Monday, August 31, 2015

Auger Nets Chicago Wolves Invite

Former Sea Dogs goaltender Sebastien Auger will get at least a shot at professional hockey.
It was announced earlier this summer that Auger had been recruited by the UQTR Patriotes for the upcoming season. CIS players getting invites to AHL or other professional camps is not uncommon.

The Wolves are affiliated with the St. Louis Blues.

Auger played four seasons with the Sea Dogs from 2011-2015. In 183 career QMJHL games, the now 21-year-old posted a 77-98 record with a 3.14 goals against average and a .907 save percentage. He also had a 1-8 record in nine playoff games with a 4.98 GAA and .883 SV%.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Cuomo Leaves Remparts; Zilbert Joins Slammers

According to reports, former Sea Dogs forward Marcus Cuomo has left Quebec Remparts training camp.
Where Cuomo will play this season has not been announced.

Cuomo is a 20-year-old, which made his QMJHL options limited. The Remparts acquired Bronson Beaton from the Moncton Wildcats on Saturday, which gave Quebec four overage players.

The St. John’s native played two seasons with the Sea Dogs from 2012 to 2014. He was traded to the Remparts last season where he posted six goals and 19 assists in 64 games with the Memorial Cup hosts. He added two goals and an assist in seven playoff games.

Meanwhile, former Sea Dogs forward Noah Zilbert has rejoined the MHL’s Woodstock Slammers.

“I am very excited to rejoin the Woodstock Slammers this year,” Zilbert said in an article on the team’s website. “It is a big year and I can’t wait to get things rolling. I started my junior career in Woodstock and I can’t think of a better way to finish it off than by winning a championship.”

Zilbert played one regular season game and a few playoff games with the Slammers during the 2011-12 season. He was drafted 11th overall by Woodstock in the 2011 MHL Draft.

The Fredericton native played two seasons with the Sea Dogs from 2012 to 2014. He was traded to Gatineau last year and then sent to Moncton midseason. He was in tough to make the ‘Cats this year and reportedly left the team’s training camp to “evaluate his options.”

Woodstock is hosting the 2016 Fred Page Cup.

With Cuomo and Zilbert exiting the league, only three players from Saint John’s 2012 draft class remain in the Q: Matthew Highmore, Olivier LeBlanc and Spencer Smallman.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Kealey Off To Austria

According to Alex Kealey, Alex Kealey is soon heading overseas.
The 17-year-old forward played in only two pre-season games with the Sea Dogs this year, recording one assist and seven penalty minutes.

The Ottawa native joined Saint John last year but played in just two games with the Dogs because of body soreness from a significant growth spurt. Kealey was held pointless in those two games.

According to Elite Prospects, Kealey also spent time with the OEMHL’s Ottawa Senators Midget AAA team and the CCHL’s Smiths Falls Bears last season.

Saint John’s pre-season has come to an end. They’ll open the regular season on Sept. 12 at Harbour Station against the Halifax Mooseheads.

Notebook: Thomas, Anderson Join Reds

Two former Sea Dogs will join the UNB Varsity Reds this season.

As announced during alumni weekend and made official this week, both Mike Thomas and Stephen Anderson will join the V-Reds for the upcoming season. According to UNB, Thomas will start playing in the second half “after completing his academic requirements.”

Thomas, who played five seasons with Saint John from 2006 to 2011 and captained the team to a Memorial Cup championship, played with UNB during the 2013-14 season and recorded six goals, two assists and 111 penalty minutes in 25 games. He returns to the club after attending firefighting school last year.

"Michael is a proven winner and a top character leader who will add an exciting physical dimension to our hockey club,” said head coach Gardiner MacDougall. “He is very popular in the community and will be a key addition for the second half.”

Anderson spent parts of three seasons with the Sea Dogs. He was traded prior to last season and split the 2014-15 campaign with the Val-d’Or Foreurs and Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

"We've always had a lot of success with players from PEI, and we expect Stephen to continue the tradition," said MacDougall. "Stephen has lots of speed and grit and his versatility will allow him to play all three forward positions. We see a big upside for his development and growth here at UNB."

Also recruited by UNB this season were QMJHL goaltenders Alex Dubeau and Etienne Marcoux.

HOW GOOD WILL THE DOGS BE?
If you are looking to get excited about the upcoming season, check out Willy Palov’s weekly column in the Chronicle Herald.

Palov writes that the Sea Dogs might be just as good – or even better than – the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and Charlottetown Islanders, who are both built to be strong this year.

“(Saint John’s) defence is about as good as it gets, their forward depth may be the best in the league and they have an underrated overager in goal,” writes Palov. “Not only that, but proven champion Danny Flynn is now on their bench. They will make noise.”

A fun season is ahead.

PRE-SEASON STATS
Pre-season numbers don’t mean much… but lets look at some anyway! That’s what we do.

The Sea Dogs finished exhibition play with a 3-3-0-0 record, scoring 21 goals and registering a +2 goal differential. The Dogs were 2-1-0-0 on home ice and 1-2-0-0 on the road.

Matthew Highmore and Sam Povorozniouk led the team in points with five each. Those two, along with Adam Marsh, all had three goals, which led the team. Meanwhile, Nathan Noel’s four assists were a team high.

Underager Joe Veleno had a productive introduction to the league, recording two goals and two assists in four games to finish third in team scoring.

Forward Matt Green was the only played to appear in all six pre-season games.

Friday, August 28, 2015

RECAP: Sea Dogs Lose 4-0

FINAL: Saint John 0, Moncton 4

BOUCTOUCHE – After sitting near the top of league in goals scored for much of the pre-season, the Saint John Sea Dogs wrapped up exhibition play with a 4-0 loss to the Moncton Wildcats at the JK Irving Centre on Friday night.

Liam Murphy, Adam Holwell, Conor Garland and Eric Leger all scored for Moncton and Zachary Fortin made 32 saves for the shutout victory.

Alex Bishop, playing his first and only full game of the pre-season, made 35 stops in the loss.

Murphy scored the only goal of the first period, connecting at 8:40. The Sea Dogs once again got into some penalty trouble in the opening frame, taking three minors to Moncton's one, but were able to get out the period without a man advantage marker against.

In the second, Holwell scored late at 15:11 to give the Wildcats a 2-0 advantage heading into the third.

At 4:22 of the final frame, Garland scored his second of the pre-season. Then at 12:49, Leger connected to make it a 4-0 final.

With 23 seconds remaining, Jason Bell was given a game misconduct for boarding. He was also given an instigator penalty for a fight against Lane Cormier.

Final shots were 39-32 in favour of the Wildcats. Both teams went 0-for-5 on the power play.

With the loss, Saint John finishes the pre-season with a 3-3-0-0 record. Moncton finishes with a 5-1-0-0 record.

PRE-SEASON GAME DAY 6: at Moncton

A preview of tonight’s game between the Saint John Sea Dogs and Moncton Wildcats…

When and where: Tonight at 7 p.m., JK Irving Centre, Bouctouche

TV/Radio/Webcast: None/None/None (follow @monctonwildcats for updates)

Records: The Sea Dogs are 3-2-0-0 this pre-season while the Wildcats are 4-1-0-0. Last season, Saint John finished third in the Maritimes Division and 10th overall in the league with a record of 32-26-4-6 for 74 points. The Wildcats finished first in the Maritimes and second overall with a 46-19-0-3 record for 95 points.

Last games: The Sea Dogs and Wildcats met last night at Harbour Station where Moncton edged Saint John 3-1. Eric Leger, Garrett Johnston and Zack MacEwen scored for Moncton while Sam Povorozniouk replied for Saint John. Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 33 saves in the loss while Sebastien Dupre made 24 in the win.

2014-15 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 2-6-0-1 against the Wildcats last season while Moncton went 7-2-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Last night. See above.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Wildcats: None

Random stat: The Sea Dogs defeated the Wildcats 5-1 in Bouctouche a couple years ago. Matthew Highmore, Samuel Dove-McFalls, Spencer Smallman and Nathan Noel are the only Saint John players to play in that game and still be with the team.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

RECAP: Sea Dogs Lose 3-1

FINAL: Moncton 3, Saint John 1
SAINT JOHN – Garrett Johnston’s third period goal was the difference in the Moncton Wildcats’ 3-1 pre-season victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs on Thursday night at Harbour Station.

Eric Leger and Zack MacEwen also scored for the Wildcats while Sebastien Dupre made 24 saves in the win.

Saint John’s lone goal came from Sam Povorozniouk in the second period. Marc-Antoine Turcotte played the full game and made 33 stops in the loss.

The Sea Dogs looked a bit sloppy and unorganized for pieces of the game – especially in the first period - and the Wildcats were able to capitalize. Penalties also proved to be a problem at times. But hey… it’s still the pre-season!

Saint John fell to 3-2-0-0 with the loss while Moncton improved to 4-1-0-0.

PRE-SEASON GAME DAY 5: vs Wildcats

A preview of tonight’s game between the Moncton Wildcats and Saint John Sea Dogs…

When and where: Tonight at 7 p.m., Harbour Station

TV/Radio/Webcast: None/None/None (follow @station_nation on Twitter for updates)

Records: The Sea Dogs are 3-1-0-0 this pre-season while the Wildcats are also 3-1-0-0. Last season, Saint John finished third in the Maritimes Division and 10th overall in the league with a record of 32-26-4-6 for 74 points. The Wildcats finished first in the Maritimes and second overall with a 46-19-0-3 record for 95 points.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 7-3 win over the Wildcats last Saturday at Harbour Station. Matthew Highmore scored twice while singles came from Daniel Del Paggio, Joe Veleno, Adam Marsh, Samuel Dove-McFalls and Matt Green. Marc-Antoine Turcotte and Alex Bishop combined to make 35 saves. The Wildcats are coming off a 6-3 victory over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Sunday. Brendan Bornstein, Kevin Klima, Bronson Beaton, Conor Garland, Kelly Klima and Zack MacEwen scored for Moncton. Zachary Fortin made 27 saves in the win.

2014-15 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 2-6-0-1 against the Wildcats last season while Moncton went 7-2-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Last Saturday at Harbour Station where the Sea Dogs defeated the Wildcats 7-3. Matthew Highmore scored twice for Saint John while singles came from Daniel Del Paggio, Joe Veleno, Adam Marsh, Samuel Dove-McFalls and Matt Green. Moncton goals came from Zack MacEwen, Cameron Askew and Matthew Klebanskyj. Marc-Antoine Turcotte and Alex Bishop made 35 saves in the win while Sebastien Dupre and Zachary Fortin made 27 in the loss.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Wildcats: None

Random stat: Saint John is tied for the league lead in pre-season scoring with 21 goals in four games. The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and Sherbrooke Phoenix have also scored 21 goals.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Notebook: Pre-Season Nearing End

The Saint John Sea Dogs wrap up pre-season play this week with a pair of games against the Moncton Wildcats.

On Thursday, the Wildcats visit Harbour Station for a 7 p.m. match. On Friday, the Dogs and ‘Cats will travel to Bouctouche for a 7 p.m. contest.

Saint John is 3-1-0-0 in exhibition play this year and are tied for the league lead in goals scored with 21. The Wildcats are also 3-1-0-0 but only have a +4 goal differential compared to the Sea Dogs’ +9.

MacAULAY LANDS PANTHERS TRYOUT

MacAulay is one of 14 forwards (American Connor Brickley, a 2011 Sea Dogs draft pick, is also on the roster) who will suit up for the Panthers in a rookie tournament that features teams from Tampa Bay, Washington and Nashville. With the Lightning taking part, there’s a chance MacAulay will face Boko Imama and Mathieu Joseph.

The tournament goes from Sept. 12-15. More details can be found here.

MacAulay is one of the most successful players in QMJHL history. With Saint John, the 23-year-old won three regular season titles, two President Cups and a Memorial Cup. There’s no doubt Gerard Gallant and Mike Kelly – who are now with the Panthers – played a role getting MacAulay on the roster.

MacAulay has spent the past two seasons with the Saint Mary’s Huskies. The Huskies are hosting the CIS University Cup this season.

THREE DOGS MAKES ISLES
As expected, three former Sea Dogs have made the Charlottetown Islanders 2015-16 roster.

Defensemen Alex McQuaid and Will Thompson along with forward Oliver Cooper will all be Islanders this season. This will be the second season in Charlottetown for Cooper and Thompson while McQuaid will be playing in his first.

Cooper and Thompson were traded before last season. McQuaid was also traded prior to last season – to the Quebec Remparts – and became an Islander a few weeks ago.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Sea Dogs Recall A Pair

Ben Reid and Pierre-Luc Lurette have been recalled by the Saint John Sea Dogs.

Reid, a forward, and Lurette, a defenseman, are expected to be available for the Sea Dogs’ regular season opener on Sept. 12 against the Halifax Mooseheads.

The Sea Dogs will have nine players heading to NHL camps in the coming weeks and some or all of those players will miss the team’s season opener. Reid and Lurette will provide some reinforcements.

Reid, a 16-year-old from Quispamsis, was a seventh-round pick of the Sea Dogs in this year’s QMJHL Entry Draft. He recorded 13 goals and 16 assists in 35 games with the Saint John Vito’s last season.

Lurette, a 17-year-old defenseman from Val d’Amour, NB, recorded four goals and nine assists in 43 games with the MHL’s Campbellton Tigers last year. Lurette was a sixth-round pick of the Sea Dogs in this year’s draft.

Saint John has two pre-season games remaining before they look ahead to the regular season. The Sea Dogs will host the Moncton Wildcats on Thursday at 7 p.m. The team wraps up exhibition play on Friday in Bouctouche against the Wildcats.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Michael Kirkpatrick Going Pro

Mooseheads broadcaster John Moore has confirmed what was announced at the Sea Dogs alumni game: Michael Kirkpatrick is going pro.
The Heat, the AHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames, begin their first season this fall. They are part of the AHL’s new Pacific Division in California.

Kirkpatrick has spent the past four seasons playing with the St. Francis Xavier X-Men. In 108 career Atlantic University Sport regular season games, the North Sydney native registered 39 goals and 63 assists, averaging just under a point per game. He added five goals and five assists 14 career playoff games.

The X-Men hosted the CIS University Cup in Halifax this past March but were eliminated in the quarterfinals.

The 25-year old was a second round pick of the Sea Dogs in the 2007 QMJHL Entry Draft. He played four seasons with Saint John, helping the team win two regular season titles along with a President Cup and Memorial Cup.

According to Elite Prospects, Kirkpatrick is the Sea Dogs’ franchise leader in goals with 108 and second in points with 251 in 266 games.
Also announced at the alumni game was that Mike Thomas and Stephen Anderson were both heading to UNB. That has not yet been officially announced.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Saturday, August 22, 2015

RECAP: Sea Dogs Win 7-3

FINAL: Moncton 3, Saint John 7
SAINT JOHN – For the third time this pre-season, the Saint John Sea Dogs exploded offensively.

Matthew Highmore led the way with two goals while singles came from Matt Green, Adam Marsh, Samuel Dove-McFalls, Joe Veleno and Daniel Del Paggio. Oliver Felixson had three assists.

Marc-Andre Turcotte made 18 saves in the first half of the game. Alex Bishop played the second half and made 17 saves in the victory.

The Sea Dogs have now scored five or more goals in three of their four pre-season games. It’s only pre-season, and only so much can be taken from Saint John lighting up teams missing several key players, but it’s certainly a positive sign.

The Sea Dogs are now 3-1-0-0 in exhibition play with two games remaining.

Moncton had goals from Zack MacEwan, Cameron Askew and Matthew Klebanskyj. Sebastien Dupre and Zachary Fortin combined to make 27 saves in the loss.

PRE-SEASON GAME DAY 4: vs Wildcats

A preview of tonight’s game between the Moncton Wildcats and Saint John Sea Dogs…

When and where: Tonight at 7 p.m., Harbour Station

TV/Radio/Webcast: Rogers TV/None/None

Records: The Sea Dogs are 2-1-0-0 this pre-season while the Wildcats are 2-0-0-0. Last season, Saint John finished third in the Maritimes Division and 10th overall in the league with a record of 32-26-4-6 for 74 points. The Wildcats finished first in the Maritimes and second overall with a 46-19-0-3 record for 95 points.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off an 8-2 win in Bathurst last night. Adam Marsh and Sam Povorozniouk each had two goals while singles came from Thomas Chabot, Matthew Highmore, Adam Bateman and Luke Green. Alex Bishop and Marc-Andre Turcotte combined to make 32 saves in the win. The Wildcats are coming off a 5-1 win over the Halifax Mooseheads last Sunday in Moncton. Kelly Klima had two goals while singles came from William Bower, Eric Leger and Brendan Bornstein. Sebastien Dupre and Blade Mann-Dixon combined to make 26 saves in the victory.

2014-15 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 2-6-0-1 against the Wildcats last season while Moncton went 7-2-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: March 13 in Moncton where the Wildcats defeated the Sea Dogs 8-4. Jakub Zboril had two goals for Saint John while singles came from Daniel Del Paggio and Mathieu Joseph. Conor Garland had two goals for the Wildcats while Will Smith, Stephen Johnson, Lane Cormier, Ivan Barbashev, William Bower and Zachary Malatesta added solo markers. Sebastien Auger made 32 saves in the win while Alex Dubeau made 30 in the win.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Wildcats: Noah Zilbert

Random stat: Six of the nine meetings between these two last season featured the winning team scoring five goals or more.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Notebook: 25 Remain At Sea Dogs Camp

So who is left at Sea Dogs training camp? Via the team’s newsletter, here is who remains:

Goaltenders (2)
G Marc-Antoine Turcotte
G Alex Bishop

Defensemen (8)
D Bailey Webster
D Thomas Chabot
D Jakub Zboril (Bruins camp)
D Oliver Felixson
D Adam Bateman
D Jason Bell
D Luke Green
D Ian Smallwood

Forwards (15)
F Kyle Ward
F Dan Del Paggio
F Joe Veleno
F Nathan Noel
F Adam Marsh
F Sam Povorozniouk
F Matthew Highmore
F Samuel Dove-McFalls
F Spencer Smallman
F Julien Tessier
F Mathieu Joseph
F Matt Green
F Alex Kealey
F Dawson Theede
F Bokondji Imama

Of the 25 players on this list, nine are expected to attend NHL camps next month. Much like the beginning of the 2011-12 season, the Sea Dogs appear destined to start the year quite shorthanded, meaning some call-ups will have to be made.

HEADING BACK
Both Alex D’Orio and Cedric Pare are heading to the Quebec midget AAA ranks. D’Orio will rejoin the Magog Cantonniers while Pare will suit up with the Levis Commandeurs.

The newspaper Reflect du Lac has an article on D’Orio. Last season, the 16-year-old registered a 2.30 goals against average with a .916 save percentage in 23 games.

Pare recorded six goals and seven assists in 41 games with Levis last season.

BACK SO SOON?
By the sounds of this tweet by Cedric Pare, it sounds like the first round pick will be back in Saint John for opening night on Sept. 12.
Pare, along with Alex D'Orio, was reassigned by the Sea Dogs on Thursday.

Forwards Spencer Smallman, Mathieu Joseph, Boko Imama, Adam Marsh, Nathan Noel and Samuel Dove-McFalls are all heading top NHL camps next month, meaning the Sea Dogs will need to add some reinforcements up front.

RECAP: Sea Dogs Win 8-2

FINAL: Saint John 8, Bathurst 2
BATHURST – With a lineup filled with returning and veteran players, the Saint John Sea Dogs showed off some firepower in an 8-2 victory over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan at the KC Irving Regional Centre on Friday night.

Adam Marsh and Sam Povorozniouk each scored twice while singles came from Matthew Highmore, Adam Bateman, Thomas Chabot and Luke Green. Nathan Noel and Jason Bell each chipped in with three assists while Spencer Smallman and Highmore each had two.

Alex Bishop got the start and made 16 saves on 16 shots. Marc-Andre Turcotte made 16 stops in the second half of the game.

Egor Popov and Felix Boivin replied for the Titan. Daniel Vautour and Tanner Somers combined to make 29 saves.

This was Saint John’s third pre-season game of the year but the first where they dressed veteran players. Sure it’s only exhibition, but it’s a great sign to see the team’s offense explode like this.

Saint John led 2-0 after the first period with Marsh scoring the game’s opening goal just 1:29 in. Povorozniouk’s second of the game in the second period gave the Dogs a 3-0 advantage heading into the third.

After Chabot and Boivin exchanged goals early in the third, Saint John rattled off four straight goals. Popov netted the game’s final marker on a power play with just under two minutes to play.

PRE-SEASON GAME DAY 3: vs Bathurst

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

When and where: Tonight at 7 p.m., KC Irving Regional Centre

TV/Radio/Webcast: None/None/None (follow @ABTitan on Twitter for updates)

Records: The Sea Dogs are 1-1-0-0 this pre-season while the Titan are 0-2-0-0. Last season, the Sea Dogs finished third in the Maritimes Division and 10th overall in the league with a 32-26-4-6 record for 74 points. The Titan finished last in the Maritimes and last overall with a record of 17-43-6-2 for 42 points.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 7-1 loss to the Charlottetown Islanders on Saturday in Pownal, PEI. Matt Green had the Sea Dogs’ only goal while Alex D’Orio and Alex Bishop allowed seven goals on 44 shots. The Titan are coming off a 5-3 loss to the Islanders on home ice last Friday. Aaron Kerr, Antoine Morand and Keegan Gauthier all scored in the loss. Tanner Somers and Reilly Pickard allowed four goals on 37 shots.

2014-15 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 5-2-1-1 against the Titan last season while Bathurst went 4-5-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Thursday, Aug. 13 at Harbour Station where the Sea Dogs defeated the Titan 5-0. Julien Tessier, Will Kelly, Peter Drohan, Joe Veleno and Ian Smallwood all scored for Saint John. Alex Bishop and Alex D’Orio combined to make 34 saves in the shutout. Daniel Vautour and Tanner Somers made 19 saves in the loss.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Titan: None

Random stat: Saint John is 18-13-2-1 against Bathurst over the past five years.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Projecting Saint John's '15-16 Lineup

By Lorne Webster | SN Staff

With the passing of the QMJHL's August trade window and the latest round of player reassignments from training camp being made, the Saint John Sea Dogs' roster is taking shape. With the trading of big Jack vanBoekel to Val-d'Or and the sending of Alex D'Orio and Cedric Pare back to midget AAA today, the Sea Dogs defence and goaltending appears to be set. However - pardon the pun - there are dog fights being waged for forward positions. 

Forwards
A few fans (e.g. message board posters) seem to be concerned about who will comprise the "fourth line." The better question may be "how will the ice time be distributed?" Sea Dogs general manager Darrell Young has stated that he wants four balanced lines that can be called upon at any time. Also, as legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden once said, "it's not who starts the game but who finishes it that matters most." Those who have attended the veteran’s practices can pretty much surmise the initial line combos based on practice jersey colours. However, fans should also note that 'Danny Flynn 2.0' is running high tempo drills with a real emphasis on fitness, speed and transition. Teams visiting Harbour Station this season had better be prepared for a "track meet" with a wave of Sea Dogs blue coming at them every shift.

Having said that, it does appear that the six forwards heading out to NHL rookie camps soon are likely to form two lines upon their return. LW Adam Marsh (Detroit), C Nathan Noel (Anaheim) and RW Spencer Smallman (Carolina) could very well stay together for a long time. LW Boko Imama (Tampa), C Sam Dove-McFalls (Philadelphia) and RW Mathieu Joseph (Tampa) are showing tremendous chemistry both on and off the ice.   

As for the remaining forwards, OHL veteran RW Sam ("Povo") Povorozniouk appears destined to start the season as rookie sensation Joe Velano's primary running mate. It is possible that Imama could be the third member of that unit - if coach Flynn feels that the other teams are trying to take liberties with Velano (2015 1st round - 1st overall). Then, assuming former first round draft picks Matthew Highmore and Julien Tessier are paired together, other forwards such as Dan Del Paggio, Kyle Ward, Dawson Theede, Matt Green and big Alex Kealey have until mid-September to show Young and Flynn that they have what it takes to help the Sea Dogs reach their goal of a top four finish in the league this season. 

Furthermore, since the Sea Dogs will need additional players with six guys away, two or three affiliate players (AP) will be called upon to fill out the roster for a few games at least. Without any specific inside information, one can only guess that promising players such as Ryan Kenny, Mike Veleno, Ben Reid, Will Kelly or Alex Lafreniere will be given a second chance to show the coaching staff that they have what it takes to contribute sooner rather than later.

D'Orio, Pare Reassigned By Dogs


The Sea Dogs made a significant roster move today, reassigning two of their three first round picks from this year’s QMJHL Entry Draft.

Goaltender Alex D’Orio, viewed as the second best netminder in the 2015 draft class by most prospect experts, and forward Cedric Pare have both been sent down.

D’Orio was selected ninth overall by Saint John while Pare was 10th.

"We were extremely pleased with the performances of both Alex and Cedric in our training camp this year," Young said. "These moves are designed to give them a chance to play a lot, and be ready to become big parts of our future here in Saint John."

While it’s not overly common to see top 10 picks sent back to midget, it’s probably a move that should be made more often in many cases. It may be a lower level of hockey, but theses players are going to get significantly more playing time in AAA than if they stayed in Saint John.

With the Sea Dogs seemingly set to start the year with Marc-Andre Turcotte and Alex Bishop on their roster, it’s hard to say just how many starts D’Orio would have gotten. Pare probably would have been on the team’s fourth line and scratched every now and then.

I like what Jerome Berube tweeted about the moves: it’s not a sprint it’s a marathon. The Sea Dogs want D’Orio and Pare to be long term impact players, and if that means they need some additional seasoning, than so be it.

Saint John’s training camp roster now includes 25 players: two goaltenders, eight defenseman and 15 forwards. This total includes Jakub Zboril who is currently with the Boston Bruins.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

More Cuts Made

SAINT JOHN – The Sea Dogs have trimmed their training camp roster to 27.

The team announced today the reassignment of seven players. They are:

D Isaac McGraw
D Kyle Anderson
F Will Kelly
F Ben Reid – 2015, 7th round
F Peter Drohan
F Alexandre Lafreniere – 2015, 11th round
F Michael Veleno

According to a Sea Dogs news release, Lafreniere will join the NB/PEI Major Midget Hockey League’s Saint John Vito’s while Veleno, the brother of Joe Veleno, will join the St. Stephen County Aces of the Maritime Junior ‘A’ Hockey League.
Today’s roster cuts leave Saint John with three goalies, eight defenseman and 16 forwards at camp.

The Sea Dogs travel to Bathurst to take on the Titan in pre-season action tomorrow night. Several regular/returning players should get their first playing action of the season.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Notebook: Free Game In Bathurst

There should be a good crowd on hand to watch Friday’s Sea Dogs pre-season game in Bathurst. From the Titan website:

Indeed, the Titan Foundation announced that the game on Friday, August 21st against the Saint John Sea Dogs at the K.C. Irving Regional Centre will offer free admission to all fans of all ages. The only thing the Titan Foundation is hoping for from fans, is that they will make a donation to the Club Richelieu whom will be present at the game to raise funds. Fans will have full liberty to give whichever amount they so choose, knowing that every little bit helps make a positive contribution to their community.

It’s looking like Saint John’s free pre-season game model is beginning to catch on elsewhere.

TICKETS
The Sea Dogs sent out a news release today reminding fans that tickets to all 34 of Saint John’s regular season home games go on-sale to the general public this Saturday at 12 p.m.

Tickets will also be available to season ticket and flex package holders beginning this Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Harbour Station Box Office.

More details can be found on the Sea Dogs website.

SMALLWOOD STAYING IN SAINT JOHN
Defenseman Ian Smallwood has made a nice impression at Sea Dogs training camp over the past week.

A ninth-round pick of the Sea Dogs in this year’s QMJHL Entry Draft, Smallwood had a goal and two assists in Saint John’s pre-season opener last Thursday. Last season with the Notre Dame Hounds, the 16-year-old registered four goals and 11 assists in 36 games. He added a goal and an assist in six playoff games.

The Telegraph-Journal (paywall) reported today that Smallwood could be staying in Saint John with the Vito’s if he doesn’t earn a spot on the Sea Dogs’ crowded backend. The midget AAA team is hosting the Telus Cup in April.

BENT STAYING IN HALIFAX
Former Sea Dogs forward Kelly Bent will be one of Halifax’s three overage players this season.
Bent spent the 2013-14 season with Saint John, recording four goals and two assists in 56 games. With Halifax last year he went on to record two goals and nine assists in 58 games. The Halifax native added two goals and two assists in 14 playoff games.

Bent is known for being a pest rather than his point producing ability. He’ll surely be noticeable when the Sea Dogs play him this season.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sea Dogs Release Tuesday Camp Schedule

SAINT JOHN – The Sea Dogs have released their practice schedule for Tuesday morning at Harbour Station.

Here is the schedule:

Group 1
8 a.m. at Harbour Station
9 – 10:15 a.m. on ice
10:45 a.m. at Afterbrun location with Terry Blizzard
12:45 p.m. expected time for day to end at HB

Group 2
9:45 a.m. at Harbour Station
10:45 a.m. – 12 p.m. on ice
12:45 a.m. at Afterbrun location with Terry Blizzard
2:45 p.m. expected time for day to end at HB

34 players remain at Sea Dogs training camp. The rosters for each group can be seen below, as tweeted by the team:
Note that import Oliver Felixson appears on the group two list.

Saint John’s next pre-season game is on Friday at 7 p.m. in Bathurst.

More Players Cut From Dogs Camp

SAINT JOHN – 34 players remain at Sea Dogs training camp following a round of cuts today.

12 players – two goaltenders, five defensemen and five forwards – have been released from the team’s training camp roster. That leaves three goalies, ten defensemen and 21 forwards at camp.

The following players are the latest to be “reassigned” by the Dogs:

G Matt Williams
G William Hardy-Murray – 2015, 12th round
D Pierre-Luc Lurette – 2015, 6th round
D Jonathan Mason – 2015, 11th round
D Mitchell Rankin
D Vincent Martineau – 2015, 3rd round
D Matt O'Leary – 2015, 12th round
F Cody Grant – 2014, 8th round
F Ryan Kenny – 2014, 4th round
F Benjamin Reade
F Thomas Morin – 2015, 10th round
F Samuel Leblanc – 2015, 13th round

No huge surprises amongst the cuts. Several of these players looked decent in camp, which is good news looking into the future.

Saint John’s next pre-season game is on Friday at 7 p.m. in Bathurst.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

vanBoekel Traded To Val-d'Or

SAINT JOHN – The Sea Dogs have traded defenseman Jack vanBoekel to the Val-d’Or Foreurs.

In exchange, Saint John will receive a third-round draft pick in the 2017 QMJHL Entry Draft from the Foreurs.

Last season with the Sea Dogs, the 19-year-old registered nine assists and 118 penalty minutes in 48 games. A 12th-round pick of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection, Saint John brought vanBoekel to the QMJHL last year.

Listed at 6’07 and 216 lbs, vanBoekel added some size to team’s backend. But with so many quality d-men – Thomas Chabot, Jakub Zboril, Luke Green, Adam Bateman, Jason Bell, Oliver Felixson and Bailey Webster – it has been assumed all summer that somebody had to be moved. Plus, 2015 draft picks Vincent Martineau, Pierre-Luc Lurette and Ian Smallwood have looked good during camp.

The Foreurs visit Saint John on Halloween. The Sea Dogs visit Val-d’Or on Feb. 20.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Notebook: Sea Dogs On The News

Global News was in attendance for the first day of Sea Dogs training camp last Monday. They have a feature that focuses mostly on Joe Veleno.

TVA SPORTS FEATURES
Mikael Lalancette from TVA Sports was in town last week to follow Veleno’s first few days at Dogs camp. Here’s his stories on the Veleno brothers and on exceptional status.

IVAN HLINKA ENDS
The Czech Republic, featuring Saint John’s second pick in this year’s CHL Import Draft, Frantisek Hrdinka, finished sixth at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup tournament with a 1-3 record. Their only victory was a 5-3 win over Switzerland.

Hrdinka finished the tournament with two assists, including one in the fifth-place game against the United States.

Although his name was listed on Team Finland’s roster on the Ivan Hlinka website, it doesn’t appear Oliver Felixson played in any games. Hockey’s Future reported that he was not at the tournament.

Team Canada won gold at the tournament, Sweden silver and Russia bronze. Finland finished fourth.

GOOD DEBUT
Anthony Salemi made a good impression in his first pre-season game with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens on Friday.

Salemi scored Chicoutimi’s first goal of the game in the second period. He also added two shots and was a +1 in the Sagueneens’ 3-2 shootout victory over the Baie-Comeau Drakkar.

The following day, Salemi recorded an assist, one shot, one hit and a +1 rating in Chicoutimi’s 5-3 victory over the Drakkar.

Salemi was officially traded by the Sea Dogs to the Sags on Friday in exchange for a 2017 12th-round draft pick.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

RECAP: Sea Dogs Lose 7-1

FINAL: Saint John 1, Charlottetown 7

POWNAL, PEI – The Saint John Sea Dogs got smoked in their second game of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s pre-season.

Either Matt Green or Dawson Theede (the box score says Green wore No. 27 while the lineup sheet sys Theede) had Saint John’s lone goal in a 7-1 loss to Charlottetown. Alex D’Orio got the start and allowed three goals on 20 shots. Alex Bishop took over midway through (according to the box score) and allowed four goals on 24 shots.

Keith Getson had a hat trick for Charlottetown. Mitchell Balmas had two goals while singles came from Josh Shatford and Shawn Boudrias. Olivier Chalifour and Guillaume Briand-Briere combined to make 28-save win.

Saint John fell to 1-1-0-0 on the pre-season with the loss. The Dogs were coming off a fairly solid 5-0 victory over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Thursday.

Islanders Country has a full recap of the game.

Some other news and notes…
  • Good to see Cedric Pare get in some game action and record an assist. He was injured in a rookie game earlier this week.
  • Sea Dogs dressed an even more in-experienced team than they did on Thursday against Bathurst.
  • Saint John really struggled on faceoffs again, winning just 28 of 72.
  • Jonathan Mason was credited with five hits.
  • Both Ben Reid and Benjamin Reade played. What a moment.
  • Pierre-Olivier Joseph, the brother of Mathieu Joseph, played for the Islanders.
  • If it makes you feel any better, five of Charlottetown’s seven goals were scored by key returning players.
  • Alex Kealey and Isaac McGraw had fights.
  • Here are the rosters that were handed out at the game:
NEXT GAME: The Sea Dogs travel to Bathurst on Friday to battle the Titan at 7 p.m.

PRE-SEASON GAME DAY 2: at Charlottetown

A preview of today’s pre-season game between the Saint John Sea Dogs and Charlottetown Islanders…

When and where: Today at 4 p.m., Pownal Sports Centre, Pownal, PEI

TV/Radio/Webcast: None/None/None (follow @IslesLive on Twitter for updates)

Records: The Sea Dogs are 1-0-0-0 this pre-season while the Islanders are also 1-0-0-0. Last season, the Sea Dogs finished third in the Maritimes Division and 10th overall in the league with a 32-26-4-6 record for 74 points. The Islanders finished second in the Maritimes with a record of 35-28-1-4 for 75 points.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 5-0 win over the Titan on Thursday night. Julien Tessier, Will Kelly, Peter Drohan, Joe Veleno and Ian Smallwood scored for Saint John while Alex Bishop and Alex D’Orio teamed up to make a 34-save shutout. The Islanders are coming off a 5-3 win in Bathurst last night. David Comeau had two goals while singles came from Elio Di Meo, Carl Gervais and Mitchell Balmas. Guillaume Briand-Briere made 19 saves and Olivier Chalifour made 18 in the win.

2014-15 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs went 3-3-2-1 against the Islanders last season while Charlottetown went 6-2-0-1 against Saint John.

Last meeting: March 20 in Charlottetown where the Islanders defeated the Sea Dogs 6-5 in overtime. Filip Chlapik and Filip Rydstrom each had two goals while singles came from Ross Johnston and Alexandre Goulet. Saint John goals came from Jakub Zboril, Thomas Chabot, Justice Dundas, Bokondji Imama and Mathieu Joseph. Daryl MacCallum made 26 saves in the win while Sebastien Auger made 45 in the loss.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Islanders: Oliver Cooper, Will Thompson and Alexander McQuiad

Random stat: Defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph, who had three goals and eight assists in 42 games in Quebec midget AAA last season, is the brother of Sea Dogs forward Mathieu Joseph. He was a fifth-round pick of the Isles in this year’s draft.