Sunday, March 31, 2013

Gagne, Oceanic Upset In 1st Round

The Rimouski Oceanic, who came close to finishing second overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s regular season, have been eliminated by the 13th-seeded Gatineau Olympiques in the first-round of the playoffs.

The Olympiques, who feature former Sea Dogs defenseman Gabriel Bourret, won the series in six games with a 2-1 victory today at the Robert Guertin Centre.

Rimouski finished fourth overall and had the third best record in the league of 41-18-3-6 for 91 points. Gatineau finished 13th with a 29-34-1-4 record, 28 points behind the Oceanic. This is certainly an upset.

Of course, the Oceanic acquired 20-year old defenseman Kevin Gagne from Saint John during the trade period. Gagne had six goals and 37 points in 31 regular season games in the second half with Rimouski and added a goal and an assist in this playoff series. Obviously this wasn’t the way Gagne wanted his junior career end - but what a junior career he had. He won three regular season titles, two President’s Cups, and a Memorial Cup in five QMJHL seasons.

Earlier this month, Gagne signed a three-year entry-level deal with the Anaheim Ducks. He’s also nominated for the QMJHL’s top defenseman award.

The Oceanic, who made it all the way to the President's Cup final last season, also feature former Sea Dogs forward Scott Oke.

Gatineau will now face the top-seeded Halifax Mooseheads in the second-round.

In other action on Sunday, the Quebec Remparts advanced to the second-round with a 4-3 overtime win over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. The Remparts won the series in six games.

Only the Val-d’Or/PEI series has yet to be decided. The Foreurs lead the best-of-seven matchup 3-2 heading into Game 6 tomorrow night in Charlottetown.

Pictured: Some Chicoutimi fan living the dream

Five Ex-Dogs Played NHL Games Saturday

Nathan Beaulieu’s NHL debut highlighted a big night for the Saint John Sea Dogs on Saturday.

Beaulieu was one of five former Sea Dogs to play NHL games yesterday. Simon Despres and the Pittsburgh Penguins, Mike Hoffman and the Ottawa Senators, Jonathan Huberdeau and the Florida Panthers, and Charlie Coyle and the Minnesota Wild were also in action yesterday.

Playing at the Bell Centre on Hockey Night in Canada, Beaulieu had a solid debut with the Montreal Canadiens. The defenseman, wearing No. 40, had one shot, one hit, and an even rating in 17:17 of ice time, helping the Habs defeat the New York Rangers 3-0.

Via Hockey Inside/Out, here’s Beaulieu speaking to the media after the game.


Elsewhere, Huberdeau had two assists in the Panthers’ 3-2 overtime victory over the New Jersey Devils. He also had two shots and a hit in 18:09 of ice time.

Huberdeau’s two points now place him first in the NHL’s rookie scoring race with 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points in 36 games. He’s one-point ahead of Tampa Bay’s Cory Conacher.

The Globe and Mail had an article on the former Sea Dogs captain yesterday.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Wildcats Are Done

Saint John Sea Dogs fans have some mixed feelings on this Friday night.

On the one hand, there will not be a New Brunswick based champion in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season. On the other hand, the Moncton Wildcats had their season come to a stunning end.

The Wildcats, who finished sixth overall in the league in the regular season, appeared poised for a solid playoff run after acquiring Phillip Danault (who was suspended for tonight’s game) from the Victoriaville Tigres at the deadline. Instead, they were upset in five games in the first-round by the Tigres, a team that traded away their best player and finished 11th overall. This is a significant upset.

Tigres goaltender Brandon Whitney was unreal in this series, finishing with a 4-0-1 record to go along with a 1.87 GAA and 0.951 SV%. He made 31 saves in tonight’s deciding Game 5. Philippe Maillet scored 32 seconds into overtime to give Victoriaville the 3-2 win and 4-1 series win.

Moncton’s Dmitrij Jaskin, who had 99 points in the regular season, finished the series with just one goal and two assists.

So now the big question is: will Danny Flynn be back with the ‘Cats next season?

Elsewhere in the league tonight, the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada minus Ryan Tesink defeated the Acadie-Bathurst Titan 3-2 to win the series 4-1. Former Sea Dogs forward Aidan Kelly had a goal and an assist for the Titan in the series.

Kevin Gagne and the Rimouski Oceanic kept their season alive with a 2-1 win over the Gatineau Olympiques. The favoured Oceanic trail the series 3-2.

Chicoutimi beat Quebec 3-2 and now trail the series 3-2, Val-d’Or defeated PEI 3-1 and lead the series 3-2 entering Game 6 on Monday in Charlottetown, and Rouyn-Noranda won their series in five games with a 6-4 victory over Drummondville tonight.

*Above image appeared in the Moncton Times & Transcript this week

Friday, March 29, 2013

Sea Dogs Notebook

FULLERTON
With his CIS career now over at UNB, former Sea Dogs goaltender Travis Fullerton has made the jump to the pro ranks.

Fullerton signed an amateur tryout agreement with the East Coast Hockey League’s San Francisco Bulls earlier this week. He made his pro debut on Wednesday, making 25 stops in a 1-0 overtime loss to the Idaho Steelheads.

The Bulls, whose assistant coach is former Sea Dogs forward Kyle Paige, are the ECHL affiliate of the San Jose Sharks.

According to UNBHockeyFans.com, Fullerton “finished his UNB career with a regular season record of 60-11-2 to go along with a school record 14 shutouts, a save percentage of 0.911, and a goals against average of 1.87.”

HF RANKINGS
Jonathan Huberdeau came in at No. 3 in Hockey’s Future’s spring edition of the Top 50 NHL Prospects.

“Whatever questions remained regarding Huberdeau's ability to generate the same offense in the NHL as he had in the QMJHL have been answered, and then some,” they write. “Huberdeau scores with aplomb and consistency for an injury-depleted Florida team that struggles to generate offense.”

Huberdeau was the only Sea Dog to crack the top 10 but three other former Saint John players made the top 50.

Nathan Beaulieu, called up to the Montreal Canadiens today, was ranked 24th, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Simon Despres was 25th, and Minnesota Wild forward Charlie Coyle came in at No. 36.

LOOKING AHEAD
Sea Dogs president Wayne Long spoke to News 88.9 on Thursday, looking ahead to next season.

“We’re doing a lot of looking and scouting and we should pick ninth overall in the European draft and have two first round picks this year (in the summer draft),” says Long. “We’re quickly going to bring in some new, young and exciting talent to add to what we think is a great young core of players that we have now.”

An eventful off-season is ahead.

SARNIA
Former Sea Dogs head coach and general manager Jacques Beaulieu saw his team’s season come to an end this week.

Beaulieu’s Sarnia Sting were eliminated in the first-round of the Ontario Hockey League playoffs by the Plymouth Whalers. Much like Saint John this year, Sarnia got blown out in most games and were outscored 24-8 by Plymouth.

In the regular season, the Sting finished seventh in the OHL’s Western Conference with a 35-28-1-4 record. They lost Alex Galchenyuk to the NHL mid-season which had to suck.

Beaulieu To Make Habs Debut Tomorrow

Nathan Beaulieu has been called up to The Show.

The Montreal Canadiens announced today that the former Saint John Sea Dog defenseman had been called up to the big club. The 20-year old has been playing with the American Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs this season.

The Habs host the New York Rangers tomorrow night (8pm AST; CBC and RDS) and, according to Twitter, Beaulieu is expected to make his National Hockey League debut.


Beaulieu will become the fifth former Sea Dog to play in a NHL game this season joining Simon Despres, Jonathan Huberdeau, Charlie Coyle, and Mike Hoffman. There will also be a familiar face behind the Montreal bench when Beaulieu makes his debut in Gerard Gallant.

In 62 games with the last-place Bulldogs this year, Beaulieu has six goals and 19 assists.

Hockey's Future recently raked him 24th in their annual spring rankings of the Top 50 NHL prospects.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hoffman Returns To The Show

Mike Hoffman became the fourth former Saint John Sea Dog to skate in a NHL game this season.

Hoffman played just over 14 minutes for the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, helping them defeat the New York Rangers 3-0. Hoffman, wearing No. 68, was held pointless but did record two shots and two hits.

A fifth-round pick of the Sens in 2009, Hoffman has played in 41 games with the American Hockey League’s Binghamton Senators this season. He’s registered 13 goals and 15 assists. He would have seen action with the NHL club earlier this season but missed time with a collarbone injury.

“His total game has grown since he has played in the American Hockey League,” said Senators coach Paul MacLean to the Ottawa Citizen. “During the training camp we had in January, he played really well, he really showed us that he was ready to play. It’s unfortunate that the injury he got came at the same time as all the other injuries we had, so he basically missed out on the opportunity that maybe others had, and took advantage of. We felt he has earned the opportunity to come in and show us if he can play.”

Hoffman joins Simon Despres, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Charlie Coyle as former Sea Dogs to appear in NHL games this season. Hoffman, Despres, and Huberdeau all played on the 2009-10 Saint John team that made it to the President’s Cup final.

Huberdeau ended a lengthy goalless drought Thursday as the Florida Panthers edged the Buffalo Sabres 5-4 in a shootout. Huberdeau had the game-tying goal, a shootout goal, an assist, three shots, and one hit in 16:15 of ice time.

The 19-year old, who hadn’t scored since March 8 entering action this evening, has 13 goals and 10 assists in 35 games this season with the Panthers. Puck Daddy had an article this week on his recent offensive struggles.

Despres was also in action tonight, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins win a 14th straight game with a 4-0 win over the Winnipeg Jets. The defenseman had one shot and two hits in 16:46 of ice time.

Tale Of Two Teams

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s trade deadline was on January 8th this season. The Sea Dogs made just one deal on deadline day, but made plenty before it.

Saint John lost key veterans Kevin Gagne, Ryan Tesink, Aidan Kelly, and Stephen MacAulay during the trade period and of course Jonathan Huberdeau left in early December. They also lost quite a few games after the deadline passed.

Here’s a look at Saint John’s numbers before and after January 8th.

Before January 8 (39 games)
Record: 18-21-0-0 (36 points)
Home: 9-12-0-0
Away: 9-9-0-0
Goals for: 112
Goals against: 144
Shots for: 1,089
Shots against: 1,343

After January 8 (29 reg. season games + 4 playoff games)
Record: 5-27-1-0 (11 points)
Home: 4-11-0-0
Away: 1-16-1-0
Goals for: 65
Goals against: 152
Shots for: 862
Shots against: 1,349

The numbers aren’t that surprising but… y’know. The second half was downtown rebuild city.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

POSTSCRIPT: Mooseheads 6, Sea Dogs 1

A collection of recaps from last night’s 6-1 Saint John Sea Dogs loss to the Halifax Mooseheads…

Our recap. Saint John and Halifax returned to Harbour Station for Game 4 of their playoff round.

The Telegraph-Journal’s recap (paywall). It’s over for the Saint John Sea Dogs and just beginning for the Halifax Mooseheads.

The Chronicle Herald’s recap. The first round is now out of the way for the Halifax Mooseheads.

Metro Halifax’s recap. The inevitable happened Wednesday night.

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

The Canadian Press’ recap. The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League will have a new President Cup champion after the Halifax Mooseheads eliminated the Saint John Sea Dogs with a 6-1 victory on Wednesday in post-season action.

SaintJohnSeaDogs.com’s recap. The Saint John Sea Dogs dropped a 6-1 decision as the Halifax Mooseheads swept the first-round playoff series to end Saint John’s 2012-2013 campaign.

HalifaxMooseheads.ca’s recap. The Moose are moving on.

SERIES: It’s over. Halifax swept the first-round, best-of-seven playoff series 4-0.

SCRATCHES: Saint John was without three regular forwards in Oliver Cooper (lower body), Jason Cameron (lower body), and Stephen Anderson (upper body). This forced Jeremy Doucet and Michael Abbott to dress as forwards on the fourth line.

The Mooseheads didn’t have former Sea Dogs forward Stephen MacAulay. He was suspended one game for his hit on Cooper Tuesday night.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

RECAP: Turn Out The Lights. Dogs Lose 6-1.

FINAL: Halifax 6, Saint John 1


By Tim Lumsden
SN Staff

Saint John and Halifax returned to Harbour Station for Game 4 of their playoff round. 2,294 (Ed. Note: seriously… welp) fans showed up to cheer on their teams as they battled it out; Halifax ready to take the final game and Saint John struggling to stay alive.

Sebastien Auger returned to net for Saint John while Zachary Fucale reprised his role in goal for the Mooseheads.

FIRST PERIOD
This game was a perhaps the most disciplined game played by the two teams this round. With only five infractions issued, fans got to see some actual hockey being played.

The first penalty was by Matthew Highmore at 10:12 for hooking. This sent the Mooseheads to the power play which in turn allowed Stefan Fournier to score the first Halifax goal just seconds later at 10:33.

Steven Duda was next to the box at 11:27 with a hooking call. Once again, the Moose turned their advantage into a goal at 12:33 as Nathan MacKinnon fired one home. This increased the score 2-0 for Halifax.

Saint John was able to remain defensive the rest of the period and cooler heads prevailed as they also remained out of the penalty box.

Shots were 19-1 (!) in favour of Halifax in the first.

SECOND PERIOD
Luca Ciampini, after being robbed by Auger the night before was able to score at 2:55. 3-0 Mooseheads.

Ian Saab headed off to the box at 3:19 for cross checking.

Matthew Boudreau found Auger’s weak spot as he slipped one past at 5:51, bringing the score to 4-0 for the Herd.

It was Darcy Ashley who scored number five at 19:20 which may have prompted Ian Saab’s unsportsmanlike conduct misconduct at the same time.

At the end of the second period, it was obvious that Halifax had dominated the first 40 minutes of hockey as Saint John was being outshot 36-8.

Sea Dogs Game 4 Lineup

The Sea Dogs face a must win situation tonight at Harbour Station and they’ll be without three of their regular forwards.

Defensemen Jeremy Doucet and Michael Abbott have slid onto Saint John’s fourth line for this evening’s Game 4 against the Halifax Mooseheads. The Moose lead the best-of-seven first round series 3-0.

Here’s the Sea Dogs line combos and defense pairings, as tweeted by News 88.9’s Tim Roszell:

Villemaire-Highmore-Zilbert
Izacky-Smallman-Brown
Tsogkas-Cuomo-Malone
Doucet-Abbott-Donaghey

Durepos-Duda
LeBlanc-Repe
Saab-Weckworth

Auger
Fournier

Saint John is without Oliver Cooper (lower body), Jason Cameron (lower body), and Stephen Anderson (upper body).

The Mooseheads are without former Sea Dogs forward Stephen MacAulay who is suspended for tonight’s game.

Follow @station_nation on Twitter for in-game updates.

PLAYOFF GAMEDAY: Round 1, Game 4 - vs Mooseheads

GAMEDAY
2013 President’s Cup Playoffs – Round 1, Game 4
Halifax Mooseheads vs Saint John Sea Dogs
Tonight at 7:00pm
Radio: News 88.9 | Webcast: Telus | TV: None | Live: @station_nation
Harbour Station – Saint John, NB
PREVIEW
SAINT JOHN – It’s do or die tonight for the Saint John Sea Dogs.

Down 3-0 in their best-of-seven first round playoff series against the Halifax Mooseheads, the Sea Dogs must win tonight to extend the series or their season is over.

Halifax grabbed the 3-0 stranglehold on the series last night with a 6-1 victory at Harbour Station. Former Sea Dog Stephen MacAulay and star forward Jonathan Drouin each scored twice while Andrew Ryan and Martin Frk added solo markers. The Moose outshot the Dogs 46-21.

Saint John has scored just three goals in this series – one in each game. That ain’t good.

Both teams got into some penalty trouble last night. MacAulay was given a game misconduct for checking Oliver Cooper from behind at 1:03 of the third. The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League has suspended the 20-year old forward for tonight’s game, meaning he has likely played his last contest at Harbour Station.

Not much else to say. Hopefully some people show up for the game tonight.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

RECAP: Headline With The Word "Brink" In It. Dogs Lose 6-1.

FINAL: Halifax 6, Saint John 1

By Tim Lumsden
SN Staff

SAINT JOHN - Saint John played host to the Halifax Mooseheads on Tuesday evening as both teams locked horns to compete in Game 3 of the first playoff round. 2,795 fans (Ed note: welp) headed to Harbour Station to watch the contest.

Sebastien Auger took his place in net for Saint John while Zahary Fucale prepared to fend off Saint John's assault.

FIRST PERIOD
Stephen MacAulay proved that his powers are still strong within the walls of his old home at Harbour Station. The former Sea Dog scored at 1:30 into the first period, giving Halifax the early lead.

Jakub Izacky served Saint John’s too many men penalty at 11:10.

Matthew Boudreau served a similar penalty for Halifax at 14:09 which was soon offset by Pierre Durepos with a tripping call at 14:41.

Andrew Ryan scored the final goal of the period, bringing Halifax up to 2-0 at 17:33.

Shots were 9-6 Halifax in the first.

SECOND PERIOD
Martin Frk kicked the period off quickly with the third Halifax goal of the evening at 2:38. This was soon followed by number four as Stephen MacAulay put the puck between the pipes at 4:20.

MacAulay pulled a tripping penalty at 8:03, sending the Dogs to the power play and allowing Jurij Repe to score the only Saint John goal of the game at 8:08. This brought the score 4-1. Pierre Durepos and Oliver Cooper grabbed the assists on that goal.

This was soon answered by Jonthan Drouin at 11:16, with an assist going to Nathan MacKinnon.

Ian Saab found himself heading to the penalty box at 13:46.

It was a tripping call that sent Brett Malone to the penalty box at 17:22. He was soon followed by Stefan Fournier at 18:26 as he took the same penalty for Halifax.

Ian Saab once again headed to box at 19:00, this time for hooking.

Shots were 23-7 in favour of the Moose in the middle stanza. Yikes.

PLAYOFF GAMEDAY: Round 1, Game 3 - vs Mooseheads

GAMEDAY
2013 President’s Cup Playoffs – Round 1, Game 3
Halifax Mooseheads vs Saint John Sea Dogs
Tonight at 7:00pm
Radio: News 88.9 | Webcast: Telus | TV: None
Harbour Station – Saint John, NB
PREVIEW
SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Sea Dogs and Halifax Mooseheads meet for a pivotal Game 3 tonight at Harbour Station.

The Mooseheads currently lead the best-of-seven first round Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoff series 2-0 heading into this evening’s contest. A victory by Halifax tonight would give them a stranglehold on the series heading into tomorrow night’s Game 4.

Halifax dominated Game 1 on Friday night at the Metro Centre, winning 11-1. But on Saturday, although the Mooseheads outshot the Sea Dogs by a wide margin, they squeaked out a 2-1 win thanks to a third period goal by Matthew Boudreau.

Obviously, despite the shots, Saint John played a much better game on Saturday and were led by the outstanding play of goaltender Sebastien Auger. Tonight, the Sea Dogs will look to keep some of the momentum going that was gained from Saturday’s match.

One of the things Saint John did well on Saturday was stay out of the box. That’s something they’ll need to do again if they want to contain Halifax’s offense.

The Sea Dogs were 13-21-0-0 at home this season and are 4-9-0-0 at Harbour Station since the trade deadline.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Game 3 Eve


The Halifax Mooseheads have departed for Saint John where they’ll take on the Sea Dogs in Game 3 of their first round playoff series tomorrow night at 7pm.

After blasting the Sea Dogs 11-1 on Friday night, Saint John – led by goaltender Sebastien Auger – made things interesting on Saturday. A third period goal by Matthew Boudreau gave the Mooseheads a 2-1 win.

Even though Saint John was outshot 45-15, they came close to at least sending the game into overtime. That’s an accomplishment when you’re the No. 16 seed in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League taking on the No. 1 ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League.

Halifax leads the best-of-seven series 2-0, meaning they can put the Sea Dogs on life support with a win tomorrow night.

Some other stuff:
  • The Sea Dogs have scored just two goals so far in the playoffs, the fewest in the league. They’ve given up 13, the second most in the league.
  • Good column from the Chronicle Herald’s Chris Cochrane on the role a hot goaltender can play in the post-season. See: Auger, Sebastien.
  • Fur coat city.
  • The Mooseheads learned some stuff from Saturday’s game.
  • Lots of tickets available for Game 3 tomorrow and Game 4 on Wednesday.
  • Via John Moore, Mike Kelly and Ian Saab speak.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

POSTSCRIPT: Sea Dogs 1, Mooseheads 2

A collection of recaps from last night’s 2-1 Saint John Sea Dogs loss to the Halifax Mooseheads…

Our recap. The Saint John Sea Dogs came oh so close to pulling off a massive upset on Saturday night at the Halifax Metro Centre.

The Chronicle Herald’s recap. The win didn’t come nearly as easily for the Halifax Mooseheads on Saturday.

Metro Halifax’s recap. There would be no blowout on this night.

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

The Canadian Press’ recap. Saint John's goaltender Sebastien Auger stopped 43-of-45 shots, but Matthew Boudreau scored the winner on the power play at 12:42 of the third period to give the Mooseheads a 2-0 series lead.

SaintJohnSeaDogs.com’s recap. The Saint John Sea Dogs put up a much tougher fight against the Halifax Mooseheads in Saturday night’s Quebec Major Junior Hockey League President Cup playoff action. Halifax took the match with a 2-1 decision and a 2-0 series lead.

SERIES: Halifax now leads the first round, best-of-seven series 2-0.

SCRATCHES: The Sea Dogs were without defensemen Ian Saab (suspended) and Steven Duda (healthy) along with forward Brett Malone (healthy).

Saab was suspended an automatic one-game for a high sticking match penalty he received in Game 1 on Friday night.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

RECAP: So Close. Dogs Lose 2-1.

FINAL: Saint John 1, Halifax 2

HALIFAX – The Saint John Sea Dogs came oh so close to pulling off a massive upset on Saturday night at the Halifax Metro Centre.

Matthew Boudreau scored at 12:42 on a power play in the third period, a goal that would prove to be the game-winner in a 2-1 Halifax Mooseheads win over the Sea Dogs. The victory gives the Moose, the No. 1 team in the the QMJHL, a 2-0 lead in their first round, best-of-seven playoff series against the 16th-seeded Dogs.

It was a heartbreaking loss for Saint John but also a colossal turnaround. The Sea Dogs lost 11-1 to the Mooseheads last night, so this was obviously a much, much better performance by the underdogs.

Yes, the Sea Dogs still lost – but there are positives to take from this game. Sebastien Auger was Sebastien Auger, making 43 saves in a first star performance. Even though the game-winner was scored on the power play, Saint John didn’t get into the same kind of penalty trouble as they did on Friday. The Dogs were also able to keep Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, and Martin Frk off the scoresheet. Despite being outshot 45-15, the Dogs did not give up the kind of quality scoring chances that they did on Friday.

Maxime Villemaire scored Saint John’s only goal on Saturday, a goal that gave the Sea Dogs a 1-0 lead in the first. It was their first lead of the series.

Brent Andrews had the other Halifax goal. Zach Fucale made 14 saves in net for the win.

The series now shifts to Saint John for Games 3 and 4. After tonight’s game, the series has certainly got a bit more interesting.

PLAYOFF GAMEDAY: Round 1, Game 2 - at Halifax

GAMEDAY
2013 President’s Cup Playoffs – Round 1, Game 2
Saint John Sea Dogs vs Halifax Mooseheads
Tonight at 7:00pm
Radio: News 88.9 | Webcast: Telus | TV: None | Live: @station_nation
Halifax Metro Centre – Halifax, NS
PREVIEW
HALIFAX – Game 1 did not go well for the Saint John Sea Dogs.

Despite being outshot 24-4 in the first period, Saint John trailed just 2-1 entering the second. But after Ian Saab took his match penalty for high sticking, the Halifax Mooseheads turned on the engines and never looked back.

The Mooseheads scored eight times in the second period en route to an easy 11-1 victory over the Sea Dogs last night at the Halifax Metro Centre. Saint John looks to at least make a game out of tonight’s Game 2 which begins this evening at 7pm at the Metro Centre.

Sebastien Auger will very likely get the start again tonight for the Sea Dogs despite giving up seven goals on 38 shots yesterday. Despite what the stats may suggest, Auger was very good and at least kept the Sea Dogs in the game for a period. He made some ridiculous stops in the opening frame.

Halifax showed last night just how talented they are offensively. Martin Frk had five goals and eight points, Jonathan Drouin had six assists, and Nathan MacKinnon had two goals and two helpers. Saint John just could not contain the trio at all.

Penalties also hurt Saint John last night as Halifax went 4-for-10 on the power play. Besides Saab’s five minute infraction, there were some other needless penalties taken as well. It’s probably not the greatest idea to take such penalties when playing the highest scoring team in the league.

After tonight’s game, the series shifts to Saint John for Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Wednesday.

POSTSCRIPT: Sea Dogs 1, Mooseheads 11

A collection of recaps from last night’s 11-1 Saint John Sea Dogs loss to the Halifax Mooseheads…

Our recap. Friday night was a bad night for the Saint John Sea Dogs.

The Chronicle Herald’s recap. Marty Frk and the Halifax Mooseheads had their way with the Saint John Sea Dogs at the Metro Centre on Friday night.

Metro Halifax’s recap. If tonight’s any indication, the Saint John Sea Dogs are in a pile of trouble.

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

The Canadian Press’ recap. The Halifax Mooseheads finished the regular season 73 points ahead of the Saint John Sea Dogs and they showed why in Game 1 of their first-round matchup.

SaintJohnSeaDogs.com’s recap. The Saint John Sea Dogs could not whether the Halifax Mooseheads offence as the Mooseheads took Game 1 of the opening round with a 11-1 decision at the Halifax Metro Centre.

HalifaxMooseheads.ca’s recap. Marty Frk had a night on Friday.

SERIES: Halifax leads the first round, best-of-seven playoff series 1-0.

SCRATCHES: The Sea Dogs were without defenseman Jeremy Doucet (healthy) and Steven Duda (healthy) along with forward Connor Donaghey (healthy) on Friday night.

Friday, March 22, 2013

RECAP: Ouch. Dogs Lose 11-1.

FINAL: Saint John 1, Halifax 11
HALIFAX – Friday night was a bad night for the Saint John Sea Dogs.

Going into this series, everyone was aware this could get ugly on the scoreboard. And boy oh boy, did we ever find out quickly that that was true.

The Halifax Mooseheads exploded for eight goals in the second period in an 11-1 stomping of the Sea Dogs in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoff action at the Metro Centre on Friday. The Mooseheads lead the best-of-seven first round series 1-0.

Martin Frk had five goals and three assists, Nathan MacKinnon had two goals and two assists, and Jonathan Drouin added six helpers. Stefan Fournier, Brent Andrews, Stephen MacAulay, and Dominic Beauchemin also scored. Zach Fucale made 18 saves in the win.

Simply put, Halifax dominated this game. Despite leading just 2-1 after one, they were outshooting Saint John 24-4. Sebastien Auger was the only reason the Dogs stayed in this game at all, but he just could not contain the Mooseheads’ offense after a while. Halifax outshot Saint John 59-19 overall with 11 of those Sea Dogs shots coming in the third.

Auger was pulled after giving up seven goals on 38 shots – and that’s in just 31:10 of action. He did all he could in net. Alex Fournier came in in relief, allowing four goals on 21 shots.

Jason Cameron had the Sea Dogs’ only goal, a goal that came halfway through the first period to make it a 2-1 game at the time.

It's unfortunate Saint John lost like this but... what are you going to do? The Moose are just too good. The Sea Dogs did this to Cape Breton the past two years. 

Maybe things will go better tomorrow.

SN's First Round Playoff Predictions


Well here we are. It’s playoff time.

It's certainly a different year in Saint John. After three straight years of regular season championships, the Sea Dogs are likely going to be bounced from the post-season in the first round. But this is junior hockey and that is just the price you pay for success.

So yeah... the playoffs are here. That's about all we have to say.

Here are some first round playoff predictions and thoughts from some solid websites.

And here are some first round playoff predictions and thoughts from people who write for a Sea Dogs blog.

PLAYOFF GAMEDAY: Round 1, Game 1 - at Halifax

GAMEDAY
2013 President’s Cup Playoffs – Round 1, Game 1
Saint John Sea Dogs vs Halifax Mooseheads
Tonight at 7:00pm
Radio: News 88.9 | Webcast: Telus | TV: Eastlink | Live: @station_nation
Halifax Metro Centre – Halifax, NS
PREVIEW
HALIFAX – The Saint John Sea Dogs have been here before.

This is the third season the league has used this playoff format and in each of the past two, the Sea Dogs have been the No. 1 seed and took on the No. 16 seed. Saint John will play in that series once again this year, only this time they will be underdog.

Saint John finished the regular season with a 23-44-1-0 record for 47 points, placing them fifth in the Telus Maritimes Division and 16th overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

As the 16th seed, the Sea Dogs will play the No. 1 seeded Halifax Mooseheads in a first-round, best-of-seven series that begins tonight at 7pm at the Metro Centre. The Mooseheads had one of the greatest regular seasons ever, finishing the year with a 58-6-3-1 record for 120 points.  Their 58 wins tied a league record.

Obviously, the Mooseheads are huge favourites to win this series. If the Sea Dogs manage to move on to the next round it would be one of the greatest playoff upsets in the history of sports.

If the Sea Dogs have a chance in this series it probably comes down to the play of goaltender Sebastien Auger. Saint John’s offense isn’t going to score a lot of goals, so if they are going to stay in these games, they can’t give up many.

If anything, this young Sea Dogs team will get some playoff experience out of this.

Pranksters Hit Sea Dogs Bus

Some pranksters attacked the Sea Dogs bus this morning in Halifax.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tesink To Miss Opening Round

According to reports, Ryan Tesink will not play for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in their first-round playoff series against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. That series begins tonight in Boisbriand.


Tesink was traded to the Armada on January 2 in exchange for Saint John’s own 2013 first-round pick, a pick that will be made third overall at this year’s QMJHL Entry Draft. The veteran forward played in six games with the Armada, registering a goal and three assists. His last game was on January 13 and has not played since.

The Armada believe the Sea Dogs were aware of Tesink’s injury before the trade was made. In mid-February, it was announced that the Armada wanted the league to investigate, a hearing was held, yada yada yada, and here we are near the end of March and we still don’t know what decision the league has come to.

TVA Sports’ Mikael Lalancette wrote on Twitter that a decision will be announced in April. The Telegraph-Journal has been reporting something similar.

The Armada finished third overall in the league with a record of 41-19-2-6, winning the Telus West Division. They just got a big boost from the New Jersey Devils who sent Stefan Matteau back to junior. They could make some noise in the playoffs, and a healthy Tesink would give them another big boost.

Sea Dogs/Mooseheads By The Numbers

The odds of the Halifax Mooseheads winning their first-round playoff series against the Saint John Sea Dogs are as high as 99%, according to Buzzing The Net. So there’s that.

Here are some other numbers to take a look at heading into the series.

THE NUMBERS
HalifaxSaint John
Record58-6-3-1 (1st Maritimes)23-44-1-0 (5th Maritimes)
Home Record31-2-1-013-21-0-0
Road Record27-4-2-110-23-1-0
Goals For/Game5.06 (1st)2.53 (16th)
Goals Against/Game2.57 (1st)3.96 (14th)
Shots For/Game35.47 (3rd)27.46 (14th)
Shots Against/Game25.80 (3rd)36.37 (18th)
Overall PP27.7% (2nd)20.3% (12th)
Home PP30.7% (3rd)18.7% (13th)
Road PP24.3% (2nd)21.9% (9th)
Overall PK81.5% (4th)75.3% (15th)
Home PK83.2% (5th)78.8% (13th)
Road PK79.8% (5th)72.0% (17th)
PIM/GAME12.815.9
Attendance8,686 (2nd)3,992 (4th)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sea Dogs Notebook

PREVIEW
Mooseheads play-by-play man John Moore has a nice little preview of the Sea Dogs/Mooseheads series.


THE PLAYOFFS
The 2013 President’s Cup Playoffs… they are a coming. Here’s who is playing who in the first-round:

Saint John Sea Dogs vs Halifax Mooseheads
Sherbrooke Phoenix vs Baie-Comeau Drakkar
Acadie-Bathurst Titan vs Blainville-Boisbriand Armada
Gatineau Olympiques vs Rimouski Océanic
Chicoutimi Saguenéens vs Québec Remparts
Victoriaville Tigres vs Moncton Wildcats
Val-d’Or Foreurs vs PEI Rocket
Drummondville Voltigeurs vs Rouyn-Noranda Huskies

The Sea Dogs and Mooseheads get rolling on Friday night in Halifax. Puck drop is 7pm. Yesterday, the Chronicle Herald had an article on how the two teams have switched roles this season compared to the past few years. Junior hockey is cool like that.

TV
If you have Eastlink TV, you’ll be able to watch Game 1 of the Sea Dogs/Mooseheads series.


NO. 1
The Mooseheads will enter the playoffs as No. 1 ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League. They topped the final BMO CHL MasterCard Top 10 Rankings of the season that were released this afternoon.


Halifax finished the regular season with a 58-6-3-1 record, tying the QMJHL record for most wins in a single season.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Auger Cleans Up At Awards Banquet

Goaltender Sebastien Auger was honoured for his tremendous season on Tuesday night at the Delta Brunswick, taking home five awards at the Saint John Sea Dogs annual awards banquet

Auger was named the Bell Aliant Most Valuable Player and Tim Horton’s Most Improved player. He also took home the Children’s Wish Foundation Fans Choice Award, the Irving Oil Team Player Award and the Alpine Three Stars Award.

The second-year goaltender finished the season with a 22-31-1-0 record to go along with a 3.33 goals against average and 0.907 save percentage. His save percentage was the fifth best in the league this season. Auger was unreal in net this year. For a franchise that has had goaltending development issues since, well, forever, it was great to see.

Sea Dogs captain Pierre Durepos was named the Saint John Airport Academic Player of the Year and Sun Life Global Investments Top Defenceman.

Veteran forward Jason Cameron was awarded the Scotiabank Community Service Award and import forward Jakub Izacky, who led the team in the scoring with 38 points in 63 games, took home the Pepsi Top Scorer Award.

The Grant Thornton Rookie of the Year Award was given to two players – forward Stephen Anderson and defenseman Olivier LeBlanc.

No Sea Dogs players are nominated for league awards this season.

Saint John kicks off the post-season on Friday night in Halifax.

Three Dogs In Future Watch's Top 50

Jonathan Huberdeau is the highest ranked former Saint John Sea Dog in the 2013 edition of The Hockey News’ annual Future Watch magazine.

Huberdeau comes in at No. 8 in the magazine’s top 50 prospect list, down from No. 3 last year. Also on the list is Charlie Coyle at No. 27 and Nathan Beaulieu at No. 41. The rankings were determined by 15 NHL head scouts and general managers.

All three players played with Saint John last season. Both Huberdeau and Coyle have seen action in the NHL this season and have done quite well. Huberdeau has 12 goals and six assists in 29 games with the Florida Panthers while Coyle has three goals and two assists in 17 games with the Minnesota Wild.

Beaulieu has spent this season with the American Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs. The defenseman has registered six goals and 16 assists in 59 games.

In the team rankings, Huberdeau is the top ranked Panthers prospect, Coyle is third in the Wild system, and Beaulieu is the second ranked Habs prospect.

Other Sea Dogs included in team rankings are Zack Phillips (AHL – Houston) who is ranked ninth in the Wild’s system, Eric Gelinas (AHL – Albany) is fifth in the Devils system, Simon Despres (NHL –Penguins) is fifth in the Penguins system, and Stanislav Galiev (ECHL – Reading) is seventh in the Capitals system.

This year’s Future Watch magazine also has an article on 15-year old forward Nathan Noel. The St. John’s native spent this season at Shattuck St. Mary’s and is a top prospect for this year’s QMJHL Entry Draft. You have to think the Sea Dogs have an eye on him.

Good read as always. You can purchase it online HERE.

Got Goals?

For a team that has hovered around the 300 goal mark for each of the past three seasons, the 2012-13 campaign was certainly a change of pace.

To put it simply, the Saint John Sea Dogs didn’t score a lot of goals this season. Their 173 goals was the third worst total in the league, coming in ahead of Shawinigan (154) and Cape Breton (161). Only five teams in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League failed to reach the 200 goal mark.

Of Saint John’s 173 goals, 63 of them were scored on the power play.

The Sea Dogs’ 2012-13 goal total is the worst in franchise history. But, it’s worth noting that the 2005-06, 2006-07, and 2007-08 seasons featured 70-game schedules compared to today’s 68.

Goals ForLeading Scorer
2005-06174 (18th)Felix Schutz (21G+31A=52Pts)
2006-07209 (18th)Chris DiDomenico (25G+50A=75Pts)
2007-08265 (5th)Chris DiDomenico (39G+56A=95Pts)
2008-09222 (9th)Michael Kirkpatrick (34G+30A=64Pts)
2009-10309 (1st)Mike Hoffman (46G+39A=85Pts)
2010-11324 (1st)Jonathan Huberdeau (43G+62A=105Pts)
2011-12298 (2nd)Danick Gauthier (47G+39A=86Pts)
2012-13173 (16th)Jakub Izacky (21G+17A=38Pts)

Saint John’s offense definitely took a hit following the trade deadline and the return of the NHL. Ryan Tesink, Stephen MacAulay, Kevin Gagne, and Jonathan Huberdeau accounted for 61 of the Saint John’s 173 goals. Bringing back 20-year old Maxime Villemaire in the second half, who finished the season with 13 goals and 11 assists in 29 games, was a good move with all the departures.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Dogs/Moose Series Schedule Announced

The Saint John Sea Dogs and Halifax Mooseheads have announced the schedule for their first-round playoff series.

There are no surprises in the schedule. It will be a 2-2-1-1-1 format with the series starting Friday night at the Halifax Metro Centre. The Mooseheads, as the No. 1 seeded team for this year’s post-season, will have home ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

Halifax, the No. 1 ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League, went 7-0-1-0 against Saint John this season on their way to tying the QMJHL record for most wins (58). The Sea Dogs are definitely big time underdogs in this series.

The full schedule is below:

Game 1: Friday, March 22 @ 7 p.m. at Halifax Metro Centre
Game 2: Saturday, March 23 @ 7 p.m. at Halifax Metro Centre
Game 3: Tuesday, March 26 @ 7 p.m. at Harbour Station
Game 4: Wednesday, March 27 @ 7 p.m. at Harbour Station
*Game 5: Friday, March 29 @ 7 p.m. at Halifax Metro Centre
*Game 6: Sunday, March 31 @ 3 p.m. at Harbour Station
*Game 7: Tuesday, April 2 @ 7 p.m. at Halifax Metro Centre
*If required

Tickets for games three and four go on sale to the general public Friday at 10 a.m. and can be purchased by visiting the Harbour Station box office, calling 657-1234 or heading to tickets.harbourstation.ca.

It’s worth noting too that Saint John and Halifax have the best webcasts in the league. They are both decent quality with multiple camera angles and replays. This will be the best webcasted series in league history. 

Fullerton Wins 3rd National Title

Former Saint John Sea Dogs goaltender Travis Fullerton is a national champion once again.

The UNB Varsity Reds blanked the Saint Mary’s Huskies 2-0 last night in Saskatoon, winning the 2013 University Cup. It was UNB’s fifth national title in school history and fourth since 2007.

For Fullerton, it was his third national championship having helped the club win in 2009 and 2011.

The Riverview native fell into the role of backup goaltender this year because of the solid play of Dan LaCosta. LaCosta, who has seen action in the NHL with the Columbus Blue Jackets, made 17 saves for the shutout win last night.

It’s unclear where Fullerton, a fifth year player with the V-Reds, will play next season. This year, he went 8-4 in the regular season with a 2.23 GAA and .877 SV%.

Fullerton played a season-and-a-half with Saint John, helping the team reach the QMJHL semi-final for the first time in 2008.

Former Sea Dogs captain Mike Thomas was also part of last night’s celebrations. Because Thomas played pro hockey last year, he had to “red shirt” this season. He’ll play for the Reds next season.

Photo: V-Reds Facebook page

POSTSCRIPT: Sea Dogs 5, Rocket 8

A collection of recaps from yesterday’s 8-5 Saint John Sea Dogs loss to the PEI Rocket…

Our recap. One of the craziest games of the Saint John Sea Dogs’ season took place on the final day of the regular season.

The Telegraph-Journal’s recap (paywall). The Saint John Sea Dogs will open their best-of-seven playoff season against the powerhouse Halifax Mooseheads Friday night in the Nova Scotia capital after finishing the regular season on a losing note, falling 8-5 to the P.E.I. Rocket at the Civic Centre in Charlottetown on Sunday afternoon.

The Guardian’s recap. Even the players thought the P.E.I Rocket’s 8-5 win over the Saint John Sea Dogs on Sunday at the Civic Centre was a weird game.

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

The Canadian Press’ recap. Ben Duffy had a goal and four assists, which gives him the QMJHL scoring title with 110 points, and Josh Currie scored three times as P.E.I. (41-23-4) downed Saint John (23-44-1) to head into the post season on a six-game win streak.

SaintJohnSeaDogs.com’s recap. The Saint John Sea Dogs couldn’t hold the lead over the PEI Rocket, dropping an 8-5 decision to the Rocket in the final day of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League regular season.

PEIRocket.com’s recap. It was a wild end to the season for the P.E.I. Rocket in an 8-5 win over the Saint John Sea Dogs Sunday afternoon at the Civic Centre.

SCRATCHES: The Sea Dogs were without defensemen Ian Saab (lower body injury according to News 88.9) and Michael Abbott (healthy) along with forward Connor Donaghey (healthy) on Sunday afternoon.

Jason Cameron returned to the Saint John lineup after missing Friday’s game in Halifax with a minor lower body injury.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

RECAP: Wild One. Dogs Lose 8-5.

FINAL: Saint John 5, PEI 8

CHARLOTTETOWN – One of the craziest games of the Saint John Sea Dogs’ season took place on the final day of the regular season.

The Sea Dogs lost a wild, back-and-forth game to the PEI Rocket on Sunday afternoon at the Charlottetown Civic Centre, ultimately falling 8-5.

The game was tied 2-2 heading into the second period, setting up a wild 20 minutes of hockey. PEI grabbed a 4-2 lead only to have Saint John score three times and lead 5-4 heading to the third. But the Sea Dogs could not contain the Rocket in the final stanza as the home side scored four times to take the game 8-5.

PEI out shot Saint John 23-8 in the third period and 49-40 overall.

Rocket veterans Ben Duffy and Josh Currie – playing in their final QMJHL regular season game – each had huge games. Duffy had a goal and four assists for five points, giving him 110 on the year and the league scoring title. Currie had a hat trick, giving him 49 goals on the season.

Louick Marcotte also had two goals while Victor Provencher and Alexis Pepin added singles. Matej Beran had three assists. Antoine Bibeau made 35 saves for the win in net.

Jason Cameron, Jakub Izacky, Pierre Durepos, Maxime Villemaire, and Marcus Cuomo scored for Saint John. Durepos, playing in his final regular season game, also had two helpers.

Alex Fournier got the start in net, allowing eight goals on 46 shots in the loss. He left the game late in the third period after appearing to take a high shot in the throat/mask area. He threw his glove, blocker, and mask off and immediately skated to the Sea Dogs bench for assistance. Sebastien Auger played the remaining 3:11, making three stops.

The Sea Dogs went 3-for-8 on the power play while PEI went 2-for-3. A bizarre incident at 6:31 of the second saw both Jack Nevins and Patrick McGrath get five-minute majors and game misconducts. Nevins for fighting after the original altercation and McGrath for being an aggressor. There was two minutes of three-on-three play followed by a lengthy five-on-three advantage for the Dogs.

With the loss, Saint John finishes the regular season with a 23-44-1-0 record, placing them fifth in the Telus Maritimes Division and 16th overall in the league. This was the third worst season in club history.

The playoffs start on Friday.

NOTES: See Sea Dogs Postscript tomorrow on SN.

NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs take on the Halifax Mooseheads in round one, game one this Friday night at the Metro Centre.

GAMEDAY 68 - at PEI

GAMEDAY
Saint John Sea Dogs vs PEI Rocket
Today at 3:00pm
Radio: News 88.9 | Webcast: Telus | TV: None | Live: @station_nation
Charlottetown Civic Centre – Charlottetown, PEI
PREVIEW
CHARLOTTETOWN – The team known as the “PEI Rocket” will play their last ever regular season game today. The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League franchise will be renamed the "PEI Islanders" for next season.

The Rocket’s opponent today will be the Saint John Sea Dogs. It is the final game of the regular season for both clubs. Game time is 3pm at the Charlottetown Civic Centre.

It’s a big game for the Rocket who sit seventh overall with a record of 40-23-3-1. If the Moncton Wildcats lose in Bathurst today and PEI wins, the Rocket would move into sixth overall. If the playoffs started today, the Rocket would have to make the long trek to Val-d’Or and face the Foreurs in the first-round.

PEI is heading into the playoffs as one of the league’s hottest teams. They have won five straight and are 7-1-1-1 in their last 10 games.

Something else to follow today is the league’s scoring race. Halifax’s Jonathan Drouin and PEI’s Ben Duffy each sit atop the point leaderboard with 105 points each. PEI’s Josh Currie sits third with 101 points.

For the Sea Dogs, this game doesn’t mean anything in the standings. They are locked in 16th thanks to a Sherbrooke Phoenix victory last night. They’ll face the top ranked Halifax Mooseheads in the first-round beginning next Friday at the Metro Centre.

Saint John enters action today with a 23-43-1-0 record, placing them fifth in the Telus Maritimes Division. No matter what happens today, this will be the third worst season in franchise history and just the third time ever they’ll finish below .500.

Jakub Izacky is the team’s active leading scoring with 20 goals and 16 assists for 36 points in 62 games.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Dogs Will Meet Moose In 1st Round

The Saint John Sea Dogs will play the Halifax Mooseheads in the first-round of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs.

The series was confirmed tonight with the Sherbrooke Phoenix beating the Val-d’Or Foreurs 4-3. With the win, the Phoenix clinched 15th overall, meaning the Sea Dogs will finish 16th and making them the lowest seed in this year’s post-season.

Halifax has had, statistically, one of the greatest regular seasons ever in the QMJHL. They can tie the league record for wins (58) with a victory tomorrow, a record the 2010-11 Sea Dogs are a part owners of. The Moose have sat atop the standings for most of the season and are ranked No. 1 in the BMO CHL MasterCard Top 10 Rankings. To say the Sea Dogs have a massive task ahead of them is an understatement.

The Sea Dogs have been the No. 1 seeded team over the past three seasons and, particularly the past two years, steamrolled through the first-round. Now, Saint John will get a view from the other side.

There are some positives about this series. The travel won’t be too bad, Moosehead fans aren’t as nuts as Baie-Comeau fans, and Saint John fans will get to see some of the best available talent for this year’s NHL Draft on Harbour Station ice a couple more times.

This will be the first playoff meeting between the two franchises. The Mooseheads are the only Maritime based team the Sea Dogs have never faced in the post-season.

The Mooseheads have already announced that the first two games of the series will be held on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23 at the Halifax Metro Centre. A full schedule will be announced sometime this week, but games three and four will, based on past playoff series schedules, likely be held on Tuesday, March 26 and Wednesday, March 27 at Harbour Station.

The Sea Dogs, 23-43-1-0, play their final game of the regular season tomorrow afternoon in Charlottetown against the PEI Rocket.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Lots Of Former Q Talent On TV Tonight

There will be plenty of former Quebec Major Junior Hockey League players in action tonight as the UQTR Patriotes take on the UNB Varsity Reds at the CIS University Cup in Saskatoon.

The winner of this evening’s game will advance to the University Cup final tomorrow night and take on the Saint Mary’s Huskies. Tonight’s game, which begins at 11pm Atlantic time, can be seen live on Sportsnet.

The Atlantic University Sport champion Varsity Reds of course feature former Saint John Sea Dogs goaltender Travis Fullerton. The fifth year V-Red went 8-4 in the regular season with a 2.23 GAA and .877 SV%. He has been UNB’s backup to Dan LaCosta in the playoffs and probably won’t start again tonight.

Fullerton played a season-and-a-half with Saint John, helping the team reach the QMJHL semi-final for the first time in 2008. He has won two CIS Championships during his time at UNB.

The Queen’s Cup champion Patriotes also feature a former Sea Dogs goaltender in Marc-Antoine Gelinas. In his first year at UQTR, Gelinas went 10-5 in the regular season with a 2.78 GAA and 0.906 SV%. He went 3-0 in the playoffs, allowing just two goals on 107 shots. He made 24 saves last night in a win against the host Saskatchewan Huskies.

Gelinas went 21-5 with Saint John in the first half of the 2009-10 season to go along with a 2.56 GAA and 0.913 SV%. During the Sea Dogs’ 22-game winning streak that year, Gelinas earned 15 of the wins.

A list of all the former Canadian Hockey League players taking part in this year’s tournament can be found here.