Round 4, Game 1
Rimouski Oceanic vs Saint John Sea Dogs
Tonight at 8:00pm
Radio: News 88.9 | Webcast: Telus | TV: Sportsnet, TVA Sports | Live Blog: SN
This is the first game of the best-of-seven President’s Cup final series.
SAINT JOHN – Here we go again.
For a third straight year, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Championship Series kicks off at Harbour Station with the Saint John Sea Dogs playing as hosts. This year, they’ll battle the Rimouski Oceanic for the President’s Cup and a berth in the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup tournament. Game 1 of the best-of-seven series is tonight at 8pm.
For the Sea Dogs, it was a relatively smooth ride to get here. They swept Cape Breton in the first round and then swept the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in the quarterfinals. They then faced the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in the third round and won that series in five. The Sags gave the Sea Dogs a good run though with the three final games going to overtime.
For Rimouski, it was a bit more of a challenge to get here. After sweeping Val-d’Or in the first round, they needed seven games to beat the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in seven games in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, they needed six games to dispatch the Halifax Mooseheads.
The Oceanic will certainly have their hands full with a powerful and experienced Saint John squad. Even with captain Jonathan Huberdeau suspended for the first two games of this thing, the Sea Dogs are still the heavy favourites to win the QMJHL title for a second straight year.
It’s not a surprise to see the Sea Dogs here. They finished first overall in the regular season with a record of 50-15-0-3. They were built to win this season. As for the Oceanic, it’s a bit of a surprise to see them in this year’s final. They finished seventh overall in the regular season standings with a record of 40-26-2-0 and then had to pull off two minor upsets in the playoffs.
"Nobody expected Rimouski to be in the final, but from the trade period on, they were a real good team and they're stacked up pretty good on the blue line and their players are overachieving,” Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant told Sportsnet.ca.
One of the reasons the Oceanic made it to this year’s final is thanks to their road record in the playoffs. They are 7-2 away from home and have outscored opponents 31-24. Meanwhile, the Sea Dogs are a perfect 7-0 at home this post-season.
|Goals For/Game||6.19 (1st)||4.00 (5th)|
|Goals Against/Game||2.31 (1st)||2.91 (4th)|
|Shots For/Game||37.19 (2nd)||32.31 (3rd)|
|Shots Against/Game||26.67 (3rd)||27.12 (5th)|
|Overall PP||29.7% (1st)||19.4% (11th)|
|Home PP||39.5% (1st)||28.2% (6th)|
|Road PP||15.4% (11th)||7.1% (15th)|
|Overall PK||89.7% (1st)||78.7% (8th)|
|Home PK||84.4% (7th)||78.7% (9th)|
|Road PK||96.2% (1st)||78.6% (5th)|
|PIM/GAME||16.5 (9th)||17.2 (6th)|
|Attendance||5,281 (3rd)||4,211 (4th)|
LEADING SCORERS – PLAYOFFS
GOALTENDERS - PLAYOFFS
|Sebastien Auger||0-0-0-0||- - -||- - -|
GAME ONE – Friday, May 4: 8 p.m. @ Harbour Station
GAME TWO – Saturday, May 5: 7 p.m. @ Harbour Station
GAME THREE – Wednesday, May 9: 8:30 p.m. @ Colisee de Rimouski
GAME FOUR – Thursday, May 10: 8:30 p.m. @ Colisee de Rimouski
*GAME FIVE – Saturday, May 12: 5 p.m. @ Colisee de Rimouski
*GAME SIX – Monday, May 14: 7 p.m. @ Harbour Station
*GAME SEVEN – Wednesday, May 16: 7 p.m. @ Harbour Station
October 8, 2011 – Rimouski 2, Saint John 8
November 2, 2011 –Saint John 3, Rimouski 4
Tonight’s game can be seen coast-to-coast on Sportsnet and TVA Sports. RJ Broadhead and Sam Cosentino have the call on Sportsnet.
This will be the third time this season and the second time this post-season that the Sea Dogs have been on Sportsnet. While they may have more experience playing on TV, the Oceanic didn’t have much trouble on Sportsnet last Friday when they defeated the Halifax Mooseheads 9-0 on home ice.
The Sea Dogs have been very good on home ice this post-season. They are a perfect 7-0 at Harbour Station and have outscored opponents 53-16.
- Charlie Coyle leads the league in playoff scoring with 29 points in 13 games. Zack Phillips is third with 27.
- Coyle also leads the league in goals with 14.
- Phillips has a league best 20 assists this post-season.
- Coyle and Jerome Gauthier-Leduc both have four power play goals.
- Jean-Philippe Mathieu is sixth in power play assists with six.
- Coyle and Peter Trainor both have four game winning goals.
- Coyle has a league high four first goals.
- Jonathan Huberdeau has five insurance goals to lead the league.
- Pier-Luc Pelletier is second in penalty minutes with 34.
- Coyle is a league best +23.
- Trainor is fourth in playoff rookie scoring with 11 goals and five assists for 16 points.
- How many “Free Huberdeau” shirts will we see tonight?
- The Sea Dogs won Game 1 of last year's final against Gatineau by score of 2-1. Simon Despres had the game winner in the third period.
Elsewhere in the CHL, Portland is in Edmonton for Game 2 of their series. The Oil Kings lead the WHL Championships Series 1-0.
Game 2 of this series is tomorrow night at 7pm at Harbour Station.