Tuesday, August 31, 2010

COKE ADDICTS OUT OF LUCK AS PEPSI MOVES IN

If you are the kind of person who notices detail, you would have noticed some blue in the usually red neutral zone faceoff dots at Harbour Station.

Like many rinks around the Canadian Hockey League, the faceoff dots have been replaced by Pepsi logos. But doesn’t Harbour Station have a deal with the Coca-Cola Company?

“I am pleased to confirm that Harbour Station and the Sea Dogs have entered into a multi-year agreement with Pepsi Canada,” writes Harbour Station Director of Marketing Ken Moore via email. “The agreement takes effect in September.”

This means that all concession stands will serve Pepsi products, the vending machines will be replaced, and it could spell the end of the giant Coke sign under the luxury box seating in the west end of the facility. There are also Coke decals on all upper bowl cup holders.

Along with their flagship Pepsi soft drink, the company also produces Mountain Dew, Amp Energy Drink, Aquafina bottled water, Lipton Iced Tea, 7up, Mug Root Beer, and many other items.

Many Coke fans may be upset by this news, but the changes could have been much more drastic. At the Pittsburgh Penguins new arena, the CONSOL Energy Centre, the drink of choice is not Pepsi or Coca-Cola - but RC Cola.

Note: full props to @andrelli814 for the insight.

REPORT: BIG ANNOUNCEMENT COMING TOMORROW

A big announcement is expected to be made by the Canadian Hockey League in Saint John tomorrow.

According to Yahoo! Sports blogger Neate Sager on Twitter, the “CHL is awarding a major international event to Saint John tomorrow.”

This has been checked over, and we are taking about New Brunswick and not Newfoundland here. Rumors have been flying about St. John’s hosting a Subway Super Series game this year.

There are really only three CHL sanctioned on-ice events: the Super Series, the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, and the MasterCard Memorial Cup.

The Memorial Cup has already been awarded to Mississauga for this season and an announcement on the 2012 award winner is expected to come next April.

It would be odd if Saint John was awarded a Super Series game after hosting one of the two Quebec Major Junior Hockey League games in 2008 along with Cape Breton. Shawinigan and Drummondville hosted last year. Would the QMJHL skip over 15 other teams and award hosting duties back to the Sea Dogs?

The Sea Dogs have stated that they have plans to try and host the Top Prospects Game in the future. The team was rumored to be a contender for the event last season but it was awarded to the Ontario Hockey League’s Windsor Spitfires.

It would make sense for the CHL to award the two day festivities to Saint John given that they have four top prospects in their lineup for the 2011 NHL Draft in Nathan Beaulieu, Tomas Jurco, Zach Phillips, and Jonathan Huberdeau.

But the possibility of the CHL awarding Saint John the event would be odd because it would be over a month earlier then when Windsor was awarded the game last year.

No matter what it is, Saint John area fans should be in for a treat.

FRK CLEARED TO PLAY

It’s a Frkin’ good day in Moose Country.

This morning, the Halifax Mooseheads secured Martin Frk’s release from his Czech club HC Karlovy Vary. This just two weeks after the International Ice Hockey Federation rejected Frk’s transfer to the Canadian Hockey League.

Frk was selected by the Herd with the third overall selection in the 2010 CHL Import Draft held in June. Last season, the 16-year old recorded 28 goals and 27 assists for 56 points — along with a staggering 184 penalty minutes — in 39 games with Karlovy Vary at the Czech Republic’s under-20 level.

The forward, who will be under pressure to replenish the empty well that is Halifax’s offence, is already considered a top 10 pick in the 2012 National Hockey League Entry Draft by some. He is saind to be a Cam Neely type player.

According to Metro Halifax, Frk will practice with the Mooseheads for the first time tomorrow morning.

Mooseheads reporter Matthew Wuest tells Station Nation via Twitter that he will not be in the lineup when the Herd face the Dogs.

“(Mooseheads owner) Bobby Smith's persistence is largely responsible for obtaining Frk's clearance to play. He did an amazing job here,” writes Frk’s agent Allan Walsh on Twitter.

Walsh also pointed out the Frk is pronounced "Furk."

Earlier, the Mooseheads tweeted that their newest acquisition has requested to wear number 91.

Monday, August 30, 2010

MOOSE TRIM ROSTER AS DOGS AWAIT

The Halifax Mooseheads made five cuts today at Training Camp heading into their Wednesday night game at Harbour Station against the Saint John Sea Dogs.

The Mooseheads cut right-winger Ryan Davis, left-winger Dylan McGuigan, defencemen Joshua Desmond and Kyle Kavanaugh, and goaltender Randy Chisholm. There are now 26 players at Herd camp compared to the Sea Dogs’ 23.

Halifax is still seeing what options they have after the IIHF ruled that their import pick, Martin Frk, could not be transferred to the Canadian Hockey League.

Saint John and Halifax have split their two meetings so far in the 2010 pre-season.

Here is the updated Mooseheads roster as listed by The Q Files:

GOALTENDERS (3)
Peter Delmas
Mathieu Corbeil
Anthony Terenzio

DEFENCEMEN (8)
Pascal Amyot
Konrad Abeltshauser
Garrett Clarke
Steve Gillard
Sawyer Hannay
Jamie Bishop
Trey Lewis
Simon Desmarais

FORWARDS (15)
Charles Bety
Gerrad Grant
Travis Randell
Gabriel Desjardins
Carl Gelinas
Alex Lemieux
Bradley MacDonald
Brent Andrews
Darcy Ashley
Matthew Boudreau
Alex Souligny
Francis Turbide
Luke Warner
Luca Ciampini
Andrew Ryan

Sunday, August 29, 2010

POSTSCRIPT: Titan 0, Sea Dogs 2

SEA DOGS – TITAN GAME AT A GLANCE
Final Score:
Titan 0, Sea Dogs 2
Saint John Goals: Pierre Durepos (1) and Stanislav Galiev (2)
Bathurst Goals: None
Winning Goaltender: Karel St. Laurent (1-0-0)
Losing Goaltender: Dereck Tait (1-1-0)

THE NUMBERS
Power Play:
Titan 0/8, Sea Dogs: 1/8
Shots on Goal: Titan: 8+6+11=25, Sea Dogs: 13+6+5=24
Attendance: 1,950

STRONG GOALTENDING
For all the fuss going on about the Saint John Sea Dogs’ goaltending, Karel St. Laurent and Frederic Piche made everyone in attendance eat their words.

St. Laurent and Piche combined to stop 24 shots on the night and split the shutout victory. The two were both tested at times but passed their test with flying colours. That included St. Laurent robbing Jonathan Lessard on a long breakaway attempt in the second period.

At the moment, the two are the only goaltenders on the Sea Dogs’ Training Camp roster.


GALIEV’S BACK AT IT
Stanislav Galiev showed that he came to play in this year’s pre-season, adding his second goal of exhibition play. The puck found his stick in the third period with Titan goaltender Dereck Tait way out of position to make any kind of attempt to stop the shot.

Galiev impressed all night long with some improved speed and strength. He recorded a team high six shots on the night, just as he did on Friday evening at the KC Irving Regional Centre.

THOMAS STILL THROWING THEM
Sea Dogs captain Mike Thomas continues to play on the QMJHL’s edge.

Thomas received a penalty after crushing Jeremie Blain just as the corner boards begin. Blain was slow to get up but stayed in the game. Later, Thomas high sticked a Bathurst player in the face but it was clearly accidental as his back was to the play.

Neither play would have likely cost Thomas a suspension, but the atmosphere around Harbour Station was a bit grim after the penalties.

It certainly will be interesting to see if Mike Kelly and Gerard Gallant keep Thomas as an overager. As a repeat offender, the QMJHL disciplinary committee undoubtedly has the New Maryland, New Brunswick native on a short leash.

NO ROY
Star goaltender Olivier Roy did not dress for the game after playing the full 60 minutes Friday night in Bathurst when the Titan defeated Saint John 4-1.

If Roy had dressed, there would have been three Edmonton Oiler campers in the game. The goaltender would join Edmonton pick Blain and Thomas – who received an invite to the teams rookie camp next month – as Oiler involved players.

NOTES
Michael Kirkpatrick was listed to be in the Sea Dogs’ lineup on the handouts given out at Harbour Station but did not play… Nathan Beaulieu was given a 10-minute misconduct after chirping and trying to fight several Titan players in a scrum… rookie Devon Olivier-Dares had a strong, physical game and took exception after being hit several times… Zach Phillips had a solid game, chipping in with an assist on Galiev’s goal… not surprisingly, the attendance of 1,950 was not announced at the game (EDIT: apparently it was announced).

PICTURES
For pictures from last night's game against Acadie-Bathurst, check out Station Nation photographer Marc Henwood's shots HERE.

Join his official Facebook page HERE.

LIVE BLOG
To replay yesterday's SN Live Blog, click HERE.

NEXT GAME
Saint John hosts the Halifax Mooseheads on Wednesday at 7:00pm at Harbour Station in the final pre-season home game for the Sea Dogs.

FOUR MORE CUTS MADE AT CAMP

Four more players have been cut from Saint John Sea Dogs Training Camp. None of the four played in last night’s 2-0 pre-season win over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

Forwards Brock Morrison and Chuckie Schembri, defenseman Yohann Mathieu, and goaltender Ian O’Brien have all been released from the Sea Dogs’ Training Camp roster, announced Sea Dogs Director of Hockey Operations Mike Kelly today.

Morrison of the Cape Breton Tradesmen was selected in the eighth round, 120th overall by Saint John in the 2010 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft. The Howie Centre, Nova Scotia native netted 30 goals and dished out 31 assists for 61 points in the NSMMHL last year, finishing third on his team in scoring in the process.

In one pre-season game with Saint John, he recorded no points. Morrison will remain a Sea Dogs affiliate player according to SaintJohnSeaDogs.com. The forward will be attending Yarmouth Mariners Training Camp alongside fellow Sea Dogs prospects Colin Campbell and Alex Simpson.

Schembri, a 20-year old tough guy, was a bit of a surprise to last this long at camp. After being picked up by Saint John last season, Schembri appeared in 12 post-season games due to regular players hitting the disabled list. He recorded two goals and eight penalty minutes.

With QMJHL teams only allowed to carry three overage players, it was very unlikely that Schembri stuck around for any significant amount of time.

Mathieu, a free agent invite to camp, is second on the team with seven pre-season penalty minutes, according to the QMJHL website. The defenseman was originally picked up by the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in the fifth round, 90th overall in the 2007 QMJHL Entry Draft. He played eight games with the Drakkar in 2008-09, recording no points, nine penalty minutes, and a +3 rating. The 6’4”, 205 lbs backend was released by the Drakkar on May 31, 2010.

The 19-year old will remain Sea Dogs property and is expected to rejoin the MHL’s Amherst Ramblers.

Free agent goaltender Ian O’Brien – a Johnstown, Pennsylvania native - spent the 2008-09 season with the Ontario Junior “A” Hockey League’s Oakville Blades. In 19 games he had a record of 16-2 with 3.22 goals against average and 0.890 save percentage.

With O’Brien gone, there are only two goalies remaining on the Sea Dogs’ Training Camp roster in Karel St. Laurent and Frederic Piche. The QMJHL website has added net minder Brett Sinclair to the Dogs’ protected roster, but it is unclear if he his or will be attending camp.

The updated Training Camp roster, which now has 23 players on it, can be seen below in alphabetical order:

Anthony, Steven - LW
Beaulieu, Nathan - D
Bourret, Gabriel - D
Cameron, Jason - LW
Cloutier, Guillaume - D
Durepos, Pierre - D
Gagné, Kevin - D
Galiev, Stanislav - LW
Gauthier, Danick - RW
Huberdeau, Jonathan - C
Kelly, Aidan - LW
Kirkpatrick, Michael - C
MacAulay, Stephen - RW
MacDonald, Spencer - D
Morin, Christian - D
Oliver-Dares, Devon - RW
Oke, Scott - LW
Phillips, Zack - C
Piché, Frédéric - G
Sock, Tyrone - D
St-Laurent, Karel - G
Tesink, Ryan - LW
Thomas, Mike - LW

INDEPENDENT COMMITTEE TO DECIDE 2012 HOST

One thing is certain, the Saint John Sea Dogs are taking the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup very seriously. But whether or not the team hosts the Canadian Hockey League’s national championship is not a sure thing.

The Sea Dogs organization has stated several times that they plan on bidding to host the week long event and are even using the possibility of hosting the tournament as a season ticket incentive. The following was issued in the Sea Dogs’ season ticket brochure:

Our front office is already hard at work preparing a bid to host the 2012 Memorial Cup Tournament, and we’re confident that our outstanding on-ice product in conjunction with our first-rate facility and tremendous fan support will go a long way towards ensuring that this prestigious event will indeed be staged in the great city of Saint John.
Saint John’s bid, along with all of the other teams who are also trying for a chance to host, will have to go through an independent selection committee. The issue of who should decide the host city was voted on yesterday at the QMJHL’s Board of Governors meetings in Rouyn-Noranda, Que.

"The Board of Governors was very clear in regards to the question of who should decide the site of the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup," said QMJHL Commissioner Gilles Courteau in a release. "The Board of Governors voted unanimously to mandate an independent committee to choose the site of the next MasterCard Memorial Cup as was the case for the 2009 event in Rimouski. Over the course of the next few weeks, steps will be taken to select the members of the independent committee."

Also from the QMJHL’s release:

Timelines have already been set regarding the process. Teams interested in making a bid for the event must request the bid guidelines to the Canadian Hockey League prior to September 15th, 2010. A brief which underlines the ability of bidding franchises to host the event must then be forwarded to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s head office prior to November 30th, 2010. The independent committee will begin touring potential sites early in 2011. A decision is expected in April.
The Halifax Mooseheads, Shawinigan Cataractes, and Cape Breton Screaming Eagles are three other known teams expected to make a bid for the tournament. The QMJHL hosts the Memorial Cup every three years.

This year’s tournament will be held in Mississauga, Ontario.

ST. LAURENT, PICHE BLANK TITAN

FINAL: Titan 0, Sea Dogs 2

SAINT JOHN - On the strength of two stellar goaltending performances, the Saint John Sea Dogs downed the Acadie-Bathurst Titan 2-0 in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League pre-season action on Saturday night at Harbour Station.

Karel St. Laurent stopped 13 shots while former Titan goaltender Frederic Piche deflected 12 pucks to give the combo a shutout victory.

After a back-and-forth first few minutes, Mike Thomas took over by crushing Jeremie Blain into the end boards. Thomas received a penalty while Blain slowly skated off. The Dogs would kill it off.

The Saint John captain would be awarded another penalty at 14:48, this time for catching a Titan player in the face with the blade of his stick. Like the first, his team would kill it off.

At 18:52 of the opening frame, Saint John opened up the scoring. Pierre Durepos was given the puck just above the lip of the crease, allowing the second year defenseman to wire a low wrist shot past the blocker of Titan goaltender Dereck Tait.

That would be all for scoring in the first period. Shots were 13-8 in favour of the home side.

The most eventful play in the middle stanza took place around the seven minute mark with Jonathan Lessard being denied on a breakaway by St. Laurent. Piche would come in to replace the overage net minder at 12:31.

Shots were six apiece in the second frame.

In the third and with the Sea Dogs on a four-on-three power play, Tait found himself laying on the ice at one side of the net while the puck was located at the other. Stanislav Galiev found the loose disc and simply inserted it into the empty cage to give his squad an insurance marker with 13:32 to go in the game.

Saint John would hang on to take the game 2-0. Shots were 11-5 Titan in the final period of action.

Bathurst went 0/8 on the man advantage while Saint John went 1/8.

“Bathurst’s one of our biggest rivals so any time we can beat them we’re happy,” said Durepos after the game to the Sea Dogs' official Twitter page.
A small but dedicated group of 1,950 fans watched the game on a beautiful August day in the Port City.

NOTES: See Station Nation Postscript tomorrow.

NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs wrap up their pre-season home schedule with a 7:00 pm game this Wednesday at Harbour Station against the Halifax Mooseheads.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

LIVE BLOG: Titan vs Sea Dogs

Station Nation will be testing out a "Cover It Live" live blog for tonight's game. If all goes well, we will be doing this all season long.

Today, all we have is some Twitter feeds hooked up. No reader comments will be published today.

DOGS LOOKING FOR REVENGE

After suffering a 4-1 loss last night in Bathurst, the Saint John Sea Dogs can get their revenge tonight at 7:00pm at Harbour Station when they host the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

In last night’s game, Gabriel Levesque, Sébastien Trudeau, David Gilbert and Sébastien Payette scored for the Titan while Olivier Hotte added two assists. Jonathan Huberdeau replied for the Sea Dogs.

Huberdeau’s third period unassisted marker was the first and only goal allowed by the Titan in this year’s pre-season. The Titan have outscored their opponents 13-1 in three exhibition games.

Frédéric Piché and Ian O'Brien combined to stop 31 shots for Saint John while all-star net minder Olivier Roy stopped 36 shots in the win.

Tonight’s sea Dogs lineup should be posted later today on the teams website.

Today’s contest could be a physical affair with some rough stuff taking place at the KC Irving Regional Centre last night.

“The game wasn't without its share of rough stuff with Saint John's Yohann Mathieu and Acadie-Bathurst's Christophe Losier going toe-to-toe on two occasions,” writes Titan beat reporter for the Telegraph-Journal Peter Assaff. “Mathieu wound up getting an instigator penalty after their first encounter, a draw, in the opening period. Losier managed to land the majority of the punches when the two squared off again late in the third period.”

Mathieu, a free agent invite to camp by the Sea Dogs, had a team high 14 penalty minutes.

Alec Jon Banville currently leads the Titan in scoring with three points (one goal and two assists). Mike Thomas (two goals), Colin Campbell (two assists), and Ryan Tesink (two assists) lead Saint John in exhibition scoring with two points each.

After tonight’s game, the Sea Dogs will prepare for Wednesday night battle at Harbour Station against the Halifax Mooseheads. The Mooseheads’ roster could have a different look by then.

"We’ll most likely make at least three or four cuts after the weekend," said Halifax General Manager and Head Coach Cam Russell to the Chronicle Herald. "Some guys are on the bubble so they need to play. We’ll get them in and take a look at them. After these games we’ll have to get down pretty close to our line-up so we can play the final two (pre-season) games with the guys who will be here for the season. We want to get them in there and get some experience because it’s not like we were just playing three months ago; our guys have been off for a long time."

Saint John wraps up the pre-season Thursday in Charlottetown, PEI.

REGULAR SEASON TICKETS GO ON SALE THIS MORNING

Tickets to all 34 Saint John Sea Dogs home games go on sale to the general public this morning at the Harbour Station Box Office.

Tickets can also be purchased by calling 657-1234 or by visiting the Harbour Station website.

Here are the regular season walk-up ticket prices for upper bowl, lower bowl seats as listed by SaintJohnSeaDogs.com:

Adult: $14.00, $16.00

Senior*/Student: $13.00, $15.00

Youth*: $10.50, $12.50

Prices include all applicable taxes.
*Senior is 60 years and older.
**Youth is ages 2 - 14. Under 2 years is free.

The Harbour Station Box Office charges a $1.00 service fee on all venue events, including Saint John Sea Dogs home games. There is also a phone and mail charge of $1.75. Also, present your CAA Membership Card when purchasing single-game tickets and receive a discount of 10% off of the regular admission price.

Tickets to the Sea Dogs' remaining pre-season games are also on sale.

Saint John's home opener is Friday, September 10, 2010 at 7:30 pm when they host the PEI Rocket.

Friday, August 27, 2010

SAINT JOHN FALLS SHORT IN BATHURST

FINAL: Sea Dogs 1, Titan 4

BATHURST - It’s been a long time since the Saint John Sea Dogs fell below the .500 mark.

But with a 4-1 loss to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan at the KC Irving Regional Centre on Friday night, Saint John fell a game below the mark. The team is now 1-2-0-0 in three pre-season games. The Titan improved to 3-0-0-0 and stay undefeated.

The two teams do battle again on Saturday at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station to complete the home-and-home series.

Bathurst opened the scoring at 6:48 of the opening frame. Sebastien Trudeau beat Sea Dogs net minder Frederic Piche on the power play to make it 1-0 for the home team.

Shots in the opening stanza were 14-9 Titan.

Gabriel Levesque quickly made it 2-0 Bathurst with his first of the pre-season at 1:05. Assists went to Olivier Hotte and Jonathan Lessard.

At 9:57 of the second period, Ian O’Brien entered the Sea Dogs goal to replace Piche. The newly acquired Piche, who was originally drafted by Bathurst, faced 23 shots with 11 of them being of the dangerous variety.

As the middle frame winded down, the Titan blew the game open with a third goal as David Gilbert recorded his first marker of exhibition play. Hotte added his second assist of the game on the goal.

Shots were 13-12 Titan in the second.

Jonathan Huberdeau finally broke the Titan’s steal wall to put the Dogs on the board. Huberdeau’s goal was the first allowed by Bathurst so far in the pre-season. The goal was originally awarded to Tyrone Sock but was quickly changed to an unassisted marker by Huberdeau.

But at 14:54, all hope of a Saint John comeback was lost when Sebastien Payette registered an unassisted goal to give Bathurst a 4-1 lead and win.

Shots in the third were 16-8 Saint John.

Former Cape Breton Screaming Eagles net minder Olivier Roy stopped 36 shots in the win. The combo of Piche and O’Brien stopped 31 shots.

Bathurst went 1/7 on the man advantage while Saint John was 0/6.

NOTES
Mike Thomas wore the captain’s “C” on his sweater. Stephen MacAulay and Danick Gauthier both wore an “A”… free agent invite Yohann Mathieu recorded a team high 14 penalty minutes on the night… the QMJHL website list Jacques Beaulieu as the team’s Head Coach… the attendance was 1,004. Last Sunday in Bathurst’s only previous home pre-season game, the Titan had just over 900 fans in attendance… Stanislav Galiev had a team high six shots… Huberdeau, Thomas, and Brock Morrison were the only players with a plus rating.

NEXT PRE-SEASON GAME
Saturday, August 28, 2010 at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station vs Acadie Bathurst Titan.

PROMOTIONAL SCHEDULE RELEASED

This morning, Saint John Sea Dogs President Wayne Long released the team’s tentative promotional schedule for the 2010-11 season.

Tickets to all 34 home games for the Sea Dogs’ sixth season go on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 am at the Harbour Station Box Office.

The action kicks off on Friday, September 10 at 7:30 pm at Harbour Station when the PEI Rocket visit Saint John for the Dogs’ Home Opener. Along with all of the usual stuff a Home Opener brings, the Sea Dogs will also have a special pre-game celebration.

The team will raise their 2009-10 Atlantic Division and Regular Season championship banners to the rafters of Harbour Station, making it the first banner raising in team history. There is no word on where exactly the banners will be hung inside the arena.

The first 5,000 fans will also receive a free Sea Dogs banner magnet compliments of founding partners Irving Oil and Moosehead Breweries.

Last year, the Sea Dogs sold $5 tickets for each Wednesday home game in recognition of the team’s fifth anniversary. This season, Wednesday night upper bowl tickets will be sold for $6 in recognition of the clubs half-dozen years in the Port City. There are two Wednesday night home matches.

The annual Sea Dogs Fan Fest will take place on September 11 from 4-6pm at the West Entrance of Harbour Station prior to their game against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. The event has featured music, face painting, cake, and a BBQ in the past.

Other theme nights include Toonie Tuesday, Pink in the Rink, Support Our Troops Night, Multicultural Day, Holiday Fun Day, Journée Des Francofans, Valentine’s Day game, Country Night, and a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration.

Also of note, the Sea Dogs will host a Saint John Flames Tribute Night to celebrate the former American Hockey League team’s 2001 Calder Cup Championship. Like the team did in 2008-09 to honor the Saint John Mooseheads, the Sea Dogs will wear retro jerseys.

"I believe it's going to be a special night for the players and all the fans," said former Flames co-owner Nick Georgoudis to the Telegraph-Journal. "I'm sure some people still remember (the Calder Cup championship) and will always remember. I'm looking forward to remembering the old times and good memories. We had 10 great seasons with the Flames."

The full promotional schedule can be seen below:

Friday, Sept. 10, 2010 – 7:30pm vs. P.E.I. Rocket
Home Opener/Banner-Raising Night & Banner Magnet Giveaway

Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010 – 7:00pm vs. Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
Fourth Annual Sea Dogs Fan Festival (Pre-Game: 4-6pm, West Arena Entrance)

Friday, Oct. 8, 2010 – 7:30pm vs. Moncton Wildcats
CHWV 97.3 FM The Wave Night

Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010 – 7:00pm vs. Rimouski Oceanic
Toonie Tuesday: With the purchase of any adult seat, an upper bowl children’s ticket (age 14 & under) may be obtained for only $2.

Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010 – 7:00pm vs. Rouyn-Noranda Huskies
Pink in the Rink Night (Breast Cancer Research Fundraiser)

Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010 – 7:00pm vs. Chicoutimi Sagueneens
Support Our Troops Night

Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010 – 4:00pm vs. Quebec Remparts
Multicultural Day at Harbour Station

Sunday, Dec. 12, 2010 – 4:00pm vs. Halifax Mooseheads
Teddy Bear Toss/Holiday Fun Day

Friday, Dec. 31, 2010 – 7:30pm vs. Moncton Wildcats
New Year’s Eve Extravaganza (Special $10 upper bowl seats available)

Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011 – 4:00pm vs. Baie-Comeau Drakkar
Journée Des Francofans

Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011 – 4:00pm vs. Moncton Wildcats
Valentine’s Day Spectacular

Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011 – 7:00pm vs. Shawinigan Cataractes
Saint John Flames Tribute Night: In honour of the tenth anniversary of Saint John’s AHL title run, the Sea Dogs will wear retro Flames jerseys and pay tribute to the 2001 Calder Cup champions throughout the evening.

Friday, March 4, 2011 – 7:30pm vs. Moncton Wildcats
CHSJ Country 94.1 FM Night

Friday, March 18, 2011 – 7:30pm vs. Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

Sunday, March 20, 2011 – 4:00pm vs. P.E.I. Rocket
Fan Appreciation Day

A Sea Dogs press release states that “further details on each game will be revealed at a later time” and “additional promotions will also be announced throughout the season.”

SEA DOGS, TITAN CLASH TONIGHT

Provincial rivals will clash in a pre-season affair tonight at the KC Irving Regional Centre when the Saint John Sea Dogs visit the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. Game time is 7:30 pm.

There is no radio or video feed, but score updates can be followed on the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League website.

Tonight’s game marks the sixth straight year the division rivals have met in the pre-season.

“In 2009, the Sea Dogs beat the Titan twice during the pre-season, earning a 7-1 victory over their regional adversaries at Harbour Station on August 22 prior to capturing a 4-3 shootout win at the K.C. Irving Regional Centre the following day,” reports the Sea Dogs’ website. “These two teams split their exhibition series with one victory apiece the previous year, with each side winning on home ice. Acadie-Bathurst swept the series in both 2007 and 2006 by a combined score of 19-11. Back in 2005 the Sea Dogs earned their first-ever exhibition victory at the expense of the Titan, scoring thrice on the power play in laying claim to a 7-2 home win on August 19 of that year. Two days later, Acadie- Bathurst tallied a quartet of man-up markers in defeating Saint John by a score of 6-3 in northern New Brunswick.”

Something always seems to go down when these two teams meet in exhibition play. One time the Titan’s bus broke down en route to the Port City. Another time, Bathurst didn’t have enough team jersey’s, forcing the backup net minder to wear a practice jersey on the bench.

But this isn’t the Titan team you remember.

Bathurst revamped and rebuilt their lineup in the off-season, making them a serious contender for the President’s Cup this season.

After two pre-season games - both being against the Moncton Wildcats – the team has yet to allow a goal. Last weekend, Bathurst outscored the ‘Cats 9-0 in two games, helping them become one of only five QMJHL teams without a loss in pre-season action.

In their latest game which took place on Sunday, 912 spectators watched the Titan outshoot the reigning league champions 44-8.

Saint John is 1-1-0-0 after a home-and-home series against the Halifax Mooseheads last weekend. Saint John outscored the Moose 8-3 in two games.

Tonight’s Sea Dogs lineup features 13 players who played in at least one game with the club last year. Also, newly acquired goaltender Frederic Piche will wear a Dogs jersey for the first time tonight in the home of the team that drafted him.

Here is tonight's Sea Dogs lineup:

GOALTENDERS
O'Brien, Ian
Piché, Frédéric

DEFENSEMEN
Beaulieu, Nathan
Bourret, Gabriel
Cloutier, Guillaume
Durepos, Pierre
Mathieu, Yohann
Sock, Tyrone

FORWARDS
Cameron, Jason
Galiev, Stanislav
Gauthier, Danick
Huberdeau, Jonathan
Kelly, Aidan
MacAulay, Stephen
Morrison, Brock
Oke, Scott
Oliver-Dares, Devon
Phillips, Zack
Schembri, Chuckie
Thomas, Mike

Thursday, August 26, 2010

SAY WHAT?

After operating this blog for a year now, we’ve learned a lot of things. One of those things is to never make a huge deal about an error in a professionally written publication.

But this is just too much.

This was written in this week’s edition of HERE New Brunswick magazine in their article titled “twenty four/seven.”

SAINT JOHN. 2010 pre-season QMJHL hockey game. Saint John Sea Dogs vs. Halifax Mooseheads. Next week: versus the Sussex Shanty-Dwellers. Week after: versus the Bouctouche Sagouines. 7 - 10pm. Harbour Station, 99 Station Street.
Surprising that Sussex can get a QMJHL team given the Moncton Wildcats’ and Sea Dogs’ territorial rights. We can’t even pronounce the Bouctouche team.

All jokes aside, we couldn't even find these clubs in a 30 second Google search.

The magazine is operated by Canada East News Services, the same company that runs the Telegraph-Journal and Times & Transcript.

PROMOTIONAL SCHEDULE TO BE RELEASED FRIDAY

The Saint John Sea Dogs will release their promotional schedule for the 2010-11 season Friday, reports the teams official Twitter page.

There isn’t much speculation going around so Friday’s announcement will be a breath of fresh air.

Last season, in conjunction with the Sea Dogs’ fifth anniversary season, the club had a promotion for each day of the week. It proved to be successful and was easy to follow for fans.

Two of the more popular promotions were $5 ticket Wednesday’s and Toonie Tuesday’s.

Other promotions that have become annual events are Country Night, Hockey Night in Saint John, Acadian Night, and the newly added Irish Theme Night.

In 2008-09, the Sea Dogs pulled out all the stops and brought some bobble heads into the picture.

Regular season tickets for the 2010-11 campaign go on sale to the general public this Saturday at the Harbour Station box office.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

2011 DRAFT TRACKER

Throughout the 2010-11 hockey season, four names will pop up frequently whenever the 2011 National Hockey League Draft is brought up in Saint John. To keep fans updated, we will be posting links and excerpts from any publication that features top prospects Nathan Beaulieu, Jonathan Huberdeau, Tomas Jurco, and Zach Phillips.

If you find any articles, blog posts, or videos featuring any member of the Sea Dogs’ “big four,” send us the info at stationnation@yahoo.ca.

NATHAN BEAULIEU

THN HOT LIST
The Hockey News’ Ryan Kennedy named Beaulieu the best prospect at the NHL’s Research, Development, and Orientation Camp that was held last week in Toronto.

An excellent two-way defender who knows when to rush the puck and when to pull back, Beaulieu has a chance to make a great name for himself this season on a young and talented Dogs squad. A former defense partner of Vancouver second-rounder Yann Sauve, Beaulieu picked his battery mate’s brain during their time together.

“I was like a sponge,” Beaulieu said. “There are a lot of key things about him that got him drafted so high.”

But Beaulieu could go even higher. His plus-43 rating last year was a franchise record and the fact he has to wait almost an extra year to be drafted (he’s a late birthday) doesn’t faze him.

“This year I could have an even better year,” Beaulieu noted. “I have one more year to develop. There are more positives than negatives.”
The Sea Dogs defenceman also noted that he and his father/former Sea Dogs Head Coach and General Manager Jacques Beaulieu stay close.

“We’d talk after every game,” Beaulieu said. “He was always there for me, just like a father should be.”

CRASH THE CREASE
A scouting report on Beaulieu from Crash The Crease.

Beaulieu is Sea Dog number three and the only defenseman on this list. A solid puck mover with good size, Beaulieu is an almost text book offensive defenseman. He registers solid numbers on the Saint John powerplay, has a decent release on his shot and ably joins the rush. Not a defensive defenseman by any stretch, Beaulieu will take criticisms for the size of his frame and his offensive ability. He’s got some toughness and has been known to occasionally drop the gloves. It’s tough to see Beaulieu as a first rounder when better prospects like Saskatoon’s Stefan Elliot have fallen into the second round in recent years.
BRUINS 2011 DRAFT WATCH
Part if in depth scouting report on Beaulieu from Bruins 2011 Draft Watch.

He's a smooth skater with nice acceleration and an ability to rev it up into another gear, and is a player who isn't afraid to jump up into the play. A strong puck-moving defenseman, he uses a combination of vision, hockey intellect and good hands to set the breakout and help his team with the transition game. Beaulieu is also willing to fight when the opportunity presents, and isn't bad in that regard, with a flamethrower style and a willingness to stand in and take punches to give 'em.
JONATHAN HUBERDEAU

THN HOT LIST
Huberdeau was named the sixth best player at the NHL’s RDO Camp by THN.

With basically the exact same frame as Nugent-Hopkins, Huberdeau, naturally, has to put on some weight himself, but he does bring great instincts to the ice and some nice quickness. Huberdeau was also a member of Canada’s gold medal Ivan Hlinka team and certainly did his part along the way. Draft eligible in 2011.
CRASH THE CREASE
A scouting report on Huberdeau from Crash The Crease.

Huberdeau is the second of four Saint John Sea Dogs on this list. Unlike teammate Tomas Jurco, Huberdeau is a more methodical player who reads and anticipates the movement of the play well. His lanky frame, quick release wrist shot and hockey sense bring to mind recent Q graduate Derick Brassard. It’s easier to see Huberdeau as a playmaker as opposed to a finisher at the NHL level, though he certainly has goal scoring upside. He’ll have to get bigger if he wants to be a reliable offensive option at the next level. Some scouts have him in their early top ten, but I see him more reliably as a 12-16 pick right now.
BRUINS 2011 DRAFT WATCH
Part of in depth scouting report on Huberdeau from Bruins 2011 Draft Watch.

As you might expect, his lack of solid mass and strength works against him at this stage of his development, as he can be pushed off the puck easily and tends to retreat into perimeter mode when the hitting picks up. This player is going to be an interesting one to follow, because his overall game is not all that strong even with his high-end offensive upside. If he struggles with play in all three zones or doesn't show the kind of commitment scouts want to see in terms of going to the traffic areas and being willing to take hits to make plays, you could see a precipitous drop over the course of the year. As it stands right now, however, he's so skilled offensively, that you could make a case that he needs to be No. 3, possibly even No. 2 on the Quebec list, but concerns about his overall package move him down a tad.
TOMAS JURCO

CRASH THE CREASE
A scouting report on Jurco from Crash The Crease:

Watching the Slovak import, one thing leaps out at you. He’s got a skating style that’s a dead ringer for countryman Marian Hossa. But that’s about where the comparisons between the two players would end. Jurco is more of a complimentary player than Hossa, relying on his pure offensive tools to create offence rather than the hockey sense that allows Hossa to dissect a team’s defence. Jurco is less of a puck possession player than an offensive weapon who creates chances off the rush using his superior skating and hands. He definitely projects as a solid second line goal scorer at the next level.
BRUINS 2011 DRAFT WATCH
Part of in depth scouting report on Jurco from Bruins 2011 Draft Watch.

Although only average in size (6-0, 180) Jurco skates extremely well, with some real elusiveness and slippery moves. An excellent puckhandler with a bevy of moves, he can also really rip the biscuit as evidenced by his 26 goals as a rookie last year. Another late December '92 birthdate, he's a little older and more mature than a good percentage of the competition, so Jurco should take a quantum leap in his production and play this season. He's made the cultural transition and speaks pretty good English, so watch for Jurco, with minimal distractions, to be one of the more electrifying players on the Q circuit this year.
ZACH PHILLIPS

CRASH THE CREASE
A scouting report on Phillips from Crash The Crease.

Phillips is the fourth Sea Dog on this list and he gives the impression this year of a player not dissimilar to Justin Shugg from the Windsor Spitfires of last season. Like Shugg, Phillips is a late birthday playing on a loaded team. It’s tough to come up with a real trademark skillset that Phillips has that commands your attention. Is he a good offensive player? Yes, but he doesn’t create the way Huberdeau does or explode the way Jurco can. So, playing with superior talents may inflate his stats but he might also suffer by comparison. Like Garret Meurs in the OHL, Phillips lack of an evident flaw might have him more highly regarded as a likely NHLer for a team looking for a pick in the neighbourhood of a safe third/ second line tweener.

SEA DOGS NOTEBOOK

LECOMTE LEAVES FOR NORWAY
According to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Twitter page, former Saint John Sea Dogs defenceman Benjamin Lecomte has signed a pro deal to play in Norway next season.

Lecomte was eligible to play in the QMJHL as a 20-year old this season. A reason as to why he decided to leave Canadian junior hockey is unclear.

Acquired by Saint John in 2008-09 from Rouyn-Noranda, Lecomte played in 28 games with the Dogs that season, recording three goals and three assists.

In 25 games with Saint John last season, he registered two goals and nine assists. He was traded to Gatineau mid-season after Saint John traded for defenseman Christian Morin. Lecomte played in just six games with the Olympiques, recording a single assist.

CRUIZING IN STYLE
The Saint John Alpines senior baseball team travelled to Fredericton in style last Tuesday.

“But the Alpines,” reports The Daily Gleaner, “who made the trek to Fredericton in the bus of the Saint John Sea Dogs, used the positive energy from that successful Quebec Major Junior Hockey League franchise with a six-run explosion in the top of the seventh, and lo and behold, had a 7-6 lead on the Royals heading into the last half of the seventh."

JURCO’S BACK SOON
The Saint John Sea Dogs website reports that Tomas Jurco will return to Canadian soil on September 3rd. The Slovakian is currently in his home country due to scholastic commitments.

With the flashy forward busy with his studies, Jurco will miss most of Sea Dogs Training Camp and has missed the recently held NHL Research, Development, and Orientation Camp in Toronto.

Last season, the 2011 top prospect recorded 26 goals and 25 assists in 64 regular season games. He added seven goals and 10 assists in 21 post-season games.

DESPRES AT DEVELOPMENT CAMP
There wasn’t a whole lot of scouting coverage from Team Canada’s World Junior Summer Development Camp. The little that was available didn’t have much in depth information.

“I wasn’t impressed with Simon Depres, he had a few good rushes, but defensively he had quite a few lapses,” writes Cory Pronman of Puck Prospectus.

Nathan Beaulieu, the only other Saint John player at the camp, accepted Despres as his mentor.

"He didn’t know anyone here," said Despres of Beaulieu to NHL.com. "So I'm helping him here and am telling him to enjoy and be confident and just play your game."

Lots more after the jump...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

WEEK TWO CAMP SCHEDULE

Saint John Sea Dogs Training Camp continues this week after an eventful opening seven days. Here is the schedule for this week’s festivities from the Sea Dogs’ website:

Tuesday Aug. 24th
Practice, 10:30am – 12:30pm

Wednesday, Aug 25th
Practice, 10:30am – 12:30pm

Thursday, Aug 26th
Practice, 10:30am – 12:30pm

Friday, Aug 27th
Pre-Season Game #3 – Saint John @ Acadie-Bathrust, 7:30pm

Saturday, Aug 28th
Pre-Season Game #4 – Saint John vs. Acadie-Bathurst, 7:00pm

All training sessions are open to the public. Nothing is scheduled for Harbour Station this week, so we assume everything is going on down there.

Monday, August 23, 2010

50/50 PRICES ADJUSTED BACK

After causing some fierce anger, the Saint John Sea Dogs Foundation had decided to revert their 50/50 ticket prices after significantly increasing their prices last week.

“The Saint John Sea Dogs Foundation has announced that the organization’s 50/50 ticket pricing structure will revert back to levels established last season for the duration of the 2010-11 campaign (incl. all exhibition and playoff games),” reads a Sea Dogs press release. “Fans will once again be able to purchase one ticket for $2, five tickets for $5, and thirty tickets for $10 beginning this Saturday night when Saint John hosts Acadie-Bathurst in QMJHL pre-season action.”

The Sea Dogs released this statement on Friday about the increase in pricing:

The Sea Dogs Foundation is pleased to announce that 50/50 jackpots are expected to be significantly larger during the upcoming hockey season, with a modest pricing adjustment set to exponentially increase the prize money awarded to winning ticket buyers.

Throughout the Sea Dogs' exhibition schedule, regular season, and 2011 playoff run, single 50/50 tickets will be sold by the Shriners at various locations inside Harbour Station for $5 apiece. Fans may also purchase a set of three tickets for $10 or a group of ten for $20.

“Our aim in adjusting the price structure this past weekend was to attempt to increase the size of fifty-fifty jackpots, which would have benefitted the charitable organizations that these draws support as well as the winning ticket holder,” Sea Dogs President Wayne Long said on Monday morning in the release. “However, upon discussing the matter with several fans as well as our foundation’s board members, we have decided to revert back to last season’s prices effective immediately. We look forward to another great season of fifty-fifty draws at Harbour Station, and we hope fans will be pleased with our decision to roll back ticket prices to their previous levels.”

The team’s website and official Twitter page clearly stated several times that the increase was put in place to make an attempt to raise more money for the charity organizations it helps support.

According to a report by a fan on Twitter, the 50/50 was unusually low at Saturday’s pre-season game at Harbour Station – even with the exhibition sized crowd.

13 CUT FROM CAMP

PRESS RELEASE

Saint John Sea Dogs Director of Hockey Operations Mike Kelly has announced that 13 players have been released from the club’s training camp roster effective immediately. Twenty-seven players now remain at Saint John’s 2010 Training Camp.

A full list of players that have been released can be found below:

Philippe Arseneau (Forward)
Sebastien Auger (Goaltender)
Dylan Brake (Defenseman)
Colin Campbell (Forward)
Phillip Fife (Forward)
Sebastien Huberdeau (Forward)
Martin Joyal (Defenseman)
Alex Simpson (Defenseman)
Nick Spear (Goaltender)
Jason Thorpe (Forward)
Richard Tingley (Goaltender)
Peter Topshee (Forward)
Peter Trainor (Forward)

Currently 1-1-0-0 on the 2010 pre-season, the Sea Dogs will face the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in a home-and-home exhibition series this coming weekend.

CUTS EXPECTED TO COME TODAY

According to today’s Telegraph-Journal, seven to eight players are expected to be cut from Saint John Sea Dogs Training Camp sometime today.

The newspaper reports that forwards Colin Campbell, Sebastien Huberdeau, Jason Thorpe and defenceman Martin Joyal were released on Sunday, leaving the Sea Dogs with 35 players in camp. On Saturday, four players voluntarily left camp.

The team will likely have 27-28 players on their Training Camp roster after today.

"We'll probably keep somewhere around 24 or 25 guys until the first two or three games of the season," said Sea Dogs Head Coach Gerard Gallant.

Saint John has three NHL drafted players on their Training camp roster: Vancouver Canucks pick Steven Anthony, Washington Capitals prospect Stanislav Galiev, and St. Louis Blues draftee Stephen MacAulay. Not at camp but expected to return following Pittsburgh Penguins Training Camp is Simon Despres.

With five expected empty roster spots to start the season, the Dogs will have to keep some of their prospects on the squad until the big boys return.

The Sea Dogs are 1-1-0-0 in the pre-season, spliting a home-and-home series with the Halifax Mooseheads this weekend. They take on the Acadie-Bathurst Titan next weekend.

TRADE DEADLINE GOES DOWN TODAY

The Quebec major Junior Hockey League’s summer treading period comes to a close this morning at 11:00 am Atlantic time. With the exception of overage players, no player can be moved after 11:00 am today until the holiday trading period opens.

In the past week the Saint Sea John Sea Dogs have made two trades, acquiring defenseman Spencer MacDonald and goaltender Frederic Piche in separate deals that saw draft picks go the other way.

One issue that has been on the minds of everyone who follows the team this summer has yet to have been solved (or at least announced publicly)– goaltending.

With the acquisition of of Piche on Saturday, Saint John currently has eight net minders on their roster that appears on the QMJHL website. Only Piche and backup Karel St. Laurent have previous experience in the Quebec circuit.

In an ideal world, Saint John could trade one of the net minders for a young – but still experienced goaltender who could carry the team through to the expected 2012 Memorial Cup run.

In Halifax, there are two top end goaltenders in 18-year old Mathieu Corbeil and 20-year old Peter Delmas.

“(Halifax) Management hasn’t made a public statement on which goaltender they’d prefer to move, but Delmas might be the safest bet -- and he can be moved at any time because different rules apply to 20-year-old over-age players,” writes Matthew Wuest of Metro Halifax.

Both goalies are solid – but their age difference makes each of their value much different. With Halifax also planning on a 2012 cup run, a deal could be difficult to work out for the NHL drafted Corbeil.

The addition of Piche Saturday certainly added some intrigue to the goalie issue. Does Saint John make a deal for a number one? Do they go with a young affiliate player as backup? Or do they run with the goaltenders they have?

Those answers will, hopefully, be answered this morning.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

HERD REBOUND WITH WIN OVER DOGS

Final: Sea Dogs 3, Mooseheads 4

RECAP
PRESS RELEASE

The Halifax Mooseheads emerged victorious from a gritty back-and-forth exhibition game versus the Saint John Sea Dogs at the Halifax Forum on Sunday afternoon, taking the decision by a 4-3 final to even the pre-season series between the two clubs at one win apiece. These two Maritime Division rivals will meet again on September 1 at Harbour Station (puck drop: 7pm).

Steve Gillard, Matthew Boudreau, Garrett Clarke, and Francis Turbide each found the back of the net for Halifax on Sunday, while Zack Phillips, Yohann Mathieu, and Danick Gauthier all scored for Saint John in a losing effort. Recent draft pick Colin Campbell dished out a pair of assists on the day to lead all Sea Dogs skaters with two points.

Saint John prospects Richard Tingley (19 saves) and Sebastien Auger (12 saves) combined to stop 31 Mooseheads shots on the day, with Halifax goaltenders Mathieu Corbeil (7 saves) and Anthony Terenzio (10 saves) joining forces to backstop their team to a hard-fought home win.

The visitors were 0-for-3 with the man advantage on Sunday, while the hosts went 1-for-6.

Currently 1-1-0-0 on the 2010 pre-season, Saint John will face Acadie-Bathurst in a home-and-home exhibition series next weekend.

FIGHTIN' WORDS
There were two fights in Sunday's pre-season game.

“It’s always what you aim for in hockey -- you want to win,” said Mooseheads rookie winger Darcy Ashley to Metro Halifax, who had an assist and dropped the gloves with Devon Oliver-Dares. “The boys (in Halifax) haven’t had too many wins the past two seasons and this is just the start tonight of a winning season.”

“Oliver-Dares might have gotten a little over-excited and finished a check after the whistle,” Ashley said. “I’m not really a fighter but if someone takes liberties on a teammate, everybody sticks up for each other and that’s all I did.”

Free agent camper Yohann Mathieu also took on Luke Warner in the second period.

REALITY CHECK
Not at all Sea Dogs realted - but the Moncton Wildcats lost 8-0 in a pre-season game in Bathurst Sunday afternoon. The QMJHL Champions recorded only eight shots on goal.

PRE-SEASON CONTINUES TODAY

The back end of a home-and-home series against the Halifax Mooseheads takes place this afternoon at 4:30 pm when the Saint John Sea Dogs travel to the Halifax Forum. It will be the team’s first ever game at the Forum facility.

Saint John is 1-0 in the pre-season after taking their opener last night at Harbour Station 4-1 over the Mooseheads. Captain Mike Thomas had a pair of goals while Phillip Fife and Stanislav Galiev scored single markers. The lone Herd goal came courtesy of Carl Gelinas.

Richard Tingley and Nick Spear stopped 18 Halifax shots in net. Mooseheads net minders Peter Delmas and Anthony Terenzio faced 22 Saint John pucks.

Halifax outhit the Sea Dogs 25-10.

The Sea Dogs went 7-1-0-0 against the Mooseheads last year in the regular season. In four games at the Halifax Metro Centre, Saint John went 4-0-0-0 and outscored the Moose 22-7.

Today’s Saint John roster features nine players who played in at least one game with Saint John last year, nine affiliate players, and two free agent players. Goaltender Richard Tingley, defensemen Spencer MacDonald and Guillaume Cloutier, and forwards Jason Cameron and Ryan Tesink are ther only players in today's lineup that played in yesterday’s pre-season game in the Port City.

Here is today’s lineup via the Sea Dogs’ website:

Goaltenders
30 Tingley, Richard
35 Auger, Sebastien

Defensemen
2 Morin, Christian
3 Sock, Tyrone
8 MacDonald, Spencer
23 Durepos, Pierre
24 Mathieu, Yohann
28 Cloutier, Guillaume

Forwards
9 MacAulay, Stephen
12 Oliver-Dares, Devon
14 Cameron, Jason
15 Oke, Scott
16 Anthony, Steven
17 Campbell, Colin
18 Gauthier, Danick
22 Trainor, Peter
26 Morrison, Brock
29 Schembri, Chuckie
29 Tesink, Ryan
51 Phillips, Zack

Before today’s game, the Mooseheads will host an alumni game at the Forum at 2:00 pm against the Halifax Regional Police. The lineup is expected to feature former Sea Dogs net minder Jason Churchill.

DOGS DOWN HERD IN PRE-SEASON TILT

PRESS RELEASE

The Saint John Sea Dogs kicked off their 2010 pre-season with an impressive home win over the Halifax Mooseheads on Saturday night, outshooting their divisional rivals 22-19 in laying claim to a 4-1 victory. Mike Thomas (2), Phillip Fife, and Stanislav Galiev all scored for the Sea Dogs while Carl Gélinas replied for the Mooseheads.

Between the pipes for Saint Jonh, local minor hockey product Nick Spear stopped all eight shots fired upon him during his 30:27 of action while ’09 draft pick Richard Tingley made ten saves on 11 shots faced in his third career QMJHL pre-season game. At the other end of the ice, Peter Delmas and Anthony Terenzio combined to make 18 saves for Halifax in a losing effort.

To view a full scoresheet from Game One of the Sea Dogs’ pre-season, click HERE.

After coming up empty on an early power play opportunity, the hosts took a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute of play on Saturday when free agent forward Phillip Fife knocked home the first goal of the pre-season for the Port City’s major junior squad. Team Captain Mike Thomas doubled Saint John’s advantage a few minutes later, getting the puck past star Halifax goalie Peter Delmas to give the Sea Dogs a two-goal lead as the match reached the twenty minute mark.

Import winger Stanislav Galiev put the home team up by three early in the second period with a four-on-four goal, with Mike Thomas netting a power play marker nine minutes later to give his team a 4-0 lead. The Mooseheads got one back a moment later when sophomore winger Carl Gélinas beat recently-installed goalie Richard Tingley to send Saturday’s showdown into intermission number two with the visitors trailing by three.

Neither team managed to find the back of the net over the course of the closing twenty minutes of play, as the final buzzer ultimately sounded with the hosts having earned a three-goal victory. These two teams will meet again on Sunday afternoon at the Halifax Forum. The puck drops at 4:30pm.

DOGS ADD PICHE TO CROWDED CREASE

The crease at Saint John Sea Dogs Training Camp just got bigger.

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League website reported earlier today that the Sea Dogs have acquired goaltender Frederic Piche from the Drummondville Voltigeurs in exchange for a tenth round draft pick in the 2010 QMJHL Entry Draft.

Piche, a 19-year old, has two years of QMJHL experience under his belt. This makes him and Karel St. Laurent the only goaltenders at Saint John camp with any games played in the league.

In twenty-two appearances with Drummondville last season, Piché registered a 9-6 record in addition to a goals against average of 2.83 and a save percentage of 0.857. The 6’1”, 188 lb. net minder also recorded one shutout for the Voltigeurs during the 2009-10 campaign.

Originally selected by Acadie-Bathurst in the sixth round, 83rd overall, in the 2008 QMJHL Entry Draft, Piché recorded a 4.03 G.A.A. and a 0.894 save percentage with the Titan during his rookie season of 2008-09.

A native of Val-des-Monts, QC, Piché was traded from Acadie-Bathurst to Drummondville on August 10, 2009 in exchange for a fifth round pick at the 2011 QMJHL Entry Draft.

According to the Sea Dogs Twitter page, “in four career starts at Harbour Station, Frédéric Piché has a G.A.A. of 2.67 and a SV% of 0.912.”

There are now eight goaltenders on the Sea Dogs’ roster – with none of them ever carrying a team as a number one net minder.

Saint John signed a goaltender at this time last season as well in Marc-Antoine Gelinas. Much like Piche, Gelinas did not have a background as being an elite puck stopper in the QMJHL. But Gelinas silenced all of his doubters, carrying to Saint John into a first place finish at the half way point of the 2009-10 season.

The move has created many questions about Saint John’s questionable goaltending going in to the season. Some of those questions could be answered when the trade deadline rolls along on Monday morning.

- With files from SaintJohnSeaDogs.com

Saturday, August 21, 2010

LINEUP NOTES: DOGS ROSTER; MOOSE CUTS

Below is the Saint John Sea Dogs’ lineup for tonight’s pre-season contest against the Halifax Mooseheads, via the Sea Dogs’ website. Game time is 7:00 pm at Harbour Station.

The lineup features seven players who saw QMJHL action with Saint John last year, nine affiliate players, and four free agents.

For more on tonight’s game, see Station Nation’s pre-game report.

GOALTENDERS
30 Richard Tingley
35 Nick Spear

DEFENSEMEN
2 Martin Joyal
3 Alex Simpson
5 Gabriel Bourret
8 Spencer MacDonald
21 Kevin Gagné
28 Guillaume Cloutier

FORWARDS
10 Michael Kirkpatrick
11 Jonathan Huberdeau
12 Philippe Arseneau
14 Jason Cameron
15 Jason Thorpe
16 Peter Topshee
17 Mike Thomas
18 Phillip Fife
22 Aidan Kelly
23 Sebastien Huberdeau
29 Ryan Tesink
97 Stanislav Galiev

According to Matthew Weust of Metro Halifax, forwards Ryan Nickerson, Brett Bernard and Derek Trider, defencemen Lucas Dawe and Jonathan Pelletier and goaltender Jean-Christophe Roy-Boulet were all cut from Mooseheads Training Camp today, leaving 37 players remaining from the 45 that started camp on Wednesday.

FOUR PLAYERS HEAD FOR THE EXIT

Four players have “voluntarily left” Saint John Sea Dogs 2010 Training Camp, according to a team press release. The news leaves 39 players at the camp which began Tuesday in the Port City.

Sea Dogs Director of Hockey Operations and Associate Coach Mike Kelly announced that free agent forwards Brett Barnhill, Dylan Jones, and Sammy Maguire have all elected to leave camp, as has defensive prospect Anthony St-Onge-Dostie.

Reasoning as to why the players chose to leave is unclear.

Barnhill played with the Fredericton Canadians last year, getting 20 goals and 20 assists in 35 regular season matches. In the New Brunswick/Prince Edward Island Major Midget Hockey League playoffs, Barnhill scored three goals in seven games.

Jones, a Saint John native, played for his home town Vito’s last season. In 26 games he registered seven goals and seven assists. The 6’00”, 185 lbs right winger joined the likes of Aidan Kelly, Jason Thorpe, and Alex Simpson at camp.

McGuire, who also played with the Saint John Vito’s last season, recorded 18 goals and 14 assists in 33 games played in the NB/PEIMMHL. In the playoffs, the forward had no points in four games.

In the eighth round of the 2010 QMJHL Entry Draft by Saint John, Anthony St-Onge-Dostie was selected with the 144th pick. The 6’0” defenseman recorded two goals and 10 assists in 38 games with the St. Francois Blizzard last season.

DOGS HOST HERD IN FIRST PRE-SEASON TEST TONIGHT

It’s game time.

The last time the Saint John Sea Dogs hit the ice in a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League regulated game, they were picking themselves up after a crushing Game Five loss in the Presidents Cup Final against the Moncton Wildcats.

But tonight, the outcome will not matter as much and the Dogs will not playing the 2009-10 QMJHL Champion Wildcats.

The Sea Dogs host the Halifax Mooseheads tonight at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station in their first taste of pre-season action. It is the first game of a home-and-home series between the two, with the later taking place on Sunday at 4:30 pm at the Halifax Forum.

"The exhibition games are going to be real important,'' Sea Dogs Head Coach Gerard Gallant told the Telegraph-Journal earlier this week. "We have a good core of players coming back, but I told the kids to show us what they can do. Anything can happen in this game.

"There are trades that happen all the time, there are injuries. You want as many good players as you can have and it's good to have a lot of depth, so we'll see what happens.''

Saint John Training Camp began last Tuesday. After several practices, scrimmages, and intrasquad games, the team has yet to cut any players. But with camp almost one week old, most would have to think that cuts are looming.

The Dogs will be without defencemen Simon Despres and Yann Sauve and forward Tomas Jurco as they have been all camp long. It is unclear if defenceman Nathan Beaulieu and forwards Jonathan Huberdeau and Zach Phillips – who just took part in the NHL’s Research, Development, and Orientation Camp in Toronto – will all be playing tonight. According to today’s Telegraph-Journal, Huberdeau will be playing tonight along with his older brother Sebastien, who is on a free agent tryout with the Sea Dogs.

"If we can be on the same line, it's going to be good,'' said the younger Huberdeau to the T-J about playing with his brother. "It's not every day you can play together with your brother in the Q.''

The Mooseheads, coming off back-to-back last place regular season finishes, are a new team entering this season after stockpiling solid young players through the draft and trades. One high end pick will not be wearing a Mooseheads jersey tonight however – and he may not be wearing one for some time.

Matthew Wuest of Metro Halifax reported yesterday on his blog that the International Ice Hockey Federation has rejected Halifax’s requested transfer of Czech born forward Martin Frk to the Mooseheads. The Herd selected Frk third overall in the CHL import draft in June after the 16-year-old winger collected 55 points and 184 penalty minutes in 39 games with HC Karlovy Vary of the Czech under-20 league.

So far at Halifax camp, the team has had a few fast paced intrasquad games.

NOTES
This game will not be broadcast on radio or webcast… follow the Sea Dogs on Twitter (@SeaDogsHockey) for score updates… this will be Halifax’s first pre-season game as well… the QMJHL pre-season kicked off on Thursday… Saint John was 7-1 against Halifax last season, outscoring the Moose 38-16 along the way… Saint John’s only loss to Halifax last season came at Harbour Station.

KICKOFF
At today’s first annual Saint John BBQ Festival at Exhibition Park, the Sea Dogs will be hosting a pre-season kickoff at 12:30 pm.

Friday, August 20, 2010

PRE-SEASON KICKOFF TOMORROW


Gates open at 11:30 am. Sea Dogs are scheduled to appear at 12:30 pm.

TEAM BLUE CAPTURES INTRASQUAD CONTEST WIN

PRESS RELEASE

The 6th Annual Sea Dogs Blue-White Intrasquad Game was staged at Harbour Station on Friday night, with approximately 500 hockey fans taking in the proceedings and generously donating a significant amount of canned goods to local food banks.

Team White came out strong in the game itself, taking a large lead early on at the behest of a persistent offensive attack. After 2010 draft pick Brock Morrison stuffed home a goal at the side of Team Blue’s net early in the action, Team White proceeded to amass a 5-0 lead as Sammy Maguire, Pierre Durepos, and Michael Kirkpatrick (2) each tallied markers for their side. Veteran forward Steven Anthony then beat Team White goalie Karel St-Laurent on a low wrist shot late in the opening half to make the score 5-1 midway through the contest.

In the second half of the match, Team Blue miraculously stormed back to tie things up at five apiece. Overage winger Mike Thomas completed the comeback in the late-going on a rocket of a slot-launched wrist shot that beat young net minder Sebastien Auger cleanly. Team Blue proceeded to take the decision by way of the shootout, with sophomore forwards Stanislav Galiev and Zack Phillips exhibiting some dynamic deking skills in finding pay dirt for their squad. Saint John native Ryan Tesink tallied the lone marker of the breakaway challenge for Team White.

The Sea Dogs’ pre-season schedule begins on Saturday night (puck drop: 7pm) with a home game versus the Halifax Mooseheads.

50/50 PRICES TO BE INCREASED

A minor announcement made by the Saint John Sea Dogs today is stirring some debate.

Via a team press release, the Sea Dogs released a new pricing system by which their 50/50 ticket draws will operate this season.

“Throughout the Sea Dogs' exhibition schedule, regular season, and 2011 playoff run, single 50/50 tickets will be sold by the Shriners at various locations inside Harbour Station for $5 apiece,” states the teams website. “Fans may also purchase a set of three tickets for $10 or a group of ten for $20.”

Saint John hopes to set a new team record for the highest 50/50 total amounted in their history this year. The previous record was set on April 30, 2010 with $12,369.

Basically, this means that although the jackpot will be larger, fans will be dishing out more dough. All of this for a team that already has above average 50/50 winnings for a QMJHL team.

It will be interesting to see if this new plan works out and the jackpot continues to increase. On the one hand, a bigger pot could make more folks buy tickets. But on the other hand, by having increased ticket prices, it could become a turnoff.

The Sea Dogs website states that the pricing adjustments are “modest” which would indicate that neither the Sea Dogs or the Shriners organization believes that the modifications will have a huge negative effect.

For all the debate that this discussion will raise, the money will still go towards a good cause. All proceeds from 50/50 draws at Sea Dogs home games go towards the Sea Dogs Foundation as well as Shriners Hospitals for Children.

The Foundation is also committed to help former Sea Dogs players continue their post secondary education through a bursary program. Furthermore, the Sea Dogs Foundation supports local high school students achieve their post-secondary academic goals through a generous bursary program.

INTRASQUAD GAME ROSTERS

Here are the rosters for tonight's Saint John Sea Dogs intrasquad game at Harbour Station at 7:00 pm.

TEAM WHITE

# NAME & POS
30 Auger, Sebastien G
35 St-Laurent, Karel G
2 Joyal, Martin D
5 Bourret, Gabriel D
8 Cameron, Jason F
9 MacAulay, Stephen F
10 Kirkpatrick, Michael F
11 Thorpe, Jason F
14 Morrison, Brock F
15 Oke, Scott F
16 Jones, Dylan F
17 Campbell, Colin F
18 Fife, Phillip F
21 Gagné, Kevin D
22 Barnhill, Brett F
23 Durepos, Pierre D
24 Maguire, Sammy F
28 Cloutier, Guillaume D
29 Tesink, Ryan F

TEAM BLUE

# NAME & POS
30 Tingley, Richard G
35 Spear, Nick G
2 Morin, Christian D
3 Sock, Tyrone D
5 Simpson, Alex D
8 MacDonald, Spencer D
10 Topshee, Peter F
12 Oliver-Dares, Devon F
14 Trainer, Peter F
15 Arseneau, Philippe F
16 Anthony, Steven F
17 Thomas, Mike F
18 Gauthier, Danick F
21 Brake, Dylan D
22 Kelly, Aidan F
23 Huberdeau, Sebastien F
24 Mathieu, Yohann D
29 Schembri, Chuckie F
97 Galiev, Stanislav F

INTRASQUAD GAME TONIGHT

The Saint John Sea Dogs will kick into game shape tonight when Team Blue takes on Team White in the only “big” intrasquad game of camp. Game time is 7:00 pm at Harbour Station.

Admission is free but fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items that will be donated to charity.

Sea Dogs Training Camp opened on Tuesday with registration and off-ice workouts taking place at Harbour Station. On Wednesday and Thursday, the roster was split into two teams for practices and scrimmages

So far at camp, reports indicate that the action has been intense with several players trying to find a roster spot.

Saint John begins their pre-season schedule on Saturday at 7:00 pm against the Halifax Mooseheads.

"The exhibition games are going to be real important,'' Sea Dogs Head Coach Gerard Gallant told the Telegraph-Journal yesterday. "We have a good core of players coming back, but I told the kids to show us what they can do. Anything can happen in this game.

"There are trades that happen all the time, there are injuries. You want as many good players as you can have and it's good to have a lot of depth, so we'll see what happens.''

The Quebec major Junior Hockey League pre-season began last night with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies travelling to Val-d’Or.

On Friday, eight other teams hit the ice: Cape Breton vs. P.E.I.; Chicoutimi vs. Quebec; Baie-Comeau vs. Rimouski; Gatineau vs. Montreal.

The defending President Cup champions make their pre-season debut on Saturday as they host the Acadie-Bathurst Titan at the Red Ball Internet Centre in Moncton.

The pre-season comes to a close on Sunday, September 5.

Of note, the QMJHL trade period ends on Monday, August 23, at 11 am ADT. Sea Dogs play-by-play man Tim Roszell appeared on “The Afternoon News With Tom Young” on Thursday. He brought up the deadline, but not express any indication of a possible deal in place involving Saint John assets.

Station Nation’s official photographer, Marc Henwood, has his pictures posted from day two of training Camp on the SN Facebook page.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

AUGER HAS STRONG DAY AT CAMP

(Editors Note: JT's in Boston this weekend - meaning you are stuck with me. It's sure to be a weekend filled with press releases and wrong information.)

PRESS RELEASE

A Thursday night concert at Harbour Station meant a change of venue for Day Three of Saint John Sea Dogs Training Camp, with the Stu Hurley Arena playing host to a trio of on-ice sessions in which current and aspiring members of the Port City’s major junior squad did their best to distinguish themselves.

In addition to a pair of practices, the forty players currently attending camp partook in some strenuous off-ice workouts at nearby Simonds High School during the morning hours. Athletic Therapist Jeff Kelly oversaw the intense calisthenics routines (in which cardiovascular assessments were made) and was impressed at the level of fitness this year’s training camp attendees possess.

“Everyone at camp this year is in great shape,” Kelly said following the morning sessions. “Our returning players have all improved their fitness levels during the off-season and the young guys are all clearly committed to their conditioning.”

The second scrimmage of 2010 Training Camp was staged on Thursday afternoon, with Team White exacting revenge upon their navy-clad opponents by earning a 5-1 victory to tie their series with Team Blue up at one win apiece. Team White goaltender Sebastien Auger, 16, turned in a sensational performance in the game’s second half, holding Team Blue scoreless during thirty minutes of action while making several highlight-reel-caliber saves.

“I felt pretty good out there today, I was seeing the puck quite well,” Auger said after the scrimmage. “I’m really enjoying my time at training camp here in Saint John. Hopefully I can build on my performance from today in the coming days.”

Sea Dogs Training Camp moves back to Harbour Station on Friday, with a pair of morning skates set to be held on the team’s home ice surface. These pracitices (10:00am & 11:15am) are both open to the public. The 6th Annual Blue-White Intrasquad game will take place on Friday night (puck drop: 7pm), also at Harbour Station. Admission to this evening contest is free, with fans being asked to bring a non-perishable food item with them to donate to charity.

DAY 3 WILL BE 'LARGER THAN LIFE'

The Backstreet’s back, and it’s time to party like it’s 1998.

But whatever, while the Backstreet Boys invade Harbour Station today, Saint John Sea Dogs Training Camp continues this morning at Stu Hurley Arena.

Here is the schedule for today’s festivities:

10:00am – 11:00am Group ‘A’ Practice
11:15am – 12:15pm Group ‘B’ Practice
2:00pm – 4:00pm Scrimmage

Here are driving instructions to Stu Hurley Arena if you have never been (from ArenaMaps.com):

From Saint John: City Road east through Haymarket Square to Thorne Avenue. Continue straight on Loch Lomond Road approx. 3 km to Hickey Road. Turn right on Hickey Road. Proceed east on Hickey Rd. approx. 0.5 km to Shillinton Road. Turn right on Shillington Rd. and proceed to arena behind Simonds High School.
From Hwy-1 Southbound: Hwy-1 to Rothesay Rd. exit 117. SOuth on Rothesay to McAllister Dr. Left on McAllister to Loch Lomond Rd. Left on Loch Lomond Rd. to Hickey Rd. Right on Hickey Rd. to Shillington Rd. Right on Shillington Rd. to Stu Hurley Arena (behind Simonds High School).
From Hwy-1 Northbound: North on Hwy-1 to Rothesay Ave. exit 116. Left on Rothesay Ave.to McAllister Dr. Right on McAllister to Loch Lomond Rd. Left on Loch Lomond Rd. to Hickey Rd. Right on Hickey Rd. to Shillington Rd. Right on Shillington Rd. to Stu Hurley Arena (behind Simonds High School).
The Sea Dogs’ Training Camp roster was split in two yesterday, creating two teams that will compete against each other in the afternoon scrimmage.

There has been no word on when the first round of cuts will take place.

We're hoping to have pictures from the first on-ice session up soon.