Saturday, January 31, 2015

RECAP: Sea Dogs Lose 4-0

FINAL: Saint John 0, Blainville-Boisbriand 4
BOISBRIAND, Que. – The Saint John Sea Dogs were outgunned by the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada on Saturday evening.

Philippe Sanche had a pair of goals while Yvan Mongo and Danick Martel added singles in the Armada’s 4-0 home victory. Samuel Montembeault made 21 saves for the shutout win.

The Sea Dogs simply couldn’t generate enough offense on this night, registering 21 shots overall and just 15 through the first two periods. Saint John’s penalty kill had a busy night but was productive, giving Saint John a chance. Alex Bishop made 29 stops in the loss.

The game wrapped up a three-in-three Quebec road swing for Saint John. They went 1-2-0-0 on the trip with their only win coming last night against the Voltigeurs in Drummondville.

Thomas Chabot headed off for hooking at 7:49 of the first, putting the Armada’s potent power play to work. Just 21 seconds into the man advantage, Sanche redirected a point shot from Philippe Bureau-Blais to make it 1-0 Armada.

The Armada had a number of other power play opportunities in the period but Saint John’s penalty kill was able to hold them off the score sheet. Shots were 11-6 Armada in the first.

The Sea Dogs had a number of quality scoring chances in the second period but weren’t quite able to connect. On a power play, Montembeault robbed Joseph at the side of the net with a diving save. Later on, Spencer Smallman had a good backhand chance but was denied.

At 16:21, Mongo threw the puck in front from the behind the net. The disc went off some bodies and past Bishop to make it 2-0.

Late in the frame, the Armada were awarded, basically, unlimited power play time but could not connect. Shots were 10-9 Armada in the frame.

The Sea Dogs killed off the penalties that carried over into the third but were dealt a blow at 4:43 when Bailey Webster delivered a big hit on Sanche and then fought Nikita Jevpalovs. Webster was given an aggressor major and game misconduct, giving the Armada a five-minute power play. Despite some good pressure applied, the home side was unable to score.

At 13:54, Mongo sent a pass off the boards to Martel who skated in and fired a wrist shot past the glove of Bishop to make it 3-0. Less than three minutes later, Sanche outwaited Bishop and beat the Dogs goaltender in close to make it a 4-0 final. Shots in the third were 12-6 in favour of the Armada for a game total of 33-21.

GAME DAY 50: at Blainville-Boisbriand

A preview of today’s game between the Saint John Sea Dogs and Blainville-Boisbriand Armada…

When and where: Today at 5 p.m., Centre d'excellence Sports Rousseau

TV/Radio/Webcast: MAtv/96.1 NewSong FM/QMJHL Live

Records: The Sea Dogs are second in the Maritimes Division and seventh overall in the QMJHL with a record of 26-16-1-6 for 59 points. The Armada are first in the West Division, third overall and ranked eighth in the CHL Top 10 with a 29-12-2-5 record for 65 points.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 6-2 win in Drummondville last night. Nathan Noel had two goals for Saint John while singles came from Adam Marsh, Matthew Highmore, Adam Bateman and Bokondji Imama. Sebastien Auger made 27 saves in the win. The Armada are coming off a 4-3 shootout loss in Sherbrooke last night. Daniel Walcott had two goals and Philippe Bureau-Blais added a solo marker. Samuel Montembeault made 27 saves in the loss.

2014-15 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 1-0-0-0 against the Armada this season while Blainville-Boisbriand is 0-0-0-1 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Nov. 28 at Harbour Station where the Sea Dogs defeated the Armada 2-1 in a shootout. Philippe Sanche scored for Blainville-Boisbriand while Saint John’s goal came from Adam Marsh. Sebastien Auger made 23 saves in the win and Samuel Montembeault made 24 stops in the loss. Matthew Highmore’s sixth round shootout goal was the only goal scored in the breakaway contest.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Armada: None

Random stat: Armada goaltender Samuel Montembeault has the most shootout losses in the league this season with five. Sebastien Auger has the second most with four.

Friday, January 30, 2015

RECAP: Sea Dogs Win 6-2

FINAL: Saint John 6, Drummondville 2
Lorne Webster | SN Staff

DRUMMONDVILLE, QC - In the second match of a three games in three days stretch in Quebec, the Saint John Sea Dogs (26-16-1-6) were in Drummondville to face the Voltigeurs (23-24-0-3) Friday evening. Following a 7-1 drubbing in Shawinigan on Thursday, the Sea Dogs responded with a convincing 6-2 win. 

Before leaving Shawinigan this morning, Ross Yates held a team meeting to address the team's recent struggles and then the players got together for a 'players only' discussion. The meetings appear to have had a positive impact as the Sea Dogs got off to an excellent start and turned in one of their most complete performances in the past two months.

Nathan Noel with two, Adam Marsh, Matt Highmore, Adam Bateman and Boko Imama scored for the Sea Dogs while Joey Ratelle and Christophe Lalancette replied for Drummondville.

The Sea Dogs opened the scoring at 9:16 of the first when Dan Del Paggio picked the pocket of a Voltigeur just inside the blue line and fed Marsh, who skated to the slot and rifled the puck over Joe Fleschler's glove. While shots were even at seven apiece, the Sea Dogs were up 1-0 after one period.
  
At 17:11 of the second, Luke Green carried the puck into Drummondville's end and passed it to Noel, who skated to the right faceoff circle and wired a wrist shot that beat Fleschler on the short side. Less than a minute later, Highmore accepted a cross ice pass from Thomas Chabot in the neutral zone, chipped the puck past a Voltigeur defender, carried it down the right wing and fired a bullet over Fleschler's glove to extend Saint John's lead to 3-0. Drummondville out shot Saint John 11-7 in the second period.

Off a scramble at 1:01 of a wild third period, Ratelle swatted the puck from near the goal line and it caromed off a fallen Sebastien Auger into the net to put Drummondville on the board. On a power play, just over a minute later, Noel corralled the rebound of a Luke Green shot and snapped the puck past Fleschler to restore a three goal lead. At 4:53, seconds after another power play ended, Bateman unloaded a rising wrist shot from the point, through a crowd and over the blocker of Fleschler to make it 5-1. 

Bateman's goal would end the night for Fleschler as he was replaced by rookie Emilien Boily - who made his QMJHL debut. On a power play at 6:51, Imama collected the puck in the left corner, curled back along the boards and sent a laser from the faceoff dot through Boily's legs to extend Saint John's lead to 6-1. However, on a power play at 8:49, Lalancette slammed the rebound of a Frederic Aube point shot past Auger to make it a 6-2 final. Drummondville had 11 shots against 8 for Saint John in the third to lead in shots 29-22 overall.

Struggling In Shawinigan

There were some epic games played between the Saint John Sea Dogs and Shawinigan Cataractes during the 2011-12 season. Although Shawinigan won the biggest of the big games, the teams split their regular season and Memorial Cup meetings.

Ever since then though, it’s been all Shawinigan. Including the semi-final victory at the 2012 Memorial Cup, the Cataractes have won seven of the past eight meetings between the two, including every game played in Quebec. Saint John’s only win came at Harbour Station this past November.

Here are the results from each of the past three seasons since the Memorial Cup.

2012-13: 0-2-1-0 vs Shawinigan
Nov. 4, 2012 – Shawinigan 3, Saint John 2
Feb. 2, 2013 – Saint John 2, Shawinigan 3 (OT)
Feb. 14, 2013 – Shawinigan 3, Saint John 2

2013-14: 0-2-0-0 vs Shawinigan
Jan. 29, 2014 – Saint John 2, Shawinigan 4
Feb. 20, 2014 – Shawinigan 3, Saint John 1

2014-15: 1-1-0-0 vs Shawinigan
Nov. 21, 2014 – Shawinigan 2, Saint John 4
Jan. 29, 2015 – Saint John 1, Shawinigan 7

There’s a decent chance the two could meet in the first round of the playoffs, which would be quite intriguing.

Some other Sea Dogs related news and notes…
  • In today’s Le Nouvelliste and Hebdo du St-Maurice, Cataractes head coach Martin Bernard said he was less than impressed with how Ross Yates and the Sea Dogs handled themselves last night. The Dogs picked up 21 infractions and gave Shawinigan 13 power plays. 
  • We added up Christophe Lalonde’s career numbers against Saint John. In five seasons with Lewiston, Moncton and Shawinigan, Lalonde has 16 goals and 33 points in 29 regular season games against the Sea Dogs.
  • TSN’s Bob McKenzie (pictured above, if you didn't know) released his midterm top 60 for the 2015 NHL Draft last night. Jakub Zboril was ranked 16th and Thomas Chabot 27th
  • Future Considerations has released their midterm rankings for the 2015 NHL Draft. Only two Sea Dogs made FC’s top 100 with Jakub Zboril ranked 28th and Thomas Chabot 35th
  • Willy Palov has a column in today’s Chronicle Herald on Halifax McDonald’s forward and top QMJHL draft prospect Shane Bowers. If Bowers goes first overall, it would mark the second straight year that a Nova Scotian has been taken first. 
  • La Presse’s junior hockey blog has HockeyProspect.com's top 10 forwards, top three defencemen and top three goaltenders.

GAME DAY 49: at Drummondville

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

When and where: Tonight at 8 p.m., Centre Marcel Dionne

TV/Radio/Webcast: TVA Sports/96.1 NewSong FM/QMJHL Live

Records: The Sea Dogs are second in the Maritimes Division and eighth overall in the QMJHL with a record of 25-16-1-6 for 57 points. The Voltigeurs are fifth in the West Division and 13th overall with a 23-23-0-3 record for 49 points.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 7-1 loss in Shawinigan last night. Mathieu Joseph scored Saint John’s lone goal while Alex Bishop made 35 saves in the loss. The Volts are coming off a 5-1 loss in Sherbrooke on Wednesday. Philippe Pelletier-Leblanc scored Drummondville’s only goal while Anthony Brodeur made 23 saves in the loss.

2014-15 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 1-0-0-0 against the Voltigeurs this season while Drummondville is 0-1-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Jan. 14 at Harbour Station where the Sea Dogs edged the Voltigeurs 3-2. Justice Dundas had two goals while Spencer Smallman added a single. Adam Chapman and Sergei Boikov scored for Drummondville. Alex Bishop made 34 saves in the win while Joe Fleschler made 17 stops in the loss.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Voltigeurs: None

Random stat: Saint John has lost five straight road games.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

RECAP: Sea Dogs Lose 7-1

FINAL: Saint John 1, Shawinigan 7
Lorne Webster | SN Staff

SHAWINIGAN, QC - In their first of three games in three days in Quebec, the Saint John Sea Dogs (25-16-1-6) were in Shawinigan to face the Cataractes (27-18-1-2) Thursday evening. The Cataractes continued their dominance over the Sea Dogs in Shawinigan with a convincing 7-1 win. 

The win was Shawinigan's fourth in a row over Saint John at Centre Gervais Auto dating back to the semi-final of the 2012 Memorial Cup. Specialty teams played a significant role as Shawinigan was 5/13 on the power play and also had a shorthanded goal to open the scoring.

Alex Pawelczyk and Christophe Lalonde each had two goals to lead the Cataractes to the win. Giovanni Fiore, Anthony Beauvillier and Brandon Gignac added singles for Shawinigan while Mathieu Joseph replied for the Sea Dogs.          

In what is becoming a disturbing trend, the Sea Dogs got off to a bad start. While shorthanded, Olivier Caouette chipped the puck past a pinching Thomas Chabot, carried it into the Sea Dogs end and slid a nice pass to a streaking Pawelczyk who deked Bishop and backhanded the puck into the right corner at 2:53. Just over a minute later, Lalonde corralled a loose puck in front of the crease and snapped the puck past a fallen Bishop to make it 2-0. Shawinigan outshot Saint John 18-5 in the first period.
  
On a power play at 4:07 of the second period, Lalonde carried the puck in the Sea Dogs end, stopped along the boards on the right wing and feathered a pass to Fiore in the slot, who fired the puck over Bishop's glove to extend Shawinigan's lead to 3-0. On another power play at 15:54, Pawelczyk scored his second of the night when he carried the puck down the left wing and wristed a shot that fooled Bishop on the short side. The Cataractes led 9-7 on the shot clock and 4-0 on the scoreboard.

The Sea Dogs finally got a puck past Marvin Cupper just 37 seconds into the third when Adam Marsh stole the puck just inside the Cataractes blue line, feeding Joseph in the high slot who fired the puck into the top corner behind a screened Cupper. The Sea Dogs were called for a series of penalties that led to three straight five-on-three power play goals by Lalonde, Beauvillier and Gignac in the final four minutes. Shawinigan had 15 shots against 10 for Saint John in the third to lead in shots 42-22 overall.

GAME DAY 48: at Shawinigan

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

When and where: Tonight at 8 p.m., Centre Gervais Auto

TV/Radio/Webcast: None/96.1 NewSong FM/QMJHL Live

Records: The Sea Dogs are second in the Maritimes Division and seventh overall in the QMJHL with a record of 25-15-1-6 for 57 points. The Cataractes are fourth in the East Division and eighth overall with a 26-18-1-2 record for 55 points.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 4-1 home loss to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Sunday. Spencer Smallman scored Saint John’s lone goal while Alex Bishop made 25 saves in the loss. The Cataractes are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to the Quebec Remparts in an outdoor game played on Saturday. Dennis Yan and Anthony Beauvillier scored while Marvin Cupper made 33 saves.

2014-15 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 1-0-0-0 against the Cataractes this season while Shawinigan is 1-0-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Nov. 21 at Harbour Station when the Sea Dogs defeated the Cats 4-2. Samuel Dove-McFalls had two goals while singles came from Justice Dundas and Matthew Highmore. Giovanni Fiore and Alexis D’Aoust had Shawinigan goals. Sebastien Auger made 32 saves in the win while Marvin Cupper made 31 in the loss.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Cataractes: None

Random stat: The Sea Dogs and Cataractes are both averaging 3.15 goals against per game, the second fewest in the league.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

3-in-3 Road Trip Begins Thursday

A challenging Quebec road trip is on deck for the Saint John Sea Dogs over the next few days.

The Sea Dogs begin a three-in-three road trek on Thursday night in Shawinigan against the Cataractes. On Friday the team is in Drummondville and on Saturday they visit Blainville-Boisbriand.

Shawinigan, like Saint John, is fighting for playoff positioning in the middle of the standings. The Cataractes currently sit eighth overall with a 26-18-1-2 record. Meanwhile, the Volts are 13th with a 23-23-0-3 record and the Armada sit atop the league standings with a 29-12-2-4 record.

Some other Sea Dogs news and notes:

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Coyle Scores Goal Of The Year Candidate

Former Sea Dogs forward Charlie Coyle scored a ridiculous goal last night.



The goal proved to be the game-winner as the Minnesota Wild topped the Edmonton Oilers 2-1. Coyle was named first star with a goal and three shots in just over 11 minutes of ice time.

The goal has made ESPN’s website and Deadspin and is being considered one of the season’s best goals.
Coyle has six goals and 14 assists in 47 games this season.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Bowers Ranked 1st For 2015 Draft

Shane Bowers of the Halifax McDonalds is currently the top prospect available for the 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft, according to HockeyProspect.com’s latest rankings.

The website released their latest top 100 prospects list today. The top 10 rankings can be seen for free.

Bowers, a 6’0”, 162 lbs forward, leads the Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League in scoring with 23 goals and 52 points in 34 games.

“Bowers has continued to improve since the beginning of the season and took his game to another level in the months of December and January,” the website writes.

The Nova Scotian was the only Atlantic Canadian to crack HockeyProspect.com’s top 10. Only one defenseman is listed to go along with two goaltenders and seven forwards.
The 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft takes place on June 6 in Sherbrooke.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

RECAP: Sea Dogs Lose 4-1

FINAL: Cape Breton 4, Saint John 1

SAINT JOHN – Stephen Anderson is one of the hottest players in the QMJHL at the moment.

The former Sea Dogs forward has goals in each of his past five games and has scored in seven of his past eight. He waited until the last minute on Sunday to net one, scoring an empty netter with 20 seconds left in the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles’ 4-1 victory over Saint John at Harbour Station.

Along with Anderson, Evgeny Svechnikov, Alexandre Gosselin and Kyle Farrell scored in the Cape Breton win. Miguel Sullivan made 23 saves to earn the victory.

Saint John’s lone goal came from Spencer Smallman in the second period. Alex Bishop made 24 saves in the loss.

Cape Breton had three power plays in the first period and finally cashed in on the last one. At 18:39, Marcus Hinds’ pass from the corner found Svechnikov who was streaking in. He fired a quick wrist shot past Bishop to make it 1-0 Screaming Eagles. Shots in the opening frame were 9-4 in favour of the visitors.

Just 50 seconds into the second period, Gosselin fired a point shot through some traffic that beat Bishop to make it 2-0 Eagles. Later on, at 13:52, Nathan Noel sent a beautiful behind-the-back pass to Smallman who beat Sullivan to make it a 2-1 game. Shots in the second stanza were 12-8 in favour of Saint John.

With 2:30 left in regulation time, Svechnikov was called for holding to send Saint John to the power play. On that man advantage, Thomas Chabot fed Mathieu Joseph who nearly jammed the puck past Sullivan. The scoring chance was reviewed by officials but called no goal. At 19:04 and Bishop on the bench, Farrell hit the empty net to make it 3-1. Anderson added another with 20 seconds left to make it a 4-1 final. Shots in the third were 12-9 Cape Breton and 29-25 Eagles overall.

Daccord Commits To ASU

Joel/Joey Daccord, an 11th-round pick of the Sea Dogs in the 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft, has announced via Twitter that he has committed to NCAA Arizona State.
So there’s that.

Daccord, 18, is playing high school hockey with Cushing Academy this season.

ASU is transitioning its hockey program into a Division I team over the next few seasons.

GAME DAY 47: vs Screaming Eagles

A preview of today’s game between the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and Saint John Sea Dogs…

When and where: Today at 3 p.m., Harbour Station

TV/Radio/Webcast: None/96.1 NewSong FM/QMJHL Live

Records: The Screaming Eagles are fifth in the Maritimes Division and 15th overall in the QMJHL with a record of 19-22-2-3 for 43 points. The Sea Dogs are second in the Maritimes and fifth overall with a 25-14-1-6 record for 57 points.

Last games: The Screaming Eagles are coming off a 7-1 win in Moncton last night. Maxim Lazarev had a hat trick while singles came from Jeremie Beaudin, Kyle Farrell, Stephen Anderson and Marcus Hinds. Alexandre Belanger made 30 saves in the win. The Sea Dogs are coming off a 6-4 win over the Screaming Eagles on Friday at Harbour Station. Nathan Noel had four goals while Adam Marsh and Thomas Chabot also scored. Alex Bishop and Blade Mann-Dixon combined to make 34 saves.

2014-15 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 5-1-0-0 against the Screaming Eagles this season while Cape Breton is 1-4-0-1 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Friday at Harbour Station when the Sea Dogs erased a three-goal first period deficit to defeat the Screaming Eagles 6-4. Nathan Noel had four goals for Saint John while Adam Marsh and Thomas Chabot added solo markers. Alex Bishop was pulled after allowing three goals on 17 shots. In relief, Blade Mann-Dixon made 20 saves. Stephen Anderson scored twice for Cape Breton while singles came from Clark Bishop and Evgeny Svechnikov. Alexandre Belanger made 29 saves in the loss.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Screaming Eagles: Stephen Anderson and Olivier LeBlanc

Random stat: This is Cape Breton’s third game in as many days. They played in Saint John on Friday, Moncton last night and are at Harbour Station again today.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Hoffman Scores In Breakaway Challenge


Mike Hoffman scored a dandy in the breakaway challenge of tonight’s NHL skills competition.

Hoffman also participated in the fastest skater competition but blew a tire going around a corner and lost to Jonathan Drouin.

Saturday News & Notes

If you didn’t know, Nathan Noel’s four-goal game last night tied a Sea Dogs team record. The above info is from the QMJHL's media guide (click to enlarge). 

Noel, who had 10 shots on goal in the game, was named Yahoo’s first star of the night.

Some other Saturday news and notes:

RECAP: Sea Dogs Win 6-4

FINAL: Cape Breton 4, Saint John 6
SAINT JOHN – Sportsnet’s Sam Cosentino said during Thursday’s Top Prospects Game broadcast that the Saint John Sea Dogs have asked Nathan Noel to shoot the puck more.

Noel appears to be using the advice. 

On Friday, the speedy forward scored four goals on 10 shots to lead the Sea Dogs to a come-from-behind 6-4 victory over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles at Harbour Station.

Saint John trailed 3-0 in the second period before getting things rolling. Cape Breton netminder Alexandre Belanger was terrific in the first half of the game but was eventually broken by the Sea Dogs.

Adam Marsh and Thomas Chabot also scored for Saint John with Noel scoring the remaining markers. Three of his four goals came in the third.

Goaltender Alex Bishop was pulled after allowing three goals on 17 shots. In relief, Blade Mann-Dixon made 20 saves.

Former Sea Dog Stephen Anderson scored twice for Cape Breton while singles came from Loik Leveille and Clark Bishop. Belanger made 29 saves in the loss.

Cape Breton’s Bishop opened the scoring just 1:57 in as he beat Saint John’s Bishop five-hole. Then on a power play at 6:30, Anderson scored to double the Eagles’ lead. Shots were 15-8 in favour of the Eagles in the first period.

At 1:27 of the second, Leveille scored to give Cape Breton a 3-0 lead and end Bishop’s night in the Saint John net. He was replaced by Mann-Dixon who was recalled from the MHL's Valley Wildcats for this weekend’s games.

Finally, at 7:39, Marsh scored to give Saint John some life and make it a 3-1 game. 16 seconds later, Chabot patiently waited with the puck and let traffic settle before firing a wrist shot past Belanger to make it 3-2.

Late in second at 18:10, Noel riffled his first of the game top corner to tie things at 3-3. The Eagles would go to the intermission with the lead though as Anderson kept the puck on a two-on-one and beat Mann-Dixon low glove side to give the visitors a 4-3 advantage. Shots were 19-11 Saint John in the second stanza.

Noel’s second of the game on a power play at 1:45 of the third tied things at 4-4. Then at 8:09, Noel’s hat trick goal put Saint John in the lead. On a power play, Smallman was in the high slot and fed the puck ahead to the Newfoundlander who beat Belanger upstairs to make it 5-4 Dogs.

Noel added an insurance marker at 10:02 to make it 6-4. Shots in the third were 12-8 Cape Breton.