Monday, May 22, 2017

Saint John Library catches Memorial Cup fever

WINDSOR, Ont. - The Saint John Free Public Library is showing its support for the Sea Dogs' Memorial Cup run in a unique way.

Taking a chapter (ha!) out of the Toronto library's Blue Jays playoff tweets, the Saint John Library has been tweeting pictures of appropriately titled books in an effort to support the Dogs - and chirp opposing cities.

Here's the library's tweet from Friday, when the Sea Dogs were set to face the Windsor Spitfires:
And here's their tweet from today ahead of the Sea Dogs' 8 p.m. game against the Erie Otters:
These tweets are fire, as the kids say.

Neither rival library has responded to the tweets.

Toronto area libraries have gone viral over the past couple years for its book spine tweets about Blue Jays playoff games.

Shout out to all the libraries out there.

Memorial Cup Game Day: vs Otters

WINDSOR, Ont. - The Saint John Sea Dogs (0-1) look to rebound against the OHL champions, the Erie Otters (1-0), tonight at 8 p.m. at the 2017 Memorial Cup in Windsor.

TV/Radio/Webcast: Sportsnet and TVA Sports/96.1 NewSong FM/SN NOW and NeuLion

Tournament status: The Otters are 1-0 at this year's tournament while the Sea Dogs are 0-1.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off an ugly 3-2 loss to the host Windsor Spitfires on Friday at WFCU Centre. Nathan Noel and Thomas Chabot scored for Saint John while Callum Booth made 20 saves in the loss. The Otters are coming off a 4-2 win over WHL champion Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday. Alex DeBrincat, Jordan Sambrook, Dylan Strome and Christian Girhiny scored for Erie. Troy Timpano made 18 stops in the victory.

Head-to-head: This is the first ever meeting between the two teams.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Otters: None.

Random stat: The Sea Dogs are 2-0 all-time in their second game at Memorial Cups. They defeated Owen Sound 3-2 in overtime in 2011 and Edmonton 5-2 in 2012.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Windsor cruises past Thunderbirds

WINDSOR, Ont. - The Seattle Thunderbirds are in trouble heading into Tuesday's contest against the Saint John Sea Dogs.

The Thunderbirds fell behind 3-0 less than six minutes into their second game of the 2017 Memorial Cup tournament on Sunday at the WFCU Centre, ultimately losing 7-1 to the host Windsor Spitfires.

The loss drops the WHL champions to 0-2 at this year's tournament and puts them on the brink of elimination. The Thunderbirds must win on Tuesday just to force a tiebreaker scenario on Thursday. A loss Tuesday would move them to 0-3 and end their season.

Seattle goaltender Carl Stankowski was pulled after allowing three goals on six shots - although his defence did not help matters. It's unclear who will get the start on Tuesday with their season on the line.
OHL teams are now 3-0 at this year's tournament following Windsor's wins over Saint John and Seattle along with Erie defeating the Thunderbirds, as well.

Saint John will take on the 1-0 Otters on Monday night at 8 p.m.

Sea Dogs stuff at this year's HHOF exhibit

WINDSOR, Ont. - There are once again several Saint John Sea Dogs items on display at the Memorial Cup's Hockey Hall of Fame exhibit.

Below are some bad photos of what is featured this year.

A Jonathan Huberdeau jersey from the 2011 Memorial Cup tournament:

NOTEBOOK: Spits got off to great start

WINDSOR, Ont. - The Windsor Spitfires couldn't have asked for a much better start to their Memorial Cup tournament.

The Spitfires came flying out of the gate on Friday at WFCU Centre, going on to defeat the QMJHL champion Saint John Sea Dogs 3-2.

"I thought I had a really good start," said Windsor goaltender Michael DiPietro on Saturday. "We came out strong and we came out fast. I think it was all of the excitement we built up inside of us. As the game progressed we just kept it at that level and then translated it into a win."

The only real significant issue for the Spits was closing the game out. Saint John applied some steady offensive pressure in the final five minutes, scoring twice and nearly tying the game in the final minute.

"We haven't really been in that situation in a while and I think it was good for us that we did finally close it out," said DiPietro, who made 20 saves in the victory. "It was a good learning experience. We move on from it. Our focus is on Seattle."

The Spits take on the WHL champion Seattle Thunderbirds tonight at 8 p.m.


Getty Images has some cool photos from Friday's Sea Dogs Memorial Cup opener against Windsor. Check them out here.

The Spitfires are on a serious roll when it comes to Memorial Cup games. The team has now won nine straight games at the tournament, dating back to 2009 in Rimouski. Windsor went 4-2 at the '09 event and then went 4-0 in 2010 to win back-to-back titles.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Nerves hurt Sea Dogs in opener

WINDSOR, Ont. - The Saint John Sea Dogs aren't afraid to admit they were nervous in their 2017 Memorial Cup opener on Friday night.

"I think we came out nervous and we were uncharacteristic of ourselves," said overage forward Matthew Highmore on Saturday. "We gave ourselves a chance at the end but it was just a little bit too late."

The nerves hit Saint John early as the team got off to a rough start, allowing the host Windsor Spitfires to have several quality scoring opportunities. The Spits carried that momentum for much of the game, defeating the QMJHL champions 3-2.

"It’s just kind of the moment. I think we were so excited, looking forward to this for the past week and half, the build up… it’s just one of those things that you can’t really explain," said Highmore. "It just kind of happens. We’ll learn from it and we’ll be much, much better on Monday."

Sea Dogs head coach Danny Flynn also felt the team got off to a nervous start - and it cost his team.

"We started nervous. Windsor won the first five minutes and it gave them confidence," said Flynn. "We started on our heels. Having said that, it was only 1-0 after one. But they did a good job at hemming us up in our own end and working us hard. They had a lot of offensive zone time and we didn’t."

If there was any team at this year's tournament that seemed prepared to beat the nerves, it was Saint John. The team has players with Memorial Cup and World Junior Hockey Championships experience.