Sunday, September 18, 2011

GAMEDAY 4 - vs Rocket

PEI Rocket vs Saint John Sea Dogs
Today, September 18, 2011 at 3:00pm
Harbour Station

SAINT JOHN – Still looking for their first win of the season, the Saint John Sea Dogs host the PEI Rocket this afternoon at Harbour Station in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action. Please note that this game – along with all other Sunday home games this season – will start at 3pm.

The Sea Dogs nearly got their first victory on Friday night in Cape Breton. They had a 4-1 lead in the second period but couldn’t hang on. The Eagles scored three goals in the final three minutes to win it 8-5.

Oliver Cooper scored twice in Friday’s game while Stephen Anderson, Aidan Kelly and Kraig Pasher also connected for goals. Charlie Millen allowed seven goals on 36 shots.

Prior to Friday, the Sea Dogs had only been able to score a single goal in both of their previous two games. In the last two games, defense has been an issue as they have allowed eight goals against in each contest.

Today, the Sea Dogs will try to make some improvements and earn a win against the Rocket – a team they beat twice during the pre-season.

The Rocket are off to a 1-1-0-1 start. Their only win came last Saturday when the beat the Screaming Eagles 7-4. They lost to the Halifax Mooseheads in a shootout in their season opener and fell in regulation when they faced the Moncton Wildcats on Thursday.

PEI has yet to win on the road this season.

The Sea Dogs beat the Rocket 5-4 in a shootout on August 27 in exhibition play at the qplex. On August 30, Saint John downed PEI 7-4 at UPEI.

NOTES: Ben Duffy leads the Rocket in scoring with six points – three goals and three assists… Duffy and Matej Beran both lead the team in goals scored with three each… Duffy, Victor Provencher, Marc-Andre Levesque, Tomas Pavelka, and Michael Abbot all have three assists each… Pier-Antoine Dion is a team low -4… Louick Marcotte has a team high seven penalty minutes… Beran is tied for the league lead in power play goals with three… Beran is second in rookie scoring with five points. Mooseheads star Nathan MacKinnon leads the way with 10 in just three games… the Rocket have allowed 15 goals and scored 15 goals in total this season… PEI currently has the best power play in the league with a 50% rating… PEI’s penalty kill is 10th in the league and is running at 75%.

IN NET: Antoine Bibeau made the first two starts of the season with Maxime Lagace away at Pittsburgh Penguins rookie camp. Bibeau has a 1-0-0-1 record to go along with a 4.36 goals against average and a 0.862 save percentage.

Lagace made his first start of the season on Thursday in Moncton. He allowed four goals on 39 shots in a loss.

LAST GAME: The Rocket are coming off a 5-3 loss in Moncton on Thursday. Mac-Andre Levesque, Pier-Antoine Dion and Ryan Graves all scored for PEI. Maxime Lagace made 35 saves. The Rocket went 2-for-6 on the power play.

Best Rocket Video We Could Find On YouTube: Hockey Night in Canada’s Ron MacLean was at the Rocket’s home opener. What a human.

NOTES: Oliver Cooper now leads the Sea Dogs in scoring with three points – two goals and one assist… Cooper’s two goals are a team high. Stephen Anderson, Aidan Kelly, Kraig Paher, Alexandre Beauregard, and Brock Morrison all have goals so far this year… no player on Saint John’s roster has more than one assist this season. Nine different players have helpers… defenseman Jason Seed is a team low -6. Colin Campbell and Devon Oliver-Dares are both a -5… Anderson and Beauregard are both a team high +1… Spencer MacDonald leads the Sea Dogs in penalty minutes with 13. He had a fight in Friday’s loss against Cape Breton… Saint John has scored a league low seven goals and have allowed 19… the Sea Dogs power play has been quite sluggish this year, running at 8.3%. Only the Drummondville Voltigeurs have a worse power play… Saint John’s penalty kill is ranked 16th in the QMJHL with a rating of 57.1%.

IN NET: If the goaltending rotation continues, Sebastien Auger should get the start in goal today. Auger allowed eight goals on 27 shots in an 8-1 loss in Bathurst last Friday - his only start of the season.

LINEUP: The Sea Dogs are expected to have some reinforcements in their lineup today. Defenseman Ian Saab (Vancouver) and forwards Danick Gauthier (Phoenix), Alexandre Beauregard (Phoenix), and Scott Oke (Dallas) were all returned to Saint John from NHL rookie camps. All four were on free agent invites.

The Sea Dogs that are still taking part in NHL camps are Stephen MacAulay and Ryan Tesink (both St. Louis), Mathieu Corbeil (Columbus), Stanislav Galiev (Washington), Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida), Tomas Jurco (Detroit), Pierre Durepos (Los Angeles), Nathan Beaulieu (Montreal), and Zack Phillips (Minnesota).

Also away are Simon Despres (Pittsburgh), Steven Anthony (Vancouver), and Eric Gelinas (New Jersey) who could return as overagers but are more than likely to turn pro.

Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant is expected to back today. He missed Friday’s game in Cape Breton because he was invited to be a guest coach at Toronto Maple Leafs training camp.

IF THE PLAYOFFS STARTED TODAY: The Sea Dogs wouldn’t even be the playoffs if they started today. Saint John sits dead last in 17-team Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and they are the only team remaining who has not gotten at least a point so far. Luckily, the post-season doesn’t start today.

LAST GAME: The Sea Dogs are coming off an 8-5 loss against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Friday night. Oliver Cooper scored twice while Stephen Anderson, Aidan Kelly, and Kraig Pasher added singles. Charlie Millen allowed seven goals on 36 shots.

START TIME: Please, please, please remember that today’s game – and all other Sunday home games this season – start at 3pm.

Sea Dogs Sunday home games have started at 4pm for the past six years.

Acadie-Bathurst at Cape Breton - 4:00 PM ADT
Quebec at Blainville-Boisbriand - 4:00 PM EDT
Shawinigan at Gatineau - 4:00 PM EDT

Venue: Harbour Station
Capacity: 6,297
Average Attendance: 4,550

Radio (Sea Dogs): News 88.9 FM
Live Web Feed: Telus
Television: None
Post-Game Coverage: Station Nation, Telegraph-Journal, The Guardian
Live Coverage: Follow Station Nation on Twitter ( for live in game coverage. All tweets will also appear in the SN Live Blog that is posted on this site.

The Sea Dogs host the Val-d’Or Foreurs this Friday at 7:30pm at Harbour Station.

Photo Credits: Marc Henwood/Station Nation, some card website, Google

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