Friday, January 31, 2014

RECAP: Unreal. Dogs Win 2-0.

FINAL: Saint John 2, Val-d’Or 0
VAL-D’OR, Que. – Sebastien. Auger.

The Saint John Sea Dogs’ goaltender had yet another redonkulous performance on Friday night, posting a stunning 2-0 victory over the Val-d’Or Foreurs at the Air Creebec Centre. The win comes less than a week after shutting out the Acadie-Bathurst Titan – which was Auger’s first shutout in nearly two years.

But the Foreurs are certainly not the Titan. Val-d’Or, which features the always dangerous Anthony Mantha, leads the entire Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in goals scored this season. But with Auger in beast mode on Friday, not even the powerful Foreurs offense could beat him.

The Dogs ‘tender made several huge stops throughout the game, particularly in the third period when it was basically all Val-d’Or. Anthony Richard had a breakaway late in the third and could have tied things up but was denied. Saint John was outshot 53-21 in the game, including 24-1 in the third period. The Dogs’ only shot in the third came via Oliver Cooper’s empty net goal.

Along with Cooper’s empty netter, rookie Mathieu Joseph netted his first career QMJHL goal on a power play in the second. Joseph has been playing some great hockey of late and you knew a goal was going to come soon.

Antoine Bibeau made 19 stops in the loss.

The Sea Dogs kept the likes of Mantha and Guillaume Gelinas off the score sheet but also managed to contain the league’s best power play which went 0-for-4 in this one. Saint John went 1-for-2.

Saint John, 16-30-1-3 for 36 points, still sit one-point back of the Sherbrooke Phoenix for the final playoff spot.

NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs end their Quebec road trip with an 8pm game in Rouyn-Noranda tomorrow night.

Random News & Notes


Intense commercial. Here are some random news and notes on this, the final day of January…

GAMEDAY 50 - at Val-d'Or

A preview of tonight’s game between the Saint John Sea Dogs and Val-d’Or Foreurs…

When and where: Tonight at 8:30 pm AST, Air Creebec Centre

TV/Radio: TELUS Webcast/News 88.9

Records: The Sea Dogs are sixth in the Telus Maritimes Division and 17th overall in the QMJHL with a 15-30-1-3 record for 34 points. The Foreurs are third in the Telus West Division and seventh overall with a 31-17-1-1 record for 64 points.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 4-2 loss in Shawinigan on Wednesday. Noah Zilbert had both Saint John goals. The Foreurs are coming off an 8-5 win in Rouyn-Noranda last night. Pierre-Maxime Poudrier had three goals and an assist.

2013-14 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 0-1-0-0 against the Foreurs this season while Val-d’Or is 1-0-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: November 29th at Harbour Station when the Foreurs defeated the Sea Dogs 5-3 at Harbour Station. Anthony Richard had three assists.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Foreurs: None

Random stat: Anthony Mantha has gone goalless in just 15 of the 40 games he has played in this season.

SJ notes: This is the second game of a three-game Quebec road trip for Saint John… 4-5-1-0 in their last 10 games… Thomas Chabot has four assists in his past four games… 2-5-1-0 against the Telus West Division… Sea Dogs are still averaging the most shots against per game in the league (37.30)… Noah Zilbert has goals in four straight road games.

V-D notes: 5-4-0-1 in their last 10 games… Anthony Mantha leads the league in scoring (88), is second in goals (42), and is fourth in assists (46)… Mantha is second in power play goals with 17… Guillaume Gelinas leads the league in power play assists with 17… Gelinas has the second most shots in the Q… Mantha has the most dangerous shots… Gelinas leads all defensemen in scoring with 72 points… 5-3-0-0 against the Maritimes Division… their 30.2% power play rating is the best in the league… their 4.42 goals per game average is tops in the league… averaging 36 shots per game, the most in the league… Pierre-Maxime Poudrier has goals in five straight games… Louick Marcotte has assists in five straight games… averaging 1,708 fans per game. Only Bathurst is averaging fewer.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The GM Search Continues

Sea Dogs president Wayne Long was featured in the latest episode of Bell Aliant’s “Access ‘Q’ Atlantic” show.

In the interview with John Moore, Long talks about a number of Sea Dogs related items. Most notably, he said that the general manager search has been shortlisted to five and they hope to have someone in the position by the end of February.

To see the interview, visit the Community One website, click the sports tab, then the Access “Q” Atlantic tab, and then select season two episode nine.

The Sea Dogs have kept their GM applicants very quiet. Stormin Norman, the QMJHL’s Eklund, tweeted this last night.
So take that for what it’s worth. Pretty sure Stormin Norman said the Sea Dogs were going to take Noah Hanifin with the third overall pick in last year's draft, so...

There is some background on DARRELL Young here. He is indeed currently an amateur scout for the Canucks and has worked as a scout for a few other NHL teams. Most notably though, he was the Moncton Wildcats’ Director of Hockey Operations for two years in the early 2000s.

News & Notes From Wednesday's Game

Some stuff from last night’s game…
  • Shawinigan is now just three points back of the QMJHL’s final playoff spot following last night’s win over Saint John. The Sea Dogs remain two points back the final spot which is currently held by the Sherbrooke Phoenix.
  • Alexis D’Aoust was named the game’s first star, scoring two of Shawinigan’s four goals.
  • Noah Zilbert continues his solid play this month. With two goals last night, the 18-year old has scored eight of his 12 goals this season in January. He has also scored in four straight road games.
  • Jeremy Auger’s second period goal caused some controversy. Auger scored on a wraparound and the back of the net lifted off the ice. It was originally called no goal but ruled a goal following a lengthy review. Ross Yates was not happy and expressed his feelings in Le Nouvelliste.
  • With an assist last night, Thomas Chabot now has four assists in his past four games.
  • Another assist for Mathieu Joseph as he helped setup Zilbert’s third period goal. He now has six in the 13 games he has played in this season.
  • Shawinigan entered the game with the third worst power play in the league but went 2-for-4 in the game.
  • Saint John has now lost five straight against Shawinigan going back to the 2012 Memorial Cup. Dark days.
  • This was the first meeting of the season between the two. They meet again on February 20th at Harbour Station
  • The Sea Dogs were without forwards Joey Richard (shoulder), Stephen Anderson (upper body), and Samuel Dove-McFalls (sick) along with defensemen Michael Abbott (hand) and Alexander McQuaid (healthy). Goaltender Antoine Landry also remains out.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

RECAP: Sha-win-again. Dogs Lose 4-2.

FINAL: Saint John 2, Shawinigan 4

SHAWINIGAN, Que. – The Shawinigan Cataractes’ playoff hopes got a boost on Wednesday night.

The Cataractes, who remain in last-place, defeated the Saint John Sea Dogs 4-2 in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action at Centre Gervais Auto. Shawinigan is now three points back of the 16th-place Sherbrooke Phoenix who hold the league’s final playoff spot.

The Sea Dogs, who sit between the Cataractes and Phoenix, certainly didn’t improve their playoff chances with the loss. They remain two points out but now have Shawinigan breathing on their necks.

Alexis D’Aoust had a pair of goals while Jeremy Auger and Gabriel Slight added singles. Marvin Cupper made 24 saves in the win.

Noah Zilbert scored both Saint John goals. Sebastien Auger made 24 saves in the loss.

Saint John has now lost five straight games against Shawinigan going back to the 2012 Memorial Cup. Very upsetting stuff.

This was the first game of a three-game Quebec road trip for Saint John. Things get even tougher for them this weekend with games in Val-d’Or and Rouyn-Noranda.

GAMEDAY 49 - at Shawinigan

A preview of tonight’s game between the Saint John Sea Dogs and Shawinigan Cataractes…

When and where: Tonight at 8 pm AST, Centre Gervais Auto

TV/Radio: TELUS Webcast/News 88.9

Records: The Sea Dogs are sixth in the Telus Maritimes Division and 17th overall in the QMJHL with a 15-29-1-3 record for 34 points. The Cataractes are sixth in the Telus East Division and 18th overall with a 12-30-4-3 record for 31 points.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 4-0 win over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Sunday at Harbour Station. Sebastien Auger made 32 saves for his first shutout in nearly two years. The Cataractes are coming off a 4-3 loss to the Gatineau Olympiques on Sunday. Shawinigan outshot Gatineau 38-36 in the game including 17-5 in the third period.

2013-14 head-to-head: This is the first meeting of the season between the two. The Cataractes are the only team the Sea Dogs have not yet played this year.

Last meeting: See above.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Cataractes: None

Random stat: The Sea Dogs have not beaten the Cataractes since that wild round robin game at the 2012 Memorial Cup.
SJ notes: 5-4-1-0 in their last 10 games… have played five straight at home… this is the first game of a three-game Quebec road trip... the Sea Dogs recalled former Cataractes goaltender Chase Gaudet from MHL Yarmouth this week to replace the injured Antoine Landry… Sebastien Auger’s .919 save percentage is the best in the league… Auger leads the league in saves… 0-8-0-1 against Telus East Division teams… Noah Zilbert has goals in three straight road games… Lukas Walter has penalty minutes in five straight road games.

#theshawi notes: The Cataractes are currently five points out of a playoff spot… 3-3-2-2 in their last 10 games… Anthony Beauvillier, the second overall pick in the 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft, leads all rookies in faceoff wins… 4-1-1-1 against Maritimes Division teams… owners of the third worst power play in the league (17.2%)… their goals per game average of 2.38 is second lowest in the league… averaging 3.67 goals against per game, third most in the league… Alex Filiatrault has penalty minutes in six straight games… Shawinigan has lost three straight at home.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

HockeyProspect.com Releases New Rankings

American Chad Krys continues to top HockeyProspect.com’s 2014 QMJHL Entry Draft rankings.

The website released their second rankings for this year’s QMJHL Draft this afternoon. Krys, a Connecticut born defenseman, also topped their first list which was released last month.

Defensemen Samuel Girard and Michael Campoli of the Quebec AAA league are ranked second and third respectively. A couple of Atlantic Canadians round out the top five as Newfoundland centre Jordan Maher is ranked fourth and Cape Breton left winger Mitchell Balmas is fifth.

HockeyProspect.com’s full top 10 can be found here.

Maher, the website’s biggest riser this month, leads the Newfoundland & Labrador Major Midget Hockey League in scoring with 21 goals and 41 points in 20 games with the Central Ice Pak. Balmas, who was ranked second in last month’s list, is fifth in Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League scoring with 19 goals and 45 points in 28 games with the Cape Breton Tradesmen.

The Sea Dogs currently hold one first-round pick (their own). If they miss the playoffs they will be entered into the coin toss for the first overall pick.

Big Game Tomorrow

Oh how quickly things change in junior hockey.

On this day two years ago, a single point separated the Shawinigan Cataractes and Saint John Sea Dogs at the top of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League standings.
Today, the two teams are separated by three points in the league’s basement.
Games were intense between the two during the 2011-12 season with so much on the line in the standings. They could be just as good this year with the two battling for a playoff spot with two months left in the season.

Saint John and Shawinigan meet for the first time this season tomorrow night in at the building formerly known as Centre Bionest. They also meet on February 20th at Harbour Station.

The bottom of the league’s standings have gotten quite congested over the past few weeks with Bathurst, Charlottetown, and Sherbrooke all struggling and Saint John and Shawinigan improving. Only eight points separate the 18th-place Cataractes and the 14th-place Titan.

The Sea Dogs sit two-points back of the Phoenix – who hold the final playoff spot – with a game in-hand. The Cataractes are three-points back of the Dogs. Tomorrow night’s game is a big one.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Chase Gaudet Brought Up

The Sea Dogs have made a goaltending swap.

The team announced this afternoon that they have recalled affiliate goaltender Chase Gaudet from the Maritime Junior A Hockey League’s Yarmouth Mariners. He’ll take over backup goaltending duties from Kyle Porter who has been sent back to the NB/PEI Major Midget AAA Hockey League’s Saint John Vitos.

Regular backup Antoine Landry remains out with a lower body injury suffered on January 15th in Moncton. Sebastien Auger has played every minute since.

Gaudet, a 19-year old Summerside native, has a record of 12-7 with a 3.42 goals-against average and a .884 save percentage in 21 games with the Mariners this season. He has QMJHL experience having played a bit with the Shawinigan Cataractes last season. He went 0-5 with a 6.17 GAA and .819 SV%.

The Sea Dogs take on the Cataractes on Wednesday in Shawinigan to begin a three-game Quebec road trip. They also play on Friday in Val-d’Or and Saturday in Rouyn-Noranda.

Photo via Twitter

News & Notes From Sunday's Game

SAINT JOHN – The Acadie-Bathurst Titan are really struggling these days.

With yesterday’s 4-0 loss in Saint John, the Titan have now lost six straight games. But even more alarming is that the team’s offense has gone completely cold having been shutout in each of their past three games.

According to Mikael Lalancette of TVA Sports on the Twitter, the Titan join the 2003-04 Chicoutimi Sagueneens and 1997-98 Drummondville Voltigeurs as the only teams in QMJHL history to be shutout in three consecutive games.

Some other stuff from yesterday’s game…
  • It was a long time coming, but Sebastien Auger finally got his much deserved first shutout of the season. By Auger standards, he wasn’t tested a whole lot, making 32 saves with only 10 of those shots being considered dangerous. This a day after making a career high 49 saves in a loss to Baie-Comeau. It’s the third shutout of his career and first since March 16th, 2012.
  • It was quite a game for rookie defenseman Thomas Chabot. After being a healthy scratch on Saturday, Chabot recorded two assists on Sunday and could have had a few more points. He had three shots in the game was named first star.
  • Mathieu Joseph continues to impress for the Sea Dogs. He had one assist in the game, dishing a nice pass to Nicolas Hebert. Joseph, who is still looking for his first Q goal, also had a few quality scoring chances. You have to think that first goal is coming soon.
  • Hebert, who had two goals and an assist in 35 games this season in Rimouski before being traded, scored his third goal with Saint John in just his 13th game.
  • After a disappointing performance on Saturday, Saint John’s power play was really clicking on Sunday. It went 3-for-5 in the game with Oliver Cooper getting points on all three goals.
  • Former Sea Dog Scott Oke had three shots, a hit, and took a slashing penalty.
  • The Sea Dogs were without forwards Stephen Anderson (upper body), Joey Richard (shoulder), and Lukas Walter (healthy) along with defensemen Michael Abbott (hand) and Jeremy Doucet (healthy). Antoine Landry also remains out with a lower body injury.
  • Saint John remains two points back of Sherbrooke with a game in-hand.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

RECAP: Goose Egg. Dogs Win 4-0.

FINAL: Bathurst 0, Saint John 4

SAINT JOHN – Sebastien Auger finally got his much deserved shutout on Sunday afternoon.

Auger made 32 saves in the Saint John Sea Dogs’ 4-0 victory over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action at Harbour Station. This less than 24 hours after Auger made 49 saves in a 4-1 loss to the Baie-Comeau Drakkar.

The Sea Dogs goaltender has come close to getting a shutout several times this season but could never close the deal. There is probably no goalie in the league that deserved one more. It’s just the third shutout of Auger’s career with the previous two coming in the 2011-12 campaign.

It was a fairly solid game for the Sea Dogs who snapped a two-game losing streak. Oliver Cooper had two goals while Nicolas Hebert and Matthew Highmore added singles. Thomas Chabot and Spencer Smallman each had two assists.

The Titan, meanwhile, have now lost six straight games and have been shutout in three straight. These are struggling times in Bathurst. Jacob Brennan made 26 saves in today’s loss.

GAMEDAY 48 - vs Titan

A preview of today’s game between the Saint John Sea Dogs and Acadie-Bathurst Titan…

When and where: Today at 3 pm AST, Harbour Station

TV/Radio: TELUS Webcast/News 88.9

Records: The Titan are fourth in the Telus Maritimes Division and 14th overall in the QMJHL with a 17-27-3-2 record for 39 points. The Sea Dogs are sixth in the Maritimes Division and 17th overall with a record of 14-29-1-3 record for 32 points.

Last games: The Titan are coming off a 2-0 loss in Moncton last night. They had 29 shots on goal. The Sea Dogs are coming off a 4-1 home loss to the Baie-Comeau Drakkar last night, a game that took over four hours to compete due to a power outage. Sebastien Auger made a career high 49 saves in the loss.

2013-14 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 3-2-0-0 against the Titan this season while Bathurst is 2-2-0-1 against Saint John.

Last meeting: January 5th when the Sea Dogs defeated the Titan 2-1 at Harbour Station. Matthew Highmore had a goal and an assist. The game started a half hour late due to… a power outage.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Titan: Scott Oke

Random stat: The Titan have been shutout in each of their past two games.

BAT notes: Losers of five straight and are just 2-7-1-0 in their last 10 games… Jacob Brennan is fourth in the league in saves with 1,062… their power play is running at 13.1%, the worst in the league… they do have the fourth best penalty kill (81.4%) though… their goals per game average if 2.22 is the lowest in the QMJHL.

SJ notes: This is the final game of a five-game homestand for the Sea Dogs… Nathan Noel has goals in back-to-back games… 12-16-0-2 against the Maritimes Division… Alexander McQuaid has penalty minutes in five straight home games… Dogs have lost two straight.

News & Notes From Saturday's Game

Some stuff from last night’s game…
  • Nathan Noel scored his 13th of the season in the first period. Alexander McQuaid picked up just his second point of the year on the goal thanks to a lovely pass he made.
  • Noel, who went cold for a bit, now has goals in back-to-back games and four points in his last five. He was moved back to centre last night with Marcus Cuomo and Spencer Smallman on his wings.
  • The big story of the game was the power outage of course which happened with just over six minutes gone in the second period. The lights went out at around 8:15 pm and play did not resume until around 9:56 pm. Fun times.
  • There was 13:45 left in the second when play resumed and it was all Drakkar. They scored three goals in a 6:09 stretch to lead 4-1 after two. They out Saint John 25-7 in the period, tying them with Charlottetown for the most shots by any team in a second period this season.
  • It looked like the Drakkar were going to hit the 60 shot mark but slowed down a bit in the second half of the third. They finished the night with 53 shots, tying them for the third most shots in a game by any team this season.
  • Sea Dogs goaltender Sebastien Auger was the one facing all those shots. He set a new regular season career high for shots faced (53) and saves (49) in a game.
  • Unlimited penalties. Baie-Comeau went 1-for-8 on the power play while Saint John went 1-for-9. Power probably went out because the clock couldn’t handle the penalties.
  • Auger took a rare elbowing penalty in the second period. The goaltender now has eight penalty minutes on the season, two more than defenseman Will Thompson.
  • Marcus Cuomo left the game in the third period after blocking some shots.
  • The game ended at 11:14 pm and took four hours and nine minutes to complete.
  • The attendance was 3,691. It was the third biggest crowd at Harbour Station this season.
  • The Sea Dogs were without forwards Stephen Anderson (upper body), Joey Richard (shoulder), and Samuel Dove-McFalls (healthy) along with defensemen Michael Abbott (hand) and Thomas Chabot (healthy). Goaltender Antoine Landry also remains out with a lower body injury.
  • According to News 88.9, Anderson was in the building last night. It’s still not clear when he’ll return to action.
  • Big 2-1 win by Shawinigan in Sherbrooke last night. The Sea Dogs remain four points back of the Phoenix with two games in-hand while the Cataractes are just a single point back of Saint John.
  • Baie-Comeau's win kept the Drakkar in first-place. They have now won seven straight games.

The Night The Lights Went Out

SAINT JOHN – At roughly 8:15 pm on Saturday night, the power went out at Harbour Station. Play would resume at around 9:56 pm. Here’s the story of the outage as told by those brave souls who lived it and tweeted about it.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

RECAP: Lights Out. Dogs Lose 4-1.

FINAL: Baie-Comeau 4, Saint John 1
SAINT JOHN – In a second period that took nearly two hours to complete, the Baie-Comeau Drakkar needed just 6:09 of that middle frame to seal a 4-1 victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs on Saturday night.

A power outrage hit Harbour Station (pictured... sort of) in the second period and delayed the game nearly 90 minutes. It was 1-1 at the time, but it would be the Drakkar who would benefit from the delay as they scored three times in the second to make it 4-1. That is the way it would end.

Baie-Comeau certainly showed signs of why they are first overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The Drakkar outshot the Sea Dogs 52-22 in the game, including 25-7 in the second.

Bokondji Imama, Charles Hudon, Valentin Zykov, and Charles Poulin all had goals for the Drakkar. Philippe Cadorette made 22 saves in the win.

Nathan Noel had Saint John’s only goal. Sebastien Auger was even busier than usual, making 49 saves in the loss.

The Sea Dogs won’t have to dwell on this game for long. They host the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Sunday afternoon at 3pm to wrap up their five-game homestand.

GAMEDAY 47 - vs Drakkar

A preview of tonight’s game between the Saint John Sea Dogs and Baie-Comeau Drakkar…

When and where: Tonight at 7 pm AST, Harbour Station

TV/Radio: TELUS Webcast/News 88.9

Records: The Sea Dogs are sixth in the Telus Maritimes Division and 17th overall in the QMJHL with a 14-28-1-3 record for 32 points. The Drakkar are first in the Telus East Division and first overall with a record of 31-12-1-3 for 66 points.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 5-2 loss to the Halifax Mooseheads at Harbour Station on Tuesday night. Nicolas Hebert and Nathan Noel scored for Saint John. The Drakkar are coming off a 1-0 overtime victory over the Titan in Bathurst on Thursday night. Shots were 43-18 in favour of Baie-Comeau in that game.

2013-14 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 0-1-0-0 against the Drakkar this season while Baie-Comeau is 1-0-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: October 25th in Baie-Comeau when the Drakkar edged the Sea Dogs 2-1. Joey Richard had Saint John’s only goal.

Random stat: From the QMJHL website: “Head coach Eric Veilleux has convinced his players that the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary! On their way to winning 6 games in a row the Drakkar have only allowed 9 goals over that stretch. The always stingy Drakkar have allowed only 2.46 goals per game to lead the league comfortably ahead of Halifax (2.75).”

B-C notes: Baie-Comeau sits first overall in the league but just by a single point over Halifax and Blainville-Boisbriand… winners of six straight… Charles Hudon plays in Baie-Comeau now… Philippe Cadorette has the league’s second best GAA of 2.31… Cadorette also has the third most wins (23), most shutouts (5), and third best save percentage (0.915)… Dominic Poulin is ninth in defensemen scoring with 32 points… Alexis Vanier is second in goals by defensemen with 15. Nine of them have come on the power play… in typical Drakkar fashion, the Drakkar have the most penalty minutes in the league this year (915)… 8-1-0-1 against the Maritimes Division… Jeremy Gregoire has goals in three straight games… winners of four straight road games.

SJ notes: The Sea Dogs are four points back of a playoff spot with two games in-hand on the Sherbrooke Phoenix… 5-4-1-0 in their last 10 games… this is the second-to-last game of a five-game homestand for Saint John… Sebastien Auger’s save percentage of 0.917 remains the best in the league… 0-7-0-1 against the Telus East Division.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Stuff

The poll results on the QMJHL website can be cruel sometimes.

Some other Friday notes:
  • The Sea Dogs’ five-game homestand ends this weekend with a matchup against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar on Saturday night and then a Sunday afternoon contest against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. Following Sunday’s game, Saint John doesn’t play at home again until February 7th.
  • Saint John is still two points back of the Sherbrooke Phoenix, who hold the QMJHL's final playoff spot, with a game in-hand. The Phoenix host Charlottetown tonight and the last-place Shawinigan Cataractes tomorrow.
  • "Playing defense on a weak team isn't easy, but it is hard to duplicate the experience that he is gaining,” writes Hockey’s Future about Olivier LeBlanc.
  • Cool article on CBC.ca about Eric Gelinas, who comes from a baseball family, playing hockey at Yankee Stadium this weekend. The New York Rangers take on Gelinas and the New Jersey Devils outdoors on Sunday.
  • The Mill Rats attendance numbers are not good… yet are quite good in comparison to other NBL Canada teams.
  • Lastly, Sea Dogs president Wayne Long is performing tonight at the Saint John Ale House. Show starts at 10pm.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

News & Notes From Tuesday's Game

SAINT JOHN - Mooseheads goaltender Zach Fucale made some history last night, becoming the first netminder in QMJHL history to record 100 wins in under 150 games. Last night was his 145th game.

Fucale wasn’t tested a whole lot last night, making 22 saves in the win over the Sea Dogs. Only six of Saint John’s 24 shots were considered dangerous.

Some more stuff from last night’s game…
  • Saint John’s three-game winning streak came to an end with the loss. Meanwhile, Halifax has won five straight and probably won’t lose a game for the rest of the year or something crazy like that.
  • Nikolaj Ehlers has been a beast against Saint John this year. With a goal and an assist last night, Ehlers now has seven goals and seven assists in six games against the Sea Dogs.
  • Fairly quiet night for Jonathan Drouin who finished the game with two assists and four penalty minutes.
  • Oliver Cooper was injured in the second period and went back to the Sea Dogs bench in obvious discomfort. He banged his stick a couple of times on the glass behind the Sea Dogs bench in frustration. He left the game for a brief time but would return in the period.
  • Nathan Noel’s third period goal was his first since December 7th.
  • Jason Cameron had an assist on Noel’’s goal. After going all of last season without an assist, Cameron now has two in his past three games.
  • Mathieu Joseph continues to impress. He had another assist last night to give him four in 10 games.
  • Saint John’s power play was not good. Very few quality scoring chances created on them. They finished the game 0-for-6.
  • Only 2,857 at the game. Place sounded like a library at times.
  • Saint John remains two points back of the Sherbrooke Phoenix for the final playoff spot. The Dogs have one-game in-hand.
  • The Sea Dogs were without forwards Joey Richard (shoulder), Stephen Anderson (upper body), and Mackenzie Brown (healthy) along with defensemen Michael Abbott (hand) and Alexander McQuaid (healthy). Goaltender Antoine Landry also remains out with a lower body injury.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

RECAP: Green Machine. Dogs Lose 5-2.

FINAL: Halifax 5, Saint John 2
SAINT JOHN – Nikolaj Ehlers seems to enjoy playing against the Saint John Sea Dogs.

With a goal and an assist tonight, Ehlers now has seven goals and seven assists in six games against the Sea Dogs this season. The rookie import forward was named first star in the Halifax Mooseheads’ 5-2 victory in Saint John on Tuesday night.

Andrew Ryan, Danny Moynihan, Matt Murphy, and Brent Andrews also scored for the Moose. Darcy Ashley and Jonathan Drouin each had two assists. Zach Fucale made 22 saves in the victory, the 100th in his QMJHL career.

Sea Dogs goals came from Nicolas Hebert and Nathan Noel. Sebastien Auger made 29 saves in the loss.

Saint John managed to hang around with the Moose for much of the game. Halifax really turned it on in the third period to secure the win. You have to think the Sea Dogs are feeling a bit fatigued these days during this busy January stretch. The Dogs will now have a few days to prepare for Saturday’s tough matchup against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar.

GAMEDAY 46 - vs Mooseheads

A preview of tonight’s game between the Halifax Mooseheads and Saint John Sea Dogs…

When and where: Tonight at 7 pm AST, Harbour Station

TV/Radio: TELUS Webcast/News 88.9

Records: The Mooseheads are first in the Telus Maritimes Division and third overall in the QMJHL with a 30-16-0-1 record for 61 points. The Sea Dogs are sixth in the Telus Maritimes Division and 17th overall with a 14-27-1-3 record for 32 points.

Last games: Halifax is coming off a 9-1 dismantling of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Sunday afternoon. The Moose outshot the Titan 52-23 in the game. Saint John is coming off a 4-3 victory over the Drummondville Voltigeurs on Saturday night at Harbour Station. Samuel Dove-McFalls had two goals for the Sea Dogs.

2013-14 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 1-4-0-0 against the Mooseheads this season while Halifax is 4-1-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: January 4th at Harbour Station when the Mooseheads defeated the Sea Dogs 5-3. Darcy Ashley had two goals and two assists while Nikolaj Ehlers had a goal and four assists.

Random stat: If you haven’t heard, Halifax goaltender Zach Fucale is a win away from becoming the first netminder in league history to register 100 wins in under 150 games.

HFX notes: The Mooseheads have a 10-point lead in the Maritimes Division and are three-points back of first overall in the QMJHL… winners of four straight and are 7-3-0-0 in their last 10 games. They’ve also outscored opponents 17-2 over the past two games… Nikolaj Ehlers is seventh in the league in scoring with 62 points. Jonathan Drouin is ninth with 60 points… Drouin is fourth in assists with 42… Ehlers is third in shots on goal with 121… Darcy Ashley is tied for the league lead in game-winning goals with eight… Zach Fucale has the league’s best GAA (2.36) and is second in wins (22)… Ehlers leads all rookies in scoring (62), goals (27), and assists (35)… MacKenzie Weegar is seventh in defensemen scoring with 37 points… 20-10-0-0 against the Maritimes Division… averaging 4.02 goals per game, second most in the league… averaging 2.77 goals against per game, second fewest in the league… Ashley has goals in seven straight games… Drouin has points in 12 straight road games.

SJ notes: Winners of three straight and have picked up points in each of their past four games… two points out of a playoff spot with two games in-hand on the Sherbrooke Phoenix… Sebastien Auger now leads the league in save percentage (0.918) and saves (1,263) and is second in minutes played… Sea Dogs have won three straight at home… Noah Zilbert has five goals and three assists in his past five games… Samuel Dove-McFalls has points in his past three games.

Sea Dogs Notebook

UP NEXT
Two of the QMJHL’s hottest teams meet on Tuesday night at Harbour Station as the Sea Dogs host the Halifax Mooseheads. It’s #CrowdPricing night, meaning the more tickets that are sold at seadogs.spinzo.com the cheaper tickets purchased on the site will get. The lowest price is what your credit card is charged.

The Sea Dogs wrap-up their homestand this weekend. On Saturday they host the Baie-Comeau Drakkar at 7pm and then on Sunday they take on the Acadie-Bathurst Titan at 3pm.

It will definitely be a challenging week for Saint John who has already had a busy January. They’ve won three straight heading into this week’s games where they'll face two of the league's top teams.

THE MOOSE
The Mooseheads are on a serious roll heading into Tuesday’s game in Saint John. They’ve won four straight games and have outscored opponents 17-2 over their past two. The Titan were destroyed so badly by the Moose on Sunday that they fired their coach after the game.

As the QMJHL website notes, Zach Fucale could become the first goaltender in league history to record his 100th win in under 150 games with a victory against Saint John. He’s pretty good.

Jonathan Drouin was also named the QMJHL’s second star of the week. The Tampa Bay Lightning prospect has a goal and nine assists in three games since returning from the World Juniors.

FAMILY ALL-STARS
Ron Lockhart and Lisa Mazerolle, the billet parents of Lukas Walter, are candidates in this year’s Dodge Family All-Stars contest. One family from each of the WHL, OHL and QMJHL leagues will win a trip to the 2014 MasterCard Memorial Cup and the chance to win a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan.

You can read about Walter’s billet family and vote for them HERE. Stage one voting ends on February 21st.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Sea Dogs Nearing Playoff Spot

With just over 20 games to go, the Saint John Sea Dogs are very much alive in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoff race.

After 45 games, the Sea Dogs have a record of 14-27-1-3 for 32 points which places them 17th overall in the 18-team league. Winners of three straight, their solid play of late has them just two points out of playoff spot with two games in-hand on the 16th-placed Sherbrooke Phoenix.

At this time two months ago, the Sea Dogs were eight points back of the Phoenix. But Sherbrooke has gone downhill of late and are just 1-6-2-1 in their last 10, allowing the Sea Dogs and the last-place Shawinigan Cataractes back into the race for playoff space.

16 of the 18 teams make the post-season. The two bottom teams who miss the playoffs take part in a coin flip to determine who gets the first overall pick in June’s Entry Draft. It’s certainly debatable on which would be better for the Sea Dogs – entered into the coin flip or gain playoff experience (likely limited experience) against one of the league’s top teams.

As you can see above, it’s pretty much a bundle of five teams in the league’s basement that will battle for positioning over the final two months of the regular season. With each team having just over 20 games left, there is plenty of time for movement in the standings.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

News & Notes From Saturday's Game

Some stuff from last night’s game…
  • For the first time this season, the Sea Dogs have won three straight games. They have also picked up at least a point in each of their past four games. Quite a turnaround when you look at how this team was playing just a couple of months ago.
  • Noah Zilbert continued his hot play on Saturday night, scoring the game’s opening goal at 15:51 on a power play in the first. Zilbert now has five goals and three assists in his past five games.
  • Nicolas Hebert left the game and did not return after taking a big open ice hit from Sergei Boikov in the first period. The Volts import was given a five-minute penalty and game misconduct for interference. The Dogs could only get one shot on goal during the man advantage.
  • On Wednesday and Friday, it was the third period where Saint John was outshot by a large margin. But it was the first 40 minutes on Saturday that saw the Sea Dogs face a barrage of shots. Drummondville had 23 shots to Saint John’s nine in the first two periods combined. Shots were 12-12 in the third.
  • The Sea Dogs continue to be opportunistic with their chances. Despite only getting nine shots on net in two periods, they chased Volts backup Joe Fleschler from the net after allowing three goals. Louis-Philip Guindon took over for the third.
  • Saint John had a full two-minute five-on-three power play in the third but nearly blew it. After not creating many scoring chances, the Sea Dogs were awarded a penalty shot as a Volts player, apparently, closed his hand on the puck in the crease. But Nathan Noel was denied on his solo attempt. But with three seconds remaining in the power play, Matthew Highmore scored what proved to be the game-winner.
  • With around 6:30 left in the game, it appeared Jerome Verrier (I think?) had taken a penalty in a scrum in front of the Sea Dogs crease. He was put into the box but after some arguing with the official he was taken back to the Drummondville bench. Very bizarre sequence.
  • Samuel Dove-McFalls netted two goals last night and has points in three straight games and goals in back-to-back contests.
  • How about Saint John’s 16-year olds last night? Dove-McFalls had two goals, Mathieu Joseph two assists, and Thomas Chabot one assist.
  • Matthew Highmore won 18 of 22 faceoffs last night, including a bunch during that two-minute five-on-three.
  • Sebastien Auger was Sebastien Auger again last night. He also got a roughing penalty for some rough stuff at the end of the game. The goaltender now has the same amount of penalty minutes as Will Thompson this season.
  • Drummondville’s power play played as advertised, going 3-for-5. Captain Charles-David Beaudoin had two goals while Matthew Boudens added three assists.
  • The Sea Dogs are just two points back of the Sherbrooke Phoenix with two games in hand.
  • The Sea Dogs were without forwards Joey Richard (shoulder), Stephen Anderson (upper body), and Lukas Walter (healthy) along with defensemen Michael Abbott (hand) and Will Thompson (healthy). Walter took warmup but was the team’s final scratch. Goaltender Antoine Landry also remains out.

RECAP: Good Times. Dogs Win 4-3.

FINAL: Drummondville 3, Saint John 4
SAINT JOHN – Make it three straight wins for the Saint John Sea Dogs.

Samuel Dove-McFalls scored twice while singles came from Noah Zilbert and Matthew Highmore as the Sea Dogs edged the Drummondville Voltigeurs 4-3 in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action at Harbour Station on Saturday night.

Saint John has now won three straight and have picked up points in each of their past four games. Saturday’s game was much like the past two – the Sea Dogs were outshot by a wide margin at times but were able to score timely goals and get excellent goaltending to hang on for the win.

Sebastien Auger was terrific as usual, making 32 saves in the win. 23 of the 35 shots Drummondville fired on Auger came in the first 40 minutes. Saint John had nine shots in that time frame.

Charles-David Beaudoin scored twice for Drummondville while Jerome Verrier added a solo marker. Joe Fleschler allowed three goals on nine shots in 40 minutes of action. Louis-Philip Guindon made 11 saves in the third.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

GAMEDAY 45 - vs Voltigeurs

A preview of today’s game between the Saint John Sea Dogs and Drummondville Voltigeurs…

When and where: Tonight at 7 pm AST, Harbour Station

TV/Radio: TELUS Webcast/News 88.9

Records: The Sea Dogs are sixth in the Telus Maritimes Division and 17th overall in the QMJHL with a 13-27-1-3 record. The Voltigeurs are second in the Telus West Division and fifth overall with a 28-15-1-1 record.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 3-2 victory over the Charlottetown Islanders last night at Harbour Station. David Weckworth scored his first goal since 2010 in that one. The Volts are coming off a 2-0 victory over the Titan in Bathurst last night. Louis-Philip Guindon made 33 saves for the shutout win.

2013-14 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 0-1-0-0 against the Volts this season while Drummondville is 1-0-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Their only previous meeting this season came on October 23rd in Drummondville where the Volts defeated the Dogs 4-3. Christophe Lalancette scored the game-winner on a power play in the final minutes of the third.

Random stat: Noah Zilbert has four goals and three assists in his past four games.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Voltigeurs: None

DRUM notes: Volts made a couple big deals during the trade period… 6-4 in their last 10 games and have won two straight… Frederick Gaudreau is 10th in the league in scoring with 57 points in 44 games… Jerome Verrier is third in power play goals with 15… Ryan Culkin is fourth in power play assists with 21… Nikolas Brouillard is fourth in power play points with 29… goaltender Louis-Philip Guindon has the fourth best goals against average in the Q at 2.79… Guindon is third in minutes played… Georgs Golovkos is fifth in rookie scoring with 34 points… Brouillard and Culkin are third and fourth in defensemen scoring… Volts are 4-3-1-0 against the Maritimes Division… Drummondville’s power play of 28.3% is second best in the league.

SJ notes: This is the second game of a five-game homestand for the Sea Dogs… 5-4-1-0 in their last 10 games and have won back-to-back games… Sebastien Auger has the league’s best save percentage of 0.918… Nathan Noel is 10th in rookie scoring with 26 points… 1-5-1-0 against the Telus West Division.

News & Notes From Friday's Game

Some stuff from last night’s game…
  • The Sea Dogs have now won back-to-back games and have picked up points in each of their past three games. They are also 5-4-1-0 in their last 10. Saint John sits just four points back (and have played two less games) of the Sherbrooke Phoenix who hold the league’s final playoff spot.
  • The Islanders, who revamped their roster during the holiday trading period and got younger, are struggling these days. They are 3-7 in their last 10, have lost three straight overall, and have lost 10 straight on the road.
  • Saint John had a solid first period, outshooting Charlottetown 19-5. Samuel Dove-McFalls had the only goal of the period to give the Dogs a 1-0 advantage.
  • The Dogs had five 16-year olds in the starting lineup (pictured) – defensemen Thomas Chabot and Will Thompson and forwards Nathan Noel, Mathieu Joseph, and Samuel Dove-McFalls.
  • Jason Cameron had a penalty shot in the first period but couldn’t score. In the league this year, there have been only nine goals on 30 penalty shot attempts.
  • With two assists last night, Noah Zilbert has four goals and three assists in his past four games.
  • Just like on Wednesday night in Moncton, the Sea Dogs were massively outshot in the third period but managed to hang on. Shots in the third on Friday night were 21-5 in favour of the Islanders but Saint John would score the only goal of the frame.
  • Overage defenseman David Weckworth of all people scored the game-winning goal at 18:30 of the third period with a point shot that beat Isles goaltender Eric Brassard. It was Weckworth’s first goal as a Sea Dog and his first QMJHL since December 17th, 2010 when he was a member of the Gatineau Olympiques.
  • Cameron also had a very rare assist on Weckworth’s goal. It was the first assist for the 20-year old forward since February 28th, 2012.
  • Saint John’s overage trio of Cameron, Weckworth, and Lukas Walter have now combined for three goals and 11 assists. Weckworth has 11 of those 14 points.
  • Sebastien Auger.
  • The Dogs have done well against the Islanders this season. They improved to 3-3-0-1 against them with the win last night, picking up seven points in seven games.
  • The Sea Dogs were without forwards Lukas Walter (upper body), Stephen Anderson (upper body), and Joey Richard (shoulder) along with defensemen Michael Abbott (hand) and Alexander McQuaid (healthy). Goaltender Antoine Landry was also out with a lower body injury.
  • With Landry out, Saint John Vitos netminder Kyle Porter backed-up Sebastien Auger. Sea Dogs head coach Ross Yates said on the News 88.9 pre-game show that Landry could be out for a couple weeks or more.
  • Before the game, Matthew Highmore was named the Sea Dogs' player and student of the month for December.

Friday, January 17, 2014

RECAP: Weckworth Wins It. Dogs Win 3-2.

FINAL: Charlottetown 2, Saint John 3
SAINT JOHN – David Weckworth picked a great time to score his second career Quebec Major Junior Hockey League goal.

The overage defenseman scored his first goal since December 17th, 2010 and it proved to be the game-winner in the Saint John Sea Dogs’ 3-2 victory over the Charlottetown Islanders on Friday night at Harbour Station.

The win gives the Sea Dogs back-to-back victories as well as points in each of their past three games.

Samuel Dove-McFalls and Olivier LeBlanc also scored for Saint John in the win. Sebastien Auger was busy in net once again, making 36 saves.

The Islanders, who have now lost 10 straight road games, had goals from Nathan Yetman and Kameron Kielly. Eric Brassard made 28 saves in the loss.

GAMEDAY 44 - vs Islanders

A preview of tonight’s game between the Charlottetown Islanders and Saint John Sea Dogs…

Where and when: Tonight at 7:30 pm AST, Harbour Station

TV/Radio: TELUS Webcast/News 88.9

Records: The Sea Dogs are sixth in the Telus Maritimes Division and 17th overall in the QMJHL with a 12-27-1-3 record for 28 points. The Islanders are fourth in the Telus Maritimes Division and 14th overall with a 17-23-1-4 record for 39 points.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 4-3 win in Moncton on Wednesday. Noah Zilbert had two goals in that game. The Islanders are coming off a 5-1 loss to the Halifax Mooseheads on Wednesday at the Metro Centre. Alexandre Goulet had Charlottetown’s only goal.

2013-14 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 2-3-0-1 against the Islanders this season while Charlottetown is 4-1-0-1 against Saint John.

Last meeting: December 13th in Charlottetown where the Islanders edged the Sea Dogs 2-1. Jack Nevins scored the game-winner at 18:35 of the third on a power play.

Random stat: Isles goaltender Mason McDonald made 15 saves in 29:08 minutes of action at the BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Calgary on Wednesday.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Islanders: None

CHA notes: The Islanders basically dismantled their team and brought in a bunch of younger players during the trade period… 3-7-0-0 in their last 10 games and have lost two straight… Charlottetown hasn’t been great on the road this season, winning seven of 22 games… Daniel Sprong is second amongst rookies in points (47), goals (20), and assists (27)… weirdly 5-12-1-3 when scoring first… Isles have lost nine straight road games.

SJ notes: Oliver Cooper, who has five goals against Charlottetown this season, is the only Sea Dog with more than one goal against the Isles this year… after his performance on Wednesday, Sebastien Auger has the league’s best save percentage of 0.917… the Dogs are still averaging the most shots against per game at 37.39… Noah Zilbert has goals in three straight games… Kyle Porter will backup Sebastien Auger tonight due to Antoine Landry’s injury.

Porter To Replace Injured Landry

The Sea Dogs have signed Saint John Vitos goaltender Kyle Porter as an affiliate player, the team has announced.

Porter, a Saint Andrews native, is 12-3-0 with a 2.63 goals against average and a 0.898 save percentage with the NB/PEI Major Midget Hockey League’s Vitos this year.

The Sea Dogs had to sign and recall Porter after Antoine Landry suffered an injury midway through Wednesday’s game in Moncton.

Saint John hosts the Charlottetown Islanders this evening at 7:30pm.

The GM Application Deadline Is Here

Today is the final day to submit applications for the Saint John Sea Dogs’ general manager position.

The team announced on December 16th that team president Wayne Long would be accepting applications up until today. It’s unconventional for a junior team to search for a GM so publicly - but it seems to have worked.

Long told the Telegraph-Journal that “three or four strong, NHL-calibre candidates have expressed interest” and that he would like to have someone hired “at the very latest, by the end of February.” Go check out that full article in the T-J so we don’t feel so guilty about putting those quotes on here.

Once a GM is hired, he and team management will presumably evaluate the hockey operations staff. The Sea Dogs coaching staff, led by Ross Yates, has certainly turned things around in the past month. Heading into action tonight, Saint John is 5-4-1-0 in their past 10 games and have been playing some of their best hockey of the season.

The Dogs will likely have another long off-season and plenty of time to prepare for the QMJHL Entry Draft in June. This year’s draft should be fun.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

News & Notes From Wednesday's Game


MONCTON – Some stuff from last night’s game…

  • It was another solid road game for the Sea Dogs. Last night’s win came after good performances in Quebec City and Blainville-Boisbriand over the weekend. Saint John is now 5-4-1-0 in their last 10 games.
  • It’s been quite a few games for Noah Zilbert. With two goals last night, the Fredericton native now has four goals in his past three games. He has nine all season.
  • In 14 career games against Moncton, Zilbert now has eight goals.
  • It was once again nice to see some different players step up and score for the Sea Dogs in a win. Zilbert had two goals while defensemen Will Thompson and Jurij Repe had the others.
  • Conor Garland had all three Moncton goals. His third goal was a beauty.
  • Some wild stuff took place at 9:30 of the first period (video above). Samuel Dove-McFalls fought Kyle Haas and then Jeremy Doucet took on Matthew Klebanskyj. Dove-McFalls got an instigator while Doucet was given a game misconduct for “fighting after the original altercation.” Kelly Bent also got a game misconduct for being the third man in. So the Dogs won this game while being shorthanded.
  • After all this took place, there was a bizarre lengthy delay as the officials tried to figure out the penalties. Like really, really long. 
  • Eventful game for Dove-McFalls. Along with his second QMJHL fight, he had an assist on Zilbert’s game-tying goal in the third.
  • After going behind the net to try and play the puck, Antoine Landry looked to be in some discomfort. Play headed back down the ice but at the next whistle JP Laciak had to come out and take a look at the Dogs netminder who had fallen to his knees. Landry, who made 12 saves in just under 31 minutes of action, was helped off with an apparent lower body injury.
  • Sebastien Auger took over in relief and was outstanding in net. He made 30 saves in the second half of the game, including 27 (!) in the third period alone.
  • Shots in the third were 27-8 in favour of Moncton. 27-8.
  • Saint John scored two goals in under two minutes in the third to take a 4-3 lead. Auger entered brick wall mode and was just spectacular in keeping the Dogs in front. Things got scary late in the period when Alexander McQuaid took a double-minor for high-sticking at 16:21. But Auger and the Dogs would hang on.
  • Dogs improved to 3-4-0-0 against the Wildcats this season. All three of their wins have come at the Coliseum. 
  • The Sea Dogs were without forwards Lukas Walter (upper body), Stephen Anderson (upper body), and Joey Richard (shoulder) along with defensemen Michael Abbott (hand) and Thomas Chabot (healthy).

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

RECAP: Wednesday Night Winning. Dogs Win 4-3.

FINAL: Saint John 4, Moncton 3

MONCTON – Noah Zilbert is heating up at the right time for the Saint John Sea Dogs.

Zilbert scored two goals on Wednesday night in Moncton, leading the Sea Dogs to a 4-3 victory over the Moncton Wildcats. The Fredericton native now has four goals in his last three games with Stephen Anderson and his offense out of the lineup indefinitely.

Zilbert’s goals tied a back-and-forth game against the Wildcats twice. Will Thompson and Jurij Repe had the other markers. Antoine Landry got the start in goal and made 12 saves before leaving the game with an apparent lower body injury in the second period. Sebastien Auger made 30 saves in relief.

Conor Garland had all three goals for the Wildcats. Alex Dubeau allowed four goals on 21 shots in the loss.

It was another solid road game by the Sea Dogs much like their performances in Quebec City and Blainville-Boisbriand over the weekend. Despite Moncton doubling Saint John in shots, it certainly wasn’t that lopsided.

Garland opened the scoring at 5:12 of the first on a power play. But the Dogs tied things up just a little over a minute later at 6:15 as Zilbert scored his first of the contest.

At 9:30, some rough stuff near the sideboards resulted in Samuel Dove-McFalls fighting Kyle Haas while Jeremy Doucet fought Matthew Klebanskyj. Kelly Bent also got a game misconduct for being the third man in. The chaos resulted in a bizarre delay that lasted unlimited minutes as the officials tried to figure out the penalties.

The delay seemed to deflate the Wildcats a bit. At 18:41, Thompson scored his third of the year to give Saint John a 2-1 advantage. Shots in the opening frame were just 8-3 in favour of the Dogs.

GAMEDAY 43 - at Moncton

A preview of tonight’s game…

When and where: Tonight at 7 pm AST, Moncton Coliseum

TV/Radio: TELUS Webcats/News 88.9

Records: The Saint John Sea Dogs are sixth in the Telus Maritimes Division and 18th overall in the QMJHL with an 11-27-1-3 record for 26 points. The Moncton Wildcats are second in the Telus Maritimes Division and 10th overall with a 23-20-0-2 record for 48 points.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss in Blainville-Boisbriand on Sunday. Noah Zilbert and Oliver Cooper each had a goal and an assist. The Wildcats are coming off a 4-2 loss to the Shawinigan Cataractes on Saturday at the Coliseum. Christophe Lalonde had a goal and an assist.

2013-14 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 2-4-0-0 against the Wildcats this season while Moncton is 4-2-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: December 29th at Moncton when the Sea Dogs defeated the Wildcats 2-1. Spencer Smallman and Kelly Bent had goals while Sebastien Auger made 30 saves in the win.

Random stat: Christophe Lalonde has five goals and four assist in six games against Saint John this season.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Wildcats: None

SJ notes: Nathan Noel and Will Thompson, who were given Sunday’s game off to get some rest, will likely be back in the Sea Dogs lineup… Saint John plays five straight home games following this game… both of Saint John’s wins vs Moncton this season have come at the Moncton Coliseum… Matthew Highmore and Oliver Cooper each have five points against the Wildcats this season.

MON notes: Ivan Barbashev is in Calgary for the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game… 16-year old Alex Jacob is expected to make his QMJHL debut… only 10-11-0-1 at home this season… 7-3 in their last 10 games… goaltender Alex Dubeau leads the league in wins, minutes, saves, and save percentage… Dillon Donnelly is second in penalty minutes amongst defensemen with 101… the Wildcats have the league’s best penalty kill with a 83.9% rating… Dubeau is 4-2 with a 2.68 GAA and 0.917 SV% against Saint John this season… Moncton leads the all-important Rivalry Cup standings 4-2.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sea Dogs Notebook

UP NEXT
It’s not on your pocket of magnet schedule, but the Sea Dogs are in Moncton tomorrow night to battle the Wildcats at 7pm. This is the make-up game for the contest that was postponed due to a snow storm back on December 15th.

Saint John, currently 18th overall in the QMJHL standings, is 4-5-1-0 in their last 10 games and have been playing some of their best hockey of the season over the past few weeks. They are coming off a tough three-game Quebec road trip that saw them pick up one point.

The Dogs begin a five-game homestand this week with games against Charlottetown on Friday and Drummondville on Saturday.

DONAGHEY
Connor Donaghey is off to a great start with the MHL’s Yarmouth Mariners. In just three games, the Sea Dogs affiliate forward has three goals and three assists. He was named the league’s second star of the week.

This past Saturday, Donaghey scored at 19:52 of the third period to give the Mariners a 4-3 victory over the Miramichi Timberwolves. The game then ended with a line brawl and goalie fight.


Unreal call by that announcer.

THE HIT
If you haven’t seen the knee-on-knee collision between Daniel Walcott and Oliver Cooper from Sunday’s game, here it is via HockeyFights.com.


Both would be okay and no penalty was called.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Three Dogs Ranked By Central Scouting


Defenseman Oliver LeBlanc was the top ranked member of the Saint John Sea Dogs, coming in at No. 112 amongst North American skaters. Center Matthew Highmore came in at No. 139 and right winger Spencer Smallman was ranked No. 145.

LeBlanc sits third on the Sea Dogs in points with 26 and is tied for the team lead in assists with 21. Meanwhile, Highmore is second on the team in scoring with 32 points in 42 games. Smallman has 19 points in 40 contests.

Also ranked was the injured Juraj Siska who was given a “limited viewing” ranking.

Moncton’s Ivan Barbashev was the top ranked Quebec Major Junior Hockey League player at No. 12.

News & Notes From Sunday's Game


Solid hit by Olivier LeBlanc in the first period of last night’s game. Unfortunately LeBlanc was called for checking to the head and then had to fight Aaron Hoyles.

Some other stuff from the game…

  • Quite a game. Nice to see the Sea Dogs pick up a well earned point after a tough loss in Quebec City on Saturday night. Saint John seemed to improve as this road trip went along. They finished the trip with just one point but it came against the league’s top team.
  • The first period was quite physical with a few big hits. Along with LeBlanc fighting Hoyles, Joseph Strong and Lukas Walter had a very spirited tilt. Video can be found HERE.
  • Then in the second period, Daniel Walcott fought Kelly Bent.
  • Saint John opened the scoring just 1:14 into the game thanks to Oliver Cooper netting his 15th of the season. It was his first goal since December 21st.
  • Cooper and Daniel Walcott collided knee-on-knee in the first period. Cooper was in some pain but would be okay.
  • With a goal and an assist, Noah Zilbert has two goals and a helper in his last two games. His goal on Sunday came during a five-on-three power play in the third period that tied the game at 2-2.
  • This was Saint John’s first loss in overtime this season.
  • Ryan Tesink played his first game against his former team. He had an assist in the game along with six shots and one hit. No word yet if the league will compensate Saint John for the Armada winning this game.
  • Rough game for David Weckworth who took three minor penalties – a couple of them being questionable. His third came at 19:36 of the third, giving the Armada a power play to kick off overtime. The Dogs would kill off the penalty, though.
  • Mathieu Joseph looked great in this game. He had a good chance in OT but was taken down on a partial break. There was no call.
  • Sebastien Auger was definitely upset following the OT goal. He played great again but suffered another tough loss.
  • The Sea Dogs were without forward Stephen Anderson (upper body), Joey Richard (shoulder), and Nathan Noel (healthy) along with defensemen Michael Abbott (hand) and Will Thompson (healthy). Per News 88.9, Ross Yates wanted Noel and Thompson to get some rest with the heavy schedule they have endured over the past couple weeks.
  • Some unreal photos from the game.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

RECAP: So Close. Dogs Lose 3-2.

FINAL: Saint John 2, Blainville-Boisbriand 3 (OT)

BOISBRIAND, Que. – The Saint John Sea Dogs’ road trip came to end in heartbreaking fashion on Sunday night against the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s top team.

Daniel Walcott scored at 4:25 of overtime to give the St. John’s Fog Devils Montreal Junior Blainville-Boisbriand Armada a 3-2 victory over the Sea Dogs at the Arena-With-A-Really-Long-Name.

Much like Saturday’s game in Quebec City, the Sea Dogs were certainly good enough to pick up the win in this game. But unfortunately for the Dogs, the Armada were able to score first in OT and pick up the extra point.

Oliver Cooper and Noah Zilbert scored for the Sea Dogs. Sebastien Auger was excellent in net and made 35 saves in the loss.

Nikita Jevpalovs, Marc-Olivier Roy, and Walcott had goals for the league leading Armada. Samuel Montembeault made 21 stops in the win.

GAMEDAY 42 - at Blainville-Boisbriand

A preview of today’s game…

When and where: Today at 5 pm AST, Centre d'excellence Sports Rousseau

TV/RADIO: TVA Sports/TELUS Webcast/News 88.9

Records: The Sea Dogs are sixth in the Telus Maritimes Division and 18th overall in the QMJHL with an 11-27-0-3 record for 25 points. The St. John's Fog Devils Montreal Junior Blainville-Boisbriand Armada are first in the Telus West Division and first overall in the league with a 27-9-4-3 record for 61 points.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 3-1 loss in Quebec City last night. Noah Zilbert had Saint John’s only goal. The Armada are coming off a 4-3 loss to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Friday. Etienne Marcoux allowed four goals on 28 shots in the loss.

2013-14 head-to-head: This is the first meeting of the season between the two.

Last meeting: See above.

Random stat: There are two Saint John natives on the Armada: Ryan Tesink and Matthew Bursey.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Armada: Ryan Tesink

SJ notes: 4-6-0-0 in their last 10 games… this game ends a three-game Quebec road trip for the Sea Dogs. They have lost both games so far and have been outscored 8-1… 1-5-0-0 against the Telus West Division… this is the first time Saint John has played against Ryan Tesink since the trade fiasco.

BLB notes: 4-4-0-2 in their last 10 and have lost back-to-back games… Etienne Marcoux has the league’s fourth best GAA at 2.78… averaging 13.65 penalty minutes per game, the third lowest average in the league… 15-1-2-1 when scoring first… 4-1-1-1 against the Maritimes Division… the Armada have the league’s worst penalty kill with a rating of 73.7%... their goals against per game average of 2.73 is second lowest in the league… Frederic Bergeron is on a three-game goal scoring streak… Daniel Walcott is on a five-game assist streak… Danick Martel has goals in three straight home games.