Friday, August 18, 2017

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.