Thursday, March 31, 2011

POSTSCRIPT: Sea Dogs 4, Screaming Eagles 0

FINAL: Sea Dogs 4, Screaming Eagles 0

FULL RECAP

SEA DOGS SWEEP
SYDNEY, NS – The Saint John Sea Dogs put this painful first round playoff series to bed last night in Cape Breton with a 4-0 victory over the Screaming Eagles.

Watching the Sea Dogs win is nice, but watching the Dogs dominate to the extent of outscoring their opponent 26-2 in four games can only get so fun. This wasn’t much of a playoff series, but it will only get more entertaining from here.

On Wednesday at Centre 200, Stanislav Galiev, Jonathan Huberdeau, Michael Kirkpatrick, and Nathan Beaulieu all scored for Saint John. Mathieu Corbeil recorded the shutout in goal.

Andrew Hayes made 32 saves in the Eagles crease in the loss.

It was the first time all series that Cape Breton got out of the first period not down at least a goal. But things opened up in the second period as the Dogs scored two goals and added two more in the third.

The Eagles gave it their all in this series but it just wasn’t enough against a powerhouse Sea Dogs team.

SAINT JOHN SCRATCHES
Forwards Jason Cameron and Aidan Kelly along with defenseman Jason Seed were all healthy scratches for Saint John.

SWEEP
The series sweep marked the third time in Sea Dogs that they have defeated their opponents in four consecutive playoff contests.

Saint John swept the Prince Edward Island Rocket in four games in 2008 and the Gatineau Olympiques last year. The Rocket series sweep was also in the opening round.

The Sea Dogs also got a little bit of revenge on Cape Breton who took out the Dogs in four games during the first round of the 2009 playoffs.

All-time in round one games, Saint John is 12-5.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

THE LIGHTS GO OUT IN SYDNEY

SN RECAP
FINAL: Sea Dogs 4, Screaming Eagles 0

SYDNEY, NS – The Saint John Sea Dogs won the game and the series on Wednesday night at Centre 200 – both by a score of 4-0.

The Sea Dogs blanked the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, giving them a four-game sweep in the best-of-seven Quebec Major Junior Hockey League first-round playoff series. Saint John now moves on to the quarter-finals which will begin on Friday, April 8 at Harbour Station against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.

On Wednesday, Stanislav Galiev, Jonathan Huberdeau, Michael Kirkpatrick, and Nathan Beaulieu each scored for the Sea Dogs. Zack Phillips recorded three assists in the tilt as well.

Mathieu Corbeil made his first career playoff start and did so in fine fashion, picking up the first shutout of his junior career. He wasn’t too busy though, only facing 15 shots for the win.

Andrew Hayes allowed four goals on 36 shots for Cape Breton.

Like the previous three games, Cape Breton hung around in the first period but faltered the rest of the way. The Eagles couldn’t get anything going on the power play and finished the game at 0-for-7. To make things worse - Saint John scored twice shorthanded.

As expected, Saint John completely dominated this series. In four games, the Sea Dogs outscored the 16th seeded Eagles 26-2. Yikes.

The Sea Dogs are now on to bigger and better the things – the quarter finals – where the real post-season challenges will begin.

LIVE BLOG: Game 4 - Sea Dogs vs Screaming Eagles

PRE-GAME: Game Four at Screaming Eagles

GAME DAY
Round One, Game Four- 2011 President’s Cup Playoffs
Saint John Sea Dogs vs Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
Tonight, March 30, 7:00 pm
Centre 200

SERIES STATUS
The top-seeded Saint John Sea Dogs currently lead the 16th seeded Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 3-0 in the best-of-seven first round series.

PREVIEW
SYDNEY, NS – It could all be over this evening at Centre 200.

Currently holding a 3-0 series lead, the Saint John Sea Dogs are just a win away from eliminating the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles from the 2011 President’s Cup playoffs. Game Four goes down tonight at 7:00 pm at Centre 200.

Saint John has dominated the series so far, outscoring the Eagles 22-2 over three games. The Sea Dogs are averaging 7.33 goals per game and 41 shots per contest. They have simply owned Cape Breton so far, something that isn’t too surprising when you have the top-ranked team in Canada is facing the 16th seeded team in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

In last night’s game, Saint John defeated Cape Breton 5-1. It was a better game by the Eagles and probably their best of the series. They had some decent scoring chances but could only connect once. Although the team played much better, they were, once again, still not up to the Sea Dogs’ superior level of play.

Jonathan Huberdeau, Steven Anthony, Kevin Gagne, Stanislav Galiev, and Tomas Jurco all scored for the winners who had a 33-22 shots on goal edge in the affair. Dany Potvin scored the lone Cape Breton goal on a nice feed from Denis Kindl.

In net, former Brandon Wheat Kings goaltenders Jacob DeSerres and Andrew Hayes dueled. Like the first two games, DeSerres came out victorious. Both will likely start in goal again this evening.

The season is on the line for Cape Breton and they will be ready to roll when the clock strikes seven. They’ve been physical all series and tonight should feature more of the same.

A Saint John win will propel them into the quarter-finals and will give the team over a week off.

REGULAR SEASON NUMBERS

Cape BretonSaint John
Record18-45-1-4 (6th Maritimes)58-7-1-2 (1st Maritimes)
Home Record10-21-1-2- - -
Road Record- - -27-7-0-1
Streak1-0-0-02-0-0-0
Last 102-8-0-08-2-0-0
Goals For154324
Goals Against276165
Goals/Game2.26 (16th)4.76 (1st)
Goals Against/Game4.06 (17th)2.43 (1st)
Shots/Game25.38 (17th)36.81 (1st)
Shots Against/Game30.22 (9th)26.96 (5th)
Overall PP15.2% (16th)25.1% (6th)
Home PP13.4% (17th)- - -
Road PP- - -26.0% (5th)
Overall PK74.1% (17th)83.7% (1st)
Home PK74.1% (16th)- - -
Road PK- - -80.6% (5th)
PIM/GAME16.1 (6th)13.1 (13th)

POSTSCRIPT: Sea Dogs 5, Screaming Eagles 1

FINAL: Sea Dogs 5, Screaming Eagles 1

FULL RECAP

DOGS UP 3-0
SYDNEY, NS – With a 5-1 victory, the Saint John Sea Dogs are just a win away from sweeping their first round playoff series against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

Jonathan Huberdeau, Steven Anthony, Kevin Gagne, Stanislav Galiev, and Tomas Jurco all scored for Saint John in the victory while Dany Potvin replied for Cape Breton.

Andrew Hayes made 28 stops in net for the Eagles and Jacob DeSerres earned the win via a 21 save performance.

SAINT JOHN SCRATCHES
Defenseman Jason Seed and forwards Scott Oke and Aidan Kelly were all healthy scratches for Saint John.

BEAT DOWN
The Sea Dogs’ demolition of the Screaming Eagles continued as the highest scoring team during the regular season put up five goals. Saint John has now outscored the Eagles 22-2 over the three games of this series.

After scoring 10 goals in Game One and seven in Game Two, the Dogs are averaging 7.33 goals per game which ties them with the Quebec Remparts for the league high this post-season. Saint John is also averaging a league high 41 shots per game.

After the trio of games, Cape Breton is averaging a miserable 0.67 goals per game and just 18.67 shots per contest.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

EAGLES ON THE BRINK

SN RECAP
FINAL: Sea Dogs 5, Screaming Eagles 1

SYDNEY, NS – The Saint John Sea Dogs are one win away from advancing to the second round of the 2011 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs.

The Sea Dogs defeated the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 5-1 at Centre 200 on Tuesday night and are now the owners of a commanding 3-0 advantage in the best-of-seven first round playoff series. Game Four, which could be the final game of the season for Cape Breton, is Wednesday night at 7:00 pm in Sydney.

Jonathan Huberdeau, Steven Anthony, Kevin Gagne, Stanislav Galiev, and Tomas Jurco all scored for Saint John in the victory. Michael Kirkpatrick had three assists while Jurco added two helpers to go along with his goal.

It wasn’t the Sea Dogs’ most dominating victory of the series but it was certainly enough for the win. In the three games of this playoff matchup, Saint John has now outscored Cape Breton 22-2. One of the stories was once again the Dogs’ power play. They were given just four opportunities on this night but still went 50% on the man advantage.

It was definitely Cape Breton’s best match of the series so far and had some decent scoring pressure on at times. They were blocking shots and trying to grind the Sea Dogs down with some physical play, but like in the first two matches, it just wasn’t enough to contain Saint John.

Cape Breton fired 22 shots on goal and forced Sea Dogs netminder Jacob DeSerres to make a few good stops. Dany Potvin scored the lone Eagles goal in the loss while goalie Andre Hayes made 28 stops.

PHILLIPS NAMED CHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Zack Phillips’ hot start to the 2011 post-season has netted him a weekly honour from the Canadian Hockey League.

Phillips was named the CHL Player of the Week this afternoon after scoring four goals and adding four assists in his first two playoff games of the year against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. The Fredericton native became the first Sea Dog to score four goals in a single game last Friday when he netted a hat-trick-plus-one in Saint John’s 10-0 win over the Eagles in Game One. He also added an assist.

On Saturday, Phillips was feeling a little more generous and assisted on three goals in the Dogs’ 7-1 victory over Cape Breton. The trio of assists gave Phillips eight points on the weekend.

A top prospect for the upcoming National Hockey League Entry Draft, the second-year Sea Dog recorded 38 goals and 57 assists in 67 regular season games. He finished second in team scoring, 10 points behind linemate Jonathan Huberdeau.

It is the second time this season that the Sea Dogs forward has won the award. He was also named the CHL Player of the Week for November 22 – 28.

According to a CHL press release, “Christian Thomas of the Oshawa Generals was also considered for the award after scoring three goals and six assists for nine points in three games. Brett Ferguson of the Red Deer Rebels had five points in two games scoring one goal and four assists. “

LIVE BLOG: Game Three - Sea Dogs vs Screaming Eagles

VIDEO: Games 1 & 2

Highlights from the first two games of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles – Saint John Sea Dogs playoff series have been posted by SeaDogsTV.

Watch as the Sea Dogs outscore the Eagles 17-1.



PRE-GAME: Game Three at Screaming Eagles

GAME DAY
Round One, Game Three – 2011 President’s Cup Playoffs
Saint John Sea Dogs vs Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
Tonight, March 29, 2011 at 7:00 pm
Centre 200

SERIES STATUS
The top-seeded Saint John Sea Dogs currently lead the 16th seeded Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 2-0 in the best-of-seven first round series.

PREVIEW
SYDNEY, NS – The season is basically on the line this evening for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Down 2-0 in their best-of-seven first round series against the Saint John Sea Dogs, the team will have to pull off a victory tonight to have any chance at all in coming back in this series.

The Eagles have barely been in this thing so far. Saint John has thrown the hammer down on Cape Breton, outscoring them 17-1 over the two playoff games. The Eagles have had a decent first period in each contest but couldn’t keep that momentum going forward into the latter frames.

Saint John has dominated both games in just about every department. It’s obvious that the Eagles’ game plan is to be physical and beat down the Sea Dogs – but that has not worked at all so far. Cape Breton has taken plenty of penalties because of their physical play, allowing Saint John to go 8-for-14 on the power play.

The Sea Dogs’ offense has been alive and well while Cape Breton has only beaten netminder Jacob DeSerres once so far in this series. Saint John’s big boys have not been held at bay at all as both Jonathan Huberdeau and Zack Phillips have recorded eight points each.

Cape Breton will look to change all of that on home ice this evening where they will last change and a hometown crowd behind them.

"Having last change will make a big difference," Eagles head coach Mario Durocher said to the Chronicle Herald. "I can put who I want against their top guys. We don’t have too much experience on our third and fourth lines but everyone on our first two lines is at least 18 years old. All season long we were able to manage the game a little bit more.”

Cape Breton was 1-3-0-0 against Saint John at Centre 200 during the regular season.

REGULAR SEASON NUMBERS

Cape BretonSaint John
Record18-45-1-4 (6th Maritimes)58-7-1-2 (1st Maritimes)
Home Record10-21-1-2- - -
Road Record- - -27-7-0-1
Streak1-0-0-02-0-0-0
Last 102-8-0-08-2-0-0
Goals For154324
Goals Against276165
Goals/Game2.26 (16th)4.76 (1st)
Goals Against/Game4.06 (17th)2.43 (1st)
Shots/Game25.38 (17th)36.81 (1st)
Shots Against/Game30.22 (9th)26.96 (5th)
Overall PP15.2% (16th)25.1% (6th)
Home PP13.4% (17th)- - -
Road PP- - -26.0% (5th)
Overall PK74.1% (17th)83.7% (1st)
Home PK74.1% (16th)- - -
Road PK- - -80.6% (5th)
PIM/GAME16.1 (6th)13.1 (13th)

Monday, March 28, 2011

FULLERTON, UNB WIN UNIVERSITY CUP

FREDERICTON – Travis Fullerton made 28 saves to help the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds win the Canadian Interuniversity Sport national championship last night on home ice. It is Fullerton’s second Cavendish Farms University Cup and the school’s third in five years.

The former Saint John Sea Dog was outstanding in goal, earning his second straight shutout of the tournament in the Varsity Reds’ 4-0 victory over the McGill Redmen. His reputation as a big game goaltender was proven once again as the netminder made several incredible stops to keep momentum going in UNB’s favour.

After allowing only one-goal in three tournament games, fans chanted Fullerton’s name during some of the trophy presentations. When the Riverview native was named to the tournament all-star team, his name was chanted for a good 20 seconds.

From the Daily Gleaner:

"I felt good from the opening puck in Game 1," he said. "I didn't know I had let in one goal all tournament. We did a great job all tournament. This year is the only year I felt really, really comfortable here. All year I felt really good. I played some of my best games of the year here. I don't know if you can compare the championships, but to win it in front of the home fans is unbelievable.

"This is one of my top seasons for sure," Fullerton said. "We didn't get the result we wanted last year and everybody came back focused this year. For sure I wanted to play my best hockey and I think I did."
Former St. John’s Fog Devil Luke Gallant was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. He netted the game winner in Sunday’s game while Daine Todd scored a pair and another former Fog Devil, Matt Fillier, also scored.

CIS top-scorer and ex-Sea Dog Alexandre Picard-Hooper couldn’t break through the wall of Fullerton and the UNB defense. Picard took a penalty late in the third period with the game already out of reach at that point.

UNB hosts the University Cup again next season at the Aitken Centre.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

VIDEO: Gauthier suspension

Danick Gauthier was suspended for yesterday’s playoff game at Harbour Station for what the league called a “dangerous bodycheck.”

Via Hockey Fights Plus, here is the video of the play.



The play occurred 59 seconds into the second period of Game One of the Saint John Sea Dogs’ playoff game against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles Friday night. Gauthier was given a two-minute interference penalty for his actions.

MacIntosh did not play in Saturday’s game against Saint John. According to News 88.9, MacIntosh has a suspected head injury and will be reevaluated when the team returns home to Sydney.

If MacIntosh stays out, it will be a huge loss for Cape Breton. He finished tied with Logan Shaw for tops in team scoring with 46 points during the regular season. He led the team in helpers with 32.

The Eagles have be unable to generate much of any offense in the opening round playoff series so far. In Games One and Two combined, Cape Breton has been outscored 17-1.

Games Three is Tuesday at Centre 200.

EX-DOGS MEET IN CIS FINAL TONIGHT

FREDERICTON – In a winner-take-all bout, two former Saint John Sea Dogs find themselves on opposing sides tonight in Fredericton.

Tonight, the 2011 Cavendish University Cup wraps up at the Aitken Centre with the host University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds taking on the McGill Redmen in Canadian Interuniversity Sport action. Game time is 8:00 pm and can be seen live across the country on Rogers Sportsnet.

Tonight’s Gold Medal game features two 2-0 teams taking on each other. UNB won their first game in thrilling style as Josh Kidd fired a point shot with four seconds left to give the hosts a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Dinos. Last night, the V-Reds battled through some questionable officiating to beat the Western University Mustangs 4-0 to advance to today’s final.

In yesterday’s game, ex-Sea Dogs goaltender Travis Fullerton picked up the shutout win. The Riverview native is expected to start tonight’s championship game as well. In 2009, Fullerton backstopped the V-Reds to a national championship in his rookie season.

The Times & Transcript reported on Wednesday that the netminder “posted a CIS-best 1.60 goals-against average and topped the Atlantic University Sport conference with a .928 save percentage this season. He finished with a 15-4 regular-season record and five shutouts.”

As seen in his playing career – and especially with the young 2007-08 Saint John team – Fullerton lives for big games. He has come up huge several times in this tournament and he’ll be looked upon to do so again this evening against the Redmen.

McGill opened the tournament on Thursday as well with a 2-1 win over the St. Francis Xavier X-Men. The Redmen advanced to the final with a solid 6-3 victory over the Alberta Golden Bears.

The Redmen feature former Sea Dogs forward and CIS player of the year Alexandre Picard-Hooper. Picard scored once and added an assist in yesterday afternoon’s tilt against the Golden Bears.

Like Fullerton, Picard was an overager on the Sea Dogs’ surprising 07-08 team.

This has been an unbelievable tournament so far and every game has provided entertainment. Both UNB games have featured incredible atmosphere – and tonight will be no different. Buckle up.

DOGS DOWN EAGLES 7-1

SN RECAP
FINAL: Screaming Eagles 1, Sea Dogs 7


SAINT JOHN – It was only a matter of time before Jonathan Huberdeau found the back of the cage.

Huberdeau had four assists in Saint John’s 10-0 win over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles Friday night, but the Sea Dogs' leading scorer in the regular season couldn't register a goal. On Saturday night, the 17-year old was the one doing the direct damage as he scored three times in the Sea Dogs’ 7-1 win over the Eagles at Harbour Station.

The win puts Saint John up 2-0 in the best-of-seven first round playoff series. The series now hits the road for Games Three and Four on Tuesday and Wednesday at Centre 200. Game Five, if necessary, shifts back to Saint John.

In Game Two, Stanislav Galiev, Michael Kirkpatrick, Steven Anthony, and Simon Despres also scored to go along with Huberdeau’s hat trick. Goaltender Jacob DeSerres was tested more during warm-up than in the game itself, stopping 14-of-15 shots for his second straight playoff victory.

Cape Breton scored their first goal of the series in the second period as Olivier Jodoin finally solved DeSerres. But that would be all the offense they could generate. Andrew Hayes, who started Friday’s game as well, played the full 60 minutes and allowed seven goals on 40 shots.

It wasn’t as dominating as Friday’s game, but the Sea Dogs still played a step above and then some against the Eagles. Cape Breton had a few scattered scoring opportunities, but they were never much of a match for the Dogs.

But on a positive note for Cape Breton, they did play a bit better and didn’t completely collapse in a 20-minute span like they did on Friday

Saint John has now outscored Cape Breton 17-1 in the first two games of the first round series.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

GAUTHIER SUSPENDED

What a way to start the playoffs – only seven players got suspended!

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Disciplinary Prefect, Raymond Bolduc, today suspended seven players following incidents which occurred during last night’s playoff games. It was the first game of the post-season for all but two teams.

Of those seven players suspended, Saint John Sea Dogs forward Danick Gauthier was one of them. Gauthier receieved a one-game suspension for what the league is calling a “dangerous bodycheck.”

There was plenty of hitting and physical play in last night’s 10-0 Saint John win over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles at Harbour Station. Among that physical play were a few cheap hits along the boards and some junk after the whistles.

The Eagles are expected to play physical in this series and they did just that last night. Unfortunately for them, many of those plays resulted in penalties.

Game Two of the best-of-seven series goes tonight at 7:00 pm at the Station.

The list of the other seven players suspended can be found here.

The decisions were rendered after reviewing the videotapes of the incidents, gathering the testimonies from the players and the organizations involved, reading the officials’ reports and consulting the independent committee in the matter of disciplinary sanctions.

The Disciplinary Prefect will not be available for further comment.

Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

POSTSCRIPT: Screaming Eagles 0, Sea Dogs 10

FINAL: Screaming Eagles 0, Sea Dogs 10


FULL RECAP

DOGS DOMINATE
SAINT JOHN – Complete domination by the Saint John Sea Dogs gave them a 10-0 victory over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles Friday night at Harbour Station. The Sea Dogs now have a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Quebec Major Junior Hockey League opening round playoff series.

It was a bit of shaky first period and the Sea Dogs led just 1-0 after one. But Saint John kicked it up a notch in the second period, scoring seven times and adding two more in the third period.

Zack Phillips scored four times, Stanislav Galiev had a pair of goals, and singles came from Eric Gelinas, Tomas Jurco, Mike Thomas, and Ryan Tesink. Jacob DeSerres made 19 saves in net for the shutout.

“We capitalized on our opportunities,’’ Saint John head coach Gerard Gallant said to the Telegraph-Journal. “The first period was a little slow, but after that we took control. It’s nice to see your power play work.’’

SAINT JOHN SCRATCHES
Forwards Jason Cameron and Aidan Kelly along with defenseman Jason Seed were all healthy scratches.

PRE-GAME: Game Two vs Screaming Eagles

GAME DAY
Round One, Game Two - 2011 President’s Cup Playoffs
Cape Breton Screaming Eagles vs Saint John Sea Dogs
Tonight, 7:00 pm
Harbour Station

SERIES STATUS
The top-seeded Saint John Sea Dogs currently lead the 16th seeded Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 1-0 in the best-of-seven first round series.

PREVIEW
SAINT JOHN – Following last night’s blowout of epic proportions, the Saint John Sea Dogs and Cape Breton screaming Eagles go right back at tonight at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station in Game Two of their President’s Cup playoffs first round series.

This series wasn’t expected to be very close, but the Sea Dogs’ destruction of the Screaming Eagles in the opening game was a bit stunning. The Eagles had a pretty good first period, but completely lost control of the game in the second period.

The Sea Dogs scored just once in the first and then turned on the jets in the middle frame, scoring a franchise record seven goals over the 20-minute span. Saint John added two more insurance markers in the third to make it a 10-0 final.

The Eagles just imploded. They took a ton of penalties, applied no offensive pressure in the middle stanza at all, and lost their cool as the game grew on. Eagles coach Mario Durocher was tossed from the game late in the second period after repeatedly trying to get the referees attention and not closing the bench door.
Unfortunately for Cape Breton, they have a minimum of three games left in this series. They’ll need to do the opposite of what they did in the second period to have any success at all. The team was undisciplined and it was costly as Saint John went an amazing 6-for-9 on the power play. Five of those power play goals came in the second period.

For Saint John, they’ll need to stay a bit more composed as well. They gave Cape Breton six power play opportunities but, fortunately, the Eagles offense was a no show. The Sea Dogs also got off to a slow start and really did not have a great first period. The Eagles had some decent chances in the opening frame and even hit a couple of goal posts.

A Sea Dogs win today would give them a commanding 2-0 series lead heading to Sydney for Game Three on Tuesday.

REGULAR SEASON NUMBERS

Cape BretonSaint John
Record18-45-1-4 (6th Maritimes)58-7-1-2 (1st Maritimes)
Home Record- - -32-0-1-1
Road Record8-24-0-2- - -
Streak1-0-0-02-0-0-0
Last 102-8-0-08-2-0-0
Goals For154324
Goals Against276165
Goals/Game2.26 (16th)4.76 (1st)
Goals Against/Game4.06 (17th)2.43 (1st)
Shots/Game25.38 (17th)36.81 (1st)
Shots Against/Game30.22 (9th)26.96 (5th)
Overall PP15.2% (16th)25.1% (6th)
Home PP- - -24.4% (8th)
Road PP16.9% (14th)- - -
Overall PK74.1% (17th)83.7% (1st)
Home PK- - -86.1% (1st)
Road PK74.1% (17th)- - -
PIM/GAME16.1 (6th)13.1 (13th)

DOGS LOWER BOOM ON EAGLES

SN RECAP
FINAL: Screaming Eagles 0, Sea Dogs 10

SAINT JOHN – It came as no real surprise, but the scene at Harbour Station was alarming nonetheless.

The top-ranked Saint John Sea Dogs threw the hammer down Friday night, dismantling the 16th seeded Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 10-0 in Game One of the opening round of the President’s Cup playoffs. The two teams meet once again tomorrow at Harbour Station for Game Two of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League series.

It was only 1-0 Saint John after one period – but then the second period started. The Sea Dogs scored seven goals in the middle frame and outshot the Eagles 22-3. In the third, the Dogs would add two more to make it a 10-0 final.

Zack Phillips was a beast, scoring four goals in a game for the first time in team history. Stanislav Galiev kept his hot play going by scoring two goals while Eric Gelinas, Tomas Jurco, Mike Thomas, and Ryan Tesink added single markers.

Jonathan Huberdeau and Nathan Beaulieu added four assists in the blowout win.

Goaltender Jacob DeSerres picked up his first QMJHL post-season win in net, making 19 saves for a shutout.

The Eagles had nothing in the tank in terms of offense. Andrew Hayes allowed eight goals on 36 shots through 40 minutes of play. Alexandre Veronneau was beaten twice on 14 shots.

Saint John was an insane 6-for-9 on the power play while Cape Breton was 0-for-6.

This kind of blowout wasn’t unexpected. 78 points separate the two teams in the standings and it looked like 78 points separated the two teams in the standings tonight. It’s hard to believe this was actually a playoff game.

It's always nice to see the Sea Dogs win – but this was brutal. This was only Game One, and could get even uglier.

NOTES: For more on this game see SN Sea Dogs Postscript tomorrow.

NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs and Screaming Eagles play Game Two Saturday night at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station.

Friday, March 25, 2011

SEA DOGS SEE ATTENDANCE INCREASE

All of the on-ice success has translated into off-ice success for the Saint John Sea Dogs.

The Sea Dogs finished the regular season atop the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League standings and were ranked amongst the best in the entire Canadian Hockey League for much of the year. With such success over this past season and coming off a trip to the President’s Cup Finals, the Sea Dogs saw a solid increase in attendance.

Saint John averaged 4,478 fans per game at Harbour Station this season, a significant increase of 337 more fans per contest. The average places the Sea Dogs with the fourth highest average attendance in the QMJHL behind the Quebec Remparts, Halifax Mooseheads, and Moncton Wildcats.

In a record breaking season, it seems fitting the team would also break their own average attendance record. With an average of 4,478, the Sea Dogs broke their franchise record that was previously set in their inaugural season of 2005-06. They beat the record by the slimmest of margins as the 05-06 season saw an average of 4,477 fans in attendance compared to this year’s 4,478.

Not losing a regulation game at home probably helped a bit in breaking the record.

The team’s attendance has been on a steady rise over the past two seasons.

2010-11: 4,478 (4th)
2009-10: 4,141 (4th)
2008-09: 3,930 (5th)
2007-08: 3,978 (5th)
2006-07: 3,839 (6th)
2005-06: 4,477 (4th)
The year got off to a bit of a rough start attendance wise as only 4,522 fans came to watch the home opener and the Sea Dogs raise to two banners to the rafters of Harbour Station. But the stretch run made up for the early season struggles as seven of the team’s last eight home games had over 5,000 fans in attendance.

The Sea Dogs also had five sell-outs during the regular season with three of them being against the Moncton Wildcats. The five sell-outs in a single season is also a franchise high.

2010-11: 5
2009-10: 2 (Final two games of season)
2008-09: 1 (Home Opener – announced sell-out)
2007-08: 1 (6,538 – largest attended home game in team history)
2006-07: None
2005-06: 1 (Inaugural Game)
With the playoffs starting tonight at Harbour Station, hopefully all the regular season success will translate into some huge crowds throughout the Sea Dogs' post-season run.

Photo Credit: David Connell Web Album

NO LIVE COVERAGE FOR GAMES 1 & 2

SAINT JOHN – SN will not be offering in-game tweets or a live blog for this evening’s playoff game at Harbour Station between the Saint John Sea Dogs and the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Game Two of the first round playoff series - which will be played tomorrow at 7:00 pm - will also be without live coverage.

The rest of the series will be covered as usual.

For score updates, follow the Sea Dogs on Twitter.

The SN Pre-Game for tonight’s game can be found here.

PRE-GAME: Game One vs Screaming Eagles

GAME DAY
Round One, Game One - 2011 President’s Cup Playoffs
Cape Breton Screaming Eagles vs Saint John Sea Dogs
Tonight, 7:30 pm
Harbour Station

SERIES STATUS
This is Game One of the best-of-seven first round series between the 16th seeded Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and the top-seeded Saint John Sea Dogs.

PREVIEW
SAINT JOHN – For the players and the fans, it has been a long wait. But finally, the Saint John Sea Dogs’ road to redemption begins this evening at 7:30 pm at Harbour Station as Round One of their 2011 President’s Cup Playoff series begins.

Last May, the Sea Dogs made it all the way to Game Six of the finals before bowing out to the Moncton Wildcats. Saint John lost their two best forwards from a year ago, their No. 1 goaltender, and one of their top defenseman made the jump to the pro ranks. But their core of young forwards, a WHL castoff goalie, and a solid backend have put the Sea Dogs in better position than they were in a year ago.

Saint John was the top-seeded team at this time a season ago as well. But it didn’t matter as the Wildcats, on paper, were a better team and were considered the favourites. But this time around, the pressure is on Saint John. The team had one of the greatest regular seasons in Canadian Hockey League history, they reset almost every team record, and didn’t lose a regulation game on home ice.

Although it’s a lot of pressure for a group of teenagers to handle, this team is the favourite to represent the QMJHL at the Memorial Cup. Not making it that far would surely be viewed as a disappointment.

That road to the Memorial Cup begins tonight in Game One. The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles are in town for what is a huge mismatch. Cape Breton is 78 points back of Saint John and they will have to play their best hockey of the year to have any chance at all in winning this thing.

The Eagles are expected to be physical and try to beat down the Sea Dogs. Saint John’s offense will have to be shut down in order for Cape Breton to have any success.

REGULAR SEASON NUMBERS

Cape BretonSaint John
Record18-45-1-4 (6th Maritimes)58-7-1-2 (1st Maritimes)
Home Record- - -32-0-1-1
Road Record8-24-0-2- - -
Streak1-0-0-02-0-0-0
Last 102-8-0-08-2-0-0
Goals For154324
Goals Against276165
Goals/Game2.26 (16th)4.76 (1st)
Goals Against/Game4.06 (17th)2.43 (1st)
Shots/Game25.38 (17th)36.81 (1st)
Shots Against/Game30.22 (9th)26.96 (5th)
Overall PP15.2% (16th)25.1% (6th)
Home PP- - -24.4% (8th)
Road PP16.9% (14th)- - -
Overall PK74.1% (17th)83.7% (1st)
Home PK- - -86.1% (1st)
Road PK74.1% (17th)- - -
PIM/GAME16.1 (6th)13.1 (13th)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

SN'S FIRST ROUND PREDICTIONS



By Station Nation Staff

It’s time to get down to business in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

After a long grind through a 68-game schedule for each team, the chase for the President’s Cup begins this evening in Montreal as the Juniors host the Halifax Mooseheads at 8:05 pm.

Nothing in the regular season matters anymore. Head-to-head stats, regular season accomplishments, and individual awards are all thrown out the window come playoff team. It’s all about one goal now, and that goal requires a team to win 16 more games.

But only in the QMJHL would a team that barely had 16 wins in the entire regular season make it into the post-season (that means you, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles).

Unlike last year, the playoff format was actually made using common sense. No longer will math equations have to worked out on a sheet of paper just to understand who your team may play in the second round. This year, the best team plays the worst team in the opening round, the No. 2 seeded team plays the No. 15 seed, and so on.

With only two teams missing the playoffs, there are always blowouts in the first round. This year is no different. We can only hope there are at least a few series that provide us with the recommended dose of entertainment value for this time of year.

Yesterday, Saint John Sea Dogs play-by-play man Tim Roszell gave his predictions for the first round on the ‘Inside the Q’ radio show. So today, SN presents our predictions for the first eight series of the 2011 President’s Cup playoffs.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

PICARD NAMED CIS TOP PLAYER

FREDERICTON – Former Saint John Sea Dogs star Alexandre Picard-Hooper took home a big honour Wednesday night at the CIS Awards Banquet in Fredericton.

The third-year McGill Redmen forward won the Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy as the CIS Player of the Year.

According to the Montreal Gazette, “in 28 conference games, the first-team all-Canadian scored 11 goals, with 47 assists, which was also the best in Canada and two shy of the school record set by George Burnett in 1982-83.”

"Alex is a skilled, crafty centre who is very smart and good at both ends of the ice," said Redmen coach Kelly Nobes to the Canadian Press. "He has eyes in back of his head and makes guys around him better."

In 246 career Quebec Major Junior Hockey League games with Saint John and the Baie-Comeay Drakkar, Picard registered 137 goals and 186 assists. Traded to Saint John on September 18, 2007, the sniper had 23 goals and 45 assists in 58 games.

Picard helped a young and inexperienced Sea Dogs team go all the way to the QMJHL semi-finals before bowing out to the powerful Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in four games. He was part of a solid 20-year trio that also featured 42-goal scorer Scott Howes and arguably the best goaltender in club history in Travis Fullerton.

The Montreal native has always done well academically, winning the scholastic player of the year award in 2007.

The Redmen, meanwhile, have a lot of work to do this week as they battle for the Cavendish University Cup Championship at the Aitken University Centre in New Brunswick’s capital city. The team will play in the tough Pool B with the Alberta Golden Bears and the AUS runner-ups, the St. Francis Xavier X-Men.

Pool A consists of Travis Fullerton and the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds, the Western Mustangs, and the Calgary Dinos.

McGill begins the tournament tomorrow afternoon against the X-Men. A full schedule can be found HERE. All games will be webcasted on the SSN Network and broadcasted on CHSR Radio. Saturday and Sunday games will be on Rogers Sportsnet.

CLOSING IT OUT ON TOP

The final edition of the 2010-11 BMO CHL MasterCard Top 10 Rankings were released today and the Saint John Sea Dogs closed out the season in style by being ranked No. 1 overall in the nation. It was the teams 15th straight week on top and the 23rd week listed in the rankings.

Saint John closed out the regular season with a CHL-best record of 58-7-1-2, tying the record for most wins in a single season by a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League club in a single season.

The Sea Dogs closed out the final week of the season with a 2-1-0-0 record. The squad fell 5-2 in Prince Edward Island last Wednesday night against the Rocket. But they rebounded big time on Friday at Harbour Station by defeating the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 8-1 and got their revenge on the Rocket on Sunday with a 7-2 win.

Other QMJHL clubs to finish the season in the top 10 were the Montreal Juniors at No.4, Quebec Remparts at No. 6, and the Drummondville Voltigeurs at No. 10. The Memorial Cup hosting Mississauga St. Michaels Majors finished in third place behind the Sea Dogs and the Saskatoon Blades.

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

Here are the BMO CHL MasterCard Top 10 Rankings for week 26:

1 Saint John Sea Dogs (58-7-1-2)
2 Saskatoon Blades (56-13-1-2)
3 Mississauga St. Michael's Majors (53-13-0-2)
4 Montreal Juniors (46-12-5-5)
5 Red Deer Rebels (48-16-4-4)
6 Quebec Remparts (48-16-1-3)
7 Portland Winterhawks (50-19-0-3)
8 Owen Sound Attack (46-17-1-4)
9 Niagara IceDogs (45-17-2-4)
10 Drummondville Voltigeurs (45-15-5-3)

Honourable Mention:
Ottawa 67's (44-19-3-2)
Spokane Chiefs (48-18-4-2)
Medicine Hat Tigers (46-18-4-4)
In the mathematically calculated Dynamic Dozen over at Buzzing the Net, the Sea Dogs completed the season ranked fifth in the land.

The pre-season edition of the CHL Top 10 placed Saint John to finish in second behind the Majors.

Of note, the Sea Dogs closed out their 2009-10 campaign ranked second in the country. The Ontario Hockey League’s Barrie Colts were ranked No. 1, finishing the season with a 57-9-0-2 record. The Memorial Cup champion Windsor Spitfires were ranked third in the final listings.

Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

MacDONALD IN, PASSINGHAM OUT

It appears Troy Passingham will have to wait to get his chance at dressing for a National Hockey League game.

The Detroit Red Wings gave Passingham a call yesterday and it looked as though he would backup goaltender Jimmy Howard with Chris Osgood still injured. But that doesn’t appear to be the case anymore. From the Red Wings website:

The Red Wings today announced that goaltender Joey MacDonald has been recalled from the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League. MacDonald will serve as Jimmy Howard’s backup tonight when the Red Wings host the Vancouver Canucks at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m. EDT on FOX Sports Detroit Plus and 97.1 The Ticket).

MacDonald, 31, has appeared in twelve games for Detroit this season, posting a 4-4-2 record. He currently leads all Red Wings' goaltenders with a 2.10 GAA and .926 save percentage. To clear a roster spot for MacDonald, the Red Wings have placed veteran goaltender Chris Osgood (groin) on injured reserve.
Passingham was brought in as an emergency backup because the Red Wings did not have the salary cap room to call-up MacDonald. But with Osgood being placed back on the IR, it allowed room for MacDonald to be recalled from the AHL.

It’s unfortunate news for Passingham, but at least he was given an opportunity. It surely wasn’t an ideal situation for the Red Wings who play the NHL’s best, the Vancouver Canucks, tonight at Joe Louis Arena.

In an article posted in the Red Wings website, the former Saint John Sea Dogs netminder was playing ‘Call of Duty’ at his girlfriend’s house when he received the news.

The Detroit Free Press reports that even the Red Wings staff seemed to be caught off guard by the move and didn’t have a nameplate for his stall in the dressing room. Instead, a generic “RedWings” plate was put in place.

“At least it’s a name people recognize,” he said to the Free Press, laughing.

In a USA Today article posted earlier today, it stated that if Passingham is unable to find somewhere to play professional hockey next season, he will suit up in the Canadian university ranks.

Photo Credit: Sea Dogs Facebook page

TROY PASSINGHAM - RED WINGS BACKUP

Troy Passingham is expected to be the backup goaltender for the Detroit Red Wings tonight.

No, this is not a joke.

He was a third string netminder for the Saint John Sea Dogs in 2007-08, appearing in just two games. Tonight, he’ll become just the second player in franchise history to sit on a National Hockey League bench.

From USA Today:

Ontario Hockey League goalie Troy Passingham was hanging out with his girlfriend Monday when he received the call that every junior goalie would love to get: The Detroit Red Wings wanted him.

With Joey McDonald down in the minors and Chris Osgood unavailable, the Red Wings needed to sign Passingham to be Jimmy Howard's emergency backup Wednesday for a game against the Vancouver Canucks.
Passingham, who finished his junior career with the OHL’s Sarnia Sting, has apparently singed a 24-hour amateur tryout contract with the Red Wings. He isn’t expected to play unless Howard gets injured.

"Obviously, that's in the back of your mind, but I'm just happy to be here and watch these guys play," said Passingham about playing in an emergency situation to the Vancouver Province. "Obviously there was a lot of excitement [when the Wings called] and a really long day. You get butterflies, but that's hockey. You've just got to be ready. Maybe, I'll be sitting on the bench. Maybe I'll read a book."

"Still chasing the dream," he said to USA Today.

Passingham will join Yann Sauve, who made his NHL debut with the Vancouver Canucks earlier this season, as the only two Sea Dogs to appear in an NHL lineup.

The former Sea Dogs' journey to the NHL is an odd one. He barely played in his full season with Saint John and then played a year of junior ‘A’ hockey in Ontario in 2008-09. He then went on to help the Windsor Spitfires win the MasterCard Memorial Cup last year.

He was traded by the Spitfires to Sarnia mid-season. In 24 games with the Sting he went 9-10-2-1 with a goals against average of 4.76 and a save percentage of 0.879.

The Red Wings host the Canucks tonight at 8:30 pm at Joe Louis Arena. The game can be seen on TSN.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

METCALFE SUSPENDED TWO GAMES

Things aren’t getting any easier for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

Already facing a colossal challenge in the opening round of the 2011 President’s Cup playoffs, the Eagles will be without the services of veteran defenseman Spencer Metcalfe for Games One and Two of their series against the Saint John Sea Dogs.

From the QMJHL website:

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Disciplinary Prefect, Raymond Bolduc, today suspended Spencer Metcalfe of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles for two games for charging an opponent. The incident occurred during last Sunday’s game versus the Halifax Mooseheads.

The decision was rendered after reviewing the video of the incident, gathering the testimonies from the players and the organizations involved, reading the officials’ report and consulting the independent committee in the matter of disciplinary sanctions.
No video of the hit has made its way onto YouTube, but Willy Palov of the Chronicle Herald paints a picture of the play in Monday’s paper.

Mooseheads forward Darcy Ashley missed part of the game after taking a dangerous hit from Cape Breton defenceman Spencer Metcalfe early in the second period. Metcalfe took a run at Ashley at the Cape Breton blue-line and appeared to injure the Halifax rookie’s right shoulder. Ashley returned in the third period and Metcalfe received a charging major and a game misconduct penalty.

"I didn’t see him coming until the last second so I don’t know where he started on the ice," Ashley said. "But it’s hockey and things like that happen. You’ve just got to keep moving forward and make sure your injury heals and continue on."
Metcalfe has plenty of playoff experience, helping the Moncton Wildcats win the President’s Cup last season. This year, the gritty defenseman has a career high three goals and six assists in 59 games. He finished the year with 126 penalty minutes, good for 11th in the QMJHL.

According to a tweet sent out by Halifax Mooseheads play-by-play John Moore, Metcalfe will join the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers next season.

Photo Credit: Cape Breton Screaming Eagles

THE NOMINEES ARE...

SAINT JOHN – With team success comes personal success – and the Saint John Sea Dogs found that to be true this afternoon as the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League unveiled the nominees for the annual Golden Puck Awards Gala.

An insane five players and two members of the coaching staff are nominated. Jonathan Huberdeau is nominated for three awards while Simon Despres, Zack Phillips, Nathan Beaulieu, and Michael Kirkpatrick are all in contention as well. Head coach Gerard Gallant and director of hockey operations Mike Kelly are also included in the long list of nominees.

That’s a lot of people nominated for a lot of awards. But it can’t be all that surprising given that the Sea Dogs have sat atop the QMJHL standings nearly all year and were ranked No. 1 in the entire Canadian Hockey League for much of the season.

Along with all of the individual honours, Saint John also won the Jean Rougeau Trophy as regular season champions for the second straight year, the and Luc Robitaille Trophy as the best offensive team for the second straight season, and also claimed the Robert Lebel Trophy for the first time in club history as the team with the best goals-against-average. These three awards will be presented this Friday at Harbour Station as part of a pre-game presentation prior to Game One of the President’s Cup Playoffs opening round against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

The Golden Puck Awards will be held April 6 in downtown Montreal, the day before the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup host is announced.

Now, to the nominees:

Monday, March 21, 2011

POSTSCRIPT: Rocket 2, Sea Dogs 7

FINAL: Rocket 2, Sea Dogs 7

FULL RECAP

DOGS CLOSE OUT SEASON IN STYLE
SAINT JOHN – On the final day of the Quebec Major Junior hockey League season, the Saint John Sea Dogs delivered just like they have all year long.

The Sea Dogs thumped Evan Mosher and the Prince Edward Island Rocket 7-2 at Harbour Station. The Rocket opened the year up in Saint John back in September and closed it down yesterday afternoon.

It was a solid victory for Saint John.

"The guys played pretty well today,'' Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant said to the Telegraph-Journal. "We haven't played great lately, but that's a good way to finish. The guys were jumping today and they felt good about their game.''

Michael Kirkpatrick opened the scoring at 7:45 on the power play, ripping a wrist shot five-hole and past PEI goaltender Evan Mosher. Stanislav Galiev gave Saint John a 2-0 lead at 14:14 when he came out from the backboards and sent a low wide range shot that got past the Rocket netminder. The Dogs led 2-0 after one frame.

PEI made it a one-goal affair at 1:06 of the second period with Gabriel Bourret in the box. A cross crease pass found Adam Polsek in front who banged one home to make it a 2-1 game. But at 5:16 on yet another man advantage, Jonathan Huberdeau restored the Sea Dogs’ two-goal lead after a great pass from Zack Phillips found him open in front.

The Rocket would not go away though. Samuel Morneau scored at 10:51 to make it 3-2. After the goal, PEI had some good pressure on and was buzzing a bit in an effort to tie the game. But their efforts would be for nothing as the Ryan Tesink show started up at 18:34. Tesink roofed the puck up and over Mosher to make it 4-2 Saint John and then scored again 37 seconds later to give the Dogs a commanding 5-2 advantage after two periods.

Kirkpatrick scored his second of the game at 16:10 of the third period and then Simon Despres connected 21 seconds later to make it a 7-2 final.

ROUND ONE SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League released the full schedule today for the upcoming Saint John Sea Dogs - Cape Breton Screaming Eagles Round One playoff matchup.

The Sea Dogs unveiled awhile ago that the first two games would be held on Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26 at Harbour Station. Tickets for both games went on-sale this past Saturday.

Games three and four will shift Sydney and will played on Tuesday, March 29 and Wednesday, March 30. Both games start at 7:00 pm at Centre 200.

There are no surprises in this schedule as it is the typical format for a playoff series against a divisional opponent. If necessary, Game Five would be held in Saint John, Game Six in Cape Breton, and Game Seven back at Harbour Station.

Here is the full schedule for the Sea Dogs – Screaming Eagles series:

GAME ONE – Friday, March 25: 7:30 p.m. @ Harbour Station
GAME TWO – Saturday, March 26: 7 p.m. @ Harbour Station
GAME THREE – Tuesday, March 29: 7 p.m. @ Centre 200
GAME FOUR – Wednesday, March 30: 7 p.m. @ Centre 200
*GAME FIVE – Friday, April 1: 7:30 p.m. @ Harbour Station
*GAME SIX – Sunday, April 3: 4 p.m. @ Centre 200
*GAME SEVEN – Tuesday, April 5: 7 p.m. @ Harbour Station
*If Necessary
With the Sea Dogs winning the regular season for the second straight season, each series will start on home ice, and, if needed, all Game Sevens would be played at Harbour Station as well.

On Friday, QMJHL Commissioner Gilles Courteau will be in house to present some hardware to the team once again this season. From the Sea Dogs website:

Friday night’s match will feature a special pre-game ceremony in which QMJHL Commissioner Gilles Courteau will present the Sea Dogs with the Jean Rougeau Trophy as regular season champions, the Luc Robitaille Trophy as the highest scoring team in the league and the Robert LeBel Trophy for the best goals-against average.
If/when the Dogs advance to the Second Round, it will probably start on Friday, April 8 at Harbour Station.

Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Sunday, March 20, 2011

DOGS BLAST INTO HISTORY BOOKS

SN RECAP
FINAL: Rocket 2, Sea Dogs 7


By Station Nation Staff

SAINT JOHN – A tremendous regular season came to a close Sunday afternoon at Harbour Station as the Saint John Sea Dogs hit the ice to take on the Prince Edward Island Rocket.

Like they had 31 times before, Saint John won their home game, defeating the Rocket 7-2 in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play. The win gave the Sea Dogs a final home record of 32-0-1-1, making them the first team in QMJHL history to go undefeated in regulation at home.

The records didn’t stop there as the win also gave Saint John 58 on the year, tying them for the most wins in a single season. Two other clubs have equalled the mark with both playing longer schedules.

After a loss to the Rocket on Wednesday night in Charlottetown, the Sea Dogs could no longer break the wins record. But Saint John would get their revenge on Sunday, beating up PEI and finally solving how break down the brick wall that is Evan Mosher.

The Dogs had a pair of goals from Michael Kirkpatrick and Ryan Tesink. Solo markers came courtesy from Stanislav Galiev, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Simon Despres. Goaltender Mathieu Corbeil let out rebounds larger than the Tim Horton’s line-up at times but was good enough to make 29 stops for the win.

It was a pretty solid game from the Sea Dogs who didn’t show any a whole lot of “flatness” with this being the final game of the regular season and played a pretty fast and intense match. None of the big guns were given the day off, either, except for captain Mike Thomas who was recuperating from an injury.

Mosher made some big saves as usual for the Rocket but couldn’t bail his team out this time around. The goaltender made 37 saves in the net in the loss. Adam Polasek and Samuel Morneau scored for PEI.

SEA DOGS MAKE HISTORY

SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Sea Dogs made history on Sunday afternoon at Harbour Station.

A 7-2 win over the Prince Edward Island Rocket gave the Sea Dogs their 58th victory of the year on the final day of the regular season, tying the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League record for wins in a single season.

Two other teams have achieved the mark in the 1973-74 Sorel Eperviers and the 1978-79 Tois-Rivieres Draveurs. The Sea Dogs got 58 wins in a 68 game schedule while the Eperviers reached the mark in a 70 game campaign and the Draveurs in 72 games.

With an unreal record of 58-7-1-2, the Dogs fell one win short of breaking the record.

The win also gave Saint John a record of 32-0-1-1 at home, making them the first team in QMJHL history to go an entire season without losing a match on home ice.

It certainly was quite a regular season for a franchise only in its sixth year of operation. The team won the Maritimes Division, the Brunswick News Rivalry Cup, and the Jean Rougeau Trophy as well.

With this being the final day of the regular season, the team is also on pace to win the Luc Robitaille Trophy for most goals scored during the regular season and the Robert Lebel Trophy for allowing the fewest goals against.

The race for the big trophy, the President’s Cup, begins next Friday against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

LIVE BLOG: Rocket vs Sea Dogs

PRE-GAME: vs PEI Rocket

GAME DAY
PEI Rocket vs Saint John Sea Dogs
Today, March 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm
Harbour Station
PREVIEW
SAINT JOHN – One of greatest regular seasons in Canadian Hockey League history comes to a close this afternoon as the Saint John Sea Dogs put a wrap on their campaign against the Prince Edward Island Rocket. Game time is 4:00 pm at Harbour Station.

Going into the season, everyone projected the Sea Dogs to be a pretty good hockey club. With their young core already having a full year of experience behind them and coming off a trip to the President’s Cup final, Saint John was in good position to be a strong contender again this season.

In September, if there was anybody who said the Sea Dogs would be in the position they are in tonight, they’d more than likely be lying.

A win this evening would make Saint John just the third team in QMJHL history to win 58 games in a regular season, tying the all-time mark for wins in a season. A victory would also make the Sea Dogs the first team in league history to go an entire season without losing a regulation game on home ice.

It will be a party like atmosphere this afternoon on fan appreciation day at Harbour Station. They’ve been given a lot to cheer for this season - and cheering they have done. They’ve seen several franchise records broken, seen some dominating performances, watched hockey’s future grow in front of them, and seen a certain 17-year old forward turn into one of the best junior hockey players in the country.

But this is only the end of part of the journey as the real season, the post-season, starts next Friday.

But in the present, this afternoon’s tilt will be the focus. In terms of standings and playoff positioning, the game is meaningless for Saint John. But it will allow the Sea Dogs to work and try a few things before the playoffs begin next week.

The Rocket will have a lot of confidence coming into this game having gone 7-2-1-0 in their last 10 games and have won three straight. PEI has given the Sea Dogs fits at times this season – especially last Wednesday in Charlottetown. The Rocket defeated Saint John 5-2, ending the Dogs’ hopes of breaking the all-time wins record.

After an up-and-down season, PEI would like nothing better than to end the Sea Dogs’ record hopes.

THE NUMBERS

PEISaint John
Record33-25-3-6 (4th Maritimes)57-7-1-2 (1st Maritimes)
Home Record- - -31-0-1-1
Road Record16-12-1-4- - -
Streak3-0-0-01-0-0-0
Last 107-2-1-08-2-0-0
Goals For215317
Goals Against213163
Overall PP19.4% (12th)24.4% (6th)
Home PP- - -23.1% (8th)
Road PP19.1% (11th)- - -
Overall PK82.3% (3rd)83.8% (1st)
Home PK- - -86.3% (1st)
Road PK83.1% (2nd)- - -
PIM/GAME13.0 (14th)13.2 (13th)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

POSTSCRIPT: Screaming Eagles 1, Sea Dogs 8

FINAL: Screaming Eagles 1, Sea Dogs 8

By Station Nation Staff

FULL RECAP

DOGS DOMINATE
SAINT JOHN – Another dominating win by the Saint John Sea Dogs was good enough for an 8-1 victory over the lowly Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Friday night at Harbour Station.

It was a bit of a slow start to the first period for both clubs. But at 7:30 on a power play, Aidan Kelly scored to give Saint John a 1-0 lead. It wasn’t until 17:54 of the frame until Saint John would score again as Stanislav Galiev rushed down the wing and went high on Eagles netminder Andrew Hayes. The Sea Dogs would be on fire for the next 52 seconds as Alexandre Beauregard and Stephen MacAulay netted markers to make it 4-0 after one period.

Even with Alexandre Veronneau now between the pipes, things didn’t get much better for the Eagles in the second period as Danick Gauthier scored at 5:59 to make it a 5-0 game.

The Eagles would spoil Jacob DeSerres’ shutout bid at the 14-minute mark as Logan Shaw scored a power play goal to cut the Sea Dogs’ lead to four.

In the third period, Galiev scored his second of the game at 4:03 to give Saint John their five-goal lead back. Steven Anthony and Pierre Durepos scored later on in the frame to make it an 8-1 final score.

RED LINE REPORT: Huberdeau is Q's top prospect

Some big news out of the hockey prospect world today as USA Today released the latest Red Line Report list of top prospects for the 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

The big news: the top prospect from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is no longer Drummondville Voltigeurs forward Sean Couturier.

“Just continues to take his game to new levels we never thought he would approach so soon,” reads the report on Saint John Sea Dogs forward Jonathan Huberdeau. “He has now ascended the throne as the Quebec League's top prospect.”

Red Line as Huberdeau going fifth overall in the draft while Couturier, who at this time last year was projected by most to be going first overall, has slipped all the way to eighth.

From USA Today:

While the drumbeat has been slowly building for Huberdeau the past three months, he simply has elevated his game to a level we did not expect to see out of him this year. And we can no longer deny what our gut is telling us: He has passed Sean Couturier as the Quebec League's top prospect. Couturier is in his third full year in the Q and far more physically developed than Huberdeau. Yet Huberdeau, in his second Q season, is the more assertive and aggressive player, and we believe he's performing at a higher level right now than Couturier was at this time last year when he won the Quebec League scoring crown.
Huberdeau has been an incredible story this season. He has gone from some scouting websites and agencies not having him going in the opening round to a top-10 pick this June. As Red Line points out, the draft is all over the map this year. There is no clear No. 1, top-five, or top-10.

Huberdeau, who doesn’t turn 18 until June 4, has 102 points this season while Couturier has 95. The Sea Dogs have been one of, if the most scouted team in the Canadian Hockey League this season while Couturier was a given an opportunity to impress at the World Juniors.

A long playoff run and a possible trip the Memorial Cup would surely help maintain Huberdeau’s rise up the rankings.

The latest International Scouting Services rankings were released this week as well. Huberdeau cracked the top-10 and his projected to go ninth overall. ISS has Couturier ranked as the fourth best prospect.

Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

VIDEO: Fight files vs Cape Breton

SAINT JOHN – There were a few fights last night as Harbour Station as the Saint John Sea Dogs cruised to an 8-1 win over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

Although the Sea Dogs are near the bottom of fighting list in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, they took part in three scraps. It can’t be all that surprising as both teams were looking to send a message with the two meeting each other in the first round of the playoffs beginning next Friday.

If the Eagles have any chance of winning the series, they will have to play physically against Saint John and try to shutdown the Sea Dogs’ unreal offense in any way possible.

The first fight came at 8:20 of the second period as two heavyweights in Blake Millman and Marshal Worden squared off. Worden was called up by the Sea Dogs before the game and was making his debut with the club. Some bombs were landed.



More fights after the jump...

PLAYOFF TICKETS ON-SALE; TOMORROW'S GAME SOLD-OUT

SAINT JOHN – Tickets to the Saint John Sea Dogs’ first two playoff games are now on-sale. Tickets went on-sale today at noon and can be purchased at the Harbour Station box office, by phone, or online.

The Sea Dogs will take on the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in the first round of the 2011 President’s Cup playoffs. The first game is Friday, March 25 at 7:30 pm at Harbour Station while Game Two will be Saturday, March 26 at 7:00 pm.

Saint John enters the post-season as the No. 1 seeded team and will have home ice advantage throughout the entire QMJHL playoffs.

Against Cape Breton this season, the Sea Dogs are 7-1-0-0 which includes an 8-1 blowout win last night at Harbour Station. In their last two games in Saint John, the Eagles have allowed eight goals in each.

The rest of the schedule for the series has not been announced yet. Games Three and Four will both be played at Centre 200, likely on March 29 and March 30.

On other ticket related news, tomorrow’s game against the Prince Edward Island Rocket is sold-out. Standing room tickets are still available according to the Harbour Station website.

The game will be the final match of the 2010-11 regular season for both clubs. The game could also be historic as Saint John is just a win away from tying the all-time QMJHL single season wins record. A win would also make the Sea Dogs the first team in Quebec league history to go an entire season without losing in regulation on home ice.

DOGS HAMMER EAGLES AGAIN

SN RECAP
FINAL: Screaming Eagles 1, Sea Dogs 8


SAINT JOHN – It took 56 seconds for this game to get of reach for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

The Saint John Sea Dogs scored three goals in that time framelate in the first period in an 8-1 rout over the Screaming Eagles Friday night at Harbour Station in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action. According to News 88.9, it was the fastest three goals scored in club history.

Speaking of history, Saint John is now just one win away from tying the QMJHL record for wins a single season with 58. The team can meet that mark this Sunday when they host the Prince Edward Island Rocket at 4:00 pm and can also become the first team in QMJHL history to go a full season without losing a regulation game at home.

Stanislav Galiev had a pair of goals while Stephen MacAulay, Steven Anthony, Danick Gauthier, Pierre Durepos, and Alexandre Beauregard had singles. Jacob DeSerres made a few good stops but wasn’t tested a whole lot, making 24 saves to earn the win.

Ryan Tesink added three assists and Durepos had a pair.

Saint John dominated the entirety of this game. They were even missing their captain Mike Thomas and one of the most offensively dangerous players in Michael Kirkpatrick.

This, of course, was a first-round playoff preview as these two teams meet next Friday at Harbour Station. The last two Eagle games in Saint John have both featured the Sea Dogs scoring eight goals. It could be a long series for Cape Breton.

The visitors only goal came from Logan Shaw in the second period on a power play. Goaltender Andrew Hayes allowed four goals on 15 first period shots. He gave way for Alexandre Veronneau in the second period but he didn’t fair match better, allowing four goals on 24 shots.

Friday, March 18, 2011

LIVE BLOG: Screaming Eagles vs Sea Dogs

KIRKPATRICK, THOMAS QUESTIONABLE

SAINT JOHN – Two Saint John Sea Dogs veteran forwards are questionable for this evening’s tilt against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Puck drop is 7:30 pm at Harbour Station and ticket availability is limited.

From today’s Telegraph-Journal:

Meanwhile, 20-year-old forwards Michael Kirkpatrick (minor hip flexor) and Mike Thomas (lower-body bruise) are questionable for tonight's game.
Kirkpatrick was a late scratch in Wednesday’s 5-2 loss against the Prince Edward Island Rocket. Saint John’s all-time leading scorer is third in team scoring this season with 29 goals and 50 assists in 62 matches.

Thomas’ injury likely happened in Wednesday’s game. The fifth-year Sea Dogs and captain of the top-ranked junior team in the land has 14 goals and 10 assists in 57 games this year.

The two shouldn’t be greatly missed as the Dogs host the 16th overall Screaming Eagles in a first-round playoff preview tonight. It would be unfortunate if neither 20-year old could play in the final weekend of the regular season, but, this is the time of year impact players are often given time off to rest up for the post-season.

Saint John wraps up the 2010-11 campaign Sunday at Harbour Station versus PEI and kick off their playoff run next Friday against Cape Breton.

PRE-GAME: vs Cape Breton Screaming Eagles

GAME DAY
Cape Breton Screaming Eagles vs Saint John Sea Dogs
Tonight, March 18, 2011 at 7:30 pm
Harbour Station



PREVIEW
SAINT JOHN – Well here we are in the final weekend of the 2010-11 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League regular season and the Saint John Sea Dogs are closing in on some league history.

The Sea Dogs host the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles this evening at Harbour Station in a match that means nothing in the standings. But the game does mean something as a win would put the Dogs within one victory of tying the all-time QMJHL record for wins in a single season. A win would also keep Saint John’s hopes of becoming the first team in league history to go an entire season without losing a regulation game on home ice.

After this evening’s game, the Dogs host the Prince Edward Island Rocket on Sunday at Harbour Station. It is fan appreciation day and a limited amount of tickets are available.

But for now, the Sea Dogs are focused on this evening’s tilt with the Screaming Eagles. It was confirmed last weekend these two teams would meet in the first round on playoffs which will hopefully add some flavour to tonight’s match.

Saint John is 56-7-1-2 but are coming off a rare loss in Charlottetown on Wednesday night. The Rocket had their ways with Saint John, thanks in most part to the goaltending performance of Evan Mosher. PEI won the game 5-2.

The Sea Dogs have been pretty good against the Eagles this season and will look for a good bounce-back game tonight. Saint John is 6-1-0-0 against Cape Breton and 3-0-0-0 against them at Harbour Station this season. The two teams battled recently last Sunday in Sydney with the Dogs coming out on top 4-1 and also on March 5 at the Station with the home team winning 8-0.

The Eagles sit 16th overall in the QMJHL standings and last in the Maritimes Division with a record of 17-44-1-4. They play in Saint John tonight and close out their campaign Sunday afternoon in Halifax against the Mooseheads.

THE NUMBERS

Cape BretonSaint John
Record17-44-1-4 (6th Maritimes Division)56-7-1-2 (1st Maritimes)
Home Record- - -30-0-1-1
Road Record7-23-0-2- - -
Streak0-5-0-00-1-0-0
Last 102-8-0-08-2-0-0
Goals For149309
Goals Against266162
Overall PP15.2% (16th)24.5% (5th)
Home PP- - -23.2% (9th)
Road PP16.9% (14th)- - -
Overall PK74.0% (17th)83.6% (1st)
Home PK- - -86.1% (1st)
Road PK74.0% (17th)- - -
PIM/GAME16.0 (6th)12.9 (14th)

VIDEO: Capers for the Cup

The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles shocked the internet today by actually uploading some videos on their once solid YouTube page.

Of all things to randomly post, the Eagles uploaded the video that was presented to the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup Selection Committee when they toured the Sydney area last month.

Here it is:



We’re not sure if this was the only video shown to the committee or not, but you have to wonder: where are the Screaming Eagles? Hardly any video of game action at Centre 200 or mention of the hockey club itself.

It’s a different presentation approach compared to what the Sea Dogs used.