Wednesday, November 30, 2011
1. London Knights (20-5-0-1)
2. Saint John Sea Dogs (24-7-0-1)
3. Tri-City Americans (19-6-0-0)
4. Quebec Remparts (21-5-2-1)
5. Saskatoon Blades (18-8-0-1)
6. Shawinigan Cataractes (19-8-1-2)
7. Kootenay Ice (18-5-1-2)
8. Plymouth Whalers (17-8-2-1)
9. Victoriaville Tigres (19-9-0-1)
10. Sarnia Sting (15-6-1-4)
Portland Winterhawks (17-9-1-1)
Kitchener Rangers (17-7-1-0)
Vancouver Giants (17-9-1-1)
On Monday, Hockey Canada announced its 41-man selection camp roster for the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championship. Eight players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League were among the chosen, including three Saint John Sea Dogs. The QMJHL has long been the least-represented of the three leagues under the CHL umbrella; most times justified, sometimes not so much.
This year may be even more barren of talent from the Q than previous years, as none of the coaching staff hail from the league. The staff tend to lean toward players they’re familiar with when picking the team, which gives a big leg up to those whom the coaches see on a regular basis for two or three years. The last time that Team Canada was without a QMJHL presence on their coaching staff was on the stacked team of 2005; perhaps the best entry in WJC history. That team featured only two players from the Q circuit, one of them being Sidney Crosby.
So how might the Q’s representation shake out for this year’s tournament?
Jonathan Huberdeau, LW, Saint John Sea Dogs
There are some questions about his health, but Huberdeau has long been expected to be one of the offensive leaders for this team. The 3rd overall selection in June’s draft is one of the most skilled juniors in the world, and will be leaned on as such in this tournament. He’s recovering from a broken foot, but Hockey Canada seems to think he’ll be good to go. They’ll need him.
Brandon Gormley, D, Moncton Wildcats
There are only three returning players for this year’s edition of Team Canada, but Gormley would certainly have patrolled the blueline last year if he weren’t sidelined by an injury shortly before the tournament. With no returnees on defense, Gormley will be counted on to provide some stability on the back end.
On The Fence
Nathan Beaulieu, D, Saint John Sea Dogs
Although he was drafted in the first round only this June, Beaulieu will be 19 when the puck drops on Boxing Day due to an early birthday. As a result, he’s in his fourth junior season and is off to a strong start with the Sea Dogs. He’ll certainly be among the top 8 or 9 defensemen in camp, and he’d be on my final team, but this could be a case where a defenseman who the coaching staff is more familiar with grabs his spot.
Zack Phillips, C, Saint John Sea Dogs
Phillips has been one of the hottest scorers in the CHL this season, currently riding a 20-game point streak. After improving on some weaknesses in the summer (see: skating), he’s looking like he can be an impact player on the international stage despite not getting an invite to the summer development camp. The incredible chemistry that he and Huberdeau share cannot be understated in a short tournament like this, either.
Louis Domingue, G, Quebec Remparts
Domingue is one of four goalies fighting for a spot on this team, so simply having a strong camp should be enough to nab one of those spots. He’s off to a hot start playing behind a young Quebec team, but has struggled mightily with consistency issues in the past. Last year’s tournament may scare the decision-makers off from the hot shot from Quebec.
Michael Bournival, C, Shawinigan Cataractes
While one might expect the final cut from last year’s entry to have a good shot at making it a second time around, there are a few factors working against Bournival. He’s been good when in the lineup for Shawinigan, but has missed over half the season to this point with injury. Not to mention that role players generally come from the WHL or OHL for this tournament rather than the Q, and it doesn’t help that the coaches aren’t familiar with his work. Bournival will be in tough here.
Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, D, Rimouski Oceanic
It seems odd to look to anyone but the top scoring defenseman in the entire CHL for an offensive presence from the blueline, but it’s very possible that Gauthier-Leduc is overlooked here. I suspect he’s a late cut, but in the end, the coaching staff opts to go with Dougie Hamilton and/or Joe Morrow, along with Ryan Murphy, to provide the defensive offense.
Phillip Danault, C, Victoriaville Tigres
Danault is undoubtedly one of the best character players invited to selection camp. This is a guy who will work hard doing whatever he’s asked, and also has the ability to play the hero. However, I suspect he, like Bournival, will be overlooked for a more hard-nosed role player from one of the other leagues.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
"At the end of the day, I'm a realist," he said. "It's really hard to win the Memorial Cup the first time. I think it's even harder to win it the second time. We understand how big the challenge is of trying to win it two years in a row.
"We would pull the trigger (on one or two significant trades) if the opportunity is there. We know that if we have another shot at the championship this season we have to go for it. The fans are going to expect us to do that."
Monday, November 28, 2011
The Sea Dogs travel to Moncton for the first time this season tomorrow. Game time is 7pm at the Moncton Coliseum.
It’s only happened five times before. Wayne Gretzky, Eric Lindros, Jason Spezza, Jay Bouwmeester, Sidney Crosby. Those are the only five players to represent Team Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships at age 16. Could Nathan MacKinnon be the latest addition to that list?
Later today, Hockey Canada will announce the 40-man selection camp roster for the upcoming World Juniors, from which the final team will be selected. Saying that a 16-year old needs to be a real standout to make the team is an understatement, but anyone who has seen MacKinnon play won’t question his ability to turn heads.
With the eyes of Hockey Canada focused on the Subway Super Series earlier in the month, MacKinnon rose to the occasion and was Team QMJHL’s best skater against the Russians in the first game of the series. However, that wasn’t enough to convince Hockey Canada Head Scout Kevin Prendergast that he was ready to play at the WJC.
I suspect MacKinnon will earn an invite to the selection camp at least, since it’s in Hockey Canada’s best interest to give him that experience for next year, but the odds are stacked against him to actually make the cut. He would need to step in to a scoring role to get regular ice time, and those will be hard to come by. Players like Jaden Schwartz, Ryan Strome, Mark Scheifele and Tyler Toffoli are likely locked in to some of those positions already.
However, MacKinnon does have a few things working in his favour. An injury to Jonathan Huberdeau, expected to play a starring role for Team Canada, could keep him off the final roster if he’s not firing on all cylinders by the end of selection camp. That would free up a top-6 role, not to mention players in the NHL who are unlikely to be released by their teams, such as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Brett Connolly and Sean Couturier.
MacKinnon has all the tools to be a contributor at this level. He has breathtaking speed, including a two-step quickness that not many players have in their arsenal. Terrific hands, a good shot and elite playmaking talent, combined with an ability to dominate physically against players three or four years older than him makes him an offensive threat anywhere on the ice. None of the players named to today’s selection camp roster have quite the array of tools that MacKinnon does, but many of them have pedigree. In a short tournament like this, the players with experience tend to be the ones that make the cut, which doesn’t bode well for MacKinnon despite his talents.
There’s a possibility that he’s taken as the 13th forward, at least to start, as other young, offensively talented players have been in the past. That way he can be sheltered and used only in offensive situations, and if he proves he can handle the level of play, he becomes a player that is leaned on regularly.
If I’m Hockey Canada, I take the kid. He’s a game-breaker at the best of times, and if he shows that he can’t hack it with that level of competition just yet, then you’ve got one hell of a powerplay specialist. It takes a special kind of talent to make Team Canada at age 16, but there aren’t many more deserving of that designation than Nathan MacKinnon.
Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Tomorrow afternoon, Hockey Canada will announce the 40 players invited to their selection camp for the upcoming 2012 World Junior Hockey Championship. TSN is already airing commercials for the tournament.
A collection of recaps from last night’s 4-1 Saint John Sea Dogs win over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles…
Saturday, November 26, 2011
SAINT JOHN – After a rough outing last week in Bathurst, Sebastien Auger made up for it with a strong outing on Saturday night against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
The Sea Dogs fell 6-5 in a shootout on Sunday afternoon in Bathurst before dropping a 4-1 decision to the Quebec Remparts on Tuesday night at Pepsi Colisee. Before the two loses, the Dogs had won seven straight.
Saint John is still battling through the injury bug but this weekend’s games could give the depleted Dogs a boost. The Eagles aren’t exactly a powerhouse this season and enter play tomorrow night with the 14th best record in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League at 11-15-0-1.
The Sea Dogs were without forwards Jonathan Huberdeau (foot), Stanislav Galiev (wrist), Tomas Jurco (hip flexor) and Aidan Kelly (upper-body) for Tuesday’s games in Quebec City.
"You hope the injuries stop, but we're looking at probably a month before some of our guys come back,'' Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant told the Telegraph-Journal today. "We have 10 games before the Christmas break, so hopefully we'll continue to play hard and battle hard. We've been on the road a lot and it will be nice to get back in our building.''
Neate Sager of Yahoo! Sports tweeted some injury updates yesterday.
Checked with source down east: Huberdeau hoping to be back for Canada's selection camp; Jurco just sat Tues. as precaution.
In re: Tomas Jurco, you know what it's like when a guy has a lower-body strain, could be a couple days, could be much longer.Even with Saint John missing a chunk of their offense, it has not slowed down Zack Phillips. The Minnesota Wild prospect enters action tomorrow on a 17-game point streak with 11 goals and 22 assists over that span.
Friday's game is also the first of seven straight that will be played in New Brunswick. Six of those games will take place at Harbour Station.
Sherbrooke’s new Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team will be called the “Phoenix.” The new franchise that will begin play next season announced their team name and unveiled their logo and jersey today.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Team Atlantic plays an exhibition game on December 28 against Team USA. They open the tournament on the 29th against Team Quebec.
1. London Knights (18-4-0-1)
2. Quebec Remparts (20-4-2-1)
3. Saint John Sea Dogs (21-7-0-1)
4. Saskatoon Blades (18-6-0-1)
5. Tri-City Americans (16-6-0-0)
6. Plymouth Whalers (16-6-2-1)
7. Sarnia Sting (15-4-1-3)
8. Shawinigan Cataractes (17-8-1-2)
9. Victoriaville Tigres (18-9-0-1)
10. Kootenay Ice (16-5-1-2)
Ottawa 67's (14-6-3-1)
Brandon Wheat Kings (16-8-1-1)
Kitchener Rangers (15-7-1-0)
Zack Phillips is on quite a roll.
The Saint John Sea Dogs forward has recorded at least a point in 17 straight games. It looked as though his streak would come to an end last night but, with 4:40 remaining in the third period, Phillips snipped one past Quebec Remparts goaltender Louis Domingue.
Here is the video courtesy of @Fel0096.
The goal ended Domingue’s shutout bid but the Remparts would go on to defeat the Sea Dogs 4-1.
Phillips’ 17-game point streak is the longest in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season and is a Sea Dogs team record. Since October 14, the Minnesota Wild prospect has recorded 11 goals and 22 assists for 33 points. The streak also included an impressive 13-game assist streak that ended on November 13.
33 of Phillips’ 43 points this season have come during the streak. He is already one-point away from tying rookie total.
The Fredericton native's hot play this season has no doubt boosted his chances of getting an invite to Team Canada’ World Junior camp.
Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
The newspaper reports that Galiev had surgery on his broken wrist in Washington recently. The Russian winger tweeted last weekend that he was heading to DC but has since deleted it.
Galiev has not played with the Sea Dogs since October 1 because of the injury that he originally suffered at Washington Capitals training camp. In five games with Saint John, he recorded three goals and three assists.
It’s bad news for Galiev as this means he won’t have an opportunity to play for Russia at the World Junior Hockey Championships this winter.
The Caps prospect is one of several forwards missing from the Sea Dogs lineup these days. Captain Jonathan Huberdeau has still recovering from a broken foot, Aidan Kelly missed Sunday’s game with an upper-body injury, and Tomas Jurco left Sunday’s game with what Journal de Quebec reports as an hip flexor injury.
Forwards McKenzie Brown and Steven Anderson have both been recalled to help fill the void. The Sea Dogs are in Quebec City to face the Remparts on Tuesday at 8pm.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Our recap. The Sea Dogs won their seventh straight game on Friday night at the Charlottetown Civic Centre, defeating the PEI Rocket 2-1.
The Guardian’s recap. “We played so good against the best team in Canada” – Maxime Lagace.
PEIRocket.com’s recap. "We did all the simple things that we didn't do last weekend and I think it helped us out" – Lagace.
SaintJohnSeaDogs.com’s recap. Tomas Jurco and Danick Gauthier scored for the Sea Dogs, who improved to 21-6.
SN Live Blog replay. The Rocket wore their third jerseys. Meh.
MISSING IN ACTION: Defenseman Pierre Durepos, who missed part of Wednesday’s game because of the flu, was still sick and missed this one. It marked the first time in Durepos’ Sea Dogs career that he missed a game because of an injury/illness.
Forwards Jonathan Huberdeau and Stanislav Galiev remained out with broken bones. Devon Oliver-Dares and Tyrone Sock are currently not with the team.
TESINK: Ryan Tesink returned to Saint John’s lineup on Friday night. He was a -1 and recorded three shots, two penalty minutes and four hits. He started the game on a line with Zack Phillips and Stephen MacAulay.
The St. Louis Blues prospect hadn’t played since November 4 due to an ‘upper-body’ injury.
Please help us help Prokids by donating your gently used Hockey Equipment and you will receive a ballot for a chance to win our Family Night out Basket for four.
Join us on Saturday, November 19th from 12-3pm for some games and prizes and snacks. We will do our draw on that day.
Lets work together as a community to help kids play hockey.
Thank you for your support and donations.
You can visit the P.R.O. Kids Saint John website here.