Monday, September 30, 2013

Drouin Expected To Play Tomorrow

The Halifax media is reporting that Jonathan Drouin, the third overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning, will make his Halifax Mooseheads season debut tomorrow night at Harbour Station against the Sea Dogs.
So that’s great.

Drouin recorded 41 goals and 64 assists in just 49 games with the Mooseheads last season. Meanwhile, the Sea Dogs are currently averaging the most shots against per game in the league this year (37.97) and three of their seven healthy defensemen are rookies.

Halifax is off to a bit of shaky start and sit 14th overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League standings with a 3-4 record. The Sea Dogs are 10th with a 3-2-0-1 record.

Wayne Long Returns To Twitter

Sea Dogs president Wayne Long has returned to Twitter. He can be followed @WayneLongSJ.

Long made his return to the Twitterverse on Saturday, the first time he had tweeted since July 4th, 2012.

This is probably the best post in the history of this blog.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Drouin Is Coming Back To The Q


The Tampa Bay Lightning have sent Jonathan Drouin back to junior.

The Lightning announced this afternoon that the third overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft has been reassigned to the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League where he will produce an unreal amount of points and destroy a number of opposing team.

Drouin recorded 41 goals and 105 points in just 49 games with the Mooseheads last year. He also had four points in six games with Team Canada at the world juniors.

Obviously this is huge news for Halifax. Although they still lost plenty of other pieces from last year’s Memorial Cup winning team, having Drouin in their lineup is a game changer. Or, y'know, they could trade him at Christmas and get a massive return. This is also big news for Canada’s world junior team.

The Mooseheads play in Saint John on Tuesday night but Stephane Leroux of RDS tweets that his first game of the season will be Friday in Sherbrooke.

RECAP: Saturday Night's Alright. Sea Dogs Win 4-1.

FINAL: Sherbrooke 1, Saint John 4
SAINT JOHN – Three power play goals led the Saint John Sea Dogs to a 4-1 victory over the Sherbrooke Phoenix on Saturday night at Harbour Station.

Olivier LeBlanc, Mackenzie Brown, and Matthew Highmore all scored their first goals of the season while Nathan Noel scored his third in the victory. LeBlanc also had two assists. Sebastien Auger was Sebastien Auger and made 32 saves for the win.

Saint John opened the scoring in the first period but Sherbrooke quickly tied it. The Sea Dogs jumped out to a 3-1 advantage after two and then extended their lead to 4-1 in the third. Some good penalty killing and quality goaltending in the final frame allowed the Sea Dogs to hang on for the 4-1 win.

The win improves Saint John’s record to 3-2-0-1 on the season.

Tim Wieser had Sherbrooke’s only goal. Gabriel Parent made 20 saves in the loss.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

GAMEDAY 6 - vs Phoenix

GAMEDAY
Sherbrooke Phoenix vs Saint John Sea Dogs
Tonight at 7pm
Radio: News 88.9 | Webcast: Telus | TV: None | Live: @station_nation
Harbour Station – Saint John, NB
PREVIEW
SAINT JOHN – Two young teams battle this evening at Harbour Station.

The Sherbrooke Phoenix make their only trip to Saint John this season to face the Sea Dogs at 7pm in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action. This is the first non-Maritime opponent the Sea Dogs have faced this season.

Much like the Sea Dogs, the Phoenix have plenty of young talent in their lineup. Along with players like Daniel Audette and Carl Neill, they also have defenseman Jeremy Roy who was taken one spot after Nathan Noel in the 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft.

In their expansion season the Phoenix finished 15th overall - which was one spot ahead of the Sea Dogs. This season, Sherbrooke is off to a 1-4-0-0 start and currently sit 17th overall in the league. Only the Shawinigan Cataractes, who have just one point thanks to an overtime loss, have gotten off to a worse start.

Audette leads the Phoenix in scoring with one goal and six assists for seven points in five games. Roy and Jean-Francois Plante each have two goals to lead the team.

The Sea Dogs meanwhile enter play tonight with a 2-2-1-0 record which places them 11th overall in the league. They are 1-0-0-1 at home this year.

Stephen Anderson (3G, 2A) and Oliver Cooper (1G, 4A) are tied for the team lead in points with five each. Anderson has a team high three goals.

Goaltender Sebastien Auger has been unreal as expected. He has the league’s second best goals against average (1.96) and the best save percentage (0.954). He has started the last three games including last night in Charlottetown so it would not be surprising to see Antoine Landry between the pipes today.

Friday, September 27, 2013

RECAP: Falling Down In Charlottetown. Dogs Lose 3-2.

FINAL: Saint John 2, Charlottetown 3
CHARLOTTETOWN – The Charlottetown Islanders refuse to lose.

The Islanders improved their perfect start to the season to 5-0-0-0 with a 3-2 victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action on Friday night at Eastlink Centre.

Much like Sunday’s game in Saint John between the two, this was a close game. Despite Charlottetown having a large shot advantage (45-28), the Dogs were able to stay in this game much like they have in most of their games this season.

The two teams were tied 1-1 after one before Charlottetown jumped out to a 2-1 lead heading into the third. Kameron Kielly scored what proved to be the game winner 7:53 on a power play in the third. It was an unfortunate goal as Sebastien Auger went behind the net to play the puck, missed, collided with someone, and then fell down, giving the Islanders a wide open net. Spencer Smallman scored shortly after to get the Dogs back in it but they could not tie things up.

The Islanders also had goals from Matthew Bursey and Troy Vance. Antoine Bibeau played very well in net, making 26 saves in the win.

Stephen Anderson scored Saint John’s other goal. Auger made 42 saves in the loss. It was the second time (of many times) that Auger made 40+ saves in a game this year.

The Sea Dogs fell to 2-2-0-1 with the loss. If the first five games are any indication, there are going to be some real close games in the Maritimes Division this year.

GAMEDAY 5 - at Charlottetown

GAMEDAY
Saint John Sea Dogs vs Charlottetown Islanders
Tonight at 7pm
Radio: News 88.9 | Webcast: Telus | TV: Eastlink | Live: @station_nation
Eastlink Centre – Charlottetown, PEI
GAMEDAY
CHARLOTTETOWN – The Charlottetown Islanders have been perfect so far.

The Islanders are off to a 4-0-0-0 start this Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season and are joined by the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada as the only unbeaten teams remaining. Charlottetown will put their perfect record on the line this evening when they host the Saint John Sea Dogs at 7pm at Eastlink Centre.

Charlottetown needed a nine round shootout last Sunday to keep their record intact. Troy Vance scored in the ninth round of the breakaway contest to give the Islanders a 3-2 victory over the Sea Dogs at Harbour Station. It was a physical affair with the two teams combining for 45 hits. It was also a game with great goaltending as Eric Brassard and Sebastien Auger both played very well in net.

The Islanders are led offensively by Jack Nevins who has two goals and four assists for six points in four games. Matej Beran and Kameron Kielly both have five points. They have outscored opponents 16-10 in four games.

The Sea Dogs enter action today with a 2-1-0-1 record and sit third in the Maritimes Division. The Dogs have been outscored 11-10 in four games. They will no doubt be looking for some revenge after a tough loss last Sunday to the Isles.

Three players on Saint John have four points – Stephen Anderson (2G, 2A), Michael Abbott (1G, 3A), and Oliver Cooper (1G, 3A) – to lead the team. Anderson and rookie Nathan Noel are tied for the team lead in goals with two apiece.

The biggest story of last weekend’s action was the play of goaltender Sebastien Auger. The netminder allowed just three goals on 85 shots in two games en route to being named the QMJHL first star of the week and the CHL goaltender of the week.

Last Sunday’s game between these two was a good and close one. Hopefully tonight’s match is as well.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sea Dogs Notebook

UP NEXT
The Sea Dogs are back in action tomorrow night when they travel across the Confederation Bridge to Charlottetown to face the Islanders. Game time is 7pm at Eastlink Centre.

The Islanders are off to a great 4-0 start this season and defeated the Sea Dogs 3-2 in a shootout last Sunday at Harbour Station. The game saw the two teams combine for 45 hits and a nine round shootout.


The Sea Dogs then return home to host the Sherbrooke Phoenix on Saturday night at 7pm at the Station.

TIM CARD
Country 94’s news blog has an article on the Sea Dogs Tim Card’s that can now be purchased “at locations between Sussex and St. Stephen.”

Sea Dogs President Wayne Long tells CHSJ News it's something they always thought about doing. 
He says you always see the cards with a winter scene or the Tim Horton's camps and they thought it would be a great idea to have a Sea Dogs logo on one of those cards.

Quite a few teams in the CHL are selling these things this year.

GAGNE
The Ducks blog Anaheim Calling previews some of the newcomers to the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals this season. Among the newcomers is former Sea Dogs defenseman Kevin Gagne.

“With his impressive amount of awards, two time QMJHL champ, Memorial Cup Winner, 2013 QMJHL Defenseman of the Year, 2013 First All-Star Team, I am hoping that he can make an impact pretty quickly on both ends of the ice,” writes shawndubstep. “His size isn't that good for a defenseman, 5'8, but he seems to have the right pedigree to succeed.”

HUBERDEAU
There are a couple Jonathan Huberdeau articles floating around. The first is from the Florida Sun Sentinel.

“We want more of the same,” Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said. “He’ll be stronger, fitter and pain-free. I expect bigger and better from him. He’ll have some hiccups as well over 82 games. Even veteran players have hiccups, ups and downs in an 82-game season.’’

The second is from the NHLPA website which brings us the headline “Huberdeau Hunting Hardware in Florida.”

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Auger Named CHL Goaltender Of The Week

Sea Dogs goaltender Sebastien Auger has won another weekly award. From the CHL website:

The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Sebastien Auger of the Saint John Sea Dogs is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending September 22 after posting a 1-0-0-1 record with a goals-against-average of 1.44 and save percentage of .965.

Auger, who also won this award last September, claims the first weekly award of the season after making 82 saves in two starts and helping the Sea Dogs pick up three points in a pair of home games over the weekend.  On Saturday night he earned first star honours with 44 saves in a close 2-1 win over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, then claimed first star honours again on Sunday with 38 saves despite a 3-2 shootout loss to the Charlottetown Islanders.

Auger, a 19-year-old from St-Augustin-de-Desmaures, QC, is playing in his third QMJHL season with the Sea Dogs.  In 56 games last season he posted 22 wins with a goals-against-average of 3.33 and a save percentage of .907.  

What a goalie.

Sea Dogs are in Charlottetown for a rematch with the Islanders on Friday night.

Access 'Q' Atlantic At Alumni Game

Bell Aliant Community One’s show “Access ‘Q’ Atlantic” has begun its second season.

In the first episode, the focus is on the Wallace McCain Memorial Alumni Weekend that was held last month. Interviews in the 30-minute show include Jonathan Huberdeau, Simon Despres, Zack Phillips, Kevin Gagne, Mike Kelly, and Titan general manager Sylvain Couturier.

Of note, Kelly talks about import forward Juraj Siska around the 20-minute mark.

You can check out the video on the Community One website. Go to the sports section and then select Access 'Q' Atlantic. 

Also, the Alumni Game jersey auction began yesterday on eBay. One jersey per day will be listed through the Sea Dogs Foundation eBay Store: http://stores.ebay.ca/Sea-Dogs-Foundation. More details on the jersey auction can be found here.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Two Sea Dogs Make Preliminary Listing

Two members of the Saint John Sea Dogs have caught the eye of NHL Central Scouting.

Defenseman Olivier LeBlanc and forward Juraj Siska were each ranked as “C Skaters” amongst Quebec Major Junior Hockey League players eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft.

Central Scouting released their preliminary 2014 North American "ones to watch" earlier today. Moncton Wildcats import forward Ivan Barbashev is the top ranked player – and only one listed as an “A Skater” – in the QMJHL.

It’s no surprise to see LeBlanc on the list. Drafted in the first-round of the 2012 QMJHL Entry Draft, LeBlanc played calm, cool, and collected in his rookie season and registered four goals and 14 assists in 60 games. He’ll be a big part of this year’s defense core and has an assist in four games so far this season.

Meanwhile, we have no idea when Siska will play his first game with the Sea Dogs. The 17-year old Slovakian forward is recovering from a spinal cord injury.

“Juraj Siska is a big forward who can play a power game,” said Sea Dogs head coach and General Manager Mike Kelly after the Sea Dogs selected him ninth overall in the 2013 CHL Import Draft. “We know he is recovering from an injury that could potentially delay his arrival, but we felt it would be worth the wait. Those big forwards can dominate as 18 and 19 year olds and we feel he will compliment the speed and skill of the players we currently have. We are thrilled to have Juraj as part of the Sea Dog family.”

Siska played last season with HC Nitra in Slovakia’s Under-20 league. He registered a point-per-game in 27 contests, scoring 12 goals and adding 15 assists.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Auger Named First Star Of The Week

An unreal weekend performance has earned Sea Dogs goaltender Sebastien Auger this week’s QMJHL Telus first star award.

Auger, who did not play opening weekend due to injury, was brilliant as usual in net on Saturday and Sunday at Harbour Station. He helped Saint John earn three of a possible four points with a win over Bathurst and a shootout loss to Charlottetown.


The first star of the week is awarded to Sebastien Auger, the Saint John Sea Dogs goaltender. Auger faced an average of 41 shots per game during the weekend, giving his team the opportunity to collect three points out of a possible four. Saturday, he was chosen the first star of the game with a 2-1 home win against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan making 44 saves, including 18 in a perfect 3rd period. He was also named the first star of the game against the Charlottetown Islanders, still undefeated in the 2013-14 season. Sunday, in a 3-2 loss, he forced a shootout, with 38 saves in the first 65 minutes of play. Moreover, he has been very effective in shootouts, stopping six out of nine shots against him.

As we pointed out in today’s Postscript, Auger faced nine shootout attempts all of last season.

Auger is probably going to keep the Sea Dogs in a lot of games this year. He’s one of the best in the league.

Baie-Comeau Drakkar defenseman Alex Vanier and Cape Breton Screaming Eagles forward Cameron Darcy were named the second and third stars of the week, respectively. 

POSTSCRIPT: Islanders 3, Sea Dogs 2

A collection of recaps from yesterday’s 3-2 Sea Dogs shootout loss to the Charlottetown Islanders…

Our recap. It took a nine round shootout to decide a winner on Sunday afternoon at Harbour Station.

The Telegraph-Journal’s recap (Paywall). The Charlottetown Islanders remain undefeated in the early stages of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season.

The Guardian’s recap. Troy Vance scored the shootout winner Sunday in Saint John, N.B., as the Charlottetown Islanders remained undefeated early in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season.

The Canadian Press’ recap. Troy Vance scored the winner in the ninth round of a shootout as the Charlottetown Islanders remained undefeated with a 3-2 win over the Saint John Sea Dogs in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action Sunday.

SaintJohnSeaDogs.com’s recap. Troy Vance scored the shootout winner in the ninth round to give the Charlottetown Islanders a 3-2 victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action at Harbour Station Sunday afternoon.

SCRATCHES: The Sea Dogs were without forwards Juraj Siska (not here/injured), Joey Richard (healthy), and Kelly Bent (healthy) along with defensemen Jurij Repe (wrist) and Thomas Chabot (death in family).

RECORD: The Islanders improved to 4-0-0-0 with yesterday’s win. The Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, also 4-0, are the only other undefeated team remaining in the QMJHL. Meanwhile, Saint John fell to 2-1-0-1 but did pick up a solid three of a possible four points this weekend.

FIGHT: Lukas Walter and Jack Nevins dropped the gloves at 2:06 of the first. Walter landed a bomb to start things off. Video via HockeyFights.com.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

RECAP: Shootout City. Dogs Lose 3-2.

FINAL: Charlottetown 3, Saint John 2 (SO)

SAINT JOHN – It took a nine round shootout to decide a winner on Sunday afternoon at Harbour Station.

Troy Vance, the 18th shooter of the afternoon, managed to beat Sebastien Auger to give the Charlottetown Islanders a 3-2 victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action.

The weird thing about this lengthy shootout is that other goals were scored. Matthew Highmore scored in fifth round but was matched by a goal from Matej Beran. Noah Zilbert scored in the eighth round but he was matched by Anthony Cortese. Finally, after Marcus Cuomo was stopped, Vance ended it.

It was a fitting end to another very close and hard fought game involving the Sea Dogs. Saint John is now 2-1-0-1 on the season after picking up three points this weekend.

Charlottetown meanwhile is a perfect 4-0-0-0 on the year. They’ll look to stay perfect when these two teams meet again on the Island this coming Friday.

In Sunday’s game, Cuomo and Nathan Noel scored for Saint John. Auger was solid in net again, making 38 saves plus an additional six in the shootout.

The Islanders had goals from Daniel Sprong and Yan Pavel Laplante. Brassard was also very good in net, making 34 saves in his first start of the season.

GAMEDAY 4 - vs Islanders

GAMEDAY
Charlottetown Islanders vs Saint John Sea Dogs
Today at 3pm
Radio: News 88.9 | Webcast: Telus | TV: None | Live: @station_nation
Harbour Station – Saint John, NB
PREVIEW
SAINT JOHN – After an entertaining home opener last night, the Saint John Sea Dogs are right back at it this afternoon against the Charlottetown Islanders.

The Sea Dogs edged the Acadie-Bathurst Titan 2-1 last night at Harbour Station in a hard fought and close game. Stephen Anderson scored what proved to be the game winning goal at 9:45 of the third period on a power play. Goaltender Sebastien Auger, making his first start of the season after missing last weekend’s games due to a lower body injury, was spectacular in his 44 save performance.

But last night’s fun is over and it’s back to work this afternoon. The Sea Dogs host the team formerly known as the PEI Rocket this afternoon at 3pm at the Station.

Saint John enters play today with a 2-1-0-0 record. They’ve scored eight goals and have allowed eight goals in the three games they have played so far.

Defenseman Michael Abbott continues to lead the Dogs in scoring with one goal and three assists for four points in three games. Anderson and Oliver Cooper each have three points.

Charlottetown, 3-0-0-0, is one of just four teams remaining in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with an unbeaten record. They are coming off a 5-4 road win in Sydney on Friday night.

Jack Nevins leads the Isles in scoring with two goals and four assists for six points in three games.

Like most teams in the Maritimes Division this year, the Islanders are a bit of a wildcard heading into this season. Rejuvenated by a new local ownership group, this is a team that could surprise a lot of people in the QMJHL.

RECAP: What An Intro. Sea Dogs Win 2-1.

FINAL: Bathurst 1, Saint John 2
SAINT JOHN – The Acadie-Bathurst Titan picked a bad time to allow their first power play goal against this season.

At 9:45 of the third period on a man advantage, Stephen Anderson broke a 1-1 tie with his second goal of the season. The goal proved to be the game winner in the Saint John Sea Dogs’ 2-1 home opener victory over the Titan on Saturday night at Harbour Station.

The Sea Dogs improved to 2-1 while the Titan fell to the same record.

Spencer Smallman also scored for Saint John in the win. Oliver Cooper had two assists. Goaltender Sebastien Auger was terrific as usual, making 44 saves in his first start of the season.

Dominic Beauchemin scored Bathurst’s only goal. Mason McDonald made 32 saves in the loss.

It was an entertaining way to kick off Saint John's 2013-14 home schedule. This could be a very entertaining season if there are lots of games played like this one.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Harbour Station Now Has Poutine

SAINT JOHN – In November of 2010, Sea Dogs fans started an online petition to get poutine sold at Harbour Station. Yahoo! Sports even had an article on it.

Almost three years later, the unthinkable has happened.
We can now die in peace.

Sea Dogs Lineup vs Titan

SAINT JOHN – Greetings from Harbour Station where it’s home opener city tonight.

Here’s a look at tonight’s listed lines and defense pairings for the Sea Dogs:

Cooper – Highmore – Anderson
Bent – Smallman – Zilbert
Cuomo – Cameron – Brown
Walter – Noel – Richard

LeBlanc – Thompson
Weckworth – McQuaid
Doucet – Abbott

Auger
Landry

Sea Dogs scratches are Samuel Dove-McFalls, Connor Donaghey, Thomas Chabot, Jurij Repe, and Juraj Siska.

As always, follow @station_nation on Twitter for updates.

GAMEDAY 3 - vs Titan

GAMEDAY
Acadie-Bathurst Titan vs Saint John Sea Dogs
Tonight at 7pm
Radio: News 88.9 | Webcast: Telus | TV: None | Live: @station_nation
Harbour Station – Saint John, NB
PREVIEW
SAINT JOHN – No matter the league or sport, home openers are always fun to be a part of.

The Saint John Sea Dogs will hold their ninth ever home opener tonight at Harbour Station. The Sea Dogs are still a somewhat young organization but there have been plenty of memorable moments in past home openers. Here’s a quick look back:

2005 – The Sea Dogs first ever game
2006 – Dave Bouchard’s overtime goal
2007 – An ugly 6-1 loss to Cape Breton
2008 – Karel St. Lauent’s shutout of the Foreurs
2009 – Alexandre Leduc scores with seconds left in OT
2010 – Ryan Tesink scores twice in QMJHL debut
2011 – Missing pretty much the entire team due to NHL camps
2012 – The final banner raising of a special era
2013 - ?

This will be the first home opener since 2009 that the Sea Dogs will not celebrate some kind of championship/title win. Crazy when you think about it.

The Sea Dogs host the Acadie-Bathurst Titan this evening at 7pm at the Station. The two teams have gotten to know each other quite well over the past few weeks so hopefully we’ll see a good match tonight.

Saint John is 1-1 after an opening weekend split on the road. They defeated the Moncton Wildcats 5-3 last Friday and then lost 4-1 to the Titan in Bathurst last Sunday.

Defenseman Michael Abbott leads Saint John in scoring with one goal and two assists for three points.

Meanwhile, the Titan enter play with a 2-0 record and have outscored opponents 8-2 so far. This will be their first road contest of the year.

Leading Bathurst in scoring is Raphael Lafontaine (two goals and one assist) and Francois Godin (three assists) who each have three points.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Night Stuff

Steve Duda has found a new home.

The former Sea Dogs defenseman signed with the Ontario Hockey League’s North Bay Battalion this week and played in the club’s season opener this evening. Duda was a -3 in North Bay’s 5-2 loss in Kingston.

Saint John cut the 18-year American last week when they announced their final roster. He had six assists in 52 games with the Sea Dogs last season.

The Nugget newspaper notes that North Bay is currently missing a few defensemen from their lineup.

Battalion head coach Stan Butler told BayToday.ca that Duda “is a big kid and he skates well.”

In other Friday night news…
  • Former Sea Dogs captain Mike Thomas made his Aitken Centre debut as a Varsity Red. Wearing No. 71, Thomas registered three shots and a roughing penalty in UNB’s 5-0 victory over the University of Windsor. The Reds host Windsor again on Saturday night at the AUC.
  • Ryan Tesink had three assists in the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada’s 4-2 win over the Sherbrooke Phoenix. He was named second star.

Brett Gallant Finds Rule Loophole

Former Sea Dog Brett Gallant is involved in the latest NHL rule loophole.

In last night’s pre-season game between  the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils, Gallant and Krys Barch dropped the gloves three times (!). They each received an automatic game misconduct after the third tilt.

It was their second fight of the night that is going viral. According to HockeyFights.com, “starting this season players that remove their own helmet before a fight will receive a minor penalty.” So Gallant and Barch made the ingenious decision to remove the other’s helmet.


Puck Daddy and Deadspin also have details on the fight. The YouTube clip already has over 12,000 views.

Gallant has four fights in pre-season action this year. You can check out all those on HockeyFights.com.

The Summerside native is still one of the most popular Sea Dogs ever. He played in the Alumni Game a few weeks ago at Harbour Station and scored a nice goal.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Blues Send Tesink Back To The Q

The St. Louis Blues announced today that they have sent Ryan Tesink back to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Tesink will rejoin the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, the team Saint John traded him to in exchange for their own first-round pick last winter. The Sea Dogs selected Nathan Noel with the pick.

The Saint John native will be an overager with the Armada this year. He only played six regular season and four playoff games with the club last season due to a controversial knee injury.

Tesink was a sixth-round pick of the Blues in the 2011 NHL Draft.

The Sea Dogs travel to Blainville-Boisbriand on January 12th and host the Armada on February 9th.

Some other notes on this fine Thursday night:
  • Former Sea Dogs Stephen MacAulay, Robert Mayer, and Pierre Durepos are all on the Hamilton Bulldogs training camp roster.
  • Sea Dogs home opener is on Saturday against Bathurst. 7pm. Be there.
  • The Sea Dogs Season Ticket BBQ will take place immediately following Sunday’s game against Charlottetown. It will take place in the East End parking lot and is in support of the Children’s Wish Foundation. At this event, Season Ticket Holders will have the opportunity to meet the 2013-14 Sea Dogs.
  • Pilot episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine was better than I expected. 

Sea Dogs Release Fournier

SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Sea Dogs have made a decision on the team’s goaltending situation.

The Sea Dogs announced this afternoon that goaltender Alex Fournier has been released from the active roster. He spent all of last season with the club but has not seen any action this year due to an injury.

As backup to Sebastien Auger, Fournier certainly had his struggles last season. He posted a 1-13 record with a 5.52 goals against average and a 0.856 save percentage. He also appeared in one game of Saint John’s first-round playoff series against the Halifax Mooseheads.

Fournier, 18, definitely got better as the season went along. Could he have posted good numbers this season? It’s certainly possible. Plenty of people forget all the struggles Auger had in his first year in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and look at him now.

But the play of Antoine Landry, 17, this pre-season and in the two games this past weekend would make it difficult to justify keeping Fournier over Landry. The fact that Landry is a year younger than Fournier likely played some kind of factor in this move as well.

So now that the backup situation is settled, we can now turn our attention to the Auger trade rumours that will no doubt start in the coming months. 

The Sea Dogs now have 25 players on their active roster heading into action this weekend. Saint John holds their home opener on Saturday night against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sea Dogs Notebook

GALIEV
Courtesy of SN photographer Marc Henwood, above is a screenshot of former Sea Dog Stanislav Galiev sitting next to that guy from the Gillette commercials during some NHL pre-season action this past weekend.

Galiev scored in that pre-season game last Saturday against Winnipeg. Russian Machine Never Breaks has more details on his “breakout game.”

UP NEXT
The Sea Dogs have the next few days to prepare for their next game. Saint John resumes QMJHL action on Saturday night at Harbour Station at 7pm against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. It’s the Sea Dogs home opener so you should probably come to that.

The Sea Dogs are also in action on Sunday when they host the Charlottetown Islanders for the first time. Game time is 3pm at the Station for that one.

Single game tickets to all 34 Sea Dogs home games are now on sale.

VS TITAN
If it feels like the Sea Dogs have played the Titan a lot lately it's because they have. Including the pre-season and this coming Saturday’s contest, Saint John has played Bathurst in six of their past nine games. The other three games were against Moncton.

Another weird schedule fact: the Sea Dogs and Titan play each other at least once every month this season except for December.

LEADERS
Defenseman Michael Abbott leads the Sea Dogs in scoring after two games with one goal and two assists for three points.

Not surprisingly, Lukas Walter (7 PIM) and Kelly Bent (6 PIM) lead the Sea Dogs in penalty minutes.

16-year old Nathan Noel is the only Sea Dogs rookie with a point so far. Noel scored the game tying goal in Saint John’s 5-3 opening night win in Moncton on Friday. His first career QMJHL goal made the Plays of the Week on the Q site.

After getting both starts this past weekend due to Sebastien Auger’s injury, Antoine Landry is third in the league in saves with 60. That’s the most amongst rookie netminders who have seen action.

Monday, September 16, 2013

POSTSCRIPT: Sea Dogs 1, Titan 4

A collection of recaps from yesterday’s 4-1 Sea Dogs loss to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan…

Our recap. Oliver Cooper was the only Saint John Sea Dog who could score on Sunday afternoon in Bathurst.

The Telegraph-Journal’s recap. Can’t be found on the interweb.

Titan Live’s recap. What a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Sun is shining, rain that’s been falling for the past few days is gone, and Mason McDonald pulls off a stellar performance in net as the Titan skated to a 4-1 victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs in front of 2,009 fans at the KC Irving Regional Centre.

The Canadian Press’ recap. Alexandros Soumakis and Raphael Lafontaine both scored on the power play in the third period as the Titan topped Saint John.

SaintJohnSeaDogs.com’s recap. The Saint John Sea Dogs dropped a 4-1 decision to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in Sunday’s Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action at the K.C. Irving Regional Centre.

SCRATCHES: Forwards Joey Richard, Marcus Cuomo, Juraj Siska, and defensemen Jeremy Doucet and Jurij Repe, and goaltender Sebastien Auger did not make the trip.

Cuomo took a high hit late in the second period of Friday’s game. He did not play in third period of that contest.

GOALTENDING: The Sea Dogs called up Maxime Michaud to backup Antoine Landry on Sunday afternoon. Sebastien Auger is still injured and did not dress for this game.

Landry was pretty good as he has been since joining the Sea Dogs. He made 27 saves in yesterday's loss. Overall this weekend, the ninth-round pick allowed seven goals on 67 shots.

DEBUTS: Rookie defenseman Alexnader McQuaid and rookie forward Samuel Dove-McFalls made their Sea Dogs debuts on Sunday. McQuaid finished with one shot and two hits while Dove-McFalls was a -1 with one hit and 1/2 on faceoffs.

YOUNG: The Sea Dogs dressed all four of their 16-year olds on Sunday – forwards Nathan Noel and Samuel Dove-McFalls along with defensemen Thomas Chabot and Will Thompson. Also, three of Saint John’s six defensemen – Thompson, Chabot, and McQuaid – are rookies.

VIDEO: Walter vs Grundy

BATHURST – Lukas Walter’s first fight in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League was a dandy.

Walter, the 20-year old forward who played the last couple seasons in the Western Hockey League, took on Bathurst’s Lucus Grundy in the first period of yesterday's 4-1 Saint John Sea Dogs loss in Bathurst. The two tried to go two minutes earlier but were called for delay of game as the officials broke them up before they could start throwing.

The officials giving each of them a two minute break might have been a good thing.

Here’s the fight via HockeyFights.com:


Quite a tilt.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

RECAP: Nobody's Perfect. Dogs Lose 4-1.

FINAL: Saint John 1, Bathurst 4

BATHURST – Oliver Cooper was the only Saint John Sea Dog who could score on Sunday afternoon in Bathurst.

Cooper scored Saint John’s lone goal in a 4-1 loss to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action at the KC Irving Regional Centre. The Titan improved to 2-0-0-0 on the year while the Sea Dogs fell to 1-1-0-0.

The Sea Dogs fired 30 shots on Mason McDonald but could only break through the Titan netminder once. Another factor in Saint John’s loss was their power play. The Sea Dogs went 0-for-7 on the man advantage. Bathurst is a perfect 13-for-13 on the penalty kill this year.
                                                                                        
The Sea Dogs dressed three rookie defensemen so they were a bit shaky in their own end at times in this game. Goaltender Antoine Landry started again in place of the injured Sebastien Auger and was good, making 27 saves in the loss.

Anthony Gingras, Adam Stevens, Alexandros Soumakis, and Raphael Lafontaine scored for the Titan. McDonald made 29 saves for the win in net.

These two teams meet again on Saturday night in Saint John.

GAMEDAY 2 - at Bathurst

GAMEDAY
Saint John Sea Dogs vs Acadie-Bathurst Titan
Today at 3:00pm
Radio: News 88.9 | Webcast: Telus | TV: None | Live: @station_nation
KC Irving Regional Centre – Bathurst, NB
PREVIEW
BATHURST – The Saint John Sea Dogs look to stay perfect this afternoon in Bathurst.

The Sea Dogs, 1-0-0-0 on the regular season following an opening night win on Friday, take on the Titan today at 3pm at the KC Irving Regional Centre in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action.

The Sea Dogs won their opener, 5-3, in Moncton over the Wildcats on Friday. It took them – and the Wildcats, too – some time to get things going but eventually the game turned into an entertaining affair. Rookie Nathan Noel tied the game at 3-3 in the third and then Kelly Bent quickly gave the Dogs a 4-3 lead. They would hang on – and add an empty netter – to win the match.

Today’s contest should feature better playing conditions. The Moncton Coliseum was basically a sauna filled with over 5,000 people. The puck was bouncing like a tennis ball at times. Today, the Sea Dogs should be able to showcase some of their skill a bit more.

The Titan are also 1-0-0-0 following an opening night win. Bathurst defeated the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 4-1 on Friday in front of a packed house. The Eagles opened the scoring but the Titan would score four unanswered to cruise to victory.

Although this is the first meeting of the regular season between the two, Bathurst and Saint John met four times in the pre-season. Each team won a pair of games in the mini-series.

These two teams also meet again next Saturday night at Harbour Station.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

POSTSCRIPT: Sea Dogs 5, Wildcats 3

A collection of recaps from last night’s 5-3 Sea Dogs win over the Moncton Wildcats…

Our recap. What a way to open up the Saint John Sea Dogs’ ninth season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

The Times & Transcript’s recap. The Saint John Sea Dogs got their season started in positive fashion.

MonctonSports.com’s recap. There was a lot of energy from both teams early on in the first period despite the sauna-like conditions in the Moncton Coliseum.

The Canadian Press’ recap. The Sea Dogs' offence exploded for four goals in the third period to rally past the Wildcats.

SaintJohnSeaDogs.com’s recap. The Saint John Sea Dogs and Moncton Wildcats met for the first of nine contests in the 2013-14 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season Friday night.

Moncton-Wildcats.com’s recap. The Saint John Sea Dogs scored two goals in 32 seconds late in the third period and went to hand the Moncton Wildcats their first loss of the new season 5-3 before 5244 at the Coliseum.

SCRATCHES: The Sea Dogs were without forwards Samuel Dove-McFalls, Connor Donaghey, and Jurij Siska, defensemen Alex McQuaid and Jurij Repe, and goaltender Alex Fournier.

RECAP: The Heat Is On. Dogs Win 5-3.

FINAL: Saint John 5, Moncton 3
MONCTON – What a way to open up the Saint John Sea Dogs’ ninth season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

The Sea Dogs defeated the Moncton Wildcats 5-3 on Friday night at very hot and foggy Moncton Coliseum. It was the first game of the 2013-14 season for the Sea Dogs while the Wildcats opened things up on Thursday in Halifax.

Fighting through what had to be miserable ice conditions, the Sea Dogs battled hard and won the back-and-forth affair. There was no scoring in a fairly uneventful first period but things would pick up. Both teams scored once in the second before they turned things up more in the third.

Noah Zilbert, Michael Abbott, Nathan Noel, Kelly Bent, and Stephen Anderson all scored for the Sea Dogs. Rookie goaltender Antoine Landry got the start in net with Sebastien Auger not playing (although he was backup) due to injury. Despite making his first career start in the Sea Dogs season opener, who looked cool as a cucumber in this game and was stellar in his 33 save performance.

Conor Garland, Ivan Barbashev, and Christophe Lalonde scored for Moncton. Alex Dubeau made 20 saves in the loss.

Friday, September 13, 2013

SN's 2013-14 QMJHL Season Preview

The 2013-14 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season has arrived. So let’s preview it a bit, shall we?

As always, our QMJHL season preview consists of linking to other season previews on the interweb that have been written by people who actually know what they are talking about it. So here you go!

  • Neil Hodge of the Times & Transcript had the most surprising prediction regarding the Sea Dogs. He has them finishing second in the Maritimes Division behind Halifax. Cape Breton, Charlottetown, Moncton, and Bathurst follow Saint John in Hodge’s predictions (paywall).
  • In The Hockey News’ annual junior hockey preview, they have Saint John just missing the playoffs and finishing 17th overall. Shawinigan is predicted to finish last by THN. Although they would miss the playoffs, it would put the two in the coin flip for the first overall pick in the 2014 QMJHL Entry Draft... so... y'know... that's something.
  • Steve Turcotte of the Shawinigan newspaper Le Novelliste predicts Saint John to finish sixth in the Maritimes Division. He calls second year defenseman Olivier LeBlanc a player to watch.
  • Hockey’s Future says the Sea Dogs are likely in for a rough year. “It might be another long season in Saint John, but the team is putting together the framework for future success,” writes Kevin Forbes in HF’s QMJHL preview.
  • Jean-Francois Plante of the Gatineau newspaper Le Droit predicts Saint John to finish last in the Maritimes Division and miss the playoffs along with the Sherbrooke Phoenix.
  • Willy Palov of the Halifax Chronicle Herald has the Sea Dogs finishing 17th overall. “This is Year 2 of what is expected to be a three-year rebuild,” writes Palov.
  • Buzzing The Net’s Maritimes Division preview. Will Saint John surprise some people?
  • Mikael Lalancette of TVA Sports has the Sea Dogs finishing sixth in the Maritimes Division.
  • The website Dynasty Sports Empire has a preview of all 18 teams. On Jurij Siska joining the team at some point: “I have seen a few people call him overrated, so let’s see how he does this year in Canada.”

The QMJHL season began last night with the Moncton Wildcats beating the Halifax Mooseheads 4-0. Saint John’s season begins tonight at 7pm in Moncton against the Wildcats.

Wooo.

GAMEDAY 1 - at Moncton

GAMEDAY
Saint John Sea Dogs vs Moncton Wildcats
Tonight at 7:00pm
Radio: News 88.9 | Webcast: Telus | TV: None | Live: @station_nation
Moncton Coliseum – Moncton, NB
PREVIEW
MONCTON – Here. We. Go.

Tonight in Moncton, the Saint John Sea Dogs kick off season No. 9 as they take on the Wildcats at 7pm. It’s the season opener for the Sea Dogs while the ‘Cats opened up their campaign last night in Halifax.

Tonight’s game is the unofficial start of a new era for the Sea Dogs. The days of Huberdeau and Co. are over as a new group of young players – Noel, Thompson, Chabot, and returnees like LeBlanc and Highmore – begin to take the reins of this franchise.

After the Sea Dogs sold off everything they could at Christmas last season, Saint John’s rebuild really got rolling in the second half. That rebuild will continue but with added young talent and skill acquired via the 2013 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft.

It looks like this will be a season with plenty of ups and plenty of downs. There will probably be some disappointing games and some thrilling games. Almost everyone has the Dogs finishing in the league’s basement and either just slipping into the playoffs of missing them completely.

The Sea Dogs are going to be a young team that will make plenty of mistakes. But at the same time they are a young team with lots of skill and should provide Saint John fans with some entertainment even if they aren’t going to win 58 games.

Saint John finished the pre-season with a 3-3 record, scoring 20 goals and allowing 20 as well. Returning forward Matthew Highmore led the team in scoring with one goal and four assists for five points. Goaltender Sebastien Auger was terrific, posting a 1.93 goals against average and a 0.946 save percentage in four appearences.

Meanwhile, the Wildcats, who are in the beginning stages of a retooling/rebuilding process as well, are 1-0 on the season thanks to a 4-0 shutout victory over the defending national champs last night. Cody Drover had two goals in that game while Alex Dubeau made 28 saves.

Buckle up. Hockey’s back, people.

Single Game Tickets On Sale Today

SAINT JOHN – Tickets to all 34 Saint John Sea Dogs home games go on sale this morning at 10am at Harbour Station.

As usual, tickets can be purchased at the Harbour Station box office, by calling 657-1234, or by heading to tickets.harbourstation.ca starting at 10am.

The Harbour Station box office will also be open Saturday beginning at Noon.

Also, a reminder of the new ticket pricing set-up that was unveiled during the off-season. Here are the new prices and details, according to the Sea Dogs website.

2013-2014 Regular Season Walk-Up Prices are:

AdultSenior*/StudentYouth**
Horseshoe/Centre Ice Lower$18.00$17.00$14.50
Non-Centre Ice, Lower$17.50$16.50$14.00
Upper Bowl$15.50$14.50$12.00
- Horseshoe seats are the blue padded upper bowl seats (first 3 rows of UB)
- Centre Ice Lower Includes Sections V, A, B, K, M, L (the 3 centre ice sections on each side)
- Prices include all applicable taxes
- Each ticket is subject to a $1 service fee.
- *Senior is 60 years and older.
- **Youth is ages 2 - 14. Under 2 years is free.

Saint John’s home opener is next Saturday against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. If you are wondering what other highlights are featured on the Sea Dogs’ schedule this season, you can check out this post.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rivalry Cup Format Announced

This year’s Brunswick News Rivalry Cup format is really, really basic. Like, really basic.

From the Sea Dogs:

The format is heading back to basics to the upcoming season; a single point will be awarded for a win of any type, with no points for a loss. The two teams will meet nine times this season, for a possible nine points up for grabs.

Thrilling stuff.

This will be the sixth time the season long event between the Saint John Sea Dogs and Moncton Wildcats takes place. Moncton won in 2009, 2010, and again last year while Saint John won in 2011 and 2012.

This is by far the most basic format to be used for the Rivalry Cup. Basically every year it has been stripped down further.

To keep track of this year's Rivalry Cup, visit this page that will be updated shortly.

The Sea Dogs and Wildcats meet for the first time this season tomorrow night at 7pm at the Moncton Coliseum. 

Three Players Get An 'A'

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs announced today that they will be taking a unique approach regarding captaincy this season.

Under the plan, the team will not name a captain. Instead, forwards Jason Cameron and Oliver Cooper, along with defenseman David Weckworth, have been named the first alternate captains of the season.

Head Coach and General Manager Mike Kelly said the three players will start the season wearing 'A's. The letters will be passed to other players monthly.

"With a younger team, we want to make sure we give our players the opportunity to contribute and allow leadership qualities to emerge," Kelly said in a team release. "This is a close room. We have older players who can provide leadership, but we feel like this is a way to allow leadership qualities to develop long-term."

The first players chosen to wear an ‘A’ come as no surprise. Cameron, 20, is the only player remaining from Saint John’s 2011 Memorial Cup championship season while Cooper and Weckworth each have played a few seasons in the league already.

Jonathan Huberdeau and Pierre Durepos, each of whom are no longer in the league, each wore the ‘C’ for the Sea Dogs last season.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

SN's Giant Maritimes Division Preview

By Kevin Chambers
SN Staff

The Maritimes Division is shaping up to be a very close division this year. Let’s have a look at each team as we get set to drop the puck on the 2013-14 QMJHL Season!

Saint John Sea Dogs
The Saint John Sea Dogs move into their second year of a rebuilding phase after three outstanding seasons. This season will bring a lot more youth in as the rebuild continues to take shape. With the mention of a bid for the Memorial Cup in 2017, this rebuilding phase becomes critical in the success of any potential bid and drafting becomes crucial. Looking at the coming season expect to see lots of youth that bring plenty of speed and skill along with some learning curves as these young players continue to develop their craft.

The Offense will be depending largely on returning forwards Oliver Cooper and Steven Anderson along with some second year players being asked to fill larger roles with the team. 2012 first-round pick (8th overall), Matthew Highmore, showed us a glimpse of what we can expect this season at the end of last season where he seemed to really step his game up in the playoffs … against eventual Memorial Cup Champion Halifax Mooseheads.  Highmore had shoulder surgery in 2012 which slowed his QMJHL career, but in preseason games appeared much more confident and anxious to get the season started. Nathan Noel, chosen third overall in the 2013 Entry Draft, will also be looked upon to provide some immediate impact - but look for the Sea Dogs to be patient with the 16-year old. Remember, Jonathan Huberdeau had 35 points in his rookie campaign. 2013 Import Draft pick Juraj Siska is expected to be out possibly a couple more months after the 17-year old Slovakian suffered a spinal cord injury. Siska appears to be recovering and will be a welcome addition to this young rebuilding offense.

The youth movement continues with the defense in Saint John with three rookies on their 2013-14 roster including first-round pick (17th overall) Will Thompson, second-round pick (22nd overall) Thomas Chabot, and 17-year old rookie Alexander McQuaid (cousin of Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid). The Dogs will lean heavily on overage defender David Weckworth and last year’s first-round pick (11th Overall), Olivier Leblanc, to steady things defensively. Also returning this season, the Sea Dogs will look for a strong season from Juri Repe who, like his fellow import player, is recovering from an injury.

In goal there is no question Sebastien Auger will get the bulk of the starts after an outstanding campaign in his first year as a starting goaltender. Plenty were concerned about him at the start of the season last year … nobody is thinking about that this season. Auger cleaned up at the awards ceremony at the conclusion of the season including the team’s MVP award, Most Improved Player, Fans Choice Award, Team Player Award, and the 3 Stars Award. With Alex Fournier nursing an injury the Sea Dogs were granted permission to carry an extra roster player so the backup role is still yet to be determined in Saint John between second-year goaltender Alex Fournier and rookie netminder Antoine Landry. One thing is certain - Saint John will have one of the best goaltenders in the QMJHL and teams will undoubtedly come knocking at the Christmas Trade Period.

Sea Dogs TimCard's Exist

Sea Dogs TimCard’s are a thing now.

I bought a Blue Jays TimCard on Canada Day in Toronto this past summer. The Jays played worse than usual after I bought it. I’ll do everyone a favour and not buy a Sea Dogs card.

Photo via @Blaircameronjr

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sea Dogs Announce Roster

The Saint John Sea Dogs announced the 26 players who will start the regular season with the club today.

Of the 26 players, 16 played with the team last season. Along with the returning players are some high end rookies, specifically first-round picks Nathan Noel and Will Thompson.

There are no huge surprises on the roster. The full thing can be seen on the Sea Dogs website.

The Sea Dogs also announced via press release that American defenseman Steven Duda has been reassigned and defenseman Sheehan Kirkwood, a free agent invitee to camp from Ontario, is awaiting reassignment.

Also, “the Sea Dogs have received permission from the QMJHL to carry one player above the allowable roster limit due an injury in goal.” Alex Fournier, last year’s backup, did not play in any pre-season games due to injury.

This is a young team that will have plenty of ups and plenty of downs this season. But it should be an enjoyable team to watch.

"It's an exciting, young roster, filled with skill and speed," said Sea Dogs' Head Coach and General Manager Mike Kelly in a release. "Our kids will have the opportunity to play and grow together, as a team."

Saint John begins the regular season on Friday night in Moncton.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

No Price Increase For Telus Webcasts

Another Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season is here which means it’s time for another year of Telus webcast fun.

Fortunately for all of us, the Telus webcasts did not increase in price once again this year.

According to the prices listed on their webcast, it will cost you $6.95 to purchase a single live game and $1.95 for a single archived match.

The first package Telus is offering is for every QMJHL game this season - live and archived. The package also includes all playoff games. The cost is $199.95.

Package B will get you every game of a single team – live and archived. The package also includes archives of all league games. It does not include playoffs. The cost is $149.95.

These pricing options are the same as they've been over the past few years.

According to the league, “all games are available free of charge to TELUS high-speed Internet customers.”

No idea if the quality of the webcasts are going to be any better this season, but if they are, the league didn’t mention it on their website. We’ll find out Thursday when the QMJHL regular season begins in Halifax.