Saturday, April 30, 2016

That Was Fun

Frustratingly pleasant – that’s how I would describe the Saint John Sea Dogs’ 2016 playoff run.

This year’s post-season was frustrating because it left us with a lot of what ifs. What if Adam Marsh was healthy? What if Mathieu Joseph didn’t get hurt? What if Bokondji Imama didn’t get suspended? What if everyone on the Sea Dogs’ roster was present and healthy? It’s not out of the question to say the Sea Dogs may still be playing right now if some things had gone their way. But it is what it is. And that’s no doubt a bit frustrating.

But at the same time – and for the same reasons – this playoff run proved to be surprising and pleasant. This team found ways to score goals without two of their top goal scorers. Other players stepped up into bigger roles. This team pleasantly surprised on a number of nights – and gave plenty of reasons to be excited about next season and beyond.

This year’s post-season was certainly entertaining. The first round wasn’t an awful lopsided series, which was nice. The second round against Cape Breton was one of the best in Sea Dogs history – and finally featured a game seven. And the third round had the Shawinigan-Saint John matchup we’ve been waiting years for. You’ve got to be pretty happy with all that.

Some other takes from the playoffs…
  • Sam Povorozniouk finishes with 14 goals and 11 assists in 17 playoff games. He finished his one-year QMJHL career with 53 goals in 85 games. He will be missed.
  • Thomas Chabot finished the playoffs with an incredible three goals and 18 assists, which places him sixth in overall scoring. The Sea Dogs might be missing him next year as well, but that's up to the Ottawa Senators.
  • Obviously, the third round could have been a whole lot different if the Sea Dogs had pulled off wins in games three and four at home. Oh well.
  • Saint John finished the post-season with an average of 4,321 fans per game, which is the highest amount of any remaining team.
  • I don’t care what you think of Shawinigan and their fans, it would be something to have that kind of atmosphere inside Harbour Station.
  • Joe Veleno was quiet at times this post-season and then looked like an exceptional player at other times. He was unreal in game four and finished the playoffs with six goals and an assist. It’ll be fun to watch him moving forward.
  • The Sea Dogs ended the playoffs with a four-game losing streak.
  • In four of the five games against Shawinigan, Saint John gave up five or more goals. Anthony Beauvillier led the way with six goals and six assists.
  • Saint John managed to score three or more goals on Philippe Cadorette in four of the five games, so that’s something.
  • Marc-Antoine Turcotte posted a 6.00 GAA and .810 SV% in the semifinals. The Sea Dogs simply could not contain the Cataractes’ big guns.
  • Will the Sea Dogs ever win an elimination game in Shawinigan? That’s a building that has not been kind to Saint John.
  • It was nice to see Matthew Highmore have a strong post-season – and regular season as well – after the season he had last year.
  • If you didn’t catch the 96.1 NewSong FM post-game show on Friday, it was revealed that Matt Murphy did indeed suffer a separated shoulder in game two.
  • Murphy played in his 76th and final career QMJHL playoff game on Friday. That’s a lot.
  • The Sea Dogs played 17 playoff games this year. They played 17 en route to a QMJHL title in 2012. Makes ya think.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

GAME 5 RECAP: Sea Dogs Lose 6-3

FINAL: Saint John 3, Shawinigan 6
By Lorne Webster | SN Staff

SHAWINIGAN, Que. - The Saint John Sea Dogs’ season ended with a tough 6-3 loss to the Shawinigan Cataractes on Friday evening at Centre Gervais Auto. The win allowed Shawinigan to win the semifinal series 4-1 and move on to the President Cup final for the first time since 2009.

Sea Dogs players, coaches, management and many fans surely will be disappointed by the result of the semifinal. However, in time, they should find solace in a tremendous run by one of the younger teams in the QMJHL. The future is clearly bright for this group of hard working, resilient players. This team simply refused to quit and, after a couple of tough seasons, learned how to win. 

Veterans Matt Murphy, Sam Povorozniouk and Marc-Antoine Turcotte provided real leadership and guidance. Other than the three overagers, nearly all of the players are expected to return for the 2016-17 season. It would be easy to lament about the loss of NHL prospects Mathieu Joseph and Adam Marsh to season ending injuries. But the experience and maturity gained by up and coming stars such as Joe Veleno, Thomas Chabot, Nathan Noel, Luke Green, Samuel Dove-McFalls, Jakub Zboril et al is invaluable. Also of note, Matthew Highmore, Spencer Smallman, Bokondji Imama and Daniel Del Paggio also have been outstanding and have truly grown into leadership roles this season.

Anthony Beauvillier led Shawinigan to the clinching victory with an impressive two goal, three assist performance. Alex Pawelczyk - with two goals - Dennis Yan and Dmytro Timashov also scored for the Cataractes. Matt Murphy, Joe Veleno and Thomas Chabot replied for Saint John. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

VIDEO: Dancing Guy At Tuesday's Game

SAINT JOHN - I don't know who this guy is, but I hope he comes back.



Good stuff.

This video was taken on Tuesday night, during game three of the Sea Dogs' semifinal playoffs series against the Shawinigan Cataractes.

PLAYOFF GAME DAY 5: at Shawinigan

The Saint John Sea Dogs must win tonight to keep their season alive. Following an overtime victory on Wednesday, the Shawinigan Cataractes carry a 3-1 series lead into tonight’s game five. Puck drop is at 8:30 p.m. at Centre Gervais Auto.

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

Series status: Shawinigan leads the best-of-seven semifinal series 3-1.

Game 1: Saint John 6, Shawinigan 5 (OT)
Game 2: Saint John 1, Shawinigan 7
Game 3: Shawinigan 7, Saint John 3
Game 4: Shawinigan 4, Saint John 3 (OT)
Game 5: Friday, April 29 at 8:30 p.m. – Saint John at Shawinigan

Last game: Danny Moynihan scored 46 seconds into overtime to give the Cataractes a 4-3 win over the Sea Dogs on Wednesday at Harbour Station. Gabriel Sylvestre, Anthony Beauvillier and Dmytro Timashov also scored for Shawinigan. Sam Povorozniouk, Samuel Dove-McFalls and Joe Veleno scored for Saint John. Philippe Cadorette made 36 saves in the win. Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 20 stops in the loss.

2015-16 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 2-0-0-0 against the Cataractes in the regular season while Shawinigan went 0-2-0-0 against Saint John.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Cataractes: None

Player to watch: Shawinigan defenseman Gabriel Sylvestre, who had one goal and 13 points in 66 regular season games, has two goals and an assist so far in this series.

Three Things to Know
1. Bokondji Imama is eligible to return from his seven-game suspension tonight. Imama has one goal and two assists in nine playoff games this year.

2. Sam Povorozniouk continues to lead the league in playoff scoring with 24 points and goals with 14. Thomas Chabot has registered a league high 18 assists.

3. The Sea Dogs have had some third period struggles lately. They currently have a minus-eight goal differential in thirds this post-season. Their best period has been the second, where they have a plus-five differential.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Another Do Or Die Game

For the third time this post-season, the Saint John Sea Dogs are facing elimination.

In round two against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, the Sea Dogs, down 3-2 in the series, won games six and seven to advance to the semifinals. They’ll have to win another elimination game tomorrow night in Shawinigan if they want to stay alive. Game time is 8:30 p.m. at Centre Gervais Auto.

The Sea Dogs enter tomorrow’s game five down 3-1 in the series. Saint John won game one in overtime and then went on to lose three straight. The frustrating part is that both games three and four were winnable – Saint John imploded in the third period on Tuesday and then fell in overtime on Wednesday.

This series has had some unpredictable and unusual moments. Leads haven't meant much and momentum shifts quickly. Even though the Cataractes carry momentum into Friday's match, anything can happen. 

Saint John is 4-3 on the road this post-season while Shawinigan is 5-3 at home.

Some other notes…
  • The Sea Dogs will, presumably, have Bokondji Imama back in their lineup tomorrow night. His seven-game suspension ended on Wednesday.
  • Will we see Alex Bishop in net again on Friday? Bishop made 20 saves in his first career playoff start on Wednesday.
  • Anthony Beauvillier has four goals and seven points so far in this series.
  • Sam Povorozniouk continues to lead the league in playoff scoring with 24 points and goals with 14. Thomas Chabot has a league high 18 assists. Nathan Noel has served a league leading 30 penalty minutes.
  • If the Sea Dogs win on Friday, game six is on Sunday at 7 p.m. at Harbour Station.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

GAME 4 RECAP: Sea Dogs Lose 4-3 (OT)

FINAL: Shawinigan 4, Saint John 3 (OT)
By Kevin Chambers & Jamie Tozer | SN Staff

SAINT JOHN – Danny Moynihan’s goal 46 seconds into overtime has pushed the Saint John Sea Dogs to the brink of elimination.

Moynihan’s goal gave the Shawinigan Cataractes a 4-3 victory and a 3-1 series lead heading into Friday’s game five at Centre Gervais Auto. Gabriel Sylvestre, Anthony Beauvillier and Dmytro Timashov scored also scored for Shawinigan on Wednesday night at Harbour Station. Philippe Cadorette made 36 saves in the win.

Sam Povorozniouk, Samuel Dove-McFalls and Joe Veleno scored for Saint John. Alex Bishop, who got the start in goal for the Sea Dogs, made 20 stops in the loss.

Making his first career playoff start, Bishop did well keeping the dangerous Cataractes offense at bay early on. The Sea Dogs would get on the board first when the league’s leading scorer, Povorozniouk, slid a shot past Cadorette to make it 1-0 on a power play at 18:30.

PLAYOFF GAME DAY 4: vs Cataractes

The Shawinigan Cataractes are on a roll, scoring 14 goals in their past two wins over the Saint John Sea Dogs. Meanwhile, the Dogs will look to get back on track following last night’s third period meltdown. Game 4 begins at 7 p.m. at Harbour Station.

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

Series status: Shawinigan leads the best-of-seven semifinal series 2-1.

Game 1: Saint John 6, Shawinigan 5 (OT)
Game 2: Saint John 1, Shawinigan 7
Game 3: Shawinigan 7, Saint John 3
Game 4: Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. – Shawinigan at Saint John
Game 5: Friday, April 29 at 8:30 p.m. – Saint John at Shawinigan

Last game: The Cataractes scored six unanswered goals in a 7-3 win over the Sea Dogs last night at Harbour Station. Brandon Gignac, Gabriel Gagne and Dmytro Timashov each scored twice for Shawinigan while Mathieu Olivier added a single. Philippe Cadorette made 26 saves in the win. Kyle Ward, Samuel Dove-McFalls and Sam Povorozniouk scored for Saint John. Marc-Antoine Turcotte allowed six goals on 22 shots in the loss.

2015-16 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 2-0-0-0 against the Cataractes in the regular season while Shawinigan went 0-2-0-0 against Saint John.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Cataractes: None

Player to watch: Marc-Antoine Turcotte has certainly had his struggles in this series. In the first three games he has allowed 16 goals on 86 shots, including six on 24 shots last night. Can he bounce back tonight?

Three Things to Know
1. Sam Povorozniouk leads the QMJHL in playoff scoring with 13 goals and 23 points. Dmytro Timashov is second with 10 goals and 21 points.

2. Thomas Chabot continues to lead QMJHL defensemen in scoring with two goals and 19 points in 15 games. Shawinigan’s Cavan Fitzgerald (18 points) and Samuel Girard (17 points) are second and third, respectively.

3. Are the Sea Dogs a bad third period team this post-season? They’ve given up 22 third period goals – the most of any period – and have a minus-eight goal differential.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

GAME 3 RECAP: Sea Dogs Lose 7-3

FINAL: Shawinigan 7, Saint John 3
By Kevin Chambers | SN Staff

SAINT JOHN – A third period meltdown by the Saint John Sea Dogs has given the Shawinigan Cataractes a 2-1 series lead.

The Sea Dogs allowed six unanswered goals – including five goals on 11 shots in the third period – in a 7-3 loss to the Cataractes on Tuesday night at Harbour Station. Shawinigan now leads the best-of-seven semifinal series 2-1.

Brandon Gignac, Gabriel Gagne and Dmytro Timashov each scored twice for Shawinigan. Mathieu Olivier also scored. Philippe Cadorette made 26 saves in the win.

Kyle Ward, Samuel Dove-McFalls and Sam Povorozniouk scored for Saint John. Marc-Antoine Turcotte allowed six goals on 22 shots in the loss.

The Sea Dogs were up 3-1 in the second period and entered the third up 3-2. But that third period… that was something. Saint John will need to regroup quickly or they could be facing a do-or-die game in Shawinigan on Friday.

PLAYOFF GAME DAY 3: vs Cataractes

After getting blown out in game two, the Saint John Sea Dogs will be looking to rebound in game three of their QMJHL semifinal playoff series against the Shawinigan Cataractes. Game time this evening at 7 p.m. at Harbour Station.

TV/Radio/Webcast: Rogers TV/NewSong FM/QMJHL Live

Series status: The best-of-seven semifinal series is tied 1-1.

Game 1: Saint John 6, Shawinigan 5 (OT)
Game 2: Saint John 1, Shawinigan 7
Game 3: Tuesday, April 26 at 7 p.m. – Shawinigan at Saint John
Game 4: Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. – Shawinigan at Saint John
Game 5: Friday, April 29 at 8:30 p.m. – Saint John at Shawinigan

Last game: Shawinigan scored five power play goals in a 7-1 victory over the Sea Dogs on Saturday at Centre Gervais Auto. Dennis Yan and Anthony Beauvillier each scored twice while singles came from Gabriel Sylvestre, Brandon Gignac and Alexis D’Aoust. Matthew Highmore scored Saint John’s lone goal. Philippe Cadorette made 26 saves in the win. Marc-Antoine Turcotte was pulled after allowing five goals on 31 shots. Alex Bishop made eight saves in relief.

2015-16 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 2-0-0-0 against the Cataractes in the regular season while Shawinigan went 0-2-0-0 against Saint John.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Cataractes: None

Player to watch: Matthew Highmore has two goals and two assists in this series.

Three Things to Know
1. After scoring five power play goals on 12 attempts in game two, Shawinigan now has the third best power play (amongst teams still playing) in the QMJHL post-season with a rating of 28.1%. The Cataractes had the best power play in the regular season with a rating of 29.1%.

2. Dennis Yan has reportedly been suspended for tonight’s game for a cross check in game two. Yan, a Tampa Bay Lightning prospect, has seven goals and four assists this post-season – including three goals in this series.

3. The Sea Dogs are 5-2 at home so far during the playoffs. The Cataractes are 4-1 on the road.

Monday, April 25, 2016

REPORT: Yan Suspended For Game 3

Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Dennis Yan has been suspended for tomorrow night’s game three, according to Le Nouvelliste’s Steve Turcotte.
Yan had two goals, three shots and a high sticking penalty in Saturday’s 7-1 Cataractes victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs, evening the series up at 1-1.

Yan has three goals in this series and seven goals and four assists this post-season. His loss will be felt.

Meanwhile, the Sea Dogs announced after Saturday’s game that rookie defenseman Vincent Martineau and forward Cedric Pare have been reassigned.

Game three of the QMJHL semifinal is tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at Harbour Station.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

GAME 2 RECAP: Sea Dogs Lose 7-1

FINAL: Saint John 1, Shawinigan 7
SHAWINIGAN, Que. – Penalties proved costly for the Saint John Sea Dogs on Saturday night.

The Shawinigan Cataractes scored five power play goals on 12 opportunities in a 7-1 win over the Sea Dogs at Centre Gervais Auto. The result tied the best-of-seven semifinal playoff series at 1-1 heading into game three on Tuesday night in Saint John.

Even if there were a few soft calls, the Sea Dogs were way too undisciplined. After limiting themselves to just a handful of penalties per game over the past few matches, Saint John simply lost control. Shots ended up being 41-27 overall in favour of Shawinigan. It was not a pretty sight.

If there is any good news for the Sea Dogs, it's that they are coming home with a split in Shawinigan. A game one loss on top of this defeat would have been devastating.

Anthony Beauvillier and Dennis Yan each had a pair of goals while singles came from Brandon Gignac, Alexis D’Aoust and Gabriel Sylvestre. Philippe Cadorette rebounded from an average game one performance, making 24 saves in the win.

Matthew Highmore scored Saint John’s lone goal – which, oddly enough, came on a power play. Marc-Antoine Turcotte was pulled in the third period after allowing five goals on 31 shots. Alex Bishop allowed two goals on 10 shots in relief.

PLAYOFF GAME DAY 2: at Shawinigan

The Saint John Sea Dogs look to take a 2-0 series lead tonight in their third-round playoff matchup against the Shawinigan Cataractes. Game time for game two is 8 p.m. at Centre Gervais Auto.

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

Series status: Saint John leads the best-of-seven semifinal series 1-0.

Game 1: Saint John 6, Shawinigan 5 (OT)
Game 2: Saturday, April 23 at 8 p.m. – Saint John at Shawinigan
Game 3: Tuesday, April 26 at 7 p.m. – Shawinigan at Saint John
Game 4: Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. – Shawinigan at Saint John

Last game: Matthew Highmore scored 46 seconds into overtime to give Saint John a 6-5 win last night in Shawinigan. Sam Povorozniouk, Daniel Del Paggio, Joe Veleno, Samuel Dove-McFalls and Spencer Smallman also scored. Alex Pawelczyk, Anthony Beauvillier, Dmytro Timashov, Dennis Yan and Gabriel Gagne scored for Shawinigan. Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 26 saves in the win. Philippe Cadorette made 19 stops in the loss.

2015-16 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 2-0-0-0 against the Cataractes in the regular season while Shawinigan went 0-2-0-0 against Saint John.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Cataractes: None

Player to watch: With a goal last night, Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Dmytro Timashov has goals in five straight games. In total, Timashov has six goals and three assists in his past five contests.

Three Things to Know
1. Shawinigan lost the first game of their first round series, falling 3-2 to Sherbrooke. The Cataractes went on to win four straight and take that series in five games.

2. Saint John’s power play went 1-for-1 last night and is now operating at 29.4% this post-season, which is good for second amongst teams still playing.

3. After last night’s high scoring match, Shawinigan is averaging 4.19 goals per game (second most) while Saint John is averaging 3.98 (3rd most). Rouyn-Noranda has a league high 5.08 goals per game.

GAME 1 RECAP: Sea Dogs Win 6-5 (OT)

FINAL: Saint John 6, Shawinigan 5 (OT)
SHAWINIGAN, Que. – Matthew Highmore wasted no time ending game one of the QMJHL semifinal.

Highmore scored just 46 seconds into overtime to give the Saint John Sea Dogs a 6-5 victory over the Shawinigan Cataractes on Friday night at Centre Gervais Auto. The win gives the Dogs a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven third round series.

Highmore’s goal ended a wildly back-and-forth, entertaining match that featured plenty of scoring. The Sea Dogs, playing without Adam Marsh, Mathieu Joseph, Bokondji Imama and, for most of the game, Thomas Chabot, found a way to, once again, produce offensively when they needed to.

Sam Povorozniouk, Daniel Del Paggio, Joe Veleno, Samuel Dove-McFalls and Spencer Smallman also scored for Saint John. Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 26 saves in the win.

Saint John has now won three straight playoff games, which includes two on the road. This win not only gives the Sea Dogs home ice advantage, but it also gives them momentum heading into tomorrow’s game two.

Alex Pawelczyk, Anthony Beauvillier, Dmytro Timashov, Dennis Yan and Gabriel Gagne scored for Shawinigan. Philippe Cadorette didn’t have the greatest night in net, allowing six goals on just 25 shots.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Round Three Predictions

In which the SN staff predicts round three…

ROU (2) vs. MON (6)
Lorne: The Wildcats have proven to be resilient with a series of comeback and overtime wins in their series against Victoriaville and Gatineau. Even though the Olympiques pretty much contained Conor Garland until game six, players such as Manuel Wiederer more than filled the void. However, it seems that Moncton's run will end in the form of a brick wall named the Huskies. Rouyn-Noranda sports three high flying forward lines, deep defense and stellar goaltending. Huskies in five.

Kevin: The Huskies have lost Jeremy Lauzon, which will no doubt hurt their back end - but they still have plenty of depth. The Huskies have yet to be given a tough test and Moncton should provide a tougher opponent. While Keven Bouchard has played well for Moncton, this is where the attack of the Huskies should provide a much higher degree of difficulty in terms of shots. Moncton will have to rely heavily on the offensive production of Garland. The Wildcats just can't match the overall depth of the Huskies. Huskies in five.

Jamie: The Armada bent the Huskies a bit – but they certainly didn’t break. Rouyn-Noranda has proven this post-season they have the ability to win by blowouts or by close games. Even with the loss of Jeremy Lauzon, they are still considered the favourites to win the league, which says a lot about their depth. The Wildcats were able to upset the Olympiques without much production from Conor Garland, which was impressive. But Moncton will need Garland and everyone else playing their best in order to pull off an upset this time. I don’t see it happening. Huskies in five.

PLAYOFF GAME DAY 1: at Shawinigan

The QMJHL semifinals begin tonight as the Saint John Sea Dogs take on the Shawinigan Cataractes at 8:30 p.m. at Centre Gervais Auto.

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

Series status: This is game one of the best-of-seven semifinal series.

Game 1: Friday, April 22 at 8:30 p.m. – Saint John at Shawinigan
Game 2: Saturday, April 23 at 8 p.m. – Saint John at Shawinigan
Game 3: Tuesday, April 26 at 7 p.m. – Shawinigan at Saint John
Game 4: Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. – Shawinigan at Saint John

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 6-2 game seven win on home ice over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Tuesday night. Nathan Noel scored twice while singles came from Matt Murphy, Daniel Del Paggio, Sam Povorozniouk and Jakub Zboril. Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 29 saves in the victory. The Cataractes are coming off a 6-1 game six win over the Charlottetown Islanders on Sunday in Shawinigan. Dmytro Timashov and Alex Pawelczyk each scored twice while solo markers came from Gabriel Gagne and Anthony Beauvillier. Philippe Cadorette made 29 saves in the win.

2015-16 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 2-0-0-0 against the Cataractes in the regular season while Shawinigan went 0-2-0-0 against Saint John.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Cataractes: None

Player to watch: Goaltender Philippe Cadorette will play in his 72nd career QMJHL playoff game tonight. He is 46-25 with an impressive 2.76 GAA and .909 SV% in his post-season career.

Three Things to Know
1.The Cataractes are playing in the semifinals for the first time since 2009, where they went on to lose the league final in seven games to Drummondville. The Sea Dogs are returning to semis for the first time since 2012, where they went on to win the President Cup.

2. Sam Povorozniouk is second in playoff scoring with 11 goals and 18 points in 12 games. Shawinigan’s Dmytro Timashov is third in scoring with seven goals and 17 points in 11 games.

3. The Cataractes are averaging 2.41 goals against per game this post-season, the second lowest total in the league behind Rouyn-Noranda’s ridiculous .66.

Series Preview

Click to enlarge.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Things To Watch For In The Semis

The most anticipated matchup of the 2012 QMJHL playoffs has arrived – in 2016.

Yes, the Sea Dogs and Cataractes met twice in the 2012 Memorial Cup, but it just wasn’t the same as a playoff series. We will never truly know who the better team was in a seven-game series.

This year’s playoff matchup – the first ever between the two – may not have the same hype and off-ice drama as a 2012 series would have, but there is plenty of intrigue. These are two games – the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds – going head-to-head in the league semifinal. This has the potential to be very entertaining.

Here are five things worth watching out for in this series.

Can Saint John keep scoring?
The Sea Dogs eliminated the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles without Mathieu Joseph, Adam Marsh and, for much of it, Bokondji Imama. Joseph and Marsh were two of Saint John’s top offensive players in the regular season, and having neither of them in the second round was a reason why many picked the Eagles to win the series (like me!).

But Saint John found ways to score. Other guys stepped up. The backend delivered offensively. Thomas Chabot had a crazy 12 assists in the seven games. Mathew Highmore had six goals and Sam Povorozniouk had five. In total, 15 different players had at least a point. Will they be able to keep that going in this series?

No home ice
Unlike the first two rounds, Saint John won’t have home ice advantage in this series. The Sea Dogs will need to find some success in Shawinigan if they want to move on. Saint John is 3-2 on the road in the playoffs, but the environment in Bathurst and Cape Breton were nowhere near the level of intimidation Shawinigan will bring. There will probably be more horns than fans in the building.

For what’s it worth, the Cataractes are 4-2 at home in the post-season.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Semifinals Begin Friday In #TheShawi

The Saint John Sea Dogs kick off the 2016 QMJHL semifinals this Friday in Shawinigan.

For the first time this post-season, the Sea Dogs will not have home ice advantage. Shawinigan finished second in the overall standings while Saint John finished third.

The series will be 2-2-1-1-1. Here is the full schedule, via the QMJHL website:

Game 1: Friday, April 22 at 8:30 p.m. – Saint John at Shawinigan
Game 2: Saturday, April 23 at 8 p.m. – Saint John at Shawinigan
Game 3: Tuesday, April 26 at 7 p.m. – Shawinigan at Saint John
Game 4: Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. – Shawinigan at Saint John
Game 5: Friday, April, 29 at 8:30 p.m. – Saint John at Shawinigan
Game 6: Sunday, May 1 at 7 p.m. – Shawinigan at Saint John
Game 7: Tuesday, May 3 at 8 p.m. – Saint John at Shawinigan

Tickets to the games at Harbour Station go on sale tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.

The Sea Dogs were 2-0-0-0 against the Cataractes in the regular season. This is the first ever meeting between the two in the playoffs.

The other semifinal, which features the Moncton Wildcats taking on the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, begins on Friday as well.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

GAME 7 RECAP: Sea Dogs Win 6-2

FINAL: Cape Breton 2, Saint John 6
By Kevin Chambers | SN Staff

SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Sea Dogs are off to the QMJHL semifinals.

The Sea Dogs advanced to the third round of the post-season with a 6-2 game seven victory over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Tuesday night at Harbour Station.

Saint John’s veteran players came to play in this one with Nathan Noel scoring twice, Matt Murphy adding a goal and an assist and Sam Povorozniouk also scoring. Daniel Del Paggio and Jakub Zboril netted goals as well. Goaltender Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 29 saves in the victory.

After a scoreless first period, Cape Breton opened the scoring in the second. But the Sea Dogs blew it open by scoring the next five goals and once again, for the most part, silencing the Screaming Eagles’ big guns.

The Dogs now advance to the semifinals where they take on the Shawinigan Cataractes.

Cape Breton goals came from Michael Joly and Evgeny Svechnikov. Alexandre Belanger made 24 stops in the loss.

Sea Dogs Advance To Semifinals

SAINT JOHN – For the fifth time in franchise history, the Saint John Sea Dogs are off to the QMJHL semifinals.

The Sea Dogs advanced to the QMJHL’s final four with a 6-2 game seven victory over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles tonight at Harbour Station. It was the first game seven in Sea Dogs history.

This is the first time since 2012 – when the team went on to win the President Cup – the Sea Dogs have appeared in the semifinals.

As if the playoffs haven’t had enough drama already, Saint John will play their old rival, the Shawinigan Cataractes, in the semis. It’ll be the first playoff meeting between the two, although they did face each other twice at the 2012 Memorial Cup.

Shawinigan, who finished second in the overall standings, will have home ice advantage for the series. Game one will likely be Friday in #TheShawi.

The other semifinal will feature the Moncton Wildcats taking on the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.

PLAYOFF GAME DAY 7: vs Screaming Eagles

This is it. Do or die. Winner take all (well, this round, at least). The first game seven in Saint John Sea Dogs history takes place tonight against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Game time is 7 p.m. at Harbour Station.

TV/Radio/Webcast: Rogers TV & Eastlink TV/96.1 NewSong FM/QMJHL Live

Series status: The best-of-seven second round series is tied 3-3.

Game 1 – Cape Breton 4, Saint John 1
Game 2 – Cape Breton 3, Saint John 4 (OT)
Game 3 –Saint John 5, Cape Breton 2
Game 4 – Saint John 1, Cape Breton 4
Game 5 – Cape Breton 4, Saint John 3 (OT)
Game 6 – Saint John 5, Cape Breton 4
Game 7 – Tonight at 7 p.m. at Saint John

Last game: The Sea Dogs forced a game seven with a 5-4 win in game six on Sunday at Centre 200. Matthew Highmore and Sam Povorozniouk each scored twice for Saint John while Spencer Smallman added a solo marker. Giovanni Fiore scored twice for Cape Breton while singles came from Clark Bishop and Pierre-Luc Dubois. Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 20 saves in the win. Alexandre Belanger made 26 stops in the loss

2015-16 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 6-3-0-0 against the Screaming Eagles in the regular season while Cape Breton went 3-5-0-1 against Saint John.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Screaming Eagles: Defenseman Olivier LeBlanc

Player to watch: Thomas Chabot has been ridiculously good this post-season. He enters play tonight with two goals and 14 assists in 11 playoff games, which leads all QMJHL defensemen. Chabot had four assists in Sunday’s game and has 11 helpers in this series.

Three Things to Know
1. Sam Povorozniouk and Michael Joly each have 10 goals this post-season, which is good for second most in the league. Povorozniouk had two goals on Sunday while Joly was held pointless.

2. The Sea Dogs will no doubt try and replicate their special teams performance from Sunday, going two-for-three on the power play and allowing just one Cape Breton man advantage the entire contest.

3. The Sea Dogs are 4-2 at home this post-season. The Screaming Eagles are 4-2 on the road. Home ice hasn’t proven to mean a whole lot in this series. This could go either way.

4. (bonus!) Enjoy this.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Buzz Building For Game Seven

There’s a few things worth noting if you plan on watching tomorrow’s game seven between the Saint John Sea Dogs and Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

If you plan on attending the game, ticket availability is listed as “limited” on the Harbour Station website. There were lineups at the box office this morning.
If you plan on watching the game on Rogers TV, remember, it’s bingo night.
The game will be shown in full on channel 368.

Martineau Suspended Four Games

The Screaming Eagles will be without Phelix Martineau for tomorrow night’s game seven.

The QMJHL announced today that Martineau has been suspended four games for his hit on Bailey Webster in game five of Cape Breton’s playoff series against the Saint John Sea Dogs. Martineau was suspended for Sunday’s game six, so he has three more games to serve.
Here is the rationale for the suspension, via the QMJHL website:
  • A Cape Breton player dumped the puck around the net in the offensive zone.
  • The opponent pivoted and headed towards the puck to recover it.
  • When he finally got control of it, he was at the height of the bottom of the faceoff circle about ten feet from the boards.
  • The player at fault was fore-checking from the blue line in the middle of the ice.
  • He accelerated, glided and pushed the opponent into the boards.
  • The opponent braked just before contact.
  • The player at fault had speed even though he glided before impact.
  • After a contact on the opponent’s stick, he gave him a strong push.
  • The opponent was in a vulnerable position a few feet from the boards and fell violently against them.
  • The player at fault made no effort to avoid or minimize contact.
  • This is not the first offense of the player at fault.
  • The opponent was not injured on the play.

Martineau’s suspension joins a long list of bans that have come from the Saint John – Cape Breton full season series. Bokondji Imama will serve the third game of his seven-game suspension tomorrow. TSN's Craig Button gave his thoughts on the Imama suspension earlier this week.
The Cape Breton centre has two goals and three assists in 11 playoff games.

Game seven is tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at Harbour Station.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

GAME 6 RECAP: Sea Dogs Win 5-4

FINAL: Saint John 5, Cape Breton 4

SYDNEY, NS – For the first time in franchise history, the Saint John Sea Dogs will play a game seven.

The Sea Dogs forced the winner-take-all game with a 5-4 game six victory on Sunday night at Centre 200. Matthew Highmore and Sam Povorozniouk each scored twice while Spencer Smallman added a solo marker. Thomas Chabot had four assists. Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 19 saves in the win.

It was a classic, back-and-forth junior hockey playoff game on Sunday, with plenty of lead changes and momentum swings. But it was the Sea Dogs, playing in front of a packed Centre 200, that pulled off a clutch win to save their season. Povorozniouk scored the winner on a power play at 10:59 of the third.

Saint John played the game they had to play to win. They took just one penalty the entire game – and it came 54 seconds in. They held Cape Breton and their high flying offense to just four shots in the third period. They went two-for-three on the power play. Michael Joly, Evgeny Svechnikov and Maxim Lazarev were all held pointless. It was a clutch performance by the Sea Dogs.

Giovanni Fiore had a pair of goals for Cape Breton while Pierre-Luc Dubois and Clark Bishop added singles. Alexandre Belanger made 26 saves in the loss.

Centre 200 Nearing Capacity Crowd


SYDNEY, NS – We know one thing about tonight’s game: Centre 200 is going to be rocking.

According to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles Facebook page, less than 200 tickets remain for tonight’s game six against the Saint John Sea Dogs. Game time is 7 p.m.

The Eagles can advance to the semifinals with a victory tonight, something they haven’t done since 2007. The team is appearing in the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2009, so you know the fans are just a bit excited.

There will surely be a few Sea Dogs fans in the building tonight, as there were for games three and four. Some did not have a pleasant experience, though.

Let’s keep it civil, people.

If the Sea Dogs win tonight, a game seven – the first in Sea Dogs history – would be played on Tuesday night at Harbour Station.

The only other game today has the Shawinigan Cataractes trying the eliminate the Charlottetown Islanders in game six of that series. The Gatineau-Moncton series, which the Wildcats lead 3-2, resumes tomorrow.

PLAYOFF GAME DAY 6: at Cape Breton

It’s do or die for the Saint John Sea Dogs. After falling 4-3 in overtime on Friday, the Sea Dogs trail the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 3-2 in the best-of-seven second round series entering tonight’s game six at Centre 200. Game time is 7 p.m.

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

Series status: The Screaming Eagles lead the best-of-seven second round series 3-2.

Game 1 – Cape Breton 4, Saint John 1
Game 2 – Cape Breton 3, Saint John 4 (OT)
Game 3 –Saint John 5, Cape Breton 2
Game 4 – Saint John 1, Cape Breton 4
Game 5 – Cape Breton 4, Saint John 3 (OT)
Game 6 – Sunday, April 17 at Cape Breton – 7 p.m.

Last game: Giovanni Fiore scored in overtime on Friday to give the Screaming Eagles a 4-3 win over the Sea Dogs at Harbour Station. Michael Joly had a pair of goals for Cape Breton while Jordan Ty Fournier added a solo marker. Matthew Highmore had two goals for Saint John and Daniel Del Paggio had one. Alexandre Belanger made 38 saves in the win. Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 22 stops in the loss.

2015-16 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 6-3-0-0 against the Screaming Eagles in the regular season while Cape Breton went 3-5-0-1 against Saint John.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Screaming Eagles: Defenseman Olivier LeBlanc

Player to watch: Giovanni Fiore, the overtime hero on Friday, has three goals and three assists in this series. He had no goals and three assists in five games against Saint John during the regular season.

Three Things to Know
1. The QMJHL announced yesterday that Cape Breton’s Phelix Martineau has been suspended until further notice, presumably for his hit on Bailey Webster in Friday’s game.

2. Michael Joly, who was held pointless in games three and four, has scored a QMJHL high 10 goals this post-season. His 15 points place him second in playoff scoring.

3. Thomas Chabot has a ridiculous seven assists in this series so far. He has 12 points this post-season, placing him third amongst QMJHL defensemen.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Phelix Martineau Suspended

Phelix Martineau is the latest player to be suspended in the Saint John – Cape Breton season long series of suspensions.

The QMJHL announced today that Martineau has been “suspended until further notice. The incident will be studied further before a final decision is rendered.”

“The Director of Player Safety will be able to take his final decision once he has viewed the videos of the incident, spoken to the player and the organization involved and after consulting the disciplinary committee,” stated a QMJHL press release.

This is presumably the play that resulted in the suspension:
Martineau was given a two-minute minor for boarding. Bailey Webster quickly got up from the hit and stayed in the game.

The hit had similar aspects to the Bokondji Imama hit in game four (which resulted in a seven game suspension) and the Nathan Noel hit in game two (which resulted in a one-game suspension). Clips, along with all the other suspensions that have come from the bizarre season long Saint John – Cape Breton series, can be found here.

Martineau, whose brother Vincent is currently on the Sea Dogs’ roster, has two goals and three assists in 11 playoff games this year. The Eagles will be without the forward for game six tomorrow night at Centre 200.

Friday, April 15, 2016

GAME 5 RECAP: Sea Dogs Lose 4-3 (OT)

FINAL: Cape Breton 4, Saint John 3 (OT)
SAINT JOHN – The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles are a win away from the QMJHL semifinals.

With a 4-3 overtime win on Friday night at Harbour Station, the Screaming Eagles lead the best-of-seven second series 3-2 over the Saint John Sea Dogs. Game six is on Sunday night at Centre 200.

Giovanni Fiore was the hero, putting in a rebound at 7:25 of extra time to give the Eagles the win. Michael Joly scored a pair of goals in regulation time while Jordan Ty Fournier had the other. Alexandre Belanger made 38 saves.

Matthew Highmore had a pair of goals for Saint John and Daniel Del Paggio added a solo marker. Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 22 saves in the loss.

The Sea Dogs played fairly well in this one and doubled the Screaming Eagles in shots for much of the game. But they couldn’t pull it off, and now face a must-win situation in Sydney on Sunday.

Imama Suspended Seven Games

Embed from Getty Images
The Saint John Sea Dogs will be without Bokondji Imama for the remainder of the second round.

The QMJHL announced this afternoon that Imama has been suspended seven games for his hit on Cape Breton’s Tobie Bisson in game four of the second round playoff series on Tuesday night. Imama was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for the hit.


Via the QMJHL website, here is the rationale for the decision:
  • The opponent recovered the puck in the left corner of the ice and went around his net to exit his zone.
  • The player at fault started from the left side of the ice and headed towards the puck carrier on the other side.
  • He finished his hit on the opponent at the height of the face-off dot on the red line of the circle.
  • The player at fault traveled a great distance to get to his opponent.
  • He accelerated and took several strides without gliding before his hit; he had a lot of speed at impact.
  • After completing a pass to a teammate, the opponent was in a vulnerable position at impact.
  • Seeing that the opponent was slightly ahead, the player fault stretched forward and hit him with force.
  • At the moment of impact, he was propelled shoulder and head first into the boards.
  • Several factors were considered in the decision-making:
    • Distance traveled (charging)
    • Speed ​​at impact
    • Distance between the boards and the player at contact (boarding)
    • The force used on the opponent
  • The player at fault has the responsibility, when a player is in a vulnerable position, to either try to avoid or minimize contact, which was not the case.
  • This is not the first offense of the player at fault.
  • The opponent was severely injured on the play.

According to reports, Bisson will miss the remainder of the series with a concussion. He was stretchered off the ice following the hit.

Imama has one goal and two assists in nine playoff games this year. The Sea Dogs have called up forward Cedric Pare to help fill some of the holes left up front, holes that now include Imama, Mathieu Joseph and Adam Marsh.

Game five of the series is tonight at 7 p.m. at Harbour Station.

PLAYOFF GAMEDAY 5: vs Screaming Eagles

With the series tied at 2-2, the Saint John Sea Dogs and Cape Breton Screaming Eagles meet for a pivotal game five tonight at Harbour Station. Game time is 7 p.m.

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

Series status: The best-of-seven second round series is tied at 2-2.

Game 1 – Cape Breton 4, Saint John 1
Game 2 – Cape Breton 3, Saint John 4 (OT)
Game 3 –Saint John 5, Cape Breton 2
Game 4 – Saint John 1, Cape Breton 4
Game 5 – Friday, April 15 at Saint John – 7 p.m.
Game 6 – Sunday, April 17 at Cape Breton – 7 p.m.

Last game: The Screaming Eagles evened the series at 2-2 with a 4-1 victory at Centre 200 on Tuesday. Giovanni Fiore, Phelix Martineau, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Evgeny Svechnikov scored for Cape Breton. Jakub Zboril scored Saint John’s lone goal. Alexandre Belanger made 32 saves in the win. Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 32 saves in the loss.

2015-16 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 6-3-0-0 against the Screaming Eagles in the regular season while Cape Breton went 3-5-0-1 against Saint John.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Screaming Eagles: Defenseman Olivier LeBlanc

Player to watch: Michael Joly is due. After recording eight goals and five assists in Cape Breton’s first eight playoff games, he has been held pointless in the last two – despite putting seven shots on goal on Tuesday. Joly can’t be held off the score sheet forever.

Three Things to Know
1. Bokondji Imama will not play tonight, according to a source. The league still hasn’t made a decision on a suspension following his hit on Tobie Bisson in game four. The Sea Dogs have recalled Cedric Pare to help fill some holes up front.
2. The Sea Dogs are 4-1-0-0 at Harbour Station this post-season – with their only loss coming in game one of this series. The Screaming Eagles are 3-2-0-0 on the road.

3. Maxim Lazarev has (somewhat) quietly moved into second in QMJHL playoff scoring with five goals and 15 points in nine matches.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

What Is Going On Here?

Hey, QMJHL, we need to talk.

Like, I know it’s hard sometimes being a sports league and all, but this season long series between Cape Breton and Saint John has gotten really weird.

There have been a lot of “incidents” between the Sea Dogs and Screaming Eagles this year – which maybe shouldn’t be a huge shock considering the two led the league in fightsWhat’s disturbing is how the league and officials have handled these incidents. There’s definitely some inconsistencies when it comes to suspending players (shocker). But the amount of suspensions that resulted from minor penalties or no penalties at all is shocking.

Here is a look at all the suspensions and some of the dangerous plays that have come from the season long series.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

NHL Playoffs Begin Tonight

Five former Sea Dogs are in the hunt for the Stanley Cup.

Tonight, Tomas Jurco's Detroit Red Wings begin the playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tomorrow, Jonathan Huberdeau and the Florida Panthers begin their series against the New York Islanders, Charlie Coyle and the Minnesota Wild face the Dallas Stars and Stanislav Galiev's Washington Capitals take on the Philadelphia Flyers. On Friday, Simon Despres and the Anaheim Ducks take on the Nashville Predators.

It was another good regular season for former Dogs in the NHL, highlighted by Jonathan Huberdeau, Gerard Gallant and Mike Kelly helping the Florida Panthers win the Atlantic Division.

Mike Hoffman also had a good season, despite being in the Ottawa Senators' dog house at times. Stanislav Galiev, although he only played in 24 games, helped the Capitals win a league high 56 games.

Here's a look at how former Sea Dogs performed, via Elite Prospects.

PlayerTeamGPGoalsAssistsPoints
Mike HoffmanOTT78293059
Jonathan HuberdeauFLA76203959
Charlie CoyleMIN82212142
Nathan BeaulieuMTL6421719
Tomas JurcoDET44426
Eric GelinasNJ/COL40156
Simon DespresANA32044
Stanislav GalievWAS24033
Alex GrantARZ5000

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

GAME 4 RECAP: Sea Dogs Lose 4-1

FINAL: Saint John 1, Cape Breton 4
By Lorne Webster | SN Staff

SYDNEY, NSIn a critical game, the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles came up with a 4-1 victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs Tuesday evening at Centre 200.

As a result, the best-of-seven QMJHL second round playoff series is now tie 2-2 - essentially reducing the series to a best-of-three set, with Saint John again holding home ice advantage.

Giovanni Fiore, Phelix Martineau, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Evgeny Svechnikov scored for Cape Breton. Jakub Zboril replied for Saint John. 

1st Period
The game began with a bang as a huge hit by Dillon Boucher caused a pane of glass to explode, causing a delay. Soon after the glass was replaced and the mess cleaned up, Cape Breton was granted a power play. Fiore took full advantage when he beat Marc-Antoine Turcotte just 2:20 into the game. The Screaming Eagles controlled much of the play in the first but Turcotte came up with big saves, notably when he stoned both Martineau and Michael Joly in the second half of the period.  

2nd Period
On a power play at 9:09 - moments after going postal twice - Zboril collected a loose puck in the neutral zone, rushed into the Eagles zone, split the defence and snapped a shot over Alexandre Belanger's glove to tie the game at 1-1. Seconds later, Bokondji Imama leveled Tobie Paquette-Bisson. Bisson had to be taken off on a stretcher, leading to a major penalty and game misconduct to Imama.
However, the Sea Dogs penalty kill kept the high-flying Eagles at bay. Turcotte also robbed Joly once again with just over one minute remaining in the second to see the middle frame end tied at 1-1.

3rd Period
The Eagles took full advantage of their opportunities midway through the final period as they scored three goals in a span of 3:13. At 8:36, seconds after former Sea Dog Olivier LeBlanc did yeoman’s work to keep the puck in the Sea Dogs zone, Martineau collected a rebound and banged the puck past Turcotte. On a five-on-three power play at 10:06, Dubois unloaded a booming slap shot from the high slot past Turcotte. Finally, at 11:49, Svechnikov sent a low laser from in close to stake the home squad to a 4-1 lead. Things got a little nasty in the closing minutes, including a five-on-three power play for Saint John. But Belanger barred the door to secure a series tie. 

VIDEO: Imama Tossed For Boarding

SYDNEY, NS – Bokondji Imama’s night ended early on Tuesday.

Imama was given a five-minute boarding major and game misconduct for a hit on Tobie Paquette-Bisson in the second period of game four of the Cape Breton/Saint John series.
Bisson was down on the ice for several minutes and was attended to by both team’s athletic therapists. He was eventually stretchered off.

According to Sea Dogs radio broadcaster Tim Roszell, the on-ice officials did not indicate a penalty call originally.

Imama is certainly no stranger to controversial plays/hits and it will be interesting to see how the league handles this one.

While the Cape Breton/Saint John season series hasn't been overly nasty, there were several suspensions. Recently, Nathan Noel was suspended for Monday’s game due to a check from behind. The Sea Dogs also sent a video of a Pierre-Luc Dubois hit from Monday to the league but no suspension was given out.