Friday, September 30, 2011

Five Straight For Sea Dogs

FINAL: Saint John 4, Drummondville 2

DRUMMONDVILLE – The Saint John Sea Dogs are on a roll.

Devon Oliver-Dares, Scott Oke, Zack Phillips and Tomas Jurco all scored for Saint John in their 4-2 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League victory on Friday night over the Drummondville Voltigeurs. The win gave the Sea Dogs their fifth straight win and improved their record to 5-3-0-0.

The win also gave Saint John their second win on a three-game road trip through Quebec. They defeated the Blainville-Boisbraind Armada 3-1 on Wednesday and finish their trek tomorrow in Victoriaville. Game time against the nation’s fourth ranked team is 5pm AST.

On Friday, the Sea Dogs netted two even strength, one power play and one shorthanded goal to defeat the Voltigeurs. Saint John led 2-0 after one and 4-1 after two.

Netminder Mathieu Corbeil was excellent in goal again, making 22 saves to earn the win. It was his fourth straight start in net since returning from Columbus Blue Jackets training camp.

Although they were outshot 24-20, the Sea Dogs played a much better game than they did on Wednesday in Boisbriand. The only obvious issues were the penalties which allowed the Volts to stick around late in the contest.

Matthew Andreacchi and Oliver Archambault each scored for Drummondville. Domenic Graham was pulled after allowing four goals on 12 shots. His replacement, former Sea Dogs prospect Simon Giroux, stopped all eight shots he faced.

LIVE BLOG: Sea Dogs vs Voltigeurs

GAMEDAY 8: at Voltigeurs

GAMEDAY
Saint John Sea Dogs vs Drummondville Voltigeurs
Tonight, September 30, 2011 at 8pm
Marcel Dionne Centre


PREVIEW
DRUMMONDVILLE –Last year, Jonathan Huberdeau and Sean Couturier were the main attractions when the Saint John Sea Dogs and Drummondville Voltigeurs met. A year later, neither of them will even be in the lineup as the Volts host the Dogs tonight at 8pm.

Huberdeau, selected third overall in June’s National Hockey League Entry Draft by the Florida Panthers, and Couturier, taken eighth overall by the Philadelphia Flyers, are both still taking part in training camps with their teams.

Even without their best payers, both squads have had a decent September. The Volts are off to a 4-3-0-0 start and are winners of three straight. They have outscored their opponents 27-18 over their seven games without the services of Couturier.

Entering play today, Drummondville sits third overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and first in the Telus West Division.

Saint John has been hot of late, winning four straight contests after an 0-3 start to the season. Over the past four games, the Sea Dogs have outscored their opposition 19-10.

This will be the Sea Dogs’ second game of a three-game road trek through the province of Quebec. Saint John defeated the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 3-1 on Wednesday night, take on the Voltigeurs tonight and then play the Victoriaville Tigres tomorrow.

Nathan Beaulieu, Ryan Tesink and Tomas Jurco all scored in their 3-1 win over the Armada on Wednesday. Mathieu Corbeil got the win in goal.

The Sea Dogs will be looking for a better result on this trip to Drummondville than last year’s. They blew a 5-1 second period lead and eventually fell 7-6 to the Volts in a shootout. Scott Oke had two goals in that game while Danick Gauthier had a goal and an assist. Frederic Piche allowed six markers on 41 shots in the contest

The Sea Dogs' performance in Drummondville last year was one of the few ugly moments of their 2010-11 campaign, something will try to not duplicate tonight.

Huberdeau Scores In Pre-Season Finale


Jonathan Huberdeau wrapped up an impressive pre-season on Thursday night in Dallas.

The Florida Panthers top draft choice in June’s draft netted a power play marker in the second period. The goal would be the only one the Panthers would get as the Dallas Stars dropped them 7-1 at American Airlines Center.

Along with scoring his third of the pre-season, the Saint John Sea Dogs forward was a -1, had one shot and was on the ice for a total of 15 minutes and 20 seconds.

Along with three pre-season goals, Huberdeau also had an assist.

Florida finished exhibition play with a record of 1-4-1. Now the waiting begins.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie tweeted the other day that the deadline to sign first, second, and third round picks is this Tuesday at 6pm AST (Edit: most of the newspapers are saying he has to be signed by Monday). If they are not signed by that deadline, they are unable to play in the National Hockey League this season.

“We spoke [with agent] briefly on Monday,” said Panthers general manager Dale Tallon to George Richards of the Miami Herald about Huberdeau’s contract situation. “We're really going to wait until Friday. If he makes our team, we're going to try and get something done.''

Panthers centre Mike Santorelli injured his shoulder this past week and could miss most of October which would open up space for Huberdeau to start the year with the club. The Memorial Cup’s Most Valuable Player can play a maximum of nine games in the NHL without his contract kicking in.

"A nine-game audition while Santorelli recovers would be the perfect opportunity for Huberdeau to get a taste of the size and speed of NHL players, as well as getting a taste of the expectations of being a professional athlete," writes Matt Reitz of NBC Sports' hockey blog. "There’s no substitute for a young player to see what professionals go through on a daily basis—from eating and health habits to on-ice preparation."

“He has done a very good job of showing everything he can at camp to make a statement for his case,'' Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said to the Miami Herald. “He's showing his skill set, his work ethic. He's very respectful of the veterans. He has a real quiet confidence and we think the world of him as a player and a person. The business will take care of itself. He's doing his part. He's a skilled player. You always get excited about a skilled player in your lineup.''

Florida’s season opener is on October 8 in Long Island.

Photo Credit: AP

Thursday, September 29, 2011

POSTSCRIPT: Sea Dogs 3, Armada 1

A collection of recaps from last night’s 3-1 Saint John Sea Dogs victory over the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada…

Our recap. Ryan Tesink, Tomas Jurco and Nathan Beaulieu couldn’t have returned to the Saint John Sea Dogs lineup at a better time.

Nord Info’s recap. Mathieu Corbeil had a good night in net.

SaintJohnSeaDogs.com’s recap. Returnees lift Sea Dogs to fourth straight win.

Live Blog Replay. In our minds, Christopher Clapperton is an all-star.

STILL MISSING: The Sea Dogs are still without the services of Jonathan Huberdeau as he continues to try and crack the Florida Panthers roster. The Panthers take on the Dallas Stars in Texas tonight.

BEAULIEU RETURNS: Nathan Beaulieu made an immediate impact in his first game back from Montreal Canadiens training camp. The Habs first rounder had a goal, an assist, registered six shots and was a +2.

Here is Beaulieu’s third period goal courtesy of Chris Phillips of HockeyFights.com:


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Welcome Back

FINAL: Saint John 3, Blainville-Boisbriand 1

BOISBRIAND – Ryan Tesink, Tomas Jurco and Nathan Beaulieu couldn’t have returned to the Saint John Sea Dogs lineup at a better time.

All three contributed in the Sea Dogs’ 3-1 win over the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada on Wednesday night at Centre d'excellence Sports Rousseau.

Tesink, Jurco and Beaulieu – all playing in their first game back from National Hockey League training camps – each scored in the victory. Zack Phillips had two assists.

Mathieu Corbeil had a strong night in net, making 30 stops in his third straight start. He was named the contest’s first star.

Raphael Pouliot scored the lone goal for the Armada. William Racicot made 19 stops in the loss.

It was a pretty entertaining hockey game that even featured quite a bit of pushing and shoving after whistles. It certainly wasn’t a perfect game by the Sea Dogs but it got the job down.

The Dogs, after a 0-3 start, are now 4-3 and have won four straight.

LIVE BLOG: Sea Dogs vs Armada

Dogs Still Ranked No. 1 In CHL

Despite a rough start to the season, the Saint John Sea Dogs are still ranked No. 1 in the Canadian Hockey League. The latest edition of the BMO CHL MasterCard Top 10 Rankings were released today.

The Sea Dogs dropped their first three games of the season with a depleted roster due to 13 players taking part in National Hockey League rookie or training camps. They quickly rebounded from their rough start as players began to trickle back, rattling off three straight wins to enter play this week with a 3-3 record.

This is the 17th straight week Saint John has been ranked No. 1 in the Top 10

Other Quebec Major Junior Hockey League teams to crack this week’s Top 10 are the Victoriaville Tigres at No. 4, Baie-Comeau Drakkar at No. 6 and the Shawinigan Cataractes at No. 7. The Quebec Remparts were an honourable mention.

The weekly rankings of the CHL’s Top 10 teams are selected by a panel of NHL scouts. 

Here are the BMO CHL MasterCard Top 10 Rankings for week two:
1. Saint John Sea Dogs (3-3-0-0)
2. London Knights (2-0-0-0)
3. Red Deer Rebels (2-0-0-0)
4. Victoriaville Tigres (5-2-0-0)
5. Portland Winterhawks (2-1-0-0)
6. Baie-Comeau Drakkar (6-1-0-0)
7. Shawinigan Cataractes (5-2-0-0)
8. Ottawa 67's (2-0-0-0)
9. Kelowna Rockets (1-0-0-0)
10. Mississauga St. Michael's Majors (2-0-0-0) 
Honourable Mentions:
Regina Pats (2-0-0-0)
Sarnia Sting (1-1-0-0)
Quebec Remparts (3-2-1-0)
The Sea Dogs take on the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada tonight at 8pm in the first game of three-game road trek through Quebec. Saint John takes on the Drummondville Voltigeurs on Friday and the the No. 4 ranked Tigres on Saturday.

GAMEDAY 7 - at Armada

GAMEDAY
Saint John Sea Dogs vs Blainville-Boisbriand Armada
Tonight, September 28, 2011 at 8pm
Centre d’excellence Sports Rousseau


PREVIEW
BOISBRIAND – The Memorial Cup champions begin their first Quebec road trip of the season tonight against their expansion cousins.

The Saint John Sea Dogs visit the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada this evening at 8pm at the Centre d’excellence Sports Rousseau. The Montreal Junior, who entered the league along with the Sea Dogs as the St. John’s Fog Devils in 2005-06, moved to Boisbraind in the off-season to become the Armada.

The team name apparently means “force, cohesion, unity, and the pooling of forces....like a fleet of ships entering combat.” It does not stand for the Nissan car brand (pictured).

Over the summer, the Armada unveiled some interesting yet stylish jerseys. They made the bold move to go with black and white rather than colour. The Gatineau Olympiques and Los Angeles Kings are both currently wearing a similar style of sweater.

As for on the ice, Boisbriand has been struggling of late. After winning their first three games by a combined score of 14-3, the Armada are losers of four straight and have been outscored 21-7.

Boisbriand enters play tonight in fourth place in the Telus West Division and 11th overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League standings.

The Sea Dogs enter play today with a 3-3 record and winners of three straight. After a rough start, Saint John has turned things around thanks to the return of National Hockey League campers.

This is the first game of a three-game road trek for Saint John. The Sea Dogs are still winless on the road this year. 

Huberdeau Scores Again In Panthers Loss

Jonathan Huberdeau continues to impress at Florida Panthers training camp.

Huberdeau, who has played well in nearly all the National Hockey League pre-season games he has taken part in, scored a goal last night andwas named third star in the Panthers 4-3 overtime loss to the Dallas Stars.

The Saint John Sea Dogs forward scored a 5-on-3 power play marker at 16:08 of the third period with assists going to David Booth and Dmitri Kulikov. Huberdeau finished the contest a -1, registered five shots on goal and spent a total of 15 minutes and 35 seconds on the ice.

Here’s Huberdeau speaking after the game:


Florida’s final pre-season game is Thursday in Dallas.

It’s gotten to the point where it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see Huberdeau start the year in Florida. The Panthers open the regular season on October 8 in New York against the Islanders. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sea Dogs Notebook

HABS WEBSITE


The Montreal Canadiens website reports that they assigned Nathan Beaulieu to Newfoundland for some reason. What a joke.

Rant: How can you draft someone from the SAINT JOHN Sea Dogs in the first round of NHL Entry Draft and then spell the city name wrong? Get real.

HUBERDEAU PLAYING
According to the Florida Panthers website, Jonathan Huberdeau will play wing on the third line tonight with Tim Kennedy and Sean Bergenheim. The Panthers host the Dallas Stars this evening at 8:30pm in pre-season action.

Huberdeau is the last Sea Dog remaining at an NHL training camp after Nathan Beaulieu was sent back yesterday.

“Big game tonight,” he tweeted this afternoon. “Last exhibition game at home for the Cats!”

Florida’s final pre-season game is Thursday in Dallas.

BEAUREGARD SUSPENDED
After playing in just two games with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens, the QMJHL has suspended Alexandre Beauregard.

“Beauregard was suspended for one game following a check from behind which occurred against the Quebec Remparts on September 25th,” states a QMJHL release.

The Sea Dogs traded Beauregard along with a 2012 second round pick last week in exchange for a first and third round pick. Since joining the Sags, the 20-year old is a -1 and has served 17 penalty minutes.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Habs Assign Beaulieu Back To Saint John


Only one member of the Saint John Sea Dogs’ active roster remains at a National Hockey League training camp.

Today, the Montreal Canadiens announced that they have assigned Nathan Beaulieu back to Saint John for a fourth season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Beaulieu was selected 17th overall in June’s NHL Entry Draft by the Canadiens.

With Beaulieu being sent back, Jonathan Huberdeau of the Florida Panthers is the lone Sea Dog remaining at an NHL camp.

Beaulieu, who will turn 19 in December, scored 12 goals and 33 assists in 65 regular season games last year. In the playoffs he added four goals and 13 helpers.

The native of Strathroy, Ont. played in two games with Saint John prior to leaving for Montreal rookie camp. He had no points and was a -1.

All reports out of Montreal state that Beaulieu had a solid training camp with the team. He also got plenty of playing time in the pre-season games he dressed for which included setting up PK Subban for a Habs goal earlier this week.

Beaulieu played last night in Montreal’s 7-3 loss to the Boston Bruins at the Halifax Metro Centre. Marty Klinkenberg has a solid story on his performance in today’s Telegraph-Journal.

Like the rest of the Sea Dogs who took part in NHL camps, Beaulieu surely learned a few things. With both Simon Despres and Eric Gelinas likely turning pro this year, he’ll be looked upon to play the big minutes. He’s also on Hockey Canada’s radar for the World Junior Hockey Championships this winter after taking part in summer development camp.

Beaulieu will give the Sea Dogs’ blue-line a big boost as they hit the road for three games in four days through Quebec. The trip begins Wednesday when they visit the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.

The Habs also assigned Morgan Ellis back to Cape Breton and Olivier Archambault to Drummondville today. Former Sea Dogs goaltender Robert Mayer was sent to the American Hockey League's Hamilton Bulldogs. 

Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

New Banners On Harbour Station

If you haven’t seen the backside of Harbour Station lately, here is what you’ve been missing.


The Alpine ads (which you can clearly see despite the ad claiming the cans are camo) have been up for a while but the Sea Dogs banner – featuring Jonathan Huberdeau – and the Mill Rat banner – featuring some Mill Rat player – are new this season.

The Saint John championship team banners have also been hanging on the light poles along Station St. since the season started.

Along with all these banners, the new Memorial Cup billboards are also up and greet people as they enter Saint John. The city is looking pretty sharp these days.

Photo Credit: Mill Rats Facebook page

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Gelinas, Anthony Assigned To AHL


A couple of members of the Saint John Sea Dogs'Memorial Cup championship team were assigned to the American Hockey League over the weekend.

On Saturday, the New Jersey Devils assigned defenseman Eric Gelinas to the Albany Devils of the AHL ranks. The Vancouver Canucks announcedearlier today that forward Steven Anthony has been assigned to the Chicago Wolves.

Gelinas, selected by the Devils in the second round of the 2009 National Hockey League Entry Draft, recorded three goals and 17 assists in 27 regular season games with the Sea Dogs after being acquired mid-season in a trade with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. He added five goals and seven helpers in 19 playoff contests.

Anthony, selected by the Canucks in the seventh round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, registered 23 goals and 37 assists in 61 regular season matches with Saint John last year. In the post-season he added five goals and seven assists in 14 contests.

The Halifax native has spent the last four seasons with the Sea Dogs after the team drafted him in the first round of the 2007 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft. His 60 points last season were a career high.

Both Anthony and Gelinas could return to the Sea Dogs this season as a 20-year old or they could play professionally. With Saint John trading Alexandre Beauregard last week, they now have an open overage slot. Is one them coming back? Are the Dogs going after someone else? Or are they going to try the free agent market again? Who knows what might be happening behind the scenes.

Former Sea Dogs defenseman Yann Sauve, who played five games with the Canucks last year, was also reassigned to AHL Chicago today.

Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Only Two Sea Dogs Remain At NHL Camps


And then there were two.

After icing depleted lineups for the past few weeks, only two members of the Saint John Sea Dogs active roster remain at National Hockey League training camps – Florida Panthers prospect Jonathan Huberdeau and Montreal Canadiens draft choice Nathan Beaulieu.

Both are having impressive training camps and are getting plenty of playing time in pre-season games.

Beaulieu played for the Habs last night in a 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators. He led all Montreal skaters in ice time with a total of 22 minutes and 54 seconds. He was a -1 in the contest.

According to the Canadiens website, his 9:04 minutes of ice time in the first period was the most of any player on either team.

Beaulieu, along with former Sea Dogs netminder Robert Mayer, will be in the Canadiens lineup tonight when they take on the Boston Bruins at the Halifax Metro Centre. Game time is 7pm AST.

Huberdeau meanwhile skated in a 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning last night. The third overall pick in June’s NHL Entry Draft was held pointless and recorded two shots in his 15 minutes and 28 seconds on the ice.

“I can't say enough good things about him,” writes John Beatty of The Litter Box Cats about Huberdeau following last night’s game. “Whether he makes the team this year or next, he's going to be huge for the Panthers.”

The Panthers play the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.

Most seem to be expecting them both back in Saint John at some point. Because of their age, they can play in either the NHL or the CHL this season - the AHL is not an option.

If you missed it yesterday, SN's Cameron MacEachern had a great piece on which QMJHL players could get a taste of the NHL this year.

Stephen MacAulay and Ryan Tesink (both St. Louis), Danick Gauthier (Phoenix), Mathieu Corbeil (Columbus), Stanislav Galiev (Washington), Tomas Jurco (Detroit), Scott Oke (Dallas), Pierre Durepos (Los Angeles), Ian Saab (Vancouver) and Zack Phillips (Minnesota) all took part either an NHL rookie or training camp but have since returned to Saint John.

Photo Credit: ESPN

Dogs Make Roster Moves

The Saint John Sea Dogs announced a few rosters movetoday.

The team announced that forwards Colin Campbell and Brock Morrison along with defenseman Rory Craddock are no longer on their active roster. Morrison and Campbell have both been reassigned to their junior ‘A’ clubs while Craddock has gone home to rehabilitate an injury.

Morrison, selected by the Sea Dogs in the eighth round of the 2010 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft, recorded a pair of goals and an assist in four games with the Dogs this year. He announced earlier this on week on Twitter that he had been returned to the Maritime Junior Hockey League’s Yarmouth Mariners.

The 18-year old led Saint John in pre-season goal scoring with four markers in five contests.

Campbell, also drafted in 2010, had two assists in four games with Saint John. Like Morrison, he has already returned to Yarmouth to join the MHL’s Mariners.

The Sea Dogs signed Craddock as a free agent earlier this month. He was a -1 and had two penalty minutes in two games before getting injured. According to the team release, the Oshawa, Ont. native “has returned home indefinitely in order to rehabilitate an injury” and there is no timetable for his return.

All three players remain Sea Dogs property. 

With these moves and the return of several National Hockey League campers, the Sea Dogs’ roster is beginning to look a lot more normal. Only Nathan Beaulieu and Jonathan Huberdeau have yet to return from NHL training camps.

Stanislav Galiev, Pierre Durepos, Mathieu Corbeil, and Zack Phillips all returned from NHL camps over the weekend. Tomas Jurco, Stephen MacAulay and Ryan Tesink have returned as well and are expected to play for the team this week in Quebec.

Saint John visits the St. John’s Fog Devils Montreal Junior Blainville-Boisbriand Armada on Wednesday at 8pm AST. 

POSTSCRIPT: Titan 2, Sea Dogs 6

A collection of recaps from last night’s 6-2 Saint John Sea Dogs win over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan last night at Harbour Station…

SaintJohnSeaDogs.com’s recap. “The Saint John Sea Dogs welcomed Minnesota Wild first-round draft pick Zack Phillips back into the lineup Saturday.”

Our recap. “It didn’t take long for the Saint John Sea Dogs to become a .500 hockey team.”

SN Live Blog replay. (some technical difficulties last night)

SCRATCHES: Stephen MacAulay, Jonathan Huberdeau, Tomas Jurco, Ryan Tesink, Brock Morrison, Ian Saab, Nathan Beaulieu, and Rory Craddock were announced as the scratches for the Sea Dogs.

MacAulay, Tesink, and Jurco had been cut from NHL training camps before the game but were not able to suit up in time. Huberdeau and Beaulieu are still at NHL camps.

PHILLIPS RETURNS: Zack Phillips played in his first game of the season after being cut by the Minnesota Wild. After playing for the Wild in a pre-season game the night before, Phillips had an eventful game for his junior club. The Fredericton native had a goal, an assist, and a fight in his return.

FIGHT: Phillips recorded his first career Gordie Howe hat trick on Saturday night when he dropped the gloves with Jordan Murray. According to HockeyFights.com, it was only the second fight of his QMJHL career.

SPECIAL GUEST: Before the game, Nicholas Giroux received a standing ovation from the Harbour Station faithful as he skated onto the ice. Giroux lost part of his right leg in an accident in 2009 but has since returned to playing hockey. He was featured in the Sackville stop of the 2011 TSN Kraft Celebration Tour. The video was played prior to the game.

SOCK: Tyrone Sock had a big night offensively. The defenseman assisted on all three third period goals to give him three points and a +3 rating on the night.

HADE: Defenseman Benjamin Hade played in just his third game of the year. He has not played since September 9 in Bathurst due to injury. Hade was a -1, had one shot, and served two penalty minutes.

SCORING A PAIR: Danick Gauthier and Stanislav Galiev each had a pair of goals in the game. Galiev has now scored three goals in the two games he has played in since returning from Washington Capitals training camp. Gauthier is off to a great start having netted five goals in four games.

Galiev, Gauthier Lead Dogs Past Titan

FINAL: Bathurst 2, Saint John 6

SAINT JOHN – It didn’t take long for the Saint John Sea Dogs to become a .500 hockey team.

After dropping their first three games of the season, the Sea Dogs have since rebounded by winning a trio of consecutive games to improve their record to 3-3-0-0 on the year. Their latest victory came on Saturday night at Harbour Station when a second-half outburst pushed Saint John past the Acadie-Bathurst Titan by score of 6-2.

Stanislav Galiev and Danick Gauthier each had a pair of goals while Zack Phillips and Oliver Cooper added single markers. Tyrone Sock had three assists and Pierre Durepos two.

Mathieu Corbeil played well in net, making 26 saves to earn his second win of the season.

Bathurst had goals courtesy of Christophe Losier and Jeremie Blain. Robert Steeves allowed six goals on 27 shots.

The Titan are heading in the opposite direction of the Sea Dogs. After winning their first three games of the year, Bathurst has since dropped four straight Quebec Major Junior Hockey League contests.

Saint John opened the scoring just 2:43 into the game. Off a faceoff win, Galiev gained possession and let a shot go through some traffic. The puck beat Steeves low and gave Saint John a 1-0 lead.

Gauthier was called for charging at 8:26. At 9:59, Losier had the disc at the faceoff dot and beat Corbeil with a wrist shot to tie the game at 1-1.

Later in the period at 16:20, Blain let a point shot go that sneaked through the pads of Corbeil and across the goal line to give Bathurst a 2-1 edge.

Shots were 12-5 Titan in the opening frame.

The Sea Dogs tied the match up at 10:21 on a man advantage. Galiev was along the goal line and waeved the puck around the a defenseman and centered it to an open Phillips in the crease. He banged it in to make it a 2-2 affair.

Phillips’ eventful night continued at 13:21 as he and Jordan Murray dropped the gloves for a short scrap. That gave the Fredericton native his first career QMJHL Gordie Howe hat trick.

Saint John took the lead on another power play at 16:09. Galiev blasted one from the dot and beat Steeves to make it 3-2 Sea Dogs after 40 minutes.

Shots were 10-9 Saint John in the middle frame.

Saint John took a two-goal lead just 1:13 into the final stanza. Steeves let a rebound go that allowed Gauthier to snag the disc and backhand it into the net to make it 4-2 Saint John.

The Sea Dogs had several good chances in the moments after the goal. Cooper led a two-on-one with McKenzie Brown but had his shot padded away by Steeves. Later on, Stephen Anderson was sprung on a breakaway but was nicely poke checked by the Titan ‘tender.

Gauthier netted his second of the match at 13:07. He faked a shot in front and then skated above the crease and deposited the disc before Steeves could get over to give the Dogs a 5-2 advantage.

The Sea Dogs weren’t done there as Cooper scored his third of the year at 17:17. He wristed a hard shot on net that deflected off the bar and in to make it a 6-2 final.

Shots were 12-7 Saint John in the third.

The Sea Dogs went 2-for-4 on the power play while the Titan went 1-for-5.

Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Saturday, September 24, 2011

LIVE BLOG: Titan vs Sea Dogs

SAINT JOHN - The Sea Dogs are back in action tonight when they host the Acadie-Bathurst Titan at 7pm at Harbour Station. Join us for live coverage.
 

GAMEDAY 6 - vs Titan


GAMEDAY
Acadie-Bathurst Titan vs Saint John Sea Dogs
Tonight, September 24, 2011 at 7pm
Harbour Station

PREVIEW
SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Sea Dogs will be looking to get some revenge tonight at Harbour Station when they host the Acadie-Bathurst Titan at 7pm.

The Titan hammered the Sea Dogs 8-1 at the KC Irving Regional Centre on September 9. Zach O’Brien had a hat trick in the game while Ludovic Kabambi, Marc-Olivier Mimar, Alec Jon Banville, Sebastien Trudeau and Matthew Bissonnette also scored. Bissonnette had four assists and Trudeau had three.

Robert Steeves made 23 stops to give the Titan a win in their season opener.

The only Saint John goal came from Brock Morrison. Sebastien Auger allowed eight goals on 27 shots.

Tonight, the Sea Dogs will look to avenge that loss and even up their season series with the Titan. With a win today, Saint John can also reach the .500 mark with a 3-3 record.

The Sea Dogs’ lineup should be quite a stronger than the one that faced the Titan earlier this month thanks to the return of several NHL campers.

Bathurst enters action today with a record of 3-2-1-0 and sit second in the Maritimes Division with seven points. After a hot start to the season, the Titan have since cooled down. They are 0-2-1-0 in their past two games.


Q Players at NHL Camps: Who Sticks?

NHL training camps and the pre-season are well underway, as is the QMJHL regular season. Many teams, particularly the Saint John Sea Dogs, have been playing with skeleton rosters as their heavy hitters are away at NHL camps. Some of the later draft picks have begun returning to their junior clubs, but there are still a few impact juniors with NHL aspirations who have yet to get the snip. Many would-be overagers will be turning pro, if not in the NHL then in the AHL, so I won’t look at them, but here are some big name under-20s in the QMJHL, and their chances of sticking in the show:

Brandon Gormley

There’s been a big question mark about whether or not Gormley would be sent back to the Moncton Wildcats. Looking at the situation in Phoenix, I can’t imagine him sticking in the desert this season. The Coyotes have seven defensemen signed to one-way NHL contracts currently. Unless they make a trade to free up space for Gormley, they’d have to bury one of those contracts in the AHL (or carry eight defensemen). Given their current ownership situation, it’s unlikely they’d be willing to pay an NHL salary to an AHLer. The one thing working in Gormley’s favour is his entry-level contract, which would make him attractive to a cash-strapped team like Phoenix. With the CBA set to expire, all bonuses count towards the cap this season, even if they aren’t reached. That means that Phoenix may only pay Gormley something like $1 million if he doesn’t reach his bonuses, but he still counts as $1.345 million against the cap which would help them reach the salary floor should they need to. But given that they’re currently above that floor, his contract doesn’t offer much benefit. With three UFAs-to-be on the blueline next summer, expect Gormley to crack the lineup next season, but not this one.

Sean Couturier

The 8th overall pick in June has just cashed in with his first contract from the Philadelphia Flyers, thanks in no small part to the impressive pre-season he’s had. He has a share of the league scoring lead through Friday’s action (yes, yes, preseason, I know) and certainly hasn’t looked out of place. On a weaker team, he’s probably a lock for a spot on the big club. With the Flyers, Couturier is going to be in tough. There are a few factors working against him; aside from the strength of the team, their contract situation doesn’t do him any favours either. The Flyers are tight to the cap, and, as Travis at Broad Street Hockey explains, they’re also at (or possibly above) the 50-contract limit imposed on NHL teams. The only way to keep Couturier off that count is to send him back to junior. The team is deep down the middle, so I’d say if he does crack the team, it’s as a winger in the bottom-six, but the odds are stacked against him. Expect him back in Drummondville, and expect him somewhere else at the trade deadline.

Nathan Beaulieu

Opinion probably not shared by many: Nathan Beaulieu is more NHL-ready than Jonathan Huberdeau. Beaulieu already has the size to handle NHL forwards, he skates remarkably well and, obviously, has skill. His strength will need some work but I think he’s more prepared to stick in the NHL than his Sea Dogs teammate. Having said that, he’s got some work to do in order to crack the Canadiens’ lineup. They currently have eight defensemen signed, but Andrei Markov is, shockingly, injured. That leaves a little bit of daylight for Beaulieu to step in and perhaps play at least nine games, filling an offensive role and forcing the Habs to make a decision on whether to send him back to Saint John, or burn a year of his entry-level deal. I’d expect it doesn’t materialize this season, but with only two defensemen signed through next year, Beaulieu could be a full-timer before long.

Jonathan Huberdeau

Big things are expected from the highest draft pick out of the Quebec league since Sidney Crosby, although not necessarily this year. There’s no doubt that Huberdeau is going to be a big-time player in the NHL, but he has some hurdles to clear if he wants to make the Panthers this season. They went on a signing spree this summer, bringing in four or five forwards who they’ll expect to play on scoring lines. That hurts Huberdeau’s chances right off the hop, as one would think he’ll need to play an offensive role to make the club. Huberdeau hasn’t been signed yet, but once he is he’ll be in a similar position to Gormley, where his contract would likely be more expensive in cap dollars than real dollars, thus helping Florida reach the floor. However, like Phoenix, the Panthers are already

above the floor. One can also look at last season’s kerfuffle with another 3rd overall pick, Erik Gudbranson, where Florida wouldn’t meet his contract demands, despite him essentially making the team, and sent him back to junior. Whatever the circumstances, I’d expect Huberdeau to end up back in Saint John. He dominated as a 17-year old, and there may not be much left for him in the Q, but another Memorial Cup run and a starring role with Canada’s World Junior entry should be reason enough to give him at least one more season in junior.

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I’m not expecting a Jeff Skinner-esque arrival from any of these four. I wouldn’t be shocked to see some, or all, of them end up playing the up-to-nine games permitted before a year of their entry-level contract is burned. It’s something of an extended tryout, but a player has to really impress and show they belong for the NHL club to choose to keep them around, since doing so will send that player to unrestricted free agency earlier. In the end, I figure all four of those guys will end up playing the bulk of their season in the Q, which is great news for fans around the league.

Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

More Help Is On The Way


The Detroit Red Wings have assigned Tomas Jurco back to the Saint John Sea Dogs.

The Wings announced last night that they had cut Jurco from their training camp roster, leaving 55 players remaining at their camp.

The Slovakian forward skated in Thursday’s pre-season game against the Philadelphia Flyers which the Red Wings won 4-3 in a shootout. Jurco was held pointless and also missed in his shootout attempt.

Jurco will give the Sea Dogs an offensive boost. He recorded 31 goals and 25 assists in 60 regular season games last year. He had 18 points in 19 playoff games and registered an impressive four goals and an assist in four matches at the Memorial Cup.


Along with Jurco, more offensive help is on the way.

Sea Dogs Sneak Past Foreurs

FINAL: Val-d’Or 4, Saint John 5 (SO)


SAINT JOHN – Stanislav Galiev made sure everyone at Harbour Station knew he was back.

The skilled Russian forward was a dominant force on the ice, scoring a goal and throwing six shots on net. Even with Galiev in beast mode, the Sea Dogs needed a shootout to defeat the Val-d’Or 5-4 in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action on Friday night.

Jason Cameron, McKenzie Brown and Stephen Anderson also scored for Saint John. The Sea Dogs were only able to dress 10 forwards and five defensemen for the contest.

Mathieu Corbeil, making his regular season debut with the Sea Dogs, made 31 saves on the night.

Benjamin Casavant had a big night for Val-d’Or, recording two goals and an assist. Artem Sergeev and Nicolas Larocque-Marcoux also netted markers in the loss.

Goaltender Francois Tremblay made 24 saves.

In the first, Pierre Durepos headed to the penalty box at 2:05 to give the Foreurs an early power play opportunity. On the man advantage, a Guillaume Gelinas shot was deflected in by Casavant to give the Foreurs a 1-0 lead.

At 11:03, Anderson came hard down the wing and snapped a backhand shot on goal, sneaking past the pad of Tremblay to tie it up at 1-1.

The Sea Dogs took the lead at 15:50 as Scott Oke stood behind the goal line and threaded a pass to Galiev in front. The Washington Capitals prospect fired the puck past Tremblay to give the Dogs a 2-1 edge.

The Foreurs would even it up again though at 17:43 as Casavant netted his second of the match in the crease area. The goal went under a review but it would stand.

Shots were 9-8 Saint John in the first.

In the second, the Sea Dogs would begin to take over.

At 6:06, Tremblay made the initial stop but let a big rebound go. Brown grabbed the puck and skated around the goaltender, sliding the puck into the cage to give the Sea Dogs a 3-2 lead. Brown had hit the outside of the post just a few moments before notching his first QMJHL goal.

Just over two minutes later at 8:43 on a man advantage, Jason Cameron snipped the disc past the Val-d’Or ‘tender from the rim of the faceoff circle. That would give Saint John a 4-2 lead after two periods.

Saint John had plenty of chances later on in the frame, including several dangerous opportunities from Galiev, but were unable to convert. Shots were 16-9 Saint John in the middle stanza.

The Foreurs got within one at 3:26 of the third on a man advantage. Sergeev let a slapper go from just inside the line that beat Corbeil up high to make it a 4-3 contest.

Corbeil made some great saves throughout the third and was kept quite busy. Shots were 15-2 in favour of Val-d’Or in the final frame of regulation.

The Foreurs stunned the Harbour Station faithful with 2.3 seconds remaining on the clock. With the Foreurs net empty and the extra attacker on, Michael Beaudry fed Marcoux in front who banged the puck in to tie the match up at 4-4.

After overtime solved nothing, the game headed to a shootout. In the breakaway contest, both goaltenders were solid. Aidan Kelly would score the only goal of the event in the fourth round to give Saint John a 5-4 victory.

The Sea Dogs went 1-for-2 on the power play while Val-d’Or went 2-for-3.

Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Friday, September 23, 2011

LIVE BLOG: Foreurs vs Sea Dogs

SAINT JOHN - The Sea Dogs look for their second win of the season tonight against the Val-d'Or Foreurs. Join us for live coverage.
 

GAMEDAY 5 - vs Foreurs

GAMEDAY
Val-d’Or Foreurs vs Saint John Sea Dogs
Tonight, September 23, 2011 at 7:30pm
Harbour Station

PREVIEW
SAINT JOHN – Some unfamiliar faces visit Harbour Station tonight as the Val-d’Or Foreurs make their one and only regular season stop in Saint John tonight to face the Sea Dogs at 7:30pm.

The Foreurs enter action this evening with a 3-3-0-0 record. They sit second in the Telus West Division and eighth overall in the league. They are currently on a big road swing through the Maritimes that includes stops in Bathurst, Moncton, Saint John, and Charlottetown.

Val-d’Or has done well on their trip so far with wins against Bathurst and Moncton. After tonight’s game they will travel to Prince Edward Island to face the Rocket tomorrow night.

Although most Sea Dogs fans probably aren’t too familiar with the Foreurs’ roster, they do feature some notable names in Benjamin Casavant, Cedrick and Samuel Henley, and Fredericton native Matt Murphy.

Saint John will be looking to continue the momentum they gained from their first win of the season last Sunday against PEI. Danick Gauthier had a hat trick in the game while Brock Morrison and Scott Oke also scored in Saint John’s 5-3 win.

The Sea Dogs’ lineup is still missing several of its star players due to National Hockey League training camps but they are slowly beginning to come back. This past week saw Mathieu Corbeil, Pierre Durepos, and Stanislav Galiev all assigned to Saint John.

With a strong game tonight against Val-d’Or and another against Bathurst tomorrow, the Sea Dogs could be a .500 hockey team by the end of the weekend.

Heading To The AHL

It didn’t take long for the Pittsburgh Penguins to send Simon Despres to the American Hockey League.

Despres, along with former Sea Dogs defenseman and captain Alex Grant, were among the 11 players assigned to the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre-Scranton Penguins today. 42 players – 13 of them defensemen – remain at Penguins training camp.

Comments from Pens fans is that that Despres didn’t have the greatest camp this year. Despite that, it is still a surprise to see him sent down so early. This is a defenseman that was among the final cuts at Pens camp a year ago.

Is it a step back?  Not necessarily- a lot of fan reports said Despres didn't look like an NHL defenseman in early camp, and that's natural.  He's a 20 year old playing arguably the toughest position in defense to make a transition from junior to pros.  
And that aside, the Pens defensive depth is absolutely stacked.  The top four players are set and Matt Niskanen, Deryk Engelland, Ben Lovejoy and Alex Picard are battling out to join the lineup and roster.  That doesn't include Boris Valabik and Robert Bortuzzo, currently injured and also Brian Strait.  All of the above have an incredible amount more of experience than the young and green Despres. 
So this isn't the worst thing in the world- Despres will get a full AHL camp in, learn the ropes there and work on his game. 
Despres had 13 goals and 28 assists in 47 games with Saint John last year. He also won a silver medal with Team Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships, was named the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s top defenseman, and don’t forget about the shorthanded goal he scored in the Memorial Cup final.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Several Sea Dogs In Action Tonight

It’s looking like it will be busy night for the Saint John Sea Dogs on the National Hockey League pre-season schedule.

Tonight’s schedule is highlighted by the Minnesota Wild taking on the St. Louis Blues at 9pm AST which will feature Zack Phillips going up against Ryan Tesink.

According to the Wild website, Phillips will centre the second line between wingers Brett Bulmer and Kris Foucault.

“The headliner in the Wild lineup tonight has to be Phillips, the Wild's first rounder with the pick gained in the Brent Burns-Devin Setoguchi trade,” writes the Wild’s website. “While Phillips is a long shot to stick around with the club past the preseason, he wowed Yeo during the Prospects Tournament in Traverse City with his skills. With the absence of a lot of veterans, Phillips will be counted on to provide an offensive spark tonight.”

Tesink is scheduled to play for the Blues this evening. Their lineup features the likes of Jonathan Cheechoo, Jamie Langenbrunner, TJ Oshie and Jaroslav Halak.

In other pre-season action, the Detroit Red Wings take on the Philadelphia Flyers tonight in London, Ont at 8pm AST. According to the Wings website, Jurco will play on the fourth line with Brent Raedeke and Francis Pare. The Flyers lineup is expected to feature Bathurst native and Drummondville Voltigeurs forward Sean Couturier.

The Vancouver Canucks take on the Edmonton Oilers tonight at 10pm AST in a game that can be seen on TSN. Yann Sauve is expected to be on the Canucks blue line.

The Pittsburgh Penguins host the Chicago Blackhawks tonight at 8pm AST. Simon Despres and Alex Grant were both cut from Pens camp toady and assigned to AHL Wilkes-Barre Scranton. It was a bit of a surprise to see Despres sent down so soon given that many scouting organizations list him as the team’s top prospect.

On the other side, Chris DiDomenico is expected to play for the Blackhawks tonight.

The other exhibition contest this evening sees the Colorado Avalanche take on the Dallas Stars.

Beaulieu Makes Habs Pre-Season Debut


Nathan Beaulieu played – and played a lot - for the Montreal Canadiens last night in a 3-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres in National Hockey League pre-season action.

Beaulieu led all Montreal skaters in ice time with 27 minutes and 15 seconds. He assisted on PK Subban’s power play goal in the second period. He finished the game a -2.

“Playing on the power play with P.K. (Subban) is something every kid in Montreal wants to do and I did it,” the 18-year-old Saint John Sea Dogs defenseman said to the Montreal Gazette.

“I knew I had to zip it across,” Beaulieu said of his assist. “He gave me a good outlet (and) it was a great play by him to get open.”

Beaulieu’s play seemed to impress fans and his teammates. He was named third star of the contest.

 "This kid is going to be a superstar one day," said Josh Gorges, as tweeted byMarc-Antoine Godin of La Presse.

“Anyone saw N. Beaulieu last night,” wrote Habs fan on Twitter. “That kid has got mad skills!! Very promising rookie.”

Beaulieu was one of six Canadiens making their Bell Centre debuts.

"I was so nervous I couldn't sleep the night before the game," he told CJAD.

Former Sea Dogs goaltender Robert Mayer also some action in net for Montreal. He allowed a goal on eight shots in the second half of the contest.

Beaulieu has been in Montreal taking part in Habs rookie and training camp. Given his impressive outing last night, he may not be in the Saint John lineup for a little while. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sea Dogs Beginning To Return

More help is on the way.

As National Hockey League teams begin to trim their training camp rosters, junior players are beginning to trickle back to their clubs.

Earlier today, the Washington Capitals assigned forward Stanislav Galiev back to Saint John. Goaltender Mathieu Corbeil and defenseman Pierre Durepos will be back soon as well.

The Columbus Blue Jackets cut Corbeil earlier today. He joins Chicoutimi’s Lucas Sedlak and Shawinigan’s Michael Chaput as Quebec Major Junior Hockey League players cut from Jackets camp today. Former Sea Dogs captain Mike Thomas was assigned to AHL Springfield. 

With the Sea Dogs last year, Corbeil had a 13-1-1 record to go along with a 2.17 goals against average and a 0.908 save percentage. With Jacob DeSerres now gone, Corbeil will take over as the No. 1 goaltender.

Corbeil played well last season when he joined Saint John mid-season but was also shaky at times. He’ll be looking to prove some doubters wrong this year.

“One way or another, Corbeil is going to be a story this season,” writes Rogers Sportsnet’s Patrick King in his QMJHL season preview. “No player has bigger shoes to fill than the new Sea Dogs' starter after the graduation of De Serres. If he can play well and steady the ship, he can deliver another championship in Saint John. If he rocks the boat, the Sea Dogs may look for another goalie.”

Sebastien Auger and Charlie Millen have split the goaltending duties in Saint John so far this season.

Along with the goaltending, the defense will also be getting an upgrade. According to the official Twitter of Pierre Durepos, Pierre Durepos will be back soon.

Durepos has been in Los Angeles attending Kings rookie and the Drew Doughty contract negotiation party training camp.

“Going to watch the game against Phoenix tonight at Staples Center,” he tweeted. “Back to Saint John tomorrow night!”

The Shediac native had three goals and 27 assists in 68 games last season. These four contests he has missed due to Kings camp are the first games he has not played in since joining the Sea Dogs.

Zack Phillips (Minnesota), Stephen MacAulay (St. Louis), Ryan Tesink (St. Louis), Nathan Beaulieu (Montreal), Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida) and Tomas Jurco (Detroit) are still away at NHL camps. 


Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Galiev Coming Back To Saint John


The Saint John Sea Dogs are getting some firepower back in their lineup.

Several media outlets in Washington are reporting that the Capitals have cut 13 players from their National Hockey League training camp roster. Among them are Sea Dogs Russian forward Stanislav Galiev.

“Thank you DC for everything,” tweeted Galiev today. “See you next summer. Back to Saint John tonight.

Galiev has had an eventful off-season with the Capitals. He took part in the team’s summer development camp as well rookie and training camp. He played for the Caps last night when they lost 2-0 to the Nashville Predators in pre-season action.

“But the Caps have wanted the 6-1, 188-pounder to gain strength in his lower body,” writes the Washington Examiner after last night’s pre-season loss. “He needs to be able to hold off opposing defenders and keep control of the puck and that was a weakness in his two development camps with Washington. Galiev is improving in that area.”

Galiev was selected by Washington in the third round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He signed an entry level deal with the team this summer.

The 19-year old recorded 37 goals and 28 assists in 64 regular season games last year in Saint John. He had another 10 goals and 17 helpers 19 playoff games.

With Galiev back, Saint John’s offense improves quite a bit.

Beauregard Traded To Chicoutimi

SAINT JOHN – Alexandre Beauregard has been traded to the Chicoutimi Sagueneens.

The Sagueneens announced on their website late this morning that the 20-year old Saint John Sea Dogs forward had been shipped to the team along with a second round pick in this year’s draft. In exchange, the Sea Dogs receive a first and third round pick.

At the time of this post, the Sea Dogs had not made any kind of announcement. 

Beauregard has played in just two games this season because he attended Phoenix Coyotes rookie camp. In those two games, he recorded a goal and 13 penalty minutes.

The St. Jerome, Quebec native was acquired by Saint John from Rouyn-Noranda during last year’s holiday trading period for a first round pick. He scored seven goals and had six assists in 28 regular season contests with the Sea Dogs. He added some much needed sandpaper to a skilled lineup as they marched through to the playoffs.

In the post-season, Beauregard had one-goal and two assists. His one-goal came in double-overtime of Game Six of the President’s Cup Final, a goal that won the Sea Dogs their first President’s Cup and a trip to the MasterCard Memorial Cup.

He will always be remembered in Sea Dogs history.

Beauregard will join former Sea Dogs defensemen Gabriel Bourret and Guillaume Cloutier in Chicoutimi. His brother, Michael, also plays for the Sags.

“Good news this morning,” tweeted Michael. “Wow.”

The Sags will be the visitors on October 29 when the Sea Dogs raise their championship banners to the rafters of Harbour Station.

With Beauregard out, things get interesting. Will the Sea Dogs trade for a third 20-year old? Will they bring in a free agent like they did with Jacob DeSerres last year? Or will Steven Anthony or Eric Gelinas return for another year of junior?

Stay tuned.