The semifinals have finally arrived. Tonight at 7:30pm at Harbour Station, the Sea Dogs host the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in Game 1 of their semifinal playoff series. Game 2 is Sunday at 3pm at the same venue.
The Sags are coming off an upset series win over the Memorial Cup host Shawinigan Cataractes in the quarterfinals. The Dogs have cruised through the playoffs so far and are 8-0 entering action tonight.
The Sagueneens website has a preview of the series as they look to upset the No. 1 ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League.
In the other semifinal which begins tonight, Halifax hosts the Rimouski Oceanic. Buzzing The Net has a preview of both QMJHL semifinal matchups.
Tonight in Woodstock, the Slammers host the Yarmouth Mariners in Game 7 of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League final. The winner takes home the Kent Cup and earns a berth in the Fred Page Cup.
Woodstock features Mackenzie Brown and Andrew Langan while Yarmouth has Colin Campbell and Kraig Pasher.
PAINT THE TOWN BLUE
The Sea Dogs and Advocate Printing announced yesterday the launch of the “Paint the Town Blue” contest.
“Fans are challenged to go above and beyond by adding to the display and uploading a photo of their home or business to the team’s official Facebook page (www.facebook.com/sjseadogs),” states the team’s website. “Displays must include the poster, but fans can take it from there, with their own creativity being the only limit. Prizes will be awarded in two categories: one for businesses, one for homes. The photos receiving the three highest totals of ‘Likes’ in each category (home/business) will win prizes at the conclusion of Saint John’s playoff run.”
First prize is a 2012-13 Sea Dogs full season flex package, second prize is 10-voucher flex package, and third prize is a $50 Gift Certificate for merchandise from the Sea Dog Styles store.
Advocate is providing 2,000 Sea Dogs posters to help fans get their displays started. These free posters will be available while supplies last at Sea Dogs Central during all remaining Sea Dogs playoff games, and at the Sea Dogs office during business hours.
If you haven’t heard, things aren’t pretty in Shawinigan right now. The Memorial Cup hosts that loaded up at the deadline were suddenly eliminated in the second round by the Sagueneens which has created plenty of questions in Shawinigan.
Buzzing The Net has a great article on it all. These are not fun times for head coach Eric Veilleux.
It’s going to be interesting to see how this team plays after a month of no game action.
Over at Grantland, Kent Russell has a writeup on Florida Panthers prospects. His take on Jonathan Huberdeau:
This is an unfamiliar and quite frankly frightening prospect, I must say, as a Florida fan. Jonathan Huberdeau doesn't have the skill set of your typical Panther pick. He isn't some soft-palmed yellowbelly who, who knows, might yet grow into his potential. He projects to be an absolute force at the NHL level.
How ‘bout them Panthers?
Hockey’s Future has named Nathan Beaulieu the Montreal Canadiens’ best offensive prospect.
“Beaulieu has been the stick that stirs the drink from the backend of the Saint John Sea Dogs' powerful offensive attack and the leader on their number one, power play unit,” writes David Thicke. “Even though the smooth skating defenseman plays on an absolute powerhouse team, it is the offensively talented defenseman who starts it all off by moving the puck up the ice so quickly while creating plays and distributing puck to the right open man. He finished the regular season scoring 11 goals along with 41 assists and a plus-41 rating while taking 100 penalty minutes in 53 games.”
Beaulieu was also considered for the best defensive prospect, prospect of the year, fastest skater, and hardest shot.
Former Sea Dogs goaltender Robert Mayer was considered for the underachiever award.
Mathieu Corbeil’s contract with the Blue Jackets was a topic of discussion in the Columbus Dispatch.
“The Blue Jackets’ apparent quandary over whether to sign Saint John goaltender Mathieu Corbeil, a fourth-round pick in the 2010 draft, by June 1 or allow him to go back into the draft pool is a bit of a head-scratcher given the franchise’s history of making bad personnel decisions,” writes Dispatch columnist Bob Hunter.
“Even if the Jackets suspect that he might not be that good, can they really afford to take a chance on having him sign with another team?”
If anything, this gives Corbeil another reason to play his best over the next few weeks.
Here’s friend-of-the-blog CJ with a vid on Tomas Jurco.
Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation