Friday, April 20, 2018

QMJHL semifinals begin tonight

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League semifinals begin tonight.

The Acadie-Bathurst Titan and Victoriaville Tigres will meet in one semifinal while the Blainville-Bosibriand Armada and Charlottetown Islanders will meet in the other.

The Titan, Tigres and Armada were all expected to reach this stage, with the Islanders being the only surprise (in fairness, Charlottetown has surprised all season long, so perhaps it isn't a surprise at all, at this point).

While Isles are coming off the high of a sweep of the highly skilled Halifax Mooseheads, they'll have their hands full with the Armada. Blainville-Boisbriand has had a smooth run through the post-season so far with their only blemish being a messy Game 4 loss to the Moncton Wildcats last round.

The Armada are the No. 1 ranked team and are the favourites to win this season.

The other matchup has the potential to be the best series of these playoffs. The Titan are the No. 2 seed while the Tigres are the No. 6 - but Victoriaville's lineup is probably much better than their regular season record shows.

The Titan had some trouble in the first round with the Sherbrooke Phoenix but didn't have any difficulties in the second, sweeping the Sherbrooke Phoenix. The Tigres, meanwhile, need five games to eliminate both the Gatineau Olympiques in the first round and Drummondville Voltigeurs in the second.

The semifinals begin tonight at 7 p.m. in Bathurst and 8:30 p.m. in Boisbriand, respectively.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Sea Dogs' magical draft lottery run ends

The dynasty run is over.

The Saint John Sea Dogs' streak of QMJHL draft lottery wins came to an end on Thursday night in Montreal, finishing in second place. Before the 2018 event, the Sea Dogs had won all five draws they had taken part in in franchise history.

Saint John had the highest odds (nine balls - a 43% chance of winning) but finished second behind the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. The Sags had just two of the 20 balls in the draw and the second lowest odds of victory.
Unlike the previous years the Sea Dogs were victorious in the draw, the event involved five teams instead of two. The new format was introduced last year to reduce tanking. The new format has certainly been effective as this marked the second year the team with the highest odds did not win. Last year, the Rimouski Oceanic had the third best odds of winning and ended up with the first overall pick.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

QMJHL draft lottery takes place tonight

The five-time draft lottery champion Saint John Sea Dogs will put their dynasty - and perfect record - on the line tonight in Montreal.

The Sea Dogs have, incredibly, been apart of five draft lotteries previously heading into tonight's showdown. For a team that just completed their 13th season and given the amount of on-ice success the franchise has had, the amount of draft lottery participation is striking.

Even more striking is the fact that Saint John has won all of the draws they have been involved in in the past - but all those featured just two teams. This year's draw will feature five clubs, a format that started last year to try and reduce tanking.

The Sea Dogs will have the most balls in the draw - and, therefore, the best odds at winning the first overall selection. Per lottery rules put in place by the league, Saint John can fall no lower than third - which happened to the Moncton Wildcats (who had the most balls in the draw) last year.

Saint John will have nine balls in tonight's draw, giving them a 43% chance of winning. The Shawinigan Cataractes will have six balls, Charlottetown Islanders (acquired from the Val-d’Or Foreurs) three, Chicoutimi Sagueneens two and the Sherbrooke Phoenix (acquired from the Moncton Wildcats) one. The probability of winning the draw was based off the league’s regular season standings.

Tonight's event begins at 8 p.m. AST at TVA studios in Montreal. It can be watched on TVA Sports.

The 2018 QMJHL Entry Draft takes place Saturday, June 2 in Shawinigan.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Playoff Update: A night of upsets

Embed from Getty Images

Three Games 7s, three upsets.

It was an incredible night in QMJHL playoff action as all three road teams were victorious in Game 7, setting up a set of very unlikely second round matchups.

The biggest of the upsets saw the No. 14 seed Moncton Wildcats defeat the No. 3 seed Rimouski Oceanic 6-3. The Oceanic were able to fire just 20 shots on Moncton netminder Mark Grametbauer, who became the story of the series after being called out by Rimouski's head coach.

The victory is one of the biggest upsets in QMJHL history and marks the second straight season that the No. 3 seed has been eliminated in the first round. Last year, Val-d'Or defeated Shawinigan in six games.

The junior careers of former Sea Dogs Samuel Dove-McFalls (Rimouski's captain) and Chase Stewart ended in the loss.

In Quebec City, the Charlottetown Islanders and Quebec Remparts entered the third period tied 2-2 and appeared destined for overtime - then Charlottetown exploded for six goals, going on to an 8-3 victory. Pascal Aquin scored for goals for Charlottetown, three of which came in the third period.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Official attendance numbers up again

Officially, Saint John Sea Dogs attendance increased for a fourth straight season in 2017-18.

The Sea Dogs averaged 4,257 fans per game, an slight increase of 56 fans per match compared to 2016-17. The average is the fourth highest in team history and largest since the 2011-12 campaign.

While the official numbers say Saint John's attendance was up this season, we're confident in saying attendance was actually down compared to last year. The difference between the announced attendance and people in the building seemed to be a lot larger than in past seasons. Attendance numbers are always inflated (in every city - not just Saint John), but they were inflated a lot on many nights.

It's hard to say how many fans the Sea Dogs actually averaged this year, but attendance was decent given the on-ice product. Saint John recorded 14 wins in the regular season, setting a franchise low.

Here's a look at Saint John's attendance through the years.

SeasonTotalAverage
2005-06156,6944,477 (4th)
2006-07134,3543,839 (6th)
2007-08139,2143,978 (5th)
2008-09133,6133,930 (5th)
2009-10140,7794,141 (4th)
2010-11152,2374,478 (4th)
2011-12155,0604,561 (3rd)
2012-13135,7323,992 (4th)
2013-14116,3803,423 (5th)
2014-15121,7823,582 (5th)
2015-16123,3993,629 (4th)
2016-17142,8294,201 (3rd)
2017-18144,7234,257 (4th)

The Sea Dogs finished fourth in QMJHL attendance this year, sitting behind Quebec (9,002), Halifax (7,210) and Moncton (4,289). The league averaged 3,195 fans per game, an increase from the 2016-17 average of 3,169.

The Acadie-Bathurst Titan averaged 1,903 fans per game, which was their highest average since 2007-08 (2,178).

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Playoff Update: Game 7s coming up

The first round of the 2018 President Cup playoffs has proven to be one of the better ones in recent memory.

There will be at least two Games 7s - and potentially a third - on Tuesday night in the QMJHL. Both the Moncton Wildcats and Sherbrooke Phoenix have forced their series to a seventh and deciding match with wins Sunday afternoon.

The Acadie-Bathurst Titan, meanwhile, finally dispatched the No. 15 seeded Chicoutimi Sagueneens, winning Game 6 by score of 5-1.

In Moncton, Mark Grametbauer made 40 saves in the Wildcats' 2-1 victory. The first star performance follows the bizarre comments made by Oceanic head coach Serge Beausoleil about the Moncton netminder.
Beausoleil tried to clarify his comments on Sunday.
It's been a great and close series between the Oceanic and Wildcats, which is not something we see too often between the third and 15th seeded teams. This series definitely deserves a seventh game - and it should be a good one.

Sea Dogs fans unhappy with front office change

Saint John Sea Dogs fans are voicing their displeasure over the team's decision to drop long-time radio voice Tim Roszell from his full-time position.

News broke on Tuesday that the Sea Dogs had let Roszell go from his full-time role as manager of media and communications/play-by-play announcer. The position will no longer be a full-time role, but part-time.

Roszell has been offered the part-time position with the team, which would include broadcasting home games on webcast along with some communications work. No one else has been offered the role and the team is waiting for Roszell's decision before moving forward.

The Sea Dogs, at this time, are not planing on having radio broadcasts next season, we are told. Whether there will be a free audio stream of games - and if so, how many games - as a replacement is not yet known.

A petition has been started by fans to bring Roszell's full-time role back. At the time of this writing, the petition had 382 supporters.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Playoff Update: Wildcats, Titan still playing

RIMOUSKI - The Moncton Wildcats are on the brink of elimination while the Acadie-Bathurst Titan are a win away from the second round.

The Wildcats went down 3-2 in their series with the Rimouski Oceanic last night, losing a close game that ended with a 5-2 score. Samuel Dove-McFalls had a goal and an assist for Rimouski while Chase Stewart had an assist. Game 6 is Sunday in Moncton.

In Bathurst, the Titan defeated the pesky Chicoutimi Sagueneens 4-1 to take a 3-2 series lead. Game 6 is on Sunday in Chicoutimi.

The Charlottetown Islanders will look to take a 3-2 series lead this afternoon at Eastlink Centre. The Isles evened up their series with the Remparts last night with a 4-2 win. Today's match will be the final game of the series played in Charlottetown.

The only other series still going in Sherbrooke/Rouyn-Noranda. The Huskies took a 3-2 series lead last night with a 4-1 home win. Luke Green remains out of the Phoenix lineup.

Elsewhere, Halifax won their series against Baie-Comeau 4-1, Blainville-Boisbriand swept Val-d'Or 4-0, Drummondville eliminated Cape Breton 4-1 and Victoriaville moved on with a 4-1 series win over Gatineau.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Draft lottery details announced

Details have been released on this year's Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft lottery.

The draw, which will feature teams that finished in the bottom five of the league's overall standings (or the teams that hold those picks), will take place on Thursday, April 5 at 8 p.m. AST at TVA studios in Montreal. The event will air on TVA Sports.

Below are the odds each team has:
Of note, the Sea Dogs, who finished last, can not finish lower than third. While the odds are obviously in their favouring in terms of picking first or second, they could fall down to No. 3, which happened to the Moncton Wildcats last year.

Here is some more info, from a league press release:

After the team which will select during the first rank of the entry draft is determined, all the balls representing the team involved are removed from the draw. This process is repeated each time a team is drawn. However, if the Saint John Sea Dogs who finished last in the standing are not picked during the first or the second lottery draw, they will automatically be awarded the third draft pick overall. Equally, if according to the process described previously, the team that finished at the last rank is awarded automatically the third draft pick overall, or was selected during the first or the second draw, while the Shawinigan Cataractes who finished next to last have not yet been selected, then they will be automatically awarded the fourth draft pick overall.

The Sea Dogs have won every draft lottery they have taken part in previously - however, this will be the first time they take part in the five team process, rather than the two team format.

Saint John has selected first overall five times in team history - an incredible amount given the success the team has had in such a short period.

The 2018 QMJHL Entry Draft takes place on Saturday, June 2 in Shawinigan.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Playoff Update: The playoffs are still good

Folks, this isn't your grandfather's first round.

The days of eight lopsided first round series seem to be over (for now at least) as five of this year's are tied up after two games. Even the three series that are 2-0 have had their close moments.

As mentioned on Friday, hopefully this is an early sign of things to come. Even with the Saint John Sea Dogs not involved, who doesn't love some good playoff hockey?

Here's a look at each series after two games.

Armada 2 - Foreurs 0
The Armada had their troubles in Game 1, needing overtime to defeat the No. 16 seed Foreurs. They seemed to figure things out in Game 2, winning 5-1. The series now shifts to Val-d'Or, where there will surely be a good atmosphere.

Titan 1 - Sagueneens 1
The Titan are the heavy favourites in this series, but suffered one of their worst loses in months on Saturday, falling 4-0 to the No. 15 seed Sagueneens on hime ice. Bathurst was good enough, but not great, in Game 1. We've seen the Chicoutimi franchise play the upset role in the past, so the Titan will need to be careful here. This is a 2-2-1-1-1 scheduling format.

Oceanic 1 - Wildcats 1
Another surprising series has been Wildcats/Oceanic, where Rimouski, the No. 3 seed, could easily be down 2-0 right now. After pulling off a big 4-1 upset win in Game 1, Moncton nearly took Game 2 but fell 2-1 in overtime. Alexis Lafreniere, who most guessed would be a Wildcat at this point a year ago, scored the overtime winner. Samuel Dove-McFalls assisted on both Rimouski goals.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Playoff Update: We're off to a good start

Embed from Getty Images

The President Cup playoffs are off to an entertaining start.

The playoffs have only been rolling for a couple days but, if those days are an indication of things to come, this could be a fun post-season.

Friday night was highlighted by the Moncton Wildcats upsetting the heavily favoured Rimouski Oceanic in Game 1, winning 4-1. The Oceanic are the No. 3 seed while the Wildcats are No. 14.

Here's a breakdown of Friday's action:

  • Alexis Lafreniere was held pointless by the Wildcats in the Oceanic loss. Rimouski captain Samuel Dove-McFalls had one assist. Chase Stewart will likely have to sit out Saturday's Game 2 after being given an aggressor game misconduct in the first period.
  • Bathurst went down early but didn't have much trouble after that, recording a 3-1 win over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens to take a 1-0 series lead. Big crowd of 2,815 on hand.
  • The Halifax Mooseheads beat the Baie-Comeau Drakkar 5-2 in Game 1 of that series. The Drakkar scored first and ended up outshooting Halifax 38-26 - thanks mostly to seven power play opportunities. Alexis Gravel had a good night in net.
  • As expected, the Victoriaville Tigres had little trouble with the Gatineau Olympiques, taking Game 1, 7-2. Gatineau only had 17 shots on goal. Vitalii Abramov had a million points to make Olympiques fans suffer a bit more.
  • After a Game 1 scare, the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada had little trouble with the Val-d'Or Foreurs in Game 2, winning 5-1. Samuel Leblanc had two shots for the Armada. The Armada lead the series 2-0.
  • Joe Veleno was held pointless in the Drummondville Voltigeurs' 5-2 Game 1 win over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Declan Smith had an assist for Cape Breton.
  • There was another upset on Friday - but a much minor one - with the No. 10 Sherbrooke Phoenix defeating the No. 7 Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 2-1 in Game 1. The Phoenix have never won a playoff series.
  • The Charlottetown/Quebec series begins on Saturday at Videotron Centre.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Seven Sea Dogs alumni win U Sports medals

FREDERICTON - Former Saint John Sea Dogs forward Mark Tremaine and the StFX X-Men suffered another heart breaking loss in the gold medal game of the University Cup.

After falling in the gold medal game to the UNB Varsity Reds in 2016, Tremaine and the X-Men fell once again this year, losing 4-2 to the Alberta Golden Bears.

In his three-year career with the X-Men, Tremaine now has two Atlantic University Sport titles and two U Sports silver medals.

The loss came 24 hours after a thrilling 5-4 overtime win over the rival Varsity Reds in the national semifinal. Tremaine had an assist in that game.
Ex-Sea Dog Marcus Cuomo is also apart of the X-Men but did not play in the tournament.

Five former Sea Dogs won bronze medals with the Varsity Reds, who defeated the Saskatchewan Huskies 5-4 in overtime in Sunday morning's third-place game. Mike Thomas, Stephen Anderson, Matt Murphy, Olivier LeBlanc and Oliver Cooper all picked up hardware.

Cooper did not play in the tournament, but the other four all made an impact. LeBlanc perhaps had the biggest impact - in a negative way, unfortunately - as he took a momentum swinging and controversial kneeing major in Saturday's semifinal.

Tremaine, Cuomo, Anderson, Murphy, LeBlanc and Cooper are all eligible to return to their teams/schools in the fall. For Thomas, this was his final year of eligibility, capping off what has been a little over a decade of having a prominent hockey presence in the province.

Thomas will no doubt be featured in the near future in the Sea Dogs' new Hall of Fame.

Sea Dogs have best odds of landing top pick

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs will have the best odds of landing the first overall pick in the 2018 QMJHL Entry Draft.

With a loss on Saturday in Cape Breton, the Sea Dogs officially finished last overall in the 18-team Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Unlike past seasons when the Sea Dogs missed the post-season, there will be an actual lottery rather than a coin flip or 50/50 odds.

Under the new system, which began last year, the 18th place team will have nine chances of winning the first overall pick, 17th place will have six, 16th will have three, 15th will have two and 14th will have one.

Previously, only the bottom two teams had a chance at landing the first pick. Saint John won every time they took part in that format.

The move was made to reduce teams tanking. It certainly worked as the last-place Moncton Wildcats, who tanked, ended up picking third last year while the 16th-place Rimouski Oceanic picked first.

The draft lottery will be held around the first week of April, so the Sea Dogs will know where they are picking soon.

Saint John also owns Gatineau's first round pick in this year's draft, which will be eighth.
In HockeyProspect.com's latest rankings, Fredericton-born forward Josh Lawrence is the top rated prospect. Currently playing in the United States, Lawrence is already committed to Boston University for the 2020-21 season.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 8-3

FINAL: Saint John 3, Cape Breton 8
Lorne Webster | SN Staff 

SYDNEY, NS – The Saint John Sea Dogs closed out their 2017-18 QMJHL season with a 8-3 loss at the hands of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles Saturday afternoon at Sydney's Centre 200.

Overage centre Phelix Martineau led Cape Breton with a four point performance - including a hat trick - in his final regular season performance in Sydney. Former Sea Dog Isiah Campbell added a goal and two assists, while Ian Smallwood also gained a degree of revenge against his former team with a goal as well. Import Egor Sokolov, along with rookies Brooklyn Kalmikov and Ryan Francis added single goals for the hosts. Kevin Mandolese had seven saves on nine shots in the first two periods and rookie Ryan Miller added another seven saves on eight shots in the final frame.

Rookie defenceman Brendan Sibley led Saint John with a goal - his first in the QMJHL - and an assist, while Robbie Burt and Cole Reginato also scored for the Sea Dogs. Rookie netminder Tommy DaSilva - a former Screaming Eagle draft choice - had 32 saves in defeat.

Game Day 68: at Cape Breton

SYDNEY, NS - The Saint John Sea Dogs close out the 2017-18 season this afternoon in Sydney.

The Sea Dogs will play their final game of the campaign at 4 p.m. at Centre 200 against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. It will be the second meeting between the two in less than 24 hours after the Screaming Eagles edged the Sea Dogs 3-2 last night.

The Sea Dogs must win today to avoid setting the team record for fewest wins in a season. On the flip side, a win today may push the Dogs into 17th overall, which would slightly decrease the odds of landing the first overall pick.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 14-42-9-2 for 39 points (6th Maritimes, 18th QMJHL) while the Screaming Eagles are 31-28-6-2 for 70 points (4th Maritimes, 12th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs and Screaming Eagles met last night with Cape Breton coming out on top 3-2. Cape Breton goals came from Phelix Martineau, Brooklyn Kalmikov and Isiah Campbell. Kevin Mandolese made 21 stops in the win. Luke Wilson scored both Saint John goals. Tommy DaSilva made 38 saves in the loss.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 2-3-3-0 against the Screaming Eagles this season while Cape Breton is 6-2-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Last night. See above.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Screaming Eagles: Forward Isiah Campbell and defenceman Ian Smallwood.

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 3-2

FINAL: Saint John 2, Cape Breton 3
SYDNEY, NS - Luke Wilson scored twice in the Saint John Sea Dogs' Friday night loss to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

Wilson scored the game's first goal and the last in the Sea Dogs' 3-2 road loss. Saint John has now lose 15 straight road games heading into Saturday's season finale, which will also be played at Sydney's Centre 200.

Wilson now has five goals and three assists in 37 games with Saint John. Wilson, along with other Christmas callups like Aiden MacIntosh and Kevin Mason, have given Sea Dogs fans some optimism heading into a long off-season.

Tommy DaSilva had a strong night in net, making 38 stops in the loss. With Alex D'Orio and Matthew Williams both injured, the Sea Dogs were forced to sign local high school goaltender Owen MacPhee as an emergency backup.

Cape Breton goals came from Phelix Martineau, Brooklyn Kalmikov and Isiah Campbell. Kevin Mandolese made 21 stops in the win.

Saint John must win Saturday's game to avoid setting the franchise record for fewest wins in a regular season.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Game Day 67: at Cape Breton

SYDNEY, NS - The Saint John Sea Dogs take on the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles tonight at 7 p.m.

While the Sea Dogs have already eliminated from playoff contention, the Screaming Eagles are still jockeying for position. The team will finish either 12th or 13th overall in the QMJHL standings.

These two also meet tomorrow afternoon to close out the 2017-18 regular season.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 14-41-9-2 for 39 points (6th Maritimes, 18th QMJHL) while the Screaming Eagles are 30-28-6-2 for 68 points (4th Maritimes, 12th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 7-3 loss in Halifax on Wednesday. Cedric Pare, Aiden MacIntosh and Ben Reid scored for Saint John. Tommy DaSilva was pulled after allowing six goals on 31 shots through 40 minutes of action. Stewart Bagnell made eight saves in the third. The Screaming Eagles are coming off a 9-3 loss in Moncton on Wednesday. Olivier Bourret, Shaun Miller and Egor Sokolov scored for Cape Breton. Kevin Mandolese allowed three goals on seven shots. Kyle Jessiman allowed six goals on 26 shots in relief.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 2-2-3-0 against the Screaming Eagles this season while Cape Breton is 5-2-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Feb. 7 at Harbour Station where the Screaming Eagles defeated the Sea Dogs 4-0. Brooklyn Kalmikov, Phelix Martineau, Shaun Miller and Ross MacDougall scored for Cape Breton. Kevin Mandolese made 17 saves in the shutout. Alex D'Orio made 32 stops in the loss.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Screaming Eagles: Forward Isiah Campbell and defenceman Ian Smallwood.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

University Cup begins today

FREDERICTON - The University Cup begins today at UNB's Fredericton campus.

Eight teams will be competing for the U Sports national men's hockey championship. Quarterfinal action takes place today and Friday; the semifinals are on Saturday; and the bronze and gold medal games take place on Sunday.

Saturday's semifinals and Sunday's final will be broadcast nationally on Sportsnet 360.

Several former Sea Dogs will be taking part in the tournament again this year - and all of them will be in action today. Here's who will be playing:

Scott Oke - Concordia Stingers
Marc-Antoine Turcotte - Concordia Stingers 
Marcus Cuomo - StFX X-Men
Mark Tremaine - StFX X-Men 
Mike Thomas - UNB Varsity Reds
Stephen Anderson - UNB Varsity Reds
Matt Murphy - UNB Varsity Reds
Olivier LeBlanc - UNB Varsity Reds
Oliver Cooper - UNB Varsity Reds

Today's games feature the No. 4 Brock Badgers taking on the No. 5 StFX X-Men at 1 p.m. The 7 p.m. contest will see the host and No. 1 seeded UNB Varsity Reds take on the No. 8 Concordia Stingers. Friday's quarterfinals will feature the Alberta Golden Bears (2) taking on the Acadia Axemen (7) at 1 p.m. and the McGill Redmen (3) facing the Saskatchewan Huskies (6) at 7 p.m.

UNB is considered the favourite - but not my a whole lot. The Golden Bears are always good, and the X-Men - who are seeded low because they didn't win their conference - are certainly contenders as well.

The Varsity Reds, who feature a ridiculous (in a good way) five former Sea Dogs, will be looking to win their third straight University Cup championship.

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 7-3

FINAL: Saint John 3, Halifax 7
HALIFAX - The Saint John Sea Dogs lost their 14th straight road game on Wednesday night.

The Halifax Mooseheads scored four times in the second period in a 7-3 win over the Sea Dogs at Scotiabank Centre.

Halifax jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period but a goal by Cedric Pare put the Dogs down by just one heading into the second. After the teams exchanged goals early in the second, Halifax scored three straight to take control.

Benoit-Olivier Groulx scored twice for Halifax while singles came from Jared McIsaac, Brett Crossley, Joel Bishop, Ben Higgins and Barrett Dachyshyn. Alexis Gravel made 28 saves in the win.

Pare, Aiden MacIntosh and Ben Reid scored for Saint John. Tommy DaSilva got the start in net and allowed six goals on 31 shots through 40 minutes of action. Stewart Bagnell made eight saves in the third period.

Saint John has two games remaining on their 2017-18 season schedule.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Game Day 66: at Halifax

HALIFAX - The final stretch of the Saint John Sea Dogs' 2017-18 season begins tonight.

The Sea Dogs will play their next three and final games of the season over the next few days. The stretch of road games begins this evening in Halifax with a 7 p.m. tilt against the Mooseheads.

The Mooseheads are still in the hunt for a Maritimes Division title, and the Sea Dogs will look to play spoiler tonight.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 14-40-9-2 for 39 points (6th Maritimes, 17th QMJHL) while the Mooseheads are 41-17-6-1 for 89 points (2nd Maritimes, 4th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 6-4 loss to the Moncton Wildcats on Saturday at Harbour Station. Cole Reginato scored twice while singles came from Anthony Boucher and Cedric Pare. Alex D'Orio made 28 saves in the loss. The Mooseheads are coming off a 3-2 loss to the Titan in Bathurst on Saturday. Filip Zadina scored both Halifax goals. Alexis Gravel made 40 saves in the loss.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 2-4-1-0 against the Mooseheads this season while Halifax is 5-2-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Feb. 9 in Saint John where the Sea Dogs doubled up the Mooseheads 6-3. Ostap Safin and Robbie Burt each scored twice while singles came from Anthony Boucher and Ben Reid. Otto Somppi, Filip Zadina and Xavier Parent scored for Halifax. Alex D'Orio made 28 saves in the win. Blade Mann-Dixon made 36 stops in the loss.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Mooseheads: Goaltender Blade Mann-Dixon.

D'Orio named Sea Dogs MVP

The Saint John Sea Dogs held their annual awards banquet on Tuesday night at the Delta Brunswick.

To the shock on nobody, goaltender Alex D'Orio took home the major piece of hardware, winning the team's Most Valuable Player Award. He also won the Three Stars Award. 

There weren't many surprises at this year's awards show. Here's the full list of winners:

Bell Aliant Most Valuable Player: Alex D'Orio
Alpine Three Stars: Alex D'Orio
Grant Thornton Rookie of the Year: Ostap Safin
Pepsi Top Scorer: Ostap Safin
Scotiabank Community Service: Bailey Webster
Irving Oil Team Player: Bailey Webster
Sun Life Global Investments Top Defenceman: Radim Salda
Saint John Airport Academic Player of the Year: Matt Green

D'Orio is the fourth goaltender to be named Sea Dogs MVP, joining Jason Churchill (2005-06), Sebastien Auger (2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15) and Marc-Antoine Turcotte (2015-16).

The Sea Dogs wrap up the 2017-18 season this week with three road games.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Maritimes Division still unsettled

While the bottom of the Maritimes Division has been solidified, the top is still very much up for grabs.

The Saint John Sea Dogs will finish last in the division this season after finishing first the past two. With their loss on Saturday, the Sea Dogs confirmed their position outside the league's playoff picture and will finish either 17th or 18th overall.

This will be the first time since 2014 that the Sea Dogs have missed the playoffs and the fourth time in franchise history.

The top of the Maritimes Division is still uncertain as we enter the final week of the regular season. The Acadie-Bathurst Titan pulled two points ahead of the Halifax Mooseheads for top spot with a huge 3-2 home win on Saturday in front of a national television audience.

Both the Titan and Mooseheads have three games remaining on their schedules. Here's a look at what's left for them:

Halifax 
Wednesday vs Saint John
Friday vs Moncton
Saturday vs Bathurst 
Bathurst 
Tuesday vs Charlottetown
Friday at Charlottetown
Saturday at Halifax

Halifax definitely has the easier schedule, but the fact that there is still one head-to-head meeting remaining makes things a lot more fun.

The Charlottetown Islanders will finish third in the Maritimes while the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles will finish fourth and the Moncton Wildcats fifth.

The Blainville-Boisbriand Armada will finish first overall in the league and will have home ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Dixon suspended two games for stick toss

Saint John Sea Dogs head coach Josh Dixon will miss two of his team's final three games.

The QMJHL announced on Sunday that Dixon has been suspended for two games for "inappropriate behaviour." Saint John, eliminated from playoff contention, has three games remaining on their schedule, all of which are road games.

The incident took place late in Saturday's Sea Dogs loss to the Moncton Wildcats. After a controversial penalty was called against Saint John - which essentially ended any chance of the Sea Dogs tying the game - Dixon began yelling at an official, eventually breaking a stick over the boards and tossing it on the ice.
Dixon is very mild mannered, and was even praised by president and general manager Trevor Georgie in a Rogers TV interview on the weekend for being a calm presence on the bench. His actions were certainly surprising - but most Sea Dogs followers seemed to like their coach displaying some visible signs of emotion.

Dixon, in his first year with the club, and the entire Sea Dogs coaching staff will no doubt be evaluated once the season ends this Saturday.

Jeff Cowan will presumably operate the Sea Dogs bench in Dixon's absence.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

FINAL: Sea Dogs lose 6-4

FINAL: Moncton 6, Saint John 4
SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs dropped their final home game of the season on Saturday night.

The Moncton Wildcats edged the Sea Dogs 6-4 in a back-and-forth affair at Harbour Station. The Sea Dogs never trailed until late in the second - and they were never able to even things up or take the lead again.

The loss officially eliminated the Sea Dogs from playoff contention, even with three games remaining on their schedule. Saint John will finish with just eight home wins all season, which is a franchise low.

Jeremy McKenna scored twice for Moncton while singles came from Alexander Khovanov, James Phelan, Anderson MacDonald and Brady Pataki. Mark Grametbauer made 34 stops in the win.

Cole Reginato, playing in his final game at Harbour Station, scored two goals for Saint John. Anthony Boucher and Cedric Pare also netted goals. Alex D'Orio made 28 saves in the loss.

Game Day 65: vs Wildcats

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs play their final home game of the regular season tonight at Harbour Station.

The Sea Dogs are still alive in the QMJHL's playoff race, but need a miracle to slide ahead of the 16th-place Val-d'Or Foreurs with just four games remaining.

Saint John will take on the Moncton Wildcats this evening in what will be the final meeting of the season between the two rivals. Game time is 7 p.m.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 14-39-9-2 for 39 points (6th Maritimes, 17th QMJHL) while the Wildcats are 25-31-5-3 for 58 points (5th Maritimes, 15th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 6-4 loss to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan last night at Harbour Station. Cole Reginato, Anthony Boucher, Nathan Larose and William Poirier scored for Saint John. Matthew Williams made 28 saves through 40 minutes while Tommy DaSilva made 15 stops in the third. The Wildcats are coming off a 4-2 loss to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Wednesday in Sydney. Jack Tucker and James Phelan scored for Moncton. Mark Grametbauer made 17 saves in the loss.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 3-3-2-0 against the Wildcats this season while Moncton is 5-1-1-1 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Feb. 21 at Harbour Station where the Wildcats defeated the Sea Dogs 4-3 in overtime. Alexander Khovanov, Nicholas Welsh, James Phelan and Jeremy McKenna scored for Moncton. Anthony Boucher scored twice for Saint John while William Poirier added a single. Mark Grametbauer made 23 saves in the win. Alex D'Orio made 45 saves in the loss.

Friday, March 9, 2018

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 6-4

FINAL: Bathurst 6, Saint John 4
SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs blew a two-goal lead in a 6-4 loss to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Friday.

The Sea Dogs were up 2-0 and 3-1 at times but could not hang on, losing a back-and-forth affair to their provincial rivals at Harbour Station. The victory was Bathurst's sixth straight and moves them into a tie for first place in the Maritimes Division with the Halifax Mooseheads.

Like the last meeting between the two, the Titan got off to a slow start. This time they fell down 2-0 and then 3-1, but slowly climbed back. Bathurst tied the game at 4-4 late in the second and then took their first lead of the night with 32 seconds remaining. They would never trail again.

Antoine Morand scored twice for Bathurst while singles came from Olivier Galipeau, Adam Holwell, Jeffrey Truchon-Viel and Mitchell Balmas. Joseph Murdaca made 28 stops in the win.

Cole Reginato, Anthony Boucher, Nathan Larose and William Poirier scored for Saint John. Matthew Williams made 28 stops in 40 minutes of action. Tommy DaSilva played the third period, making 15 saves.

Game Day 64: vs Titan

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs and Acadie-Bathurst Titan meet for the final time this season tonight at Harbour Station.

The Sea Dogs ended a 10-game losing streak on Wednesday night at home, pulling off a surprising win over the Charlottetown Islanders. Saint John will be looking for just their second win in the past 10 games.

Game time tonight is 7 p.m.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 14-38-9-2 for 39 points (6th Maritimes, 17th QMJHL) while Titan are 39-15-7-2 for 87 points (2nd Maritimes, 4th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 5-3 win over the Charlottetown Islanders on Wednesday night at Harbour Station. Ostap Safin scored twice while singles came from Luke Wilson, Alexis Girard and Aiden MacIntosh. Alex D'Orio made 42 saves in the win. The Titan last played on Sunday at Harbour Station, defeating the Sea Dogs 6-4. Jeffrey Truchon-Viel scored twice while solo markers came from Antoine Morand, Mitchell Balmas, Ethan Crossman and Noah Dobson. Joseph Murdaca made 25 saves in the win.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 1-7-0-0 against the Titan this season while Bathurst is 7-1-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: This past Sunday at Harbour Station where the Titan defeated the Sea Dogs 6-4. Jeffrey Truchon-Viel scored twice while solo markers came from Antoine Morand, Mitchell Balmas, Ethan Crossman and Noah Dobson. Saint John goals came from Cole Reginato, Anthony Boucher, Nathan Larose and Ben Reid. Joseph Murdaca made 25 saves in the win. Alex D'Orio made 60 stops in the loss.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

RECAP: Sea Dogs win 5-3

FINAL: Charlottetown 3, Saint John 5
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SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs recorded a surprising win on Wednesday night at Harbour Station.

Despite allowing the game's first goal just 37 seconds in, the Sea Dogs won a back-and-forth affair with the Charlottetown Islanders, ending a 10-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory.

Ostap Safin scored a pair of goals, giving him 26 on the season and tying the Sea Dogs franchise record for a goals in a single season by a rookie. Luke Wilson, Alexis Girard and Aiden MacIntsoh added solo markers for Saint John.

After facing 66 shots on Sunday, Alex D'Orio had a lighter night, making 42 saves in the win.

Nikita Alexandrov, Taylor Egan and Derek Gentile all scored for Charlottetown. Matthew Welsh made 19 saves in the loss.

Saint John's last victory came on Feb. 9 at Harbour Station when the team pulled off a major upset, defeating the division-leading Halifax Mooseheads 6-3.

Game Day 63: vs Islanders

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs' home schedule continues to wind down.

The Sea Dogs will play their third-to-last home game of the season tonight at Harbour Station, hosting the Charlottetown Islanders at 7 p.m.

The Sea Dogs will be looking to snap a 10-game losing streak.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 13-38-9-2 for 37 points (6th Maritimes, 18th QMJHL) while the Islanders are 34-22-6-0 for 74 points (3rd Maritimes, 9th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 6-4 loss to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Sunday afternoon at Harbour Station. Cole Reginato, Anthony Boucher, Nathan Larose and Ben Reid all scored for Saint John. Alex D'Orio made 60 stops in the loss. The Islanders are coming off a 6-3 win in Moncton on Saturday. Pascal Aquin had a hat trick; Brett Budgell scored twice; and Cameron Askew added a solo marker. Matthew Welsh made 38 saves in the win.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 2-5-1-0 against the Islanders this season while Charlottetown is 6-1-1-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Feb. 25 at Eastlink Centre where the Islanders defeated the Sea Dogs 5-3. Nikita Alexandrov, Cayse Ton, Brett Budgell, Thomas Casey and Daniel Hardie all scored for Charlottetown. Radim Salda, William Poirier and Cole Reginato scored for Saint John. Matthew Welsh made 16 saves in the win. Alex D'Orio made 43 stops in the loss.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Sea Dogs nearing team records they probably don't want to set

Things have not gone well for the Saint John Sea Dogs this season.

With six games remaining in their season, the Sea Dogs need a miracle to make the playoffs. It's probably for the best that they don't, improving their chances of landing the first overall pick and avoiding a steamrolling by the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the opening round.

Saint John's season has been bad - historically bad. The Sea Dogs need to win two of their six remaining games just to tie the franchise record for fewest wins in a season. They need three to move ahead of the mark.

Historically, the Sea Dogs have always been solid on home ice. That has not been the case this season as the team is nearing the worst home record in franchise history.

Here's a breakdown of Saint John's overall and home records through the years.

SeasonOverallHome
2017-1813-38-9-2 (37)7-17-5-2 (21)
2016-17^48-14-5-1 (102)25-6-3-0 (53)
2015-1642-20-6-0 (90)23-9-2-0 (48)
2014-1532-26-4-6 (74)20-9-2-3 (45)
2013-14*19-44-2-3 (43)10-21-1-2 (23)
2012-1323-44-1-0 (47)13-21-0-0 (26)
2011-12^50-15-0-3 (103)28-5-0-1 (57)
2010-11^58-7-1-2 (119)32-0-1-1 (66)
2009-1053-12-1-2 (109)26-7-0-1 (53)
2008-0934-30-2-2 (72)18-14-2-0 (34)
2007-0844-22-4-3 (89)25-5-3-2 (55)
2006-07*20-47-1-2 (43)14-19-1-1 (30)
2005-06*15-47-2-6 (38)9-20-1-5 (24)
*Missed playoffs
^Won championship

The "loser points" the Sea Dogs have earned this year have at least helped the team's point total. Saint John has lost an incredible nine times in overtime, which ties them with the 1985-86 Longueuil Chevaliers and 2015-16 Moncton Wildcats for the second most in league history.

While the Sea Dogs' numbers are bad, they are not overly surprising. This is a team that is essentially in year zero of a rebuild; they traded away their captain; they lost their two top offensive players for a month at the world juniors; and they have been hit by the injury bug more than any other Sea Dogs team in recent memory.

There is really nowhere to go but up from this season.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 6-4

FINAL: Saint John 4, Bathurst 6
SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs held off the Acadie-Bathurst Titan as long as they could, but it wasn't enough on Sunday afternoon at Harbour Station.

Despite being heavily outshot all game by the Titan, the two teams were tied 1-1 after one and 2-2 after two. The Titan blew things open early in the third, but the Sea Dogs were still able to hang around. Despite managing to keep the score close, Saint John fell 6-4.

Alex D'Orio was once again tremendous in net, giving Saint John a chance. He made 60 saves in the loss, surpassing his previous career high for shots faced (58) and saves made (55) in a game.

The 66 shots the Sea Dogs allowed was a team record for most in a game. The 31 shots allowed in the second period was the most the franchise has ever allowed in a single period.

Jeffrey Truchon-Viel scored twice while singles came from Antoine Morand, Mitchell Balmas, Noah Dobson and Ethan Crossman. Backup goaltender Joseph Murdaca made 25 saves in the win.

Cole Reginato, Anthony Boucher, Nathan Larose and Ben Reid scored for Saint John.

The loss was Saint John's 10th straight. The team has six games remaining on their schedule, including three straight home games that are coming up this week.

Game Day 62: vs Titan

SAINT JOHN - Things could be going better for the Saint John Sea Dogs.

The Sea Dogs carry a nine-game losing streak into this afternoon's contest against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. The team is coming off an ugly 7-3 loss on home ice to the Victoriaville Tigres last night and will play their third game in three days today.

Puck drop this afternoon is 2 p.m.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 13-37-9-2 for 37 points (6th Maritimes, 18th QMJHL) while the Titan are 38-15-7-2 for 85 points (1st Maritimes, 3rd QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 7-3 loss to the Victoriaville Tigres last night at Harbour Station. Nathan Larose, Cole Reginato and Aiden MacIntosh scored for Saint John. Alex D'Orio made 42 stops in the loss. The Titan are coming off a 5-3 loss in Moncton last night. Jeffrey Truchon-Viel scored twice while singles came from Noah Dobson, Antoine Morand and German Rubtsov. Evan Fitzpatrick made 19 saves in the win.

2017-18 head-to-head: Saint John is 1-6-0-0 against Bathurst this season while the Titan are 6-1-0-0 against the Sea Dogs.

Last games: The Titan defeated the Sea Dogs 5-1 on Friday night in Bathurst. Liam Murphy had a hat trick while singles came from Noah Dobson and Adam Holwell. Kevin Mason scored Saint John's lone goal. Evan Fitzpatrick made 21 saves in the win. Matthew Williams made 38 saves in the loss.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 7-3

FINAL: Victoriaville 7, Saint John 3
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SAINT JOHN - The Victoriaville Tigres and Saint John Sea Dogs continue to head in opposite directions.

With a 7-3 win over the Sea Dogs on Saturday night at Harbour Station, the Tigres have now won six straight games, taking all three matches on a Maritime road trip that featured stops in Halifax, Bathurst and Saint John.

The Sea Dogs, meanwhile, have now lost nine straight games. With seven games remaining in their season, the team has been all but eliminated from playoff contention.

The first period of Saturday's contest was played fairly even, but a four-goal second period would be all the Tigres would need. Maxime Comtois scored twice for Victoriaville while singles came from Dominic Cormier, Chase Harwell, Simon Lafrance, Vitalii Abramov and Jimmy Huntington. Tristan Cote-Cazenave made 24 saves in the win.

Nathan Larose, Cole Reginato and Aiden MacIntosh scored for Saint John. Alex D'Orio made 42 saves in the loss.

Game Day 61: vs Tigres

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs will face a tough opponent tonight at Harbour Station.

The Victoriaville Tigres, who sit sixth overall in the QMJHL standings, are in town to face the Sea Dogs. Game time is 7 p.m.

Saint John has lost eight straight games while Victoriaville has won five straight.

TV/Radio/Webcast: Rogers TV/96.1 NewSongFM/QMJHL Live

Records: The Sea Dogs are 13-36-9-2 for 37 points (6th Maritimes, 18th QMJHL) while the Tigres are 36-20-4-2 for 78 points (6th Maritimes. 2nd East).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 5-1 loss in Bathurst last night. Kevin Mason scored Saint John's lone goal while Matthew Williams made 38 saves in the loss. The Tigres are coming off a big 9-0 win in Charlottetown last night. Ivan Kosorenkov scored four goals while singles came from Vitalii Abramov, Mathieu Sévigny, Maxime Comtois, Simon Lafrance and Vincent Lanoue. Etienne Montpetit made 31 saves in the shutout.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 0-1-0-0 against the Tigres this season while Victoriaville is 1-0-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Jan. 11 in Victoriaville where the Sea Dogs fell 5-2 to the Tigres. Maxime Comtois scored two goals for Victoriaville while singles came from Felix Lauzon, Jeremie Beaudin and Vitalii Abramov. Cole Reginato and Ben Reid scored for Saint John. Tristan Côté-Cazenave made 16 saves in the win. Matthew Williams made 33 stops in the loss.

Friday, March 2, 2018

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 5-1

FINAL: Saint John 1, Bathurst 5
Embed from Getty Images

BATHURST - A three-goal second period propelled the Acadie-Bathurst Titan past the Saint John Sea Dogs on Friday night.

Liam Murphy scored two of his three goals on the second stanza, leading the Titan to a 5-1 win over the Sea Dogs at the KC Irving Regional Centre. Saint John has now lost eight straight games overall and 13 straight on the road.

Along with Murphy's hat trick, Bathurst had goals from Noah Dobson and Adam Holwell. Evan Fitzpatrick made 21 saves in the victory.

Kevin Mason scored Saint John's lone goal. Matthew Williams made 38 saves in the loss.

Game Day 60: at Bathurst

BATHURST - The Saint John Sea Dogs play the first game a three-in-three tonight in Bathurst.

The Sea Dogs have lost seven straight games and are inching closer to being eliminated from playoff contention. They sit seven points back of the final playoff spot with nine games to play.

Game time this evening is 7 p.m.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 13-35-9-2 for 37 points (6th Maritimes, 18th QMJHL) while the Titan are 36-15-7-2 for 81 points (2nd Maritimes, 4th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 5-3 loss in Charlottetown on Sunday afternoon. Radim Salda, William Poirier and Cole Reginato scored. Alex D'Orio made 43 saves in the loss. The Titan are coming off a 3-2 overtime win in Charlottetown on Tuesday. Jordan Maher, Liam Murphy and Antoine Morand scored for Bathurst. Evan Fitzpatrick made 23 stops in the win.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 1-5-0-0 against the Titan this season while Bathurst is 5-1-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Jan. 26 in Bathurst where the Titan defeated the Sea Dogs 5-1. Mitchell Balmas, Antoine Morand, Olivier Galipeau, German Rubtsov and Marc-Andre LeCouffe scored for Bathurst. Cedric Pare scored Saint John's goal. Evan Fitzpatrick made 16 saves in the win. Alex D'Orio made 35 stops in the loss.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

FINAL: Sea Dogs lose 5-3

FINAL: Saint John 3, Charlottetown 5
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CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - The Saint John Sea Dogs dropped a close one on Sunday in Charlottetown, falling 5-3 to the Islanders.

The loss extends Saint John's overall losing streak to seven games. The team has also lost 12 straight on the road.

Nikita Alexandrov, Cayse Ton, Brett Budgell, Thomas Casey and Daniel Hardie scored for Charlottetown. Matthew Welsh made 16 saves in the win.

Radim Salda, William Poirier and Cole Reginato scored for Saint John. Alex D'Orio made 43 stops in the loss.

Game Day 59: at Charlottetown

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - The Saint John Sea Dogs are on the road this afternoon.

The Sea Dogs take on the Charlottetown Islanders today at 3 p.m. at Eastlink Centre. The two met on Thursday night at Harbour Station, where the Islanders won 6-3. Neither team has played a game since.

The Sea Dogs will be looking to end a six-game losing streak.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 13-34-9-2 for 37 points (6th Maritimes, 18th QMJHL) while the Islanders are 32-21-5-0 for 69 points (3rd Maritimes, 9th QMJHL).

Last games: These two met on Thursday night at Harbour Station where the Islanders defeated the Sea Dogs 6-3. Pierre-Olivier Joseph had two goals for Charlottetown while singles came from Nikita Alexandrov, Daniel Hardie, Olivier Desjardins and Hunter Drew. Alexis Girard, Cole Reginato and Kevin Mason scored for Saint John.. Dakota Lund-Cornish made 28 stops in the win. Matthew Williams made 33 saves in the loss.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 2-4-1-0 against the Islanders this season while Charlottetown is 5-1-1-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: This past Thursday. See above.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 6-3

FINAL: Charlottetown 6, Saint John 3
SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs dropped their sixth straight game on Thursday night at Harbour Station.

The Charlottetown Islanders scored three goals in the second period en route to a 6-3 win over the Sea Dogs.

Pierre-Olivier Joseph scored twice while singles came from Daniel Hardie, Nikita Alexandrov, Olivier Desjardins and Hunter Drew. Dakota Lund-Cornish made 28 saves in the win.

Alexis Girard, Cole Reginato and Kevin Mason had goals for Saint John. Matthew Williams made 33 saves in the loss.

The loss keeps Saint John six points back of the Val-d'Or Foreurs, who currently hold the league's final playoff spot. The Sea Dogs have 10 games remaining on their schedule.

Game Day 58: vs Islanders

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs play the second game of a rare mid-week stretch of back-to-back home matches tonight at Harbour Station.

The Charlottetown Islanders are in town, who were also in action last night - and also lost in overtime.

Game time this evening is 7 p.m.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 13-33-9-2 for 37 points (6th Maritimes, 18th QMJHL) while the Islanders are 31-21-5-0 for 67 points (3rd Maritimes, 9th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 4-3 overtime loss to the Moncton Wildcats last night at Harbour Station. Anthony Boucher scored both Saint John goals while William Poirier added a single. Alex D'Orio made 45 saves in the loss. The Islanders are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to the Halifax Mooseheads last night at Eastlink Centre. Daniel Hardie and Nikita Alexandrov scored for Charlottetown. Matthew Welsh made 32 saves in the loss.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 2-3-1-0 against the Islanders this season while Charlottetown is 4-1-1-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Feb. 2 at Harbour Station where the Islanders defeated the Sea Dogs 5-2. Daniel Hardie scored twice for Charlottetown while singles came from Thomas Casey, Sullivan Sparkes and Nikita Alexandrov. Saint John goals came from Ostap Safin and Luke Wilson. Matthew Welsh made 21 stops in the win. Alex D'Orio was pulled after allowing four goals on 24 shots in just under 32 minutes of action. Matthew Williams made 13 stops in relief.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 4-3 (OT)

FINAL: Moncton 4, Saint John 3 (OT)
Embed from Getty Images

SAINT JOHN - The Moncton Wildcats ended a six-game losing streak with a 4-3 overtime win over the Saint John Sea Dogs on Wednesday night at Harbour Station.

It certaintly wasn't an easy win for the Wildcats. Despite outshooting Saint John 49-26 overall, Moncton never led by more than two goals. Two third period goals by the Sea Dogs - one that probably shouldn't have counted and one shot Mark Grametbauer should have stopped - sent the game into overtime. Jeremy McKenna secured the victory 49 seconds into overtime.

Alexander Khovanov, Nicholas Welsh and James Phelan also scored for Moncton. Grametbauer made 23 stops in the win.

Once again, Alex D'Orio gave Saint John a chance in this game. He made 45 saves on the night, facing 37 shots in the first two periods combined.

Anthony Boucher scored a pair for Saint John while William Poirier added a solo marker.

The Sea Dogs' struggles keep on chugging along as the season slowly grinds to an end. The Dogs have now lost five straight games.

Game Day 57: vs Wildcats

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs return to home ice this evening, hosting the Moncton Wildcats at 7 p.m.

The Sea Dogs have lost four straight games - dropping all three matches on their Quebec road trip last week - and are just 1-7-2-0 in their last 10 games. Saint John sits seven points back of the league's final playoff spot with 12 games to go, making a win tonight critical for the Dogs' slim playoff hopes.

Game time is 7 p.m. at Harbour Station.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 13-33-8-2 for 36 points (6th Maritimes, 18th QMJHL) while the Wildcats are 23-27-5-3 for 54 points (5th Maritimes, 13th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 5-3 loss in Rouyn-Noranda on Saturday. Ben Reid, Robbie Burt and Ostap Safin scored Saint John goals. Matthew Williams made 55 saves in the loss. The Wildcats are coming off an 8-3 loss to the Rimouski Oceanic on home ice on Sunday. Adam Capannelli, Jakob Pelletier and Dylan Seitz scored for Moncton. Mark Grametbauer allowed two goals on two shots before being pulled. Matthew Waite allowed six goals on 32 shots in relief.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 3-3-1-0 against the Wildcats this season while Moncton is 4-1-1-1 against Saint John.

Last meeting: These two haven't met since New Year's Eve in Moncton where the Wildcats defeated the Sea Dogs 5-1. Jeremy McKenna scired twice for Moncton while singles came from Jakob Pelletier, Adam Capannelli and Daniil Miromanov. Saint John's lone goal came from Kevin Gursoy. Mark Grametbauer made 19 saves in the win. Alex D'Orio made 34 stops in the loss.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 5-3

FINAL: Saint John 3, Rouyn-Noranda 5
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ROUYN-NORANDA, Que. - A third period comeback fell short for the Saint John Sea Dogs on Saturday.

The Sea Dogs, down 4-0 through 40 minutes, scored three times in a 1:14 stretch in the third period, getting within one of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. The Huskies scored not long after the flurry of goals, giving the home side some insurance and ultimately a 5-3 victory.

Saint John dropped all three games of this Quebec trip and have now lost 11 straight road games. With the Val-d'Or Foreurs picking up a point on Saturday, the Sea Dogs now sit seven points back of the league's final spot with 12 games remaining in the regular season.

The Huskies led 2-0 after one and 4-0 after two on Saturday. Mathieu Boucher, Samuel Naud, Tommy Beaudoin and Alexis Arseneault all scored for Rouyn-Noranda.

The Sea Dogs began to turn things around at 6:26 of the third when Ben Reid scored to get Saint John on the board. Then at 7:09, Robbie Burt scored to make it 4-2 which was followed by an Ostap Safin goal 31 seconds later.

At 8:35, Justin Bergeron scored to put a stop to Saint John's momentum. That would make it a 5-3 final.

Rouyn-Noranda backup goaltender Zachary Emond made 17 saves in the win.

Matthew Williams had a very busy night in net, making 55 saves in the loss. The 60 shots faced and 55 saves made were both career highs.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Game Day 56: at Rouyn-Noranda

ROUYN-NORANDA, Que. - The Saint John Sea Dogs play the final game of their Quebec road trip tonight against the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.

The Sea Dogs have lost the first two games of this trip - and 10 straight road games overall.

Saint John will be in tough this evening, facing a team that sits sixth overall in the league and is very good on home ice. Game time tonight is 8 p.m.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 13-32-8-2 for 36 points (6th Maritimes, 18th QMJHL) while the Huskies are 32-16-5-3 for 72 points (3rd West, 6th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss in Val-d'Or last night. Ostap Safin scored both Saint John goals while Alex D'Orio made 33 saves in the loss. The Huskies are coming off a 2-1 home loss to the Charlottetown Islanders last night. Peter Abbandonato scored Rouyn-Noranda's lone goal. Samuel Harvey made 35 saves in the loss.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 1-0-0-0 against the Huskies this season while Rouyn-Noranda is 0-0-1-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Oct. 29 at Harbour Station where the Sea Dogs defeated the Huskies 5-4 in overtime. Ostap Safin scored two Saint John goals while singles came from Anthony Boucher, Cole Reginato and Radim Salda. Peter Abbandonato, Tyler Hinam, Mathieu Boucher and Jacob Neveu scored for Rouyn-Noranda. Matthew Williams made 26 saves in the win. Samuel Harvey made 24 stops in the loss.

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 3-2 (OT)

FINAL: Saint John 2, Val-d'Or 3 (OT)
Embed from Getty Images

VAL-D'OR, Que. - The Saint John Sea Dogs dropped a crucial game on Friday night, falling 3-2 in overtime to the Val-d'Or Foreurs at the Air Creebec Centre.

While the Sea Dogs did earn a point, the loss puts the team six points back of the Foreurs for the league's final playoff spot. With 13 games remaining, and with Shawinigan sandwiched between the two teams, the Dogs are in tough to make the post-season.

Ostap Safin stayed hot on Friday, scoring both Saint John goals. The Sea Dogs had a much better offensive display than they have had in some time, outshooting their opponent 37-36 - which included 18 shots apiece in the third period.

Adam Cheezo scored in the first period and Nathan Hudgin connected at 15:18 of the third, putting Val-d'Or up 2-0. But two late regulation time goals from Safin - one a shorthanded marker at 17:53 and one with the goaltender pulled at 19:10 - evened things up at 2-2.

Ivan Kozlov scored just 29 seconds into overtime, giving Val-d'Or the extra point.

Mathieu Marquis made 35 stops in the win. Alex D'Orio made 33 saves in the loss.

The Foreurs ended an eight-game losing streak with the win. Saint John has now lost 10 straight road games.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Game Day 55: at Val-d'Or

VAL-D'OR, Que. - If the Saint John Sea Dogs want to make the post-season, winning tonight's match is a near necessity.

The Sea Dogs sit five points back of the Val-d'Or Foreurs, who own the league's final playoff spot. The two meet tonight at Val-d'Or's Air Creebec Centre tonight at 8:30 p.m.

A loss tonight would put Saint John seven points back with 13 games remaining in the regular season - a massive hill to climb for a team that has struggled to string wins together.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 13-32-7-2 for 35 points (6th Maritimes, 18th QMJHL) while the Foreurs are 18-32-2-2 for 40 points (6th West, 16th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 6-1 loss in Sherbrooke on Wednesday night. Ostap Safin scored Saint John's lone goal while Alex D'Orio made 41 stops in the loss. The Foreurs are coming off an 8-0 loss in Rouyn-Noranda on Wednesday. Jonathan Lemieux made 34 saves in the loss.

2017-18 head-to-head: Oct. 28 at Harbour Station where the Sea Dogs fell 4-2 to the Foreurs. Mathieu Nadeau had two goals for Val-d'Or while singles came from David Noel and Alexandre Couture. Cole Reginato and Kevin Gursoy scored for Saint John. Etienne Montpetit made 31 saves in the win. Alex D'Orio made 28 stops in the loss.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Foreurs: Forward Julien Tessier.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 6-1

FINAL: Saint John 1, Sherbrooke 6
Embed from Getty Images

SHERBROOKE, Que. - The Saint John Sea Dogs dropped the first game of a three-game Quebec road trip on Wednesday night.

Yaroslav Alexeyev netted a hat trick in the Sherbrooke Phoenix's 6-1 win over the Sea Dogs at the arena-with-a-really-name. Hugo Roy, Nicolas Roy and Thomas Gregoire added solo markers while Thommy Monette made 15 saves in the victory.

Ostap Safin scored Saint John's lone goal. Alex D'Orio made 40 saves in the loss.

Saint John has now lost nine straight road games. The team heads north to take on the Val-d'Or Foreurs and Rouyn-Noranda Huskies on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

The Sea Dogs once again struggled to consistently generate offence and were outshot 47-16 by the Phoenix. Saint John went 0/2 on the power play.

Game Day 54: at Sherbrooke

SHERBROOKE, Que. - The Saint John Sea Dogs will look to rebound from Saturday's disappointing home loss tonight in Sherbrooke.

The Sea Dogs fell 8-5 to the Shawinigan Catarctes on Saturday, blowing a 3-0 first period lead. The loss pushed Saint John into last place overall and five points back of the final playoff spot.

Game time in Sherbrooke this evening is 8 p.m.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 13-31-7-2 for 35 points (6th Maritimes, 18th QMJHL) while the Phoenix are 22-22-7-4 for 55 points (5th West, 12th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off an 8-5 home loss to the Shawinigan Cataractes on Saturday at Harbour Station. Ostap Safin, Radim Salda, Anthony Boucher, Robbie Burt and Kevin Gursoy all scored for Saint John. Tommy DaSilva made 32 stops in his QMJHL debut. The Phoenix are coming off a 4-3 home shootout loss to the Gatineau Olympiques on Sunday. Mathieu Olivier, Samuel Poulin and Luke Green scored for Sherbrooke. Brendan Cregan made 14 stops in the loss.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 0-1-0-0 against the Phoenix this season while Sherbrooke is 1-0-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Nov. 9 at Harbour Station where the Phoenix edged the Sea Dogs 5-4. Nicolas Poulin scored twice for Sherbrooke while singles came from Yaroslav Alexeyev, Hugo Roy and Benjamin Tardif. Anthony Boucher, Matt Green, Kevin Gursoy and Radim Salda scored for Saint John. Evan Fitzpatrick made 31 stops in the win. Alex D'Orio made 34 saves in the loss.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Playoff hopes are still alive

The Saint John Sea Dogs' playoff hopes took a hit with Saturday's ugly 8-5 loss to the Shawinigan Catarctes.

The loss pushed Saint John back into the league's basement at 18th overall, one point back of the 17th place Cataractes and five points back of the 16th-place Val-d'Or Foreurs - the team that currently holds the league's final playoff spot.

There's still some hockey to be played, but gaining five points to pull even with Val-d'Or - and leapfrog Shawinigan - will not be a simple task given Saint John's recent struggles. Saint John and Val-d'Or have 15 games remaining while Shawinigan has 14.

As last Friday's win against Halifax showed, anything is possible. But Saint John will need to take advantage of some of the more "winnable" games remaining on their schedule - like this Friday's in Val-d'Or - if they want to make the playoffs.

The Sea Dogs have not missed the playoffs since the 2013-14 season. Even if the team does sneak into the post-season this year, the club will be massive underdogs going up against the league's top team.

As the Rimouski Oceanic showed last season, making the playoffs is no longer the end of the world in a rebuilding season. The Oceanic made the playoffs but, thanks to the league's new lottery system, won the first overall pick.

The bottom five clubs will all be included in the lottery. Saint John has won all the lotteries they have been involved in previously - but those lotteries featured just two clubs.

The Sea Dogs also own Gatineau's first round pick in this year's QMJHL Entry Draft, but the Olympiques have not fallen as far as expected after selling at the trade deadline. Gatineau currently sits 10th overall and, at this point, probably won't fall much further.