Monday, April 30, 2012

Sea Dogs Notebook


TICKETS
Tickets to Games 1 and 2 of the President’s Cup final go on sale tomorrow morning at 10am at the Harbour Station box office. Game 1 is on Friday at 8pm and Game 2 is Saturday night at 7pm.

SLAMMERS WIN
The Woodstock Slammers are Fred Page Cup Champions and will now play in the RBC Cup.

The Slammers, Maritime Junior A Hockey League champions, defeated the Nepean Raiders 3-2 at the Kanata Recreation Centre in Kanata, Ontario to earn a berth in the national championship. They’ll join the Soo Thunderbirds, Portage Terriers, Penticton Vees, and the host Humboldt Broncos at the RBC Cup.

The Slammers feature Sea Dogs prospect Mackenzie Brown, training camp attendee Philip Fife, and former Sea Dog Andrew Langan.

Woodstock’s first game is this Saturday against the Broncos.

DYNASTIES
Good stuff from Patrick King over at Sportsnet.ca last week. He has a column discussing two possible dynasties possibly colliding at the Memorial Cup. Possibly.

“It's still a hard trophy to win once, let alone twice,” writes King. “The Sea Dogs and Oil Kings, however, are seemingly on a collision course which could determine not just one dynasty, but two.”

"Our perspective doesn't deal with dynasties -- it doesn't deal with repeating right now," said Mike Kelly. "Our perspective is dealing with today."

President's Cup Final Schedule Released

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League announced the full schedule for the 2012 President’s Cup Final this afternoon.

After months of worrying, there are no serious schedule issues despite Cirque du Soleil and Johnny Reid invading Harbour Station during the series. It will be a 2-3-2 format with the first two and last two (if needed) games being played in Saint John.

The series begins this Friday with the Sea Dogs hosting the Rimouski Oceanic at 8pm in a game that will be broadcast nationally on Sportsnet. Game 2 will be on Saturday night at the Station before the series shifts to Rimouski for the next three. There is a three day break between Games 2 and 3.

Saint John advanced to the league final for a third consecutive year after beating the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in five games. The Oceanic needed six games to eliminate the Halifax Mooseheads in the semis. It will be Rimouski's first finals appearance since 2005.

A full schedule for the Sea Dogs – Oceanic series can be found below (all times Atlantic):

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
*If necessary

Tickets to Games 1 and 2 at Harbour Station go on sale tomorrow morning at 10am. 

The winner of this series will move on to represent the QMJHL at the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup in Shawinigan. The President’s Cup winner will play their first game of the tournament on Saturday, May 19 against the Ontario Hockey League champs.

The OHL final features London going up against Niagara while the WHL final will have Portland taking on Edmonton. Both of those series begin on Thursday. 

Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right


By Andrew McGilligan
SN Staff

So the finals are set. The Saint John Sea Dogs will take on the Rimouski Oceanic.

It’s hard to imagine the Oceanic were on anyone’s radar at the start of the season as a potential contender for the President’s Cup. However, great play from Alex Maillet, Alex Belzile, Petr Straka and Jerome Gauthier-Leduc has the team staring down the Sea Dogs.

However, the league didn’t end up with this final without giving itself a black eye.

The Halifax Mooseheads were ousted from the playoffs on Sunday after losing a hard fought game to Rimouski.

The Mooseheads did so without their captain Cameron Critchlow. He was suspended by the league for one game because of a play on Friday night.

Trying to spark his club in Rimouski , Critchlow got into a fight and was kicked out when the referee determined Critchlow removed the opponents helmet during the scrap.

A tough call for a referee to make, but if you watched the game, it certainly appeared like that’s what happened in real time. A replay later showed this was an incorrect call.

I’m not blaming the referee in this situation. That’s what he thought he saw and made the call. Tough one to make, but sometimes they get things wrong.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sea Dogs Returning To Sportsnet

For an unprecedented the third time this season, the Sea Dogs will air on Sportsnet. This tweet from Sportsnet’s Patrick King.


Probably safe to say Friday’s game will start at 8pm because of the broadcast.

The Sea Dogs have had two home games already broadcast nationally this year. They defeated the Quebec Remparts 4-1 on February 17 and then pounded the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 13-4 on March 23.

Tickets to Friday’s Game 1 of the President’s Cup final go on sale Tuesday morning. 

Sea Dogs Will Play Oceanic In Final

The Saint John Sea Dogs will play the Rimouski Oceanic in the 2012 President’s Cup final.

The Oceanic advanced to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League final with a 3-2 overtime win over the Halifax Mooseheads in Game 6 of their semifinal series today at the Metro Centre. Robbie DeFulviis scored the winner at 8:02 of OT.

The Mooseheads led 2-1 late in the third despite being outshot by a large margin. Former Sea Dog Scott Oke tied it at 15:47 to send the match into extra time. Fredericton native Peter Trainor had the other Rimouski goal. The Oceanic outshot the Moose 45-21.

Alexandre Grenier and Konrad Abeltshauser had the Halifax goals. Zach Fucale allowed three goals on 45 shots in the loss. The Moose were without captain Cameron Critchlow because of a controversial suspension.

The Oceanic were the seventh seed entering the playoffs, finishing the regular season with a record of 40-26-2-0 for 82 points. They swept Val-d’Or in the first round and then defeated Blainville-Boisbriand in seven games in the second round before eliminating the Moose in six today.

The Sea Dogs and Oceanic split their season series 1-1.

The President’s Cup final will begin on Friday night at 7:30pm at Harbour Station. The remainder of the schedule, which is expected to be of the 2-3-2 variety, should be released shortly. 

Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

POSTSCRIPT: Sagueneens 3, Sea Dogs 4

A collection of recaps from last night’s 4-3 Saint John Sea Dogs overtime win over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens…

Our recap. Stanislav Galiev scored at 11:19 of overtime to give the Saint John Sea Dogs a 4-3 win over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in Game 5 of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s semifinals.

News 88.9’s recap. Featuring Tim Roszell’s goal calls.

SaintJohnSeaDogs.com’s recap. Mathieu Corbeil made 38 saves, several of them in spectacular fashion, to earn the win in the Saint John net.

The Canadian Press’ recap. For the third straight time in as many seasons, the Saint John Sea Dogs will have a chance to hoist the President's Cup.

Le Quotidien’s recap. The Sags feel Jonathan Huberdeau should have got five and a game for his hit on Charles Hudon.

UniversHockey.ca’s recap. Chicoutimi outshot Saint John 10-5 in overtime.

SN Live Blog replay. A night to remember at Harbour Station.

SERIES: This series is now over. Saint John wins it 4-1 and will advance to the President’s Cup final for a third straight year.

MISSING IN ACTION: The Sea Dogs were without forwards Oliver Cooper (healthy), Grant West (healthy), and Dylan MacGuigan (healthy) along with defenseman Spencer MacDonald (bicep). According to News 88.9, Jordan Moore has also rejoined the team but did not play on Saturday.

Chicoutimi was without former Sea Dog Alexandre Beauregard once again who has been battling multiple injuries. His QMJHL career is now over.

VIDEO: Huberdeau's Hit On Hudon

SAINT JOHN – It looks like the Saint John Sea Dogs will have to deal with some controversy this week as they prepare for the President’s Cup final.

Sea Dogs captain Jonathan Huberdeau nailed Chicoutimi Sagueneens forward Charles Hudon from behind just 18 seconds after the opening faceoff. Huberdeau wasn’t even given a penalty while Hudon had to be helped off the ice and to the dressing room. He did not return.

Here’s video from Chris Phillips of HockeyFights.com.


For some reason the Sags posted this video on their Facebook page. The comments are what you’d expect.

Neate Sager of Buzzing The Net has his take on the situation here.

Like we’ve said before, this league is so inconsistent with suspensions it’s hard to say if Huberdeau gets any games for this hit. We’ll see.

Today's Front Page


Here's what the front page looks like today in Chicoutimi. Sad times up there.

RECAP: Moving On Up. Dogs Win 4-3.


FINAL: Chicoutimi 3, Saint John 4 (OT)

SAINT JOHN – What a night at Harbour Station.

Stanislav Galiev scored at 11:19 of overtime to give the Saint John Sea Dogs a 4-3 win over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in Game 5 of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s semifinals. The victory gave the Sea Dogs a 4-1 series win and a berth in the President’s Cup final for a third consecutive year.

It was Galiev’s second goal of the game who celebrated by diving onto the ice in the neutral zone. It was quite a scene at Harbour Station which was sold out for the first time this post-season. 

Charlie Coyle and Zack Phillips also scored for Saint John. Goaltender Mathieu Corbeil was excellent again, making 38 saves for the victory.

Steve Lebel, Yoan Pinette, and Dominic Poulin all scored for the Sagueneens in the loss. Christopher Gibson allowed four goals on 39 shots.

Chicoutimi certainly gave the Sea Dogs a good run in this series. The three final games all needed overtime with Saint John winning games 4 and 5 and Chicoutimi winning Game 3. If you weren’t entertained by this series, what's wrong with you?

Like most of the games in this thing, it wasn’t a perfect performance by the Sea Dogs. Some things just weren’t clicking. But, the series has been won and the road to Shawinigan keeps getting shorter. 

The Sea Dogs will play either Halifax or Rimouski in the President’s Cup which begins this Friday at Harbour Station.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

LIVE BLOG: Sagueneens vs Sea Dogs

SAINT JOHN – The Sea Dogs can advance to the President’s Cup Final with a victory tonight. Follow along for updates.

PLAYOFF GAMEDAY 13: Round 3, Game 5 - vs Sagueneens

GAMEDAY
Round 3, Game 5
Chicoutimi Sagueneens vs Saint John Sea Dogs
Tonight at 7:00pm
Radio: News 88.9 | Webcast: Telus | TV: None | Live Blog: SN
Harbour Station – Saint John, NB


SERIES STATUS
Saint John leads the best-of-seven semifinal playoff series 3-1.

PREVIEW
SAINT JOHN – Something rare could happen tonight at Harbour Station.

The Saint John Sea Dogs, leading the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League semifinal 3-1, have a chance to eliminate the Chicoutimi Sagueneens tonight. Only twice in franchise history have the Sea Dogs won a playoff series on home ice.

The last time they clinched a series on home ice was back in 2010 when they defeated the Victoriaville Tigres in six games. Earlier that year in the first round, the Sea Dogs eliminated the PEI Rocket in five games with the deciding game being played at Harbour Station.

The Sea Dogs have had other chances to wrap up a series on home ice. They dropped Game 5 of the 2008 quarterfinals against Bathurst and missed a chance to win the President’s Cup on home ice in Game 5 of last year’s final against Gatineau.

Saint John has won six straight playoff series but have clinched every single one on the road. Tonight, they could end that streak with a victory. Game time is 7pm.

Chicoutimi is certainly giving the Dogs a good run in this series. After Saint John won the first two games by three goals each, the last two have both gone to overtime. The Sags won 5-4 on Tuesday and then the Dogs won 3-2 on Thursday.

The Sags looked like a different team in Games 3 and 4. Their big guns – Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Charles Hudon, Christian Ouellet, etc. – were all rolling. It looked like they really benefited from the larger ice surface but they’ll have to find a way to get going tonight on Harbour Station ice if they want to stay alive.

If the Sea Dogs win tonight, they will advance to the President’s Cup Final for a third straight year. If the Sagueneens win, Game 6 will be on Monday night in Chicoutimi.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Blowout City In Rimouski


Former Sea Dog Scott Oke had a goal and an assist as the Rimouski Oceanic destroyed the Halifax Mooseheads on Friday night, winning 9-0. The Oceanic now own a 3-2 lead in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League semifinal playoff series.

With the win, Rimouski can advance to the President’s Cup Final with a victory in Game 6 on Sunday at the Metro Centre. If needed, a Game 7 would be played on Monday night in Halifax.

The Oceanic had nine different goal scorers as Oke, J-P Mathieu, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, Peter Trainor, Jonathan Lavoie, Alexandre Mallet, Francis Beauvillier, Petr Straka, and J-F Plante all connected. Straka also had three assists.

Along with a goal and an assist, Oke finished with a +2 rating and recorded four shots.

Jacob Gervais-Chouinard stopped all 30 shots he faced. At the other end, rookie star Zach Fucale was pulled after allowing six goals on 24 shots. Marc-Olivier Daigle allowed three on 15 shots in relief.

To make things worse for Halifax, the game was broadcast nationally on Sportsnet. Disastrous game.

It’s do or die on Sunday for the Mooseheads. 

Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Moose-Oceanic Game 5 Tonight On Sportsnet



With the series tied 2-2, one team will leave with a 3-2 advantage tonight as the Halifax Mooseheads and Rimouski Oceanic square off in Game 5 of their Quebec Major Junior Hockey League semifinal.

Tonight’s game can been seen live on Sportsnet beginning at 8pm. Sportsnet.ca has a full preview of the contest.

It’s been a bit of a strange series so far with the road team winning every game. Rimouski won the first two matches in Halifax but the Mooseheads evened the series with back-to-back wins in Rimouski this week. Tonight’s game is in Rimouski as well before the series shifts to Halifax to wrap up.

The series has been relatively close so far. The results from the first four games:

Game 1: Rimouski 4, Halifax 1
Game 2: Rimouski 5, Halifax 4
Game 3: Halifax 4, Rimouski 3
Game 4: Halifax 3, Rimouski 1

Just three points separated the two teams in the regular season standings, they both swept their first round series’ and then needed seven games to win their round two matchups.

Game 6 is on Sunday afternoon at the Metro Centre so that is the earliest this series could end. If needed, a Game 7 would be played on Monday night in Halifax. The winner moves on to the President’s Cup Final to play the winner of the Chicoutimi/Saint John series. 

POSTSCRIPT: Sea Dogs 3, Sagueneens 2


A collection of recaps from last night’s 3-2 Saint John Sea Dogs overtime win over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens…

Our recap. For the second straight game, the Saint John Sea Dogs and Chicoutimi Sagueneens needed overtime to decide a game. This time, it had a different result.

News 88.9’s recap. Featuring Tim Roszell’s goal calls.

SaintJohnSeaDogs.com’s recap. Charlie Coyle scored in regulation and again in overtime to lift the Saint John Sea Dogs to a 3-2 win over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens Thursday.

The Canadian Press’ recap. Coyle cleanly won a draw, took a pass at centre ice off his skate, drove around a defender on the left wing and banged in his own rebound for his 13th goal of the playoffs.

Le Quotidien’s recap. Chicoutimi couldn’t connect on their chances early in the game.

UniversHockey.ca’s recap. No Alexandre Beauregard for the Sags again.

SN Live Blog Replay. #SirCharles

SERIES: Saint John now leads the best-of-seven semifinal playoff series 3-1.

MISSING IN ACTION: The Sea Dogs were without forwards Jason Cameron (healthy), Oliver Cooper (healthy), and Dylan McGuigan (healthy) along with defenseman Spencer MacDonald (bicep).

Former Sea Dog Alexandre Beauregard did not play again for Chicoutimi.

Today's Front Page


The front page of today's Le Quotidien has a much different feel than Tuesday's cover.

Check out that deal on tires.

RECAP: God Bless America. Dogs Win 3-2.

FINAL: Saint John 3, Chicoutimi 2 (OT)

CHICOUTIMI, Que. – For the second straight game, the Saint John Sea Dogs and Chicoutimi Sagueneens needed overtime to decide a game. This time, it had a different result.

Charlie Coyle scored at 6:13 of the extra frame to give Saint John a 3-2 victory in Game 4 of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League semifinal. The Sea Dogs now lead the series 3-1 and can advance to the league final for a third straight year with a victory on Saturday at Harbour Station.

The Sags could have evened the series this evening after beating Saint John 5-4 in overtime on Tuesday. But it wasn't meant to be on this night.

Coyle was the hero on Thursday, scoring the OT winner but also scoring once in regulation and assisting on another. Jonathan Huberdeau had the other Saint John goal while Zack Phillips recorded two assists.

Mathieu Corbeil had a strong performance in goal, making 28 saves for the win. He made a huge stop just before Coyle scored in overtime.

Chicoutimi, who never led in this game, had goals from Charles Hudon and Jeremy Gregoire. Christopher Gibson made 28 saves in the loss.

It was another entertaining hockey game. Once again, the Sea Dogs seemed a little but off and just couldn’t seem to get rolling like they have at times this year. But, they got the win, and now have a chance to wrap it up on Saturday night.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

LIVE BLOG: Sea Dogs vs Sagueneens

CHICOUTIMI, Que. – Saint John vs Chicoutimu. Game 4. Tonight at 8:30pm. Follow along for updates.


PLAYOFF GAMEDAY 12: Round 3, Game 4 - at Chicoutimi

GAMEDAY
Round 3, Game 4
Saint John Sea Dogs vs Chicoutimi Sagueneens
Tonight at 8:30pm
Radio: News 88.9 | Webcast: Telus | TV: VOX TV| Live Blog: SN
Georges Vezina Centre – Chicoutimi, Que.


SERIES STATUS
Saint John leads the best-of-seven semifinal playoff series 2-1.

PREVIEW
CHICOUTIMI, Que. – This series got a whole lot more interesting with Chicoutimi’s 5-4 overtime victory on Tuesday night.

Instead of the Saint John Sea Dogs being a win away from advancing, the Sagueneens have a chance to even this series up at 2-2 this evening at the Georges Vezina Centre. Game time for Game 4 of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League semifinal is 8:30pm.

In an entertaining game on Tuesday, Chicoutimi jumped out to a 2-0 lead after one. The Sea Dogs dominated the second period but could only beat Christopher Gibson twice to tie it at 2-2. Saint John took the lead twice in the third period but Chicoutimi quickly tied it both times. The Sags capitalized on a turnover in overtime and took the game 5-4.

The big guns came to play for Chicoutimi. Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored twice while Charles Hudon, Gabriel Bourret, and Etienne Brodeur added singles. Christian Ouellet added three assists. Christopher Gibson was solid, making 42 saves. The Sags are going to need more of this stuff if they want to win tonight.

Saint John didn’t play awful but didn’t play terrific, either. They looked like they just weren’t hitting the high gear. The Dogs had goals from Nathan Beaulieu, Tomas Jurco, Ryan Tesink, and Danick Gauthier. They'll look to improve on some things tonight.

Tuesday’s game ended Saint John’s 13-game winning streak going back to the regular season. They haven’t lost back-to-back games many times this year. They haven’t lost back-to-back playoff games since Games 5 and 6 of the 2010 President’s Cup Final against Moncton.

The Sags looked like a different team on Tuesday. The atmosphere was nuts. Another big challenge awaits the Sea Dogs tonight.

If the Sags win, it would force a Game 6 on Monday night back in Chicoutimi. Game 5 is Saturday night at Harbour Station.

A Rare OT Loss

Something very rare happened on Tuesday night in Chicoutimi – the Saint John Sea Dogs lost a playoff game in overtime.

The Sea Dogs have played nine overtime games since their first playoff appearance in 2008. Tuesday was just the second time they lost an OT game and the first since 2009.

Tuesday’s game ended an impressive six-game playoff overtime winning streak. Their last win came last May when Alexandre Beauregard scored the President’s Cup winner in Gatineau.

Here are all nine playoff games that have gone to OT in Sea Dogs history.

YearRound, GameOpponentScoreScorer
2008Round 2, Game 6at Bathurst5-4 WinPayton Liske
2009Round 1, Game 1at Cape Breton5-4 LossJoey Haddad
2010Round 1, Game 4at PEI2-1 WinTomas Jurco
2010Round 4, Game 4at Moncton3-2 WinNick Petersen
2011Round 2, Game 4at Victoriaville5-4 WinJonathan Huberdeau
2011Round 3, Game 1vs Lewiston5-4 WinStephen MacAulay
2011Round 4, Game 4at Gatineau4-3 WinRyan Tesink
2011Round 4, Game 6at Gatineau3-2 WinAlex Beauregard
2012Round 3, Game 3at Chicoutimi5-4 LossEtienne Brodeur

What’s with all the 5-4 games?

Saint John didn’t lose a game in overtime during the regular season. This was their first OT loss regular season/playoffs combined since January 15, 2011 versus Drummondville.

Game 5 Tickets Now On Sale


Tickets to Saturday’s Game 5 between the Saint John Sea Dogs and the Chicoutimi Sagueneens went on sale this morning. Tickets can be purchased at the Harbour Station box office, online, and by phone (506-657-1234).

The Sagueneens forced a Game 5 with a 5-4 overtime victory on Tuesday night. The Sea Dogs currently lead the best-of-seven Quebec Major Junior Hockey League semifinal playoff series 2-1 heading into Game 4 this evening. A win by Saint John tonight would give the Dogs a chance to advance to the league final on Saturday at Harbour Station. Game time is 8:30pm in Chicoutimi.

If the Sea Dogs lose tonight, a Game 6 would be required and would be held on Monday in Chicoutimi. If a Game 7 is needed, it would be played on Tuesday back at Harbour Station.

The Sea Dogs have yet to sell out a playoff game this season. They are averaging 5,110 fans per game after six home games this post-season.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Saint John 18th In CHL Attendance

Saint John finished 18th overall in Canadian Hockey League average attendance this season, according to a post over at Coming Down The Pipe! yesterday. 

Saint John averaged 4,561 fans per game this season at Harbour Station. It was the highest average in team history and the third best in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this year. The Sea Dogs averaged 4,478 in 2010-11.

Coming Down The Pipe compiled the top 20 average attendance numbers in the CHL this season. Not surprisingly, the top three teams were the Quebec Remparts, Calgary Hitmen, and London Knights. Quebec’s average of 11,724 was the best. They were the only team that reached five digits.

Saint John is slotted in the 18th spot, one place above the OHL’s Oshawa Generals (4,383) and one below the WHL’s Tri-City Americans (4,653).

Only three QMJHL teams – the Remparts (1st), Halifax Mooseheads (5th), and Sea Dogs (18th) – cracked the top 20.

If the Sea Dogs had sold out every single game this year for an average of 6,488, they would have finished seventh.

Saint John is currently averaging 5,110 fans per game this post-season. 

Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

POSTSCRIPT: Sea Dogs 4, Sagueneens 5


A collection of recaps from last night’s Saint John Sea Dogs 5-4 overtime loss to the Chicoutimi Sagueneens…

Our recap. The Saint John Sea Dogs decided to lose their first playoff game of the year in heartbreaking fashion on Tuesday night in Chicoutimi.

News 88.9’s recap. Featuring Tim Roszell’s goal calls.

The Canadian Press’ recap. The Sea Dogs looked like they were headed for their 11th straight playoff win when Danick Gauthier gave Saint John a 4-3 lead at 16:43 of the third period.

SaintJohnSeaDogs.com’s recap. Etienne Brodeur scored the overtime winner for the Sagueneens and added two assists to help Chicoutimi take Game 3 of the best-of-seven semifinal.

Le Quotidien’s recap. A rare mistake by Jonathan Huberdeau setup Chicoutimi’s OT goal.

Courrier du Saguenay’s recap. Andrew O’Brien was a beast.

UniversHockey.ca’s recap. There were cheerleaders at the game.


SERIES: Saint John now leads the best-of-seven semifinal playoff series 2-1.

MISSING IN ACTION: Forwards Grant West, Oliver Cooper, and Dylan McGuigan were healthy scratches for Saint John. Defenseman Spencer MacDonald is still out with a bicep injury, according to News 88.9.

Former Sea Dog Alexandre Beauregard did not play for Chicoutimi again. He’s banged up. News 88.9 said he is questionable for the remainder of the series.

Front Page News


Here's what the front page of the Chicoutimi newspaper Le Quotidien looks like this morning.

RECAP: Heartbreak Hotel. Dogs Lose 5-4.

FINAL: Saint John 4, Chicoutimi 5 (OT)



CHICOUTIMI, Que. – The Saint John Sea Dogs decided to lose their first playoff game of the year in heartbreaking fashion on Tuesday night in Chicoutimi.

Etienne Brodeur scored at 7:26 of the first overtime frame to give the Chicoutimi Sagueneens a 5-4 win in Game 3 of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League semifinal. The win gives the Sags some life in this series as they now trail Saint John 2-1 heading into Game 4 on Thursday night.

It was a heartbreaking loss in many ways. The Dogs blew two leads in the third period. Former Sea Dog Gabriel Bourret scored the game tying goal late in the third. They could have won this game despite playing far below perfect hockey.

But, this is what makes the playoffs so fun. One night you win by three goals  and have a commanding series lead and the next you suffer a heartbreaking loss that sways momentum the other way. We’ve got a playoff series now.

Chiocutimi had a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes but the Sea Dogs stormed back in the second, firing 24 shots on goal and scoring twice. The Dogs then took a 3-2 lead in the third but the Sags tied it soon after. The Dogs then took a 4-3 lead but the Sags tied it soon after. You know what happened in overtime.

The Sags had a pair of goals from Jean-Gabriel Pageau and solos from Charles Hudon, Bourret, and Brodeur. Goaltender Christopher Gibson came up huge at times, making 42 saves in the win.

Saint John had markers from Nathan Beaulieu, Tomas Jurco, Ryan Tesink, and Danick Gauthier. Mathieu Corbeil had a busy night, allowing five goals on 33 shots.

If anything positive can come out of this, 1) it is better to lose in April and fix some things than to lose in May and 2) you have something to do on Saturday in Saint John.

Game 4 should be a dandy on Thursday night.

Sags Win In OT; Brodeur Does Worm


Etienne Brodeur scored at 7:26 of overtime to give Chicoutimi a 5-4 win in Game 3 of the QMJHL semifinals. Saint John now leads the series 2-1.

OT was highlighted by Brodeurs’s unreal celebration. Gif via @jennkuhnS4C.

Recap coming up.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

LIVE BLOG: Sea Dogs vs Sagueneens

CHICOUTIMI, Que. – Biggest game of the season tonight for the Sea Dogs and Sagueneens. A Sea Dogs win will put the Sags on life support while a Chicoutimi win would put them back in this series. Follow along for updates.

Tonight's Game Is On TVA Sports


Tonight’s Sea Dogs-Sagueneens game will be shown live on the French sports station TVA Sports. According to a tweet from Roszell, puck drop isn’t expected until around 8:42pm due to the TV coverage.

Rogers has TVA Sports on channel 656. No idea about other cable/satellite providers.

News 88.9 will have coverage as usual and we will be live blogging/tweeting the contest.

If you are thinking about purchasing the Telus webcast, the Chicoutimi feed is not great thanks to this beam that blocks one of the corners. We’re assuming the camera hasn’t been moved for the playoffs.

Meanwhile, EastLink cable in Nova Scotia/PEI will be airing the Mooseheads’ Games 3 and 4 from Rimouski this week. Must be nice. 

PLAYOFF GAMEDAY 11: Round 3, Game 3 - at Chicoutimi

GAMEDAY
Round 3, Game 3
Saint John Sea Dogs vs Chicoutimi Sagueneens
Tonight at 8:30pm
Radio: News 88.9 | Webcast: Telus | TV: TVA Sports | Live Blog: SN
Georges Vezina Centre – Chicoutimi, Que.


SERIES STATUS
Saint John leads the best-of-seven semifinal playoff series 2-0.

PREVIEW
CHICOUTIMI, Que. – The Georges Vezina Centre will be rocking tonight as the Sagueneens host the Saint John Sea Dogs for Game 3 of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League semifinal at 8:30pm.

The Sagueneens faithful will have a chance tonight to cheer on their team for the first time since they stunned the Memorial Cup host Shawinigan Cataractes in seven games in the QMJHL’s quarter-finals. Down 2-0 to the defending national champs, the Sags will need all the help they can get from their crowd this evening.

Saint John won the first two games by a combined score of 9-3. Tthe games were fairly close and competitive. But the Sea Dogs were able to capitalize on some Chicoutimi mistakes and got solid goaltending from Mathieu Corbeil to give them a 2-0 series lead.

Tonight’s game will either give the Sags some life or give Saint John a stranglehold on the series.

The Sea Dogs played just one game in Chicoutimi this season and lost 4-3 in a shootout. The game saw Alexandre Beauregard make his return from thyroid cancer. Steve Lebel, Guillaume Asselin, and Jeremy Gregoire all scored for the Sags while the Dogs had a pair of goals from Danick Gauthier and a solo marker from Zack Phillips.

The Sags went 19-9-2-4 at home during the regular season and outscored opponents 118-101. They are 4-2 in the playoffs with a +8 goal differential.

The Sea Dogs have won 13 straight overall going into tonight’s game. They are a perfect 4-0 on the road this post-season and have outscored opponents 23-8.

A good start tonight would be huge for Saint John. Chicoutimi has scored more goals in the first period (19) than other period in the playoffs.



Sea Dogs Notebook

MacAULAY
This picture (click to enlarge) comes from the St. Louis Blues blog St. Louis Game Time who had a prospect feature on Stephen MacAulay on Sunday.

HALIFAX/RIMOUSKI
The Halifax Mooseheads are in a big hole once again. They find themselves down 2-0 in their semifinal series against the Oceanic with the next three games being played in Rimouski. Of course, the Moose are capable of coming back as they did so in their last series but the task will be difficult with the next three matches being played on the road.

The Moose lost Game 1 by score of 4-1 and Game 2 by score of 5-4. Game 3 is tonight in Rimouski. The winner of the series will play the winner of the Chicoutimi/Saint John series in the President’s Cup Final.

WOODSTOCK
Sea Dogs draft pick Mackenzie Brown and the Woodstock Slammers won the Maritime Junior A Hockey League championship on Friday night. The Slammers beat the Yarmouth Mariners in triple overtime of Game 7.

Brown had two assists in 10 playoffs games and five goals and five assists in 39 regular season games. He played in 13 games with Saint John this year, recording a goal and an assist.

Saint John free agent signee Philip Fife is also on the team. The Slammers are captained by former Sea Dog Andrew Langan.

The Slammers will know play in the Fred Page Cup for the national championship. The Fred Page cup is being held from April 25th thru April 29th in Kanata, Ont.

BEAUREGARD
CTV News had a story on Alexandre Beauregard this weekend. Check it out here.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Despres Heading Back To AHL

Simon Despres is heading back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after the Pittsburgh Penguins were eliminated from playoff contention yesterday.

The Penguins announced today that Despres, Brian Strait, and Eric Tangradi have been sent to the Baby Penguins who are taking on the Hershey Bears in the opening round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. The Pens currently hold a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

Despres played with Pittsburgh for Games 4, 5, and 6 of their first round series versus the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers won the series in six games. 

“Despres, 20, went scoreless with a plus-2 rating while averaging 9:18 minutes in three playoff games after making his NHL playoff debut in Game 4,” states the Penguins website. “During the regular season, Despres played in 18 games with Pittsburgh, tallying four points (1G-3A) and a plus-5 rating.”

In 44 games at the American Hockey League level this season, the ‘Big Horse’ had five goals and 10 helpers. He was recently named the Baby Penguins' Rookie of the Year. 

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s playoff series continues on Wednesday in Hershey. 

POSTSCRIPT: Sagueneens 2, Sea Dogs 5

A collection of recaps from yesterday’s 5-2 Sea Dogs win over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens…

Our recap. The Saint John Sea Dogs are hitting the road with a 2-0 series lead over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in their Quebec Major Junior Hockey League semifinal playoff series.

News 88.9’s recap. Featuring Tim Roszell’s goal calls.

The Canadian Press’ recap. Kevin Gagne chipped in two assists for Saint John and Charles Coyle added a single assist. The assist gives Coyle 24 points in 10 games, which leads QMJHL playoff scoring.

SaintJohnSeaDogs.com’s recap. Mathieu Gagnon and Christian Ouellet replied for the Sagueneens while Christopher Gibson made 27 saves in the loss.

Le Quotidien’s recap. Mathieu Corbeil was solid in net again.

UniversHockey.ca’s recap. The Sags find themselves in a 0-2 hole as the series shifts venues.

SN Live Blog Replay. Another win.

SERIES: Saint John now owns a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven semifinal playoff series as the scene shifts to Chicoutimi.

MISSING IN ACTION: The Sea Dogs were without forwards Tomas Jurco (shoulder) and Oliver Cooper (healthy) along with defenseman Spencer MacDonald (bicep).

Jurco, who was injured in the first few minutes of Friday’s game, took warm-up but did not play. Jurco’s injury is not believed to be too serious.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

RECAP: Boom. Dogs Win 5-2.


FINAL: Chicoutimi 2, Saint John 5

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs are hitting the road with a 2-0 series lead over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in their Quebec Major Junior Hockey League semifinal playoff series.

Stanislav Galiev scored twice for Saint John while Aidan Kelly, Ryan Tesink, and Jonathan Huberdeau added solo markers. Kevin Gagne had two assists.

Galiev now has three goals and an assist in the first two games of the series. Gagne is also having a strong series, registering five assists.

Goaltender Mathieu Corbeil had another strong performance in the Saint John net, making 27 saves for the win. He’s played big roll for the Sea Dogs so far in this series.

Chicoutimi had goals from Mathieu Gagnon and Christian Ouellet. Christopher Gibson allowed five goals on 32 shots in the loss.

Saint John got off to a quick start thanks to two markers in the first five minutes of the game. The Dogs added another one early in the third which would prove to be the game-winner.

It definitely wasn’t Saint John’s best game of the season but it was good enough to win. The Dogs now head to Chicoutimi with a commanding 2-0 series lead. Game 3 is on Tuesday night.

LIVE BLOG: Sagueneens vs Sea Dogs

SAINT JOHN – Game 2 of the QMJHL semifinal between Saint John and Chicoutimi takes place this afternoon at 3pm. Follow along for updates.

PLAYOFF GAMEDAY 10: Round 3, Game 2 - vs Sagueneens

GAMEDAY
Round 3, Game 2
Chicoutimi Sagueneens vs Saint John Sea Dogs
Today at 3:00pm
Radio: News 88.9 | Webcast: Telus | TV: None | Live Blog: SN
Harbour Station – Saint John, NB


SERIES STATUS
Saint John leads the best-of-seven semifinal playoffs series 1-0.

PREVIEW
SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Sea Dogs will look to carry over their third period success from Friday’s game into today’s Game 2 against the Chicoutimi Sagueneens.

The Sea Dogs scored three times in the final frame in Friday’s Game 1 to take a 1-0 lead in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League semifinal playoff series. Saint John can take a 2-0 series lead with a win this afternoon. Game time at Harbour Station is 3pm.

Chicoutimi scored first on Friday but Saint John would score four straight unanswered goals to win 4-1. Pierre Durepos, Stanislav Galiev, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Danick Gauthier all scored for the Sea Dogs while Kevin Gagne added three assists. The Sags lone goal came from Mathieu Gagnon.

Sea Dogs goaltender Mathieu Corbeil was very sharp on Friday, making 24 saves to earn first star honours. Christopher Gibson played very well as well in the Chiocutimi net, allowing four goals on 33 shots.

Corbeil was especially good in the first period when he made a couple of great saves. Saint John didn’t get off to a terrible start considering the long layoff they had. But they were a bit undisciplined, giving the Sags a few power plays in the first half of the game.

Saint John hasn’t lost a home in a long time. Their last home loss was back on January 12 when they fell 4-1 to the Shawinigan Cataractes. The Dogs were 25-8-0-1 at home during the regular season and are 5-0 so far in the playoffs.

The series shifts to Chicoutimi after today’s match, making this an important game. The winner takes the momentum heading into Game 3.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

POSTSCRIPT: Sagueneens 1, Sea Dogs 4


A collection of recaps from last night’s 4-1 Sea Dogs win over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens…

Our recap. The big story was the play of goaltender Mathieu Corbeil. The Sea Dogs goaltender played one of his best games of the season and made 24 saves for the win.

News 88.9’s recap. Featuring Tim Roszell’s goal calls.

The Canadian Press’ recap. Galiev now has 21 points in nine post-season appearances, which moves him into a tie for third in playoff scoring with the Halifax Mooseheads' Nathan MacKinnon.

SaintJohnSeaDogs.com’s recap. The Saint John Sea Dogs scored three goals in the third period to break open a close, hard-hitting Game 1 of their President’s Cup semifinal series with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens.

Le Quotidien’s recap. The Sags couldn’t capitalize on a few great first period chances.

SN Live Blog Replay. Entertaining game.

MISSING IN ACTION: Forwards Devon Oliver-Dares (collarbone) and Oliver Cooper (healthy) along with defenseman Spencer MacDonald (bicep) were scratched for Saint John on Friday night.

THE SERIES: With the win, Saint John now has a 1-0 series lead in the best-of-seven semifinal playoff series.

VIDEO: Marriage Proposal At Friday's Game

SAINT JOHN – The Subway Shuffle Game got awfully interesting on Friday night at Harbour Station when this happened.


Make note of Mayor Ivan Court in the background. There is a campaign ad in here somewhere. 

Video courtesy of the awesome SeaDogsTV.

RECAP: Keep On Rolling. Dogs Win 4-1.

FINAL: Chicoutimi 1, Saint John 4

SAINT JOHN – In a hard fought Game 1, the Saint John Sea Dogs scored three times in the third period to take a 1-0 series lead over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens on Friday night at Harbour Station top open up the semifinals.

Stanislav Galiev scored the eventual game winner at 2:18 of the third. He sped away from the Chicoutimi defense and then cut through the goal crease, pushing the puck and Christopher Gibson’s leg across the goal line. Jonathan Huberdeau and Danick Gauthier would add insurance markers.

Pierre Durepos scored the other Saint John marker. Kevin Gagne registered three assists while Charlie Coyle added two.

The big story was the play of goaltender Mathieu Corbeil. The Sea Dogs goaltender played one of his best games of the season and made 24 saves for the win. He was sensational in the first period as he made a couple of terrific stops to keep it scoreless. He was named the game’s first star.

Chicoutimi netminder Christopher Gibson played very well despite the loss. He made 29 stops and was named the contest’s third star. Mathieu Gagnon scored Chicoutimi's lone goal.

This game certainly felt like a playoff game. It was intense, physical, and a bit nasty at times. There was good goaltending, some good defensive play, and a few nice goals. This should be an entering series.

The Sags were able to stick with the Dogs until the third period. It was scoreless after the first period and tied 1-1 after two. Chicoutimi was outshooting Saint John entering the final frame.

The two teams have a day off to work on some things. Game 2 will be held on Sunday afternoon at Harbour Station.

Friday, April 20, 2012

LIVE BLOG: Sagueneens vs Sea Dogs

SAINT JOHN – After another long layoff, hockey is back in the Port City as the semifinals begin tonight. Follow along for updates.

A Few Things...

SAINT JOHN – There will be plenty of familiar faces in the Chicoutimi lineup tonight.

Former Sea Dogs Guillaume Cloutier, Gabriel Bourret, and Alexandre Beauregard all call Chicoutimi home now. Cloutier was traded at last year’s trade deadline, Bourret at this past year’s draft, and Beauregard earlier this season.

Bourret and Beauregard both helped Saint John win the Memorial Cup last year and there experience is no doubt helping the Sagueneens. Also helping the Sags are Mathieu Gagnon, Christian Ouellet, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau who played with Gatineau last year and lost to Saint John in six games in the President’s Cup final.

A few other things:

  • “They are almost a larger-than-life powerhouse whose shadow looms large over the other teams trying to win it all,” writes the Chronicle Herald’s Willy Palov in his column today.
  • Third round series predictions from Jasmin Leroux and Roby St-Gelais of UniversHockey.ca.
  • Jean-Francois Plante of Le Droit shares his predictions.
  • Buzzing The Net has the best series preview on the interweb. The odds favour the Sea Dogs.
  • TVA Sports will be broadcasting Game 3 from Chicoutimi and VOX will carry Game 4. Both will en francais. Sportsnet will broadcast Game 5 of the Mooseheads/Oceanic series next Friday.
  • My predictions: Saint John in five and Halifax in six.
  • Simon Despres is expected to play for the Penguins again tonight.
  • It's Stephen MacAulay's birthday today. He scored a huge OT goal in last year's opening semifinal game.

If you can’t make it to the game, we’ll be living blogging it. 

Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

PLAYOFF GAMEDAY 9: Round 3, Game 1 - vs Sagueneens

GAMEDAY
Round 3, Game 1
Chicoutimi Sagueneens vs Saint John Sea Dogs
Tonight at 7:30pm
Radio: News 88.9 | Webcast: Telus | TV: None | Live Blog: SN


SERIES STATUS
This is the first game of the best-of-seven semifinal playoff series between Saint John and Chicoutimi.

PREVIEW
SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Sea Dogs are finally back in action tonight as the semifinals begin at 7:30pm at Harbour Station. Saint John hasn’t played since April 11 when they completed a series sweep of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar.

While the Sea Dogs were resting and practicing, their opponent, the Chicoutimi Sagueneens, were battling and upsetting the Memorial Cup host Shawinigan Cataractes in a series that went the full seven games and ended on Tuesday night.

So tonight it will be the battle of the rested versus the tested. Like Gerard Gallant said in the paper earlier this week, Saint John has to bring their intensity level up to Chicoutimi’s level.

Despite lopsided scores, the Sea Dogs haven’t been great in either of their Game 1s in the playoffs so far. They struggled in the first period of their first round series against Cape Breton but will won 13-4. They struggled in the first half of their opening game of the second round but still defeated Baie-Comeau 9-3. So although the Dogs haven’t come flying out of the gate in either series, they've been able to make the proper adjustments to still win easily.

First periods have been Chicoutimi’s best offensive frame this post-season, having outscored opponents 19-14. Through two rounds, the Sags have only a +3 goal differential.

While Saint John has cruised through the first two rounds and have an 8-0 playoff record, Chiocutimi has had much more of a challenge. They needed six games to eliminate Bathurst in the first round and then needed seven to upset Shawinigan.

Chicoutimi and Saint John had an interesting regular season series. The Sea Dogs dominated the Sags in the first meeting, winning 6-0 on the night Saint John raised their championship banners. Then in December with the Dogs missing several regulars, the Sagueneens beat Saint John 8-3. The third game saw Chicoutimi win 4-3 in a shootout at the Georges Vezina Centre.

The Sagueneens will be a tough test for Saint John. That test begins tonight.

Tickets Still Available

SAINT JOHN - It took just under two hours for the Halifax Mooseheads to sell out Games 1 & 2 of their semifinal playoff series against the Rimouski Oceanic. Tickets ranging from $40 to $80 apiece have been popping up on Kijiji over the past 24 hours.

In Chicoutimi, people were lined out the door yesterday morning waiting to purchase semi-final seats. The Sags website stated on Wednesday that they were limiting purchases to eight tickets per person.

Tickets to both Games 1 and 2 of the of the Sea Dogs’ semifinal series at Harbour Station went on sale last week. There are still seats available for both contests. The Harbour Station website lists ticket availability for today’s game as “limited” and “good” for Sunday’s game.

The Sea Dogs have hosted just four home games so far this post-season and are averaging 4,861 fans per contest.

This is the third straight year – and the fourth time in five years - that the Sea Dogs have reached the semifinals of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs. That’s an impressive accomplishment especially when you consider this team has only existed for seven seasons. Of those seven seasons, they’ve missed the playoffs twice, were bounced out in the first round once, and then made it to the semis the other four times.

Despite the continued success, Saint John has yet to sell out a semifinal game.

YearGameDayOpponentAttendance
2008Game 3TuesdayRouyn-Noranda4,740
2008Game 4WednesdayRouyn-Noranda4,610
2010Game 1FridayVictoriaville5,217
2010Game 2SaturdayVictoriaville4,730
2010Game 6MondayVictoriaville3,704
2011Game 1FridayLewiston 5,762
2011Game 2SaturdayLewiston 5,135

Maybe this will be the year.

Sea Dogs Notebook

GAMEDAY
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. 

MHL FINAL
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.