Wednesday, August 23, 2017

RECAP: Sea Dogs win 6-0

FINAL: Bathurst 0, Saint John 6
SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs got their "real" preseason schedule off to a strong start on Wednesday, defeating the Acadie-Bathurst Titan 6-0 at Harbour Station.

Nicholas Cardone, Anthony Boucher, Radim Salda, Brock Perry, Cole Reginato and Cedric Pare all scored for Saint John. Alex D'Orio made 13 saves for the shutout win.

The Titan, who didn't dress many regulars compared to Saint John, couldn't get a whole lot going offensively. Simon Boudreault-Belzile played the first half of the game in net and allowed two goals on 16 shots. Gabriel Waked allowed four goals on 20 shots in the second half of the game.

The Sea Dogs appeared to score a couple times in the opening half of the first period but the goals were called off on each occasion.

Cardone opened the scoring at 12:48 of the first, depositing a loose puck into the cage following a scramble in the crease.

The Sea Dogs took a 2-0 lead just 1:34 into the second when Boucher grabbed the puck from underneath the Bathurst netminder and slid it home.

Preseason Game Day: vs Titan

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs begin "real" preseason play tonight at Harbour Station, hosting the Acadie-Bathurst Titan at 7 p.m.

The Sea Dogs went 0-3 at last weekend's Rookie Challenge in Moncton. The Titan finished 2-1.

TV/Radio/Webcast: None/None/None

Record: The Sea Dogs are 0-2-1-0 following last weekend's Rookie Challenge. The Titan are 2-1-0-0.

Last games: Saint John is coming off a 5-1 loss to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in the fifth-place game at the Rookie Challenge on Sunday morning. Isiah Campbell scored Saint John's lone goal. Andrew MacLeod made 11 saves while Joel Goguen made 12 saves. Bathurst is coming off an 8-2 win over the Charlottetown Islanders in the third-place game at the Rookie Challenge on Sunday afternoon. Ethan Crossman scored four goals while Evan White, Domenic Malatesta, Keegan Gauthier and Marc-Andre LeCouffe added singles. Thomas Gosselin made 11 saves in the win.

2016-17 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 4-4-1-0 against the Titan last season while Bathurst went 5-4-0-0 against Saint John.

Notes: Isiah Campbell led Saint John in Rookie Challenge scoring with a goal and three assists... Ben Reid scored two goals at the Challenge and netted five in the two scrimmages held yesterday... Tristan Mercure and Ian Smallwood each had two assists in Moncton... Ethan Crossman led Bathurst in scoring at the Rookie Challenge with four goals and two assists. Justin Ducharme had three goals and an assist.

Next game: The Sea Dogs travel to Bathurst on Friday to take on the Titan at 7 p.m.

Camp roster reduced by three

SAINT JOHN - Three players have been reassigned from the Saint John Sea Dogs' training camp roster.

The team announced this morning that forwards Matthew Pietroniro and Luke Wilson along with defenceman Thomas Ashe are no longer at camp.

Pietroniro, who will turn 18 in November, was traded to Saint John in the Callum Booth deal during the holiday trade period last season. He appeared in two games with Saint John last year, going pointless.

Wilson was a ninth-round pick of the Sea Dogs in this year's QMJHL Entry Draft. In 38 games with the Dartmouth Major Midgets last season, Wilson recorded seven goals and 20 points.

Ashe was a ninth-round pick of the Sea Dogs in the 2016 QMJHL Entry Draft. The 17-year-old registered three assists in 38 games with the Moncton Flyers last year. He was held pointless in two games with the MHL's Dieppe Commandos.

There are 38 players remaining in camp: four goalies, 13 defencemen and 21 forwards.

The Sea Dogs host the Acadie-Bathurst Titan tonight at 7 p.m. in QMJHL preseason play.

Dogs open camp with scrimmages

Kevin Chambers | SN Staff

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs held their first two scrimmages of training camp on Tuesday with Team Thomas taking game one by a score of 3-2 and cruising to a 6-1 victory in the second contest, sweeping the day over Team Huberdeau.

As expected, the pace was much faster with the veteran players returning to the ice for the first time. The scrimmages certainly did not lack in the physical department, either.

The goal scorers in the morning scrimmage for Team Thomas were Ben Reid (two) and Isiah Campbell. Both were the result of hard work and being in the right spot at the right time. Campbell’s goal was a shot that he redirected in front.
Goal scorers for Team Huberdeau were the veteran Cole Reginato, who finished off an exceptional rush with Joe Veleno, and newcomer Radim Salda, who showed he has plenty of pop in his point shot by letting two hard shots go - the second of which dented the twine.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Sea Dogs host Titan Wednesday night

SAINT JOHN - The "real" preseason begins on Wednesday for the Saint John Sea Dogs.

After going 0-3 at last weekend's Rookie Challenge in Moncton, the Sea Dogs, now joined by their returning veteran players, will look for their first exhibition win of the year when they host the Acadie-Bathurst Titan at 7 p.m.

The Sea Dogs kicked off training camp on Tuesday with a couple of scrimmages at Harbour Station.

In the morning game, Team Thomas defeated Team Huberdeau 3-2. Ben Reid scored a pair of goals while Isiah Campbell, Cole Reginato and Radim Salda added singles.

In the afternoon game, a four-goal first period led Team Thomas to a 6-1 win. Reid had a hat trick while singles came from Campbell, Alexandre Lafreniere, Luke Wilson and Nicholas Cardone.

All four goaltenders in camp played equal time.

Campbell led Saint John in scoring at the Rookie Challenge, registering a goal and four points. Reid had two goals while Tristan Mercure and Ian Smallwood each had two assists.

41 players taking part in Sea Dogs camp

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs announced a few roster moves ahead of this morning's scrimmage at Harbour Station.

The team announced eight players who took part in the team's Rookie Camp last week have been reassigned. They are:

LW Tyler-James Flack
LW Brennan Laverty
RW Alexis Lyonnais
F Daniel Surette
D Justin Lush
D Matthew O’Leary
D Jack McGovern
G Andrew MacLeod

Surette (2017, round 12), O'Leary (2015, round 12) and McGovern (2016, round eight) are all draft picks of the Sea Dogs while the rest were free agent invites.

The moves leave the Sea Dogs with 41 players at camp: four goalies, 14 defencemen and 23 forwards.

Here's a look at this morning's scrimmage rosters:
Goaltender Matt Williams is with the team for training camp. He was not listed on the roster released last night.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Camp roster, schedule announced

SAINT JOHN - Saint John Sea Dogs training camp will begin Tuesday morning at Harbour Station.

The Sea Dogs announced their camp roster and schedule this afternoon.

The roster features one goaltender, eight defencemen and 13 forwards. The list of players who are moving on from rookie camp, which took place last week and ended on Sunday at the Moncton Rookie Challenge, will be announced soon.

Here is the roster:
Highlighting the list is top 2018 NHL Draft prospect Joe Veleno, Boston Bruins draft pick Cedric Pare, returning netminder Alex D'Orio, and the team's new imports - Ostap Safin and Radim Salda.

Sea Dogs acquire two forwards from Volts

Embed from Getty Images

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs made a trade with the Drummondville Voltigeurs on Monday.

The Sea Dogs acquired 17-year-old forward William Poirier (11-13-1999) and 19-year-old forward Anthony Boucher (06-25-1998) from the Voltigeurs in exchange for a third-round pick in 2018, a ninth-round pick in 2018 and a fifth-round pick in 2020.

The trade has not been posted on the QMJHL website at the time of this post, but the Volts have confirmed the deal on Twitter.
Poirier, selected 18th overall by the Voltigeurs in the 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft, had six goals and 17 assists in 67 games with the Volts last season. In 128 career games, the Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Que. native has registered nine goals and 32 points.

Boucher was a second-round pick of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in 2015. In 66 games with the Volts last season, the Levis native had nine goals and 13 assists. In 122 career QMJHL games, Boucher has 11 goals and 27 assists.

While the two haven't lit up the league offensively, hopefully they can provide a bit of offence to a Sea Dogs team that is losing a lot of its goal scoring.

Both players will presumably be in Saint John this week when main training camp begins.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Wildcats win 2017 Rookie Challenge

MONCTON - The Moncton Wildcats are 2017 Rookie Challenge champions.

The host Wildcats defeated the defending champion Halifax Mooseheads fairly easily on Sunday afternoon at Superior Propane Centre, winning 6-2.

Moncton's first-round picks - Jakob Pelletier and Jaxon Bellamy - stood out once again. Pelletier scored twice and Bellamy once. Colton McKenna, Brodie MacArthur and Patrick Musico also scored. Alex MacDonald and Zachary Paradis teamed up for the win in net.

Halifax had goals from Fearghus MacDonald and Gavin Hart. Cole McLaren suffered the loss in net.
The Wildcats went 3-0 at the tournament, also defeating the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 5-3 on Friday and Saint John Sea Dogs 7-1 on Saturday.

On Sunday morning, the Screaming Eagles defeated the Sea Dogs 5-1 to claim fifth-place. The Acadie-Bathurst Titan finished third thanks to a 8-2 victory over the Charlottetown Islanders.

Here's a look at the final results (in order of finish):

Moncton Wildcats3-0-0-018-6
Halifax Mooseheads2-1-0-013-11
Acadie-Bathurst Titan2-1-0-013-8
Charlottetown Islanders1-2-0-08-17
Cape Breton Screaming Eagles1-1-0-113-12
Saint John Sea Dogs0-2-1-06-17

Pelletier finished with a tournament high five goals and eight points. Moncton's Daniil Kuzmin led the tournament in assists with four.

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 5-1

FINAL: Saint John 1, Cape Breton 5
MONCTON - The Saint John Sea Dogs are heading home without a win at the 2017 Rookie Challenge.

The Sea Dogs suffered their third straight loss on Sunday morning at Moncton's Superior Propane Centre, falling 5-1 to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Both teams entered the fifth-place game winless.

Isiah Campbell scored Saint John's lone goal. Andrew MacLeod made 11 stops in the loss while  Joel Goguen made 12 saves.

Cape Breton had a pair of goals from Antoine Rochon and Jake Martin. Nicolas Sauve also scored. Tommy DaSilva made 20 stops in the win.

It's the second straight year that Saint John went winless at the event. They fell 4-1 to Halifax, 7-3 to Moncton and 7-2 to Bathurst in 2016. This year, they lost 5-4 to Halifax (OT), 7-1 to Moncton and 5-1 to Cape Breton.

The Sea Dogs will no doubt be disappointed to go winless, but it's not overly surprising. Saint John doesn't have the prospect depth other teams currently have and they didn't have any first round picks playing this weekend. That's the cost of success in junior hockey. Saint John will surely have a better showing the next couple seasons.

Rookie Challenge Game Day: at Cape Breton (in Moncton)

MONCTON - The 2017 QMJHL Rookie Challenge will end for the Saint John Sea Dogs with a 10 a.m. contest against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles today at Moncton's Superior Propane Centre.

The Sea Dogs - Screaming Eagles match, featuring two 0-2 teams, will determine who gets fifth-place.

The third-place game features the Charlottetown Islanders and Acadie-Bathurst Titan while the first-place match sees the host Moncton Wildcats taking on defending Rookie Challenge champion Halifax Mooseheads.

TV/Radio/Webcast: None/None/Wildcats Television (YouTube)

Rosters: Saint John's 34-man rookie camp roster (18 forwards, 12 defencemen and four goalies) has been reduced to 29 players; Cape Breton's Rookie Challenge roster.

Rookie record: The Sea Dogs are 0-1-1-0 while the Screaming Eagles are 0-1-0-1.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 7-1 loss to the Moncton Wildcats last night. Ben Reid scored Saint John's lone goal. Stewart Bagnell allowed five goals on 11 shots while Joel Goguen allowed two of 14 shots. The Screaming Eagles are coming off a 6-5 shootout loss to the Charlottetown Islanders yesterday afternoon. Brooklyn Kalmikov and Antoine Rochon each scored twice for the Eagles while Nicolas Sauve added a solo marker. Daniel Thompson allowed five goals on 21 shots in the loss.

2016-17 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 6-2-0-1 against the Screaming Eagles last season while Cape Breton went 3-6-0-0 against Saint John.

Players to watch
Cape Breton: Brooklyn Kalmikov - selected 15th overall by the Screaming Eagles in this year's QMJHL Entry Draft, Kalmikov has three goals and an assist in the tournament.

Saint John: Ben Reid - an occasional call up by the Sea Dogs over the past couple seasons, the 18-year-old has scored in both of Saint John's games in Moncton.

Notes: Isiah Campbell has three assists in the tournament for Saint John... Tristan Murcure and Ian Smallwood each have two assists... Stewart Bagnell has started both of Saint John's games... Antoine Rochon has scored two goals and added an assist for Cape Breton... along with Kalmikov, the Screaming Eagles feature another first round pick in Noah Laaouan (14th overall).

Next game: The Sea Dogs begin regular pre-season play on Wednesday night when they face the Acadie-Bathurst Titan at 7 p.m. at Harbour Station.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 7-1

FINAL: Saint John 1, Moncton 7
MONCTON - The Saint John Sea Dogs will have to play in Sunday morning's fifth-place game to close out the 2017 QMJHL Rookie Challenge.

The Sea Dogs fell to 0-2 at this year's Maritimes Division event following a 7-1 loss to the Moncton Wildcats on Saturday night at the Superior Propane Centre.

Ben Reid scored Saint John's lone goal - which came late in the third period when the Wildcats were already up 6-0. Stewart Bagnell, who played well on Friday, allowed five goals on 11 shots in the loss. Joel Goguen, who played the second half of the game, allowed two goals on 14 shots.

Jakob Pelletier, the third overall pick in this year's QMJHL Entry Draft, had a hat trick for the Wildcats. Daniil Kuzmin scored twice while singles came from Jaxon Bellamy and G. Blackmore. Philippe Gaudreault made 38 stops in the win.

Saint John didn't play all that badly at times - especially in the first period. The Sea Dogs outshot the Wildcats 12-8 in the opening frame and 39-25 overall. The Wildcats certainly deserve some credit, scoring a few very nice goals.

The loss means Saint John will take on the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in Sunday's fifth-place game. Puck drop is scheduled for 10 a.m.

The third-place game, which takes place at 1 p.m., will feature the Charlottetown Islanders and Acadie-Bathurst Titan. The 4 p.m. championship contest will be between the Halifax Mooseheads and Wildcats.

Notebook: Top prospects playing like top prospects

MONCTON – Many of the QMJHL's most promising rookies have played up to their potential so far at the 2017 QMJHL Rookie Challenge in Moncton.

On Friday, Xavier Parent (picked fourth overall in the 2017 QMJHL Entry Draft) and Justin Barron (13th overall) teamed up to score in overtime, giving the Halifax Mooseheads a 5-4 victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs. Barron had two goals in the game while Parent had an assist. On Saturday, Parent added a goal and two helpers in a Moose win.

Moncton's Jakob Pelletier (third overall) had an assist on Friday while Jaxon Bellamy (16th overall) scored the game-winner in the Wildcats' 5-3 victory over Cape Breton.

Cape Breton's Brooklyn Kalmikov (15th overall) had a goal and an assist on Friday.

The Sea Dogs announced Friday morning that draft pick Samuel Leblanc and free agent Nicholas Cardone had been added to the team’s Rookie Camp roster.

Interestingly, this is Cardone’s second QMJHL Rookie Challenge event, playing in last year’s tournament with the Charlottetown Islanders.

Cardone was an 11th-round pick of Charlottetown in the 2016 QMJHL Entry Draft and a fourth-round pick of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in 2015. He appeared in 16 games with the Sags in 2015-16 and spent last year in the QJAAAHL.

There haven't been a whole lot of publicly circulated rumours about the Sea Dogs' vacant head coaching position. But one of the rumours that was floating around involved former Niagara IceDogs head coach Marty Williamson.

It seems those rumours can be put to rest as Williamson has been named the interim head coach of the Brock Badgers men's hockey team.

“It’s just as exciting as when I got my first job in the OHL. Coaching is coaching and that part of it I feel confident with, but this is a little bit of a different animal,” said Williamson in a Brock University news release. “It has kind of come full circle. I coached minor hockey helping kids get to the OHL, then in the OHL for 12 years, and now I’ll be coaching guys who are at a different point in their career working on both academics and hockey.”

Following the Sea Dogs Par 3 Celebrity Challenge on Friday at Rockwood Park Golf Course, it was announced that Jonathan Huberdeau would be the first inductee into the team's new Hall of Fame.

From the release:
The Sea Dogs Hall of Fame is a year-long project that will open in the summer of 2018. It will feature a members’ wing and Sea Dogs memorabilia accumulated since the start of the franchise in 2005. The location will be announced at a later date. 
Huberdeau will be inducted officially at a gala dinner at the 2018 Sea Dogs Par 3 Celebrity Challenge.

The Wildcats and Sherbrooke Phoenix made a significant trade on Thursday involving Quispamsis native and former Saint John Vito’s standout Anderson MacDonald.

The Wildcats traded Jeremy Jacques to the Phoenix along with a first round pick in 2018, a first round pick in 2019 and a second round pick in 2019 in exchange for MacDonald and a second round pick in 2019. Sherbrooke will reportedly receive their second-round pick back if Jacques does not report to the club.

MacDonald is projected to be a first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft by many publications. This loads up the Maritimes Division with even more high end draft eligible talent.

Rookie Challenge Game Day: at Moncton

MONCTON - The Saint John Sea Dogs look to rebound from yesterday's overtime loss when they face the host Moncton Wildcats tonight at 7 p.m. at the Superior Propane Centre.

The other games on Saturday will feature the Halifax Mooseheads taking on the Acadie-Bathurst Titan and the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles battling the Charlottetown Islanders.

TV/Radio/Webcast: None/None/Wildcats Television (YouTube)

Rookie record: The Sea Dogs are 0-1-0-0 at this year's tournament while the Wildcats are 1-0-0-0.

Last games: Saint John fell 5-4 in overtime to the Halifax Mooseheads yesterday. Ben Reid, Alexandre Lafreniere, Jeremie Jacob and Kevin Mason all scored for the Sea Dogs. Stewart Bagnell allowed one goal on nine shots while Andrew MacLeod allowed four goals on 19 shots. The Wildcats defeated the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 5-3 last night. Colton McKenna, Jacob Hudson, Derek Dicaire, Jaxon Bellamy and Daniil Kuzmin all scored for Moncton. Alex MacDonald made nine saves while Zachary Paradis made 11.

Rosters: Saint John's 34-man rookie camp roster (18 forwards, 12 defencemen and four goalies) has been reduced to 29 players; Moncton's main training camp roster.

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

Players to watch:
Moncton: Jaxon Bellamy - the 16th overall pick in the 2017 QMJHL Entry Draft, Bellamy scored the game-winner in Moncton's 5-3 win over Cape Breton last night. The Hampton native spent last season with the Saint John Vito's.

Saint John: Ian Smallwood - the 18-year-old appeared in nine games with the Saint John last season and played on the team's top defence pairing last night with Brendan Sibley.

Notes: Saint John got off to a great start last night, outshooting Halifax 12-3 in the first period... Moncton's roster features two first-round picks from this summer's draft: Jakob Pelletier (third overall) and Bellamy (16th overall).

Next game: Saint John will play a to-be-determined opponent at a to-be-determined time tomorrow at Moncton's Superior Propane Centre.

Friday, August 18, 2017

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 5-4 (OT)

FINAL (OT): Halifax 5, Saint John 4

MONCTON – The Saint John Sea Dogs dropped their first game of the 2017 Rookie Challenge on Friday afternoon.

Despite leading for much of the game and then tying things up in the final minute, the Sea Dogs fell 5-4 in overtime to the Halifax Mooseheads at Moncton’s Superior Propane Centre.

Halifax’s newest weapons – first-round picks Justin Barron and Xavier Parent – teamed up to score the overtime goal. Barron also had a goal in regulation time while singles came from Kyle Petten, Patrick Kyte and Felix Gascon. Maxime Emery made 25 saves in the loss.

Saint John goals came from Ben Reid, Alexandre Lafreniere, Jeremie Jacob and Kevin Mason. Stewart Bagnell played the first half of the game and allowed a goal on nine shots. Andrew McLeod played the second half, allowing four goals on 19 shots.

Rookie Challenge Game Day: vs Mooseheads

MONCTON - The 2017 Rookie Challenge begins today in Moncton with the Saint John Sea Dogs taking on the Halifax Mooseheads at 4 p.m.

The other games feature the Charlottetown Islanders taking on the Acadie-Bathurst Titan at 1 p.m. and the Moncton Wildcats facing the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles at 7 p.m.

TV/Radio/Webcast: None/None/YouTube

Rookie record: This is the first game of the tournament for both clubs.

Rosters: Saint John's 34-man rookie camp roster (18 forwards, 12 defencemen and four goalies) has been reduced to 29 players; Halifax's 25-man rookie camp roster (nine defencemen, 13 forwards and three goalies).

Head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 6-2-0-0 against the Mooseheads last season while Halifax went 2-6-0-0 against Saint John.

Players to watch
Halifax: Xavier Parent - the fourth overall pick in this summer's QMJHL Entry Draft, the 16-year-old forward had 55 points in 34 games in midget AAA last season.

Saint John: Alexandre Lafreniere - the 18-year-old appeared in 13 games with the Sea Dogs last year, recording a goal and two assists. He spent the rest of the year in the MHL.

Notes: Halifax won last year's tournament while Saint John finished fourth... the Mooseheads had two first round picks in this year draft, selecting Parent and Justin Barron... Saint John didn't select until the third round in this year's draft, taking Brendan Sibley 52nd overall.

Next game: The Sea Dogs take on the Moncton Wildcats at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Sea Dogs announce Rookie roster moves

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs have made their first round of reassignments.

The team announced this morning that seven players are no longer at Rookie Camp:
  • F Justin Hryckowian - leaving after 48 hours to maintain NCAA eligibility
  • F Jack Keough - leaving after 48 hours to maintain NCAA eligibility
  • F Josh MacDonald - leaving after 48 hours to maintain NCAA eligibility
  • D Tyler Hungerbuhler - leaving after 48 hours to maintain NCAA eligibility
  • F Shawn Milord - injured
  • D Lucas Fabijancic
  • D Mark Perone
Hryckowian (2017, 11th round), MacDonald (2017, 10th round) and Milord (2017, 11th round) are all draft picks of the Sea Dogs.

All seven of the players reassigned were long shots to make the Dogs' roster this year.

The team has also added forward Samuel Leblanc, who played in 54 games with Saint John last season, and free agent forward Nicholas Cardone (1999-04-30).

Saint John's Rookie Camp roster now sits at 29 players. The team begins the 2017 Rookie Challenge in Moncton this afternoon, taking on the Halifax Mooseheads at 4 p.m.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Moncton Rookie Challenge begins tomorrow

SAINT JOHN - The Moncton Rookie Challenge begins on Friday at Superior Propane Centre.

All six Maritimes Division teams will be taking part in the three day tournament. This is the second year for the event.

All six teams will dress lineups with little to no QMJHL experience. Saint John's lineup, for example, will likely feature the likes of Ian Smallwood and Alexandre Lafreniere - both of whom played with the Sea Dogs last year - along with newcomers Brendan Sibley and Aiden MacIntosh.

The Sea Dogs had 32 players take part in rookie camp this past week at Harbour Station. The team has not publicly announced any cuts yet.

Saint John's first game is on Friday at 4 p.m. against the Halifax Mooseheads. Here is the full tournament schedule:

Friday, Aug. 18
1 p.m. - Charlottetown vs Bathurst
4 p.m. - Halifax vs Saint John
7 p.m. - Moncton vs Cape Breton

Saturday, Aug. 19
1 p.m. - Bathurst vs Halifax
4 p.m. - Cape Breton vs Charlottetown
7 p.m. - Saint John vs Moncton

Sunday, Aug. 20
10 a.m. - To be determined
1 p.m. - To be determined
4 p.m. - To be determined

Halifax won last year's event. Saint John finished fourth.

Similar events are being held with the Quebec teams in Chicoutimi, Sherbrooke and Shawinigan.

Teams will use the events to decide which players receive invites to main camps next week.

The "real" pre-season begins on Wednesday for the Sea Dogs with the team hosting the Acadie-Bathurst Titan at Harbour Station.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Notes from day one of Rookie Camp

Kevin Chambers | SN Staff

The Sea Dogs opened Rookie Camp on Wednesday with a pair of scrimmages.

I checked in on the second game of the day on Wednesday afternoon which Team Blue, coached by former Sea Dogs netminder Karel St. Laurent, took by score of 4-2.

Picking up the goals for Team Blue were Isiah Campbell, Justin Hryckowian, Alexis Lyonnais, and Kevin Mason. Scoring for Team White were Josh MacDonald and Justin Lush.

Goaltenders on Wednesday were Stewart Bagnell and Joel Goguen for Team White while Andrew MacLeod tended the nets for Team Blue.

As expected, the returning players from last year's camp were impressive - the most notable being Campbell, whose large frame made him easy to spot.

Flynn joins Winterhawks staff

Danny Flynn has found a new home.

Just a few weeks after leaving his role as head coach of the Saint John Sea Dogs, the Western Hockey League's Portland Winterhawks have named Flynn an assistant coach.

The Winterhawks also added Paul Gaustad as assistant coach/player development.

“We are excited to add both Danny and Paul to our staff,” said Portland head coach and Dartmouth native Mike Johnston. “I have known Danny for a long time and consider him to be one of the best junior coaches in Canada. We are very fortunate to add him to our staff. Paul is a Winterhawks alumni who has an impressive resume as a player and is now transitioning into coaching. This year he will work with our forwards while organizing a development plan for each player on our protected list.”

Flynn surprisingly announced he was leaving the Sea Dogs on July 28 to pursue other opportunities. The 59-year-old coached the Sea Dogs for two seasons, leading the club to a President Cup title last year.

Both Flynn and Johnston are Dartmouth natives and both have coached Atlantic University Sport hockey. Johnston is a former head coach of the UNB Varsity Reds while Flynn previously led the StFX X-Men.

Flynn joins one of the top organizations in junior hockey. The Winterhawks are essentially the London Knights of the WHL. They are consistently among the league's best and are able to attract top talent.

This will be Flynn's first coaching position in the WHL. He has spent time in both the OHL and QMJHL.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Rookie camp roster, schedule released

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs have finally unveiled their rookie camp roster and schedule.

The team will begin on-ice sessions on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at Harbour Station with a scrimmage. The Dogs will hold a second scrimmage at 2 p.m. All scrimmages are open to the public and free to attend.

Thursday will follow the same schedule. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the team will take part in the QMJHL's Rookie Showcase in Moncton.

34 players will attend this year's rookie camp. According to a press release, "the list includes 18 forwards, 12 defencemen and four goalies. Twenty players were drafted by the Sea Dogs while one was acquired in a trade."

Here is the full roster (click to enlarge):
Lynden Breen, Tim Noble, Patrick Moynihan and Robert Griffin were the only 2017 Sea Dogs draft picks not included on the camp roster. Any or all could be holding out for NCAA reasons - Breen is a Maine commit while Moynihan and Griffin are American - and it will be interesting to see if any show for main camp.

The Sea Dogs' 2017 CHL Import Draft picks - Czech winger Ostap Saffin and Czech defenceman Radim Salda - were also not included, but that could be for a variety of reasons. Halifax's import pick, Filip Zadina, was not included on the Mooseheads' roster.

Rookie camp participants will look to earn an invite to main camp, which begins next week.

Sea Dogs returning to Fredericton

QMJHL hockey is returning to Fredericton.

The UNB Varsity Reds announced Tuesday that the Aitken Centre will host a pre-season game between the Saint John Sea Dogs and Moncton Wildcats on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m.

"We are so pleased to bring this rivalry to our great fans in the Fredericton region," said Sea Dogs president and general manager Trevor Georgie in the release. "We have been fortunate to have players from this area become captains and key contributors to our success over our history, and there is a strong Sea Dogs flavour to the Varsity Reds' roster as well.”

The game - which will be a Sea Dogs home contest - was not part of the team's pre-season schedules originally. The match should feature near finalized rosters with the game taking place one week before Saint John's regular season opener.

Both the Sea Dogs and Wildcats have played at the Aitken Centre previously - but never against each other. Moncton has played at the venue various times over the years while Saint John last played there during the 2006 pre-season (RIP Lewiston Maineiacs).

Here are some ticket details, via the V-Reds:

Tickets for the game go on sale at 10:00am Friday, August 18th, on-line at: 
In person sales begin Monday, August 21st, at the Aitken Centre box office, at 11:00am. 
Tickets will cost $12 for adults and $10 for seniors, students and youth.

The Varsity Reds men's hockey program will feature five Sea Dogs alumni this year: forwards Mike Thomas, Oliver Cooper and Stephen Anderson along with defenceman Matt Murphy and Olivier LeBlanc.

The Sea Dogs will play three games at this weekend's Rookie Showcase in Moncton followed by five "real" pre-season games. The first "real" game will be next Wednesday, Aug. 23 at Harbour Station against Bathurst.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Veleno, Canada win Ivan Hlinka gold

Joe Veleno is an Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup gold medalist.

Veleno captained Team Canada to a 4-1 victory over the Czech Republic in the tournament's gold medal game on Saturday. The Saint John Sea Dogs forward scored what proved to be the game-winning goal early in the second period.
Jared McIsaac, Kevin Bahl and Jack McBain also scored for the Canadians, who suffered just one loss - a shootout defeat to Russia - during the tournament. Olivier Rodrigue made 18 saves in the win.

Veleno, who became the first player to play for Canada twice at the Ivan Hlinka, finished the tournament with two goals and five assists in five games. He had four assists in four games last year.

The strong performance by Veleno will likely help boost his stock for the 2018 NHL Draft and increase his chances of making Canada's world junior team. But there's a lot of time between now and when those events take place.

Veleno, Canada go for gold today

Joe Veleno and Team Canada will play for gold today at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup.

The Canadians advanced to the gold medal game with a 4-1 victory over Sweden in the semifinals yesterday. Canada will take on the Czech Republic, who defeated Russia 2-1 in the other semifinal.

Puck drop is scheduled for noon Atlantic time.

Veleno had another assist in yesterday's game, giving him a goal and five points in four games.
Here's Veleno speaking after the game.

Team Canada also features Quispamsis native and Sherbrooke Phoenix forward Anderson MacDonald.

Gursoy signs with Sea Dogs

According to Kevin Gursoy‏, Kevin Gursoy‏ has signed with the Saint John Sea Dogs.

After tweets started to swirl around Twitter on Friday morning, Gursoy confirmed the news with a tweet of his own.
Gursoy is the first free agent signing news to come out of Sea Dogs land this off-season. The team is expected to release its training camp roster early this week ahead of the Moncton Rookie Challenge.

An 18-year-old forward from LaSalle, Ont., Gursoy put up strong numbers with the GOJHL - a junior 'B' league - Chatham Maroons last season, posting 30 goals and 32 assists in 50 regular season games. He added six goals and five assists in nine playoff matches.

According to Elite Prospects, the 5'11", 176 lbs forward was named to the GOJHL (Western) Rookie All-Star Team.

Prior to playing with the Maroons, Gursoy spent two seasons with the Windsor Jr. Spitfires midget program.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Veleno, Canada look to play for gold

Joe Veleno and Team Canada look to advance to the gold medal game of the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup today.

The Canadians can advance to the final with a victory over Sweden in the semifinals. The other semi features Russia and the Czech Republic.

Game time for both semifinals is 2 p.m. Atlantic.

Canada finished second in Group B - behind Russia - with a 2-0-1 record. The team's only defeat was a shootout loss to the Russians.

Veleno currently sits 10th in tournament scoring with a goal and four assists in three games. He had fours assists in four games last year.

The Canadian captain netted his first goal of the tournament in Wednesday's 6-1 win over Slovakia.
The Hockey Canada website has an article on Veleno, who is the first player to ever play twice for Canada at the Hlinka.

The gold and bronze medal games will be held tomorrow at noon.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Veleno earns two assists in Canada win

Joe Veleno and Team Canada earned their first win of the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup on Tuesday in Slovakia.

Veleno recorded two assists in Canada's 5-1 victory over Finland, improving the team's record to 1-0-1. It was a strong showing for the Canadians after falling 4-3 in a shootout to Russia on Monday.

Canada scored three power play goals on Tuesday. Both of Veleno's assists came on the man advantage, setting up Calen Addison's second period goal and Jack McBain's third period marker.

Veleno, Canada's captain, now has three assists in two games at this year's tournament. He had four assists in four games last year.

Canada will play their final preliminary round game on Wednesday at 2 p.m. against Slovakia. According to the Hockey Canada website, "a win over the tournament co-hosts would send the Canadians to the semifinals on Friday."

Veleno, meanwhile, was named one of the player's to watch at this year's tournament by FanRag Sports.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Veleno nets nice shootout goal in Hlinka loss

Joe Veleno and Team Canada dropped their first game of the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup on Monday in Slovakia, falling 4-3 in a shootout to Russia.

Veleno, who is Canada's captain, had an assist in the game scored a sweet goal in the shootout.
The Saint John Sea Dogs forward was listed on the team's second line with Gabriel Fortier and Luka Burzan.

Friday, August 4, 2017

2017-18 Sea Dogs ticket details released

The Saint John Sea Dogs unveiled single game ticket details this week.

There aren't a lot of changes this year after the huge overhaul the ticket structure went through last summer. Harbour Station has been divided into four pricing zones and the team's home games are designated either best value, regular or premium.

Here's a look at the 34-game home schedule:
Only six matches are designated as "premium games," three of which are against the rival Moncton Wildcats. Eight games are designated as "best value games," all of which will played mid-week. The remaining games are "regular."

Tickets to best value games in Zone D are just $9 for adult, senior and student and $8 for youth.

Full pricing details can be found of the Sea Dogs website.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Veleno named to Team Canada again

Saint John Sea Dogs forward Joe Veleno has been named to Canada's roster for the annual Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup tournament.

It's the second straight year Veleno has been named to the under-18 squad. Last year, the 17-year-old recorded four assists in four games.

The 22 players who will represent Canada from Aug. 7-12 in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Bratislava, Slovakia were announced on Tuesday.

Veleno was one of eight QMJHL players named to the team, a promising number for a league that could use a strong 2018 NHL Draft. Joining the Sea Dogs forward are Gabriel Fortier (Baie-Comeau), Benoit-Olivier Groulx (Halifax), Anderson MacDonald (Sherbrooke), Noah Dobson (Bathurst), Jared McIsaac (Halifax), Alexis Gravel (Halifax) and Olivier Rodrigue (Drummondville).

Of note, all three Maritime provinces are represented on this year's team: McIsaac (Truro, NS), Dobson (Summerside, PEI) and MacDonald (Quispamsis, NB).

Team Canada, who has been holding a selection camp in Calgary over the past few days, will open the tournament next Monday against Russia.

The summer tournament will be held in Edmonton next year.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Reports: Head coaching rumours begin

Rumours and speculation over who the Saint John Sea Dogs are considering for their head coaching position have begun.

According to Craig Eagles, who broadcasts QMJHL games on Rogers TV, Marty Williamson's name has popped up.
Williamson has over a decade of head coaching experience in the OHL, leading the Barrie Colts from 2004 to 2010 and the Niagara IceDogs from 2010 until his firing in 2016 (he was also the general manager in Niagara). He reached the OHL playoffs every season and appeared in the league final twice, losing both times.

Meanwhile, Jon Goyens, the head coach of the Lac St-Louis Lions, is expected to interview for the position, according to a report.
The Lions have been one of the best midget AAA programs in the country over the past five years or so. The club has developed a significant amount of QMJHL talent, including Sea Dogs forward Joe Veleno.