for the Oceanic in the crease but was stopped by the big pad of St. Laurent. That caused quit a scramble but the score remained 1-0 after one.

Shots in the first were 17-7 Saint John.

SECOND PERIOD
Tomas Juco’s point shot was deflected by Kirkpatrick in front but was stopped by Dopud. Nathan Beaulieu let a big point shot go shortly after which saw the rebound bounce all the way back to the red line.

Mike Hoffman took it up a notch and carried the puck into the zone. He tried the walk through the blue point with the puck but was knocked off by the the paddle of the Rimouski goaltender.

St. Laurent came up big in the Saint John crease in the second. He robbed Ryan “don't call be Kabanov” Kavanagh with the leather. Then after a breakdown by the Saint John defense left a Rimouski player all alone in front, the Saint John goalie made a huge toe stop to keep the Sea Dogs in front.

St. Laurent continued to play well and kept his cool on a mad scramble in the crease. But at 11:24, he couldn’t stop Delisle-Houde. A Casey Babineau point shot was stopped but the rebound sat in front of the crease for Delisle-Houde who tapped the puck around St. Laurent to make it 1-1.

Pard went in on a partial two-on-one after the goal but shot the puck right into the chest of Dopud. He another good chance when he centered the puck from almost behind the net. The puck hit something and lay in the crease for a moment before being cleared away.

At 14:41 Simon Despres went to the penalty box. The Oceanic had lots of pressure on the man advantage but could not find the back of the net.

Despres gave Saint John back their lead at 17:43. The Pittsburgh Penguins prospect came across the blue line along the boards and sent a weak wrist shot in on Dopud. The shot beat the ex-Sea Dog blocker side on a goal he would surely like to have back.

Shots in the middle stanza were 15-13 in favour of the visitors.

THIRD PERIOD
With Zach Phillips in the box to start the third, Kavanagh blasted a point shot after Saint John failed to get the puck cleared past the blue line. He beat St. Laurent high and just below the cross bar to tie the game at 2-2.

Mathieu Loisel was called for slashing at 2:57. The Sea Dogs had some great pressure on the power play but could not get the puck on the net. Kirkpatrick shot the puck wide and then Petersen was in the clear but sent it high.

After Thomas was called for boarding at 6:46, Saint John put together a solid penalty kill and did a great job at gaining puck possession and clearing the puck.

Despres had a great chance at the side of the goal to give the Dogs back their lead but was denied by the sharpness of Dopud.

It looked Rimouski scored the go-ahead goal at 11:23 when an Oceanic player beat St. Laurent at the side of the net. The goal was quickly waived off and Gabriel Vallee was given a goalie interference penalty.

On the power play, Petersen was stopped by the pad and then Galiev was denied on his backhand chance. That would be all for the Sea Dogs’ power play as they could not beat the man once called “I-Pod.”

Play was stopped for a moment as St. Laurent had an equipment problem. The official was feeling cruel on this day and would not allow the Saint John net minder to go to the bench, making the delay much longer than it should have been

With Beaulieu in the box at 13:34, Hoffman had a good shorthanded chance but couldn’t get a shot off. It was all Rimouski on the man advantage but they couldn’t find the back of the net. Petr Straka had a good chance as he walked in to the zone but was stopped by St. Laurent.

At 18:39, Detroit prospect Gleason Fournier shot the puck out of play meaning Saint John would go on the power play. Despite some nice puck possession, this game would require overtime.

Shots in the third were 16-7 for the home side.

OVERTIME
Just 35 seconds into overtime, Petersen made some dekes to fool Dopud and get him out of position. He fed Hoffman who had a wide open net with nobody around him. Game – Sea Dogs win it 3-2.

NOTES: Sea Dogs Post-Game Notebook will wrap this one up tomorrow afternoon.

NEXT GAME: It is the best place for Saint John to go when they are struggling offensively. The Sea Dogs travel to Gatineau on Wednesday to take on the Olympiques, a team in which they have outscored 10-0 this season. Game time is 8:30 pm AST.