Friday, December 9, 2016

Zboril invited to Czech camp

The Saint John Sea Dogs officially announced on Friday that Jakub Zboril has received an invite to the Czech Republic's world junior camp.

According to a press release, "the 2015 first-round selection of the Boston Bruins received an invitation to camp this week from the Czech Ice Hockey Association. He is scheduled to depart for the training camp this weekend."

According to the Telegraph-Journal this week, Zboril is "slated to leave Monday."

Given that Zboril is in his 19-year-old season, a first-round NHL pick and played at last year's world juniors, one would think he has a very good chance of making this year's Czech squad.

At last year's event, Zboril had one assist and 31 (!) penalty minutes in five games.

Zboril is having a strong season with Saint John, recording six goals and 11 assists in 19 games.

Sea Dogs defenceman Thomas Chabot and forward Mathieu Joseph will depart soon for Team Canada's world junior camp in Blainville-Boisbriand. Meanwhile, former Dog Nikita Li, who played in this year's Canada Russia Series, has been invited to Russia's camp.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Thursday, December 8, 2016

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 4-3 (OT)

FINAL: Victoriaville 4, Saint John 3 (OT)
Kevin Chambers | SN Staff

SAINT JOHN – An undermanned Saint John Sea Dogs squad blew a late lead and dropped an 4-3 overtime decision to the Victoriaville Tigres on Thursday night at Harbour Station.

Alexandre Goulet tied the game at 19:19 of the third period and then rookie Ivan Kosorenkov netted his second of the game at 2:21 of overtime to give the Tigres the extra point. Felix Lauzon had Victoriaville's other goal. Olivier Tremblay made 22 saves in the win.

The goal scorers for the Sea Dogs were Matthew Highmore with two and Mathieu Joseph. Alex Bishop had an unusually busy night, stopping 39 of the 43 shots he faced.

To the notes…

  • The Sea Dogs opened the scoring at 11:06 of the first when Highmore banged home a rebound during a four-on-three power play.
  • The Tigres evened the game at 1-1 at 1:06 of the second period when Lauzon went top shelf over Bishop’s blocker. 
  • Joseph capitalized on a Tigres turnover at 7:51 of the middle frame, wristing a shot past Tremblay to make it 2-1 Sea Dogs. 
  • Highmore netted his second goal of the night at 10:09, firing a shot past Tremblay to extend Saint John's lead to 3-1. 
  • The Sea Dogs then got into some penalty trouble and the Tigres were able to capitalize. At 17:03,  Kosorenkov tapped home a loose puck to make it 3-2. 
  • The Tigres pulled Tremblay late in the third and were able to even the contest at 3-3 with 43.7 second left as Goulet slid a loose puck past a downed Bishop. 
  • In the OT there was lots of back and forth action but it was Kosorenkov that fired the game winner past Bishop at 2:21. 
  • Nathan Noel missed the game after suffering an upper body injury on Wednesday. 
  • Luke Green moved up to play wing with Spencer Smallman and Bokondji Imama. 
  • Joe Veleno once again took warmup but did not play. He continues to get closer to a return.
  • Highmore picked up his 200th career point on his first goal of the night. He ended the game with a goal and two assists.
  • Joseph scored his league leading 25th goal of the season and extended his point streak to 18 games. 

GAME DAY 31: vs Tigres

The Saint John Sea Dogs (20-7-2-1, 1st Maritimes, 1st QMJHL) play the second of mid-week back-to-back home games tonight against the Victoriaville Tigres (15-11-3-1, 3rd East, 7th QMJHL). Game time at Harbour Station is 7 p.m.

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

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 4-0 win over the Moncton Wildcats last night at Harbour Station. Matthew Highmore, Kyle Ward, Mathieu Joseph and Bokondji Imama scored for Saint John. Alex D'Orio made 19 saves for his first QMJHL shutout. The Tigres are coming off a 5-2 win over the Sherbrooke Phoenix on Sunday at home. Mathieu Ayotte had a pair of goals while singles came from James Phelan, Felix Lauzon and Alexandre Goulet. James Povall made 35 stops in the victory.

2016-17 head-to-head: This is the first meeting of the season between the two.

2015-16 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 0-2-0-0 against the Tigres last season while Victoriaville went 2-0-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Feb. 6 at Harbour Station where the Tigres defeated the Sea Dogs 5-4. Marc Beckstead, Mario Huber, Mathieu Ayotte, Alexandre Goulet and Vincent Lanoue all scored for Victoriaville. Mathieu Joseph had a pair of goals for Saint John and Nathan Noel and Luke Green added solo markers. Olivier Tremblay made 39 saves in the win. Alex Bishop allowed four goals on 21 shots before being pulled. Matthew Williams made five saves on six shots in relief.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Tigres: None

Random stat: With last night's shutout, Alex D'Orio is now 9-2 with a 2.34 GAA and .902 SV%.

Three Things to Know
1. This is the start of a three-game road trip for the Tigres, who will also make stops in Moncton and Cape Breton.

2. Mathieu Joseph extended his point streak to 17 games last night.

3. Victoriaville is a fairly solid 6-2-1-1 in their last 10 and are on a 3-0-1-1 run. Meanwhile, Saint John is 8-1-0-1 in their last 10 and have won two straight.

RECAP: Sea Dogs win 4-0

FINAL: Moncton 0, Saint John 4
Kevin Chambers | SN Staff

SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Sea Dogs' return home did not disappoint, posting a 4-0 shutout victory over the Moncton Wildcats on Wednesday night.

The goal scorers for the Sea Dogs were Matthew Highmore, Kyle Ward, Mathieu Joseph and Bokondji Imama. Alex D’Orio stopped all 19 shots he faced to pick up the first shutout of his QMJHL career.

Dominik Tmej stopped 21 of the 25 shots sent his direction in the Wildcats net.

To the notes…
  • The Sea Dogs got on the board first at 11:49 of the opening period when Highmore redirected a pass from Samuel Dove-McFalls past Tmej, making it 1-0 Sea Dogs. 
  • Ward scored in his second straight game at 7:53 of the middle frame, firing a laser wrist shot past Tmej to make it 2-0 Dogs. 
  • Joseph extended the Sea Dogs lead to 3-0 at 13:02 of the second when he finished off a two-on-one play with Highmore. 
  • Imama got in on the act at 1:47 of the third period, picking up his 16th of the season when he fired a wrist shot past the stretched out Wildcats goaltender. That gave the Sea Dogs a comfortable 4-0 edge. 
  • Sea Dogs head coach Danny Flynn coached his 500th QMJHL game on Wednesday - and it came against his former team. 
  • The Sea Dogs returned to the CHL Top 10 Rankings this week, coming in at No. 6. It's the highest ranking amongst QMJHL squads. 
  • Prior to the game, Joseph was named Player of the Month for November while Joe Veleno was named the Student of the Month. 
  • Bailey Webster returned to the lineup for the first time since suffering an upper body injury on Nov. 18.
  • Highmore has reached 199 points in his QMJHL career. 
  • Joseph extended his point streak to 17 games. 
  • Nathan Noel was injured early in the second period and did not return. 
  • The Wildcats had just 19 shots on net in this game and were outshot 10-1 in the second period.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

GAME DAY 30: vs Wildcats

The first-place Saint John Sea Dogs (19-7-2-1, 1st Maritimes, 1st QMJHL) return home tonight to face the last-place Moncton Wildcats (11-18-0-0, 6th Maritimes, 18th QMJHL). Puck drop is at 7 p.m. at Harbour Station.

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

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 6-3 win in Gatineau on Sunday. Spencer Smallman, Thomas Chabot, Matthew Highmore, Kyle Ward, Samuel Dove-McFalls and Nathan Noel all scored for Saint John. Alex Bishop made 15 saves in the win. The Wildcats are coming off a 5-4 loss in Bathurst on Sunday. Liam Murphy, Cameron Askew, Simon Le Coultre and Manuel Wiederer all scored for Moncton. Dominik Tmej made 32 saves in the win.

2016-17 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 2-1-0-1 against the Wildcats this season while Moncton is 2-2-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Nov. 20 in Moncton where the Wildcats edged the Sea Dogs 3-2 in a shootout. Matthew Highmore and Jakub Zboril had regulation time goals for Saint John while Jeremy McKenna and Kelly Klima scored for Moncton. Julian Galloway allowed two goals on 14 shots before getting pulled. Matthew Waite stopped all 14 shots he faced. Alex D'Orio made 23 saves in the loss for the Sea Dogs.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Wildcats: None

Random stat: Saint John is 9-2-1-0 at home this season. The team's two home losses are the fewest in the league.

Three Things to Know
1. The Sea Dogs are coming off a four-game road trip through Quebec, a trip they went a solid 3-1 on. Saint John will close out the first half of the season with five straight home games.

2. Saint John continues to excel on special teams. The team enters play today with the QMJHL's top power play (28.6%) and penalty kill (84.4%).

3. The Sea Dogs have scored a league leading 10 shorthanded goals this season. The Wildcats have allowed eight shorties, which is tied for the league lead.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Sea Dogs playing well on the road

There may be no place like home, but the Saint John Sea Dogs have enjoyed life on the road this season.

The team played its final road game of the first half on Sunday in Gatineau, posting a solid 6-3 victory in one of the league's toughest buildings.

Sunday's win gives Saint John a 10-5-1-1 record on the road, which is the most wins away from home by any QMJHL team this season (they have also played 17 road games, which ties them for most in the league). The Sea Dogs' .647 road win percentage is fourth best in the QMJHL behind Quebec, Rouyn-Noranda and Blainville-Boisbriand.

Saint John has also scored the most goals on the road this season with 68 in 17 games.

A lot of Saint John's road success has come in the province of Quebec, where in nine games the team has lost just twice - once in regulation and once in overtime. The Sea Dogs have just one Quebec road trip remaining this year, which will be a traditional three-in-three with stops in Victoriaville, Chicoutimi and Baie-Comeau from Feb. 17-19.

The Sea Dogs will play their final five games of the first half all at home. The homestand begins on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. when the Moncton Wildcats visit Harbour Station.