Saturday, December 3, 2016

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 5-2

FINAL: Saint John 2, Drummondville 5
DRUMMONDVILLE, Que. - The Saint John Sea Dogs' four-game winning streak came to an end on Friday night in Drummondville.

Thomas Chabot and Matthew Highmore both scored for Saint John while Mathieu Joseph added two assists in the 5-2 loss to the Voltigeurs. Alex D'Orio suffered his first regulation time loss in the QMJHL, making 26 saves.

Marc-Olivier Duquette, Alex Barre-Boulet, Joey Ratelle, Ryan DaSilva and Benjamin Gagne scored for Drummondville. Anthony Dumont-Bouchard made 24 stops in the loss.

To the notes...
  • Just as Vincent Martineau was stepping out of the penalty box, the puck came loose to an open Duquette in front, making it 1-0 Voltigeurs at 9:04.
  • At 16:43, Bokondji Imama was given a questionable five-minute major and game misconduct for a hit to the head. Joseph had a good shorthanded chance before the period ended, keeping the puck on a two-on-one with Samuel Dove-McFalls, but hit the post.
  • Saint John was outshot 16-5 in the first, which is something we haven't seen a lot of this season.
  • In the second, the Volts got into some penalty trouble early on. At 3:04, a wrist shot from the point by Chabot got through to tie it at 1-1.
  • Drummondville took back the lead at 9:10. While shorthanded, Barre-Boulet fired a shot on net that hit something and found its way past D'Orio.
  • The Volts took a 3-1 advantage at 13:30 when Ratelle scored a Chabot/Forsberg like goal on a penalty shot.
  • The Sea Dogs would head to the dressing room down by just one. On a power play, Highmore finally scored after a few chances in front at 18:19, making it 3-2.
  • With Dove-McFalls given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at the end of the second, the Volts started the third on a five-on-three power play. On the man advantage, DaSilva wired a shot from the top of the circle past the blocker of D'Orio 52 seconds in, making it 4-2.
  • Gagne secured the victory with an empty net goal in the final minute.
  • Saint John was outshot 31-26 overall. It was just the third time this season the Sea Dogs have been outshot by an opponent.
  • This was Saint John's first regulation time loss in Quebec this season.
  • This was also Saint John's first regulation time loss in nine games.
  • After struggling on the man advantage in the past couple games, the Sea Dogs scored twice on the power play.
  • Chabot left for a short time in the third period but did return.
  • Forward Nathan Noel and defenceman Alexandre Bernier returned from one-game suspensions.
  • Forward Isiah Campbell, who made his QMJHL debut on Thursday, was returned to Quebec midget AAA.

Friday, December 2, 2016

GAME DAY 28: at Drummondville

The Saint John Sea Dogs (18-6-2-1, 1st Maritimes, 2nd QMJHL) look to keep the winning ways going tonight in Drummondville against the Voltigeurs (10-13-0-3, 5th West, 15th QMJHL). Game time is 8:30 p.m.

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

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a thrilling 3-2 shootout win in Shawinigan last night. Bokondji Imama scored both Saint John goals in regulation time while Thomas Chabot and Matthew Highmore each scored in the shootout. Alex Bishop made 24 saves in the victory. The Voltigeurs are coming off a 5-4 shootout loss to the Chicoutimi Sagueneens on Sunday. Pavel Koltygin scored twice while singles came from Joey Ratelle and Noah Corson. Olivier Rodrigue made 23 stops.

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 1-1-0-0 against the Voltigeurs last season while Drummondville went 1-1-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: March 3 at Harbour Station where the Sea Dogs defeated the Voltigeurs 4-1. Daniel Del Paggio, Sam Povorozniouk, Luke Green and Joe Veleno all scored for Saint John. Michael Carcone had Drummondville's lone goal. Alex Bishop made 24 saves in the win. Anthony Dumont-Bouchard made 23 saves in the loss.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Voltigeurs: None

Random stat: The Sea Dogs have not lost in regulation time in Quebec yet this season. They are also an impressive 6-1-1-0 against West Division teams.

Three Things to Know
1. Drummondville head coach Dominique Ducharme is also the head coach of Canada's world junior team this year. He'll get a good look at Mathieu Joseph and Thomas Chabot tonight.

2. The Sea Dogs have won four games in a row and have picked up points in each of their past nine games (7-0-1-1). They are 7-1-1-1 in their last 10.

3. Bokondji Imama surpassed his career high in goals last night. He now has 15 in 25 games. His previous high was 13 in 2014-15, a season he split with Baie-Comeau and Saint John.

RECAP: Sea Dogs win 3-2 (SO)

FINAL: Saint John 3, Shawinigan 2 (SO)
SHAWINIGAN, Que. - Well, that was something.

With 1:50 to play in regulation time, the Saint John Sea Dogs were down 2-0 to the Shawinigan Cataractes. The Sea Dogs are leaving Centre Gervais Auto with a 3-2 shootout win.

With Alex Bishop on the bench, Bokondji Imama scored twice within a 45-second span in the final couple minutes of third period, tying the game at 2-2. In overtime, the Sea Dogs killed off a penalty and then nearly won it in the dying seconds. Then in the shootout, Thomas Chabot and Matthew Highmore scored to secure the win.

Bishop made 24 saves in the victory. Mathieu Joseph, who was originally credited with the first Sea Dogs goal, picked up two assists.

The Cataractes, who have one of the top defence units in the QMJHL, had goals from Samuel Girard and Tommy Cardinal. Tommy Lemay had the team's lone shootout goal. Mikhail Denisov was solid, making 31 saves.

To the notes...
  • The Sea Dogs had the better of the scoring chances in the first period. Spencer Smallman had a couple quality opportunities while Chabot nearly scored on a wraparound.
  • The Cataractes opened the scoring at 17:12 of the first on a power play. The puck came to Girard at the point who blasted a shot high glove side past Bishop.
  • Shawinigan went to the power play after Kyle Ward was called for a hook - a hook that likely saved a goal as Samuel Asselin had a wide open net on a deke.
  • Shortly after Saint John produced a solid penalty kill, Antoine Demers fed Cardinal in the slot at 11:56 of the second and fired a wrist shot past Bishop to give Shawinigan a 2-0 advantage.
  • With Bishop on the bench, Imama got the Sea Dogs on the board at 18:10 of the third. Smallman fed Joseph in the slot who fired a shot that, apparently, Imama got a piece of to send it past Denisov.
  • Then 45 seconds later, Joseph was at the goal line and fed Imama in the slot and beat the Cataractes goaltender, stunning the Shawinigan side and sending the match to extra time.
  • 35 seconds into overtime, Highmore took an unfortunate delay of game penalty - but the Sea Dogs were able to kill it off.
  • In the dying seconds of OT, an Imama shot created a rebound that Joseph sent along the goal line and out the other side of the crease.
  • In the shootout, Chabot scored an unbelievable goal in the opening round. Lemay tied it in the third round, setting up Highmore's winner in round five.
  • Cardinal's goal was the first of his QMJHL career.
  • Bishop made his first start since Nov. 23.
  • Mathieu Joseph extended his point streak to 14 games.
  • The Sea Dogs still have not lost a game in regulation time in Quebec this season.
  • Saint John has struggled on the power play the past few games and went 0/6 in this game.
  • 15-year-old forward Isiah Campbell, a third-round pick of the Sea Dogs in the 2016 QMJHL Entry Draft, made his debut on Thursday.
  • The Sea Dogs and Cataractes meet again on Feb. 11 at Harbour Station.
  • We mention this a lot, but the fact that the Sea Dogs are continuing to pull off wins like this with the lineup they are dressing is remarkable. The team once again dressed just five defencemen.
  • Saint John has now won four straight and have picked up points in nine straight.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

GAME DAY 27: at Shawinigan

The Saint John Sea Dogs (17-6-2-1, 1st Maritimes, 2nd QMJHL) play one of their biggest games of the season so far tonight in Shawinigan. Game time against the Cataractes (17-7-1-0, 1st East, 3rd QMJHL) is 8 p.m.

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

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a solid 5-1 road win in Rimouski on Tuesday. Bokondji Imama scored twice while singles came from Mathieu Joseph, Thomas Chabot and Oliver Felixson. Alex D'Orio made 28 saves in the win. The Cataractes are coming off a 6-2 loss in Cape Breton on Sunday. Samuel Guilbault and Alexis D'Aoust scored for Shawinigan. Mikhail Denisov made four saves while Zachary Bouthillier made 14.

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

2015-16 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 2-0-0-0 against the Cataractes last regular season while Shawinigan went 0-2-0-0 against Saint John. In the playoffs, Shawinigan won the best-of-seven QMJHL semifinal 4-1.

Last meeting: Game 5 of the league semifinal in Shawinigan where the Cataractes defeated the Sea Dogs 6-3. Alex Pawelczyk and Anthony Beauvillier each had two goals for Shawinigan while singles came from Dennis Yan and Dmytro Timashov. Saint John goals came from Matt Murphy, Joe Veleno and Thomas Chabot. Philippe Cadorette made 33 saves in the win. Marc-Antoine Turcotte was pulled after allowing three goals on 14 shots. Alex Bishop allowed two goals on 13 shots in relief.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Cataractes: None

Random stat: Mathieu Joseph is back in the league lead for goals with 23.

Three Things to Know
1. Despite a number of injuries and illness to key players, the Sea Dogs are on an impressive run right now. The team is 6-0-1-1 in their past seven games and 7-1-1-1 in their last 10.

2. The Sea Dogs recalled forward Isiah Campbell from the Lac St-Louis Lions this afternoon. Campbell was a third round pick of the Sea Dogs in this year's QMJHL Entry Draft.

3. Saint John is a perfect 3-0-0-0 against East Division teams this season.

Impressive month for D'Orio

November was a month to remember for Sea Dogs rookie goaltender Alex D'Orio.

D'Orio appeared in six of Saint John's 10 games this past month, posting four wins and only losing one game - which came in a shootout. The 17-year-old posted an impressive 1.85 goals against average and .930 save percentage in those games.

Overall, D'Orio still hasn't lost a game in regulation time in his QMJHL career with a record of 8-0-0-1 to go along with a 2.40 GAA and .899 SV%.

He has seemingly taken over the No. 1 goaltending job with his solid play. Whoever (D'Orio or Alex Bishop) gets the start in Thursday's big game in Shawinigan will be telling.

Some other news and notes...

  • Just two points separate Saint John (17-6-2-1, 37 points, 2nd QMJHL) and Shawinigan (17-7-1-0, 35 points, 3rd QMJHL) heading into Thursday's match. The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (18-6-1-2, 39 points) sit first overall.
  • Following Thursday's game, the Sea Dogs visit Drummondville on Friday and Gatineau on Sunday.
  • Sea Dogs draft pick Shane Bowers, currently playing with the USHL's Waterloo Black Hawks, was ranked 13th in Craig Button's latest 2017 NHL Draft rankings. Charlottetown's Pierre-Olivier Joseph, the brother of Saint John's Mathieu Joseph, was ranked 32nd.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

RECAP: Sea Dogs win 5-1

FINAL: Saint John 5, Rimouski 1
Kevin Chambers | SN Staff

RIMOUSKI, Que. – The Saint John Sea Dogs kicked off their four game Quebec road trip in style on Thursday, posting an impressive 5-1 victory over the Rimouski Oceanic.

Goal scorers for the Sea Dogs were Bokondji Imama (two), Mathieu Joseph, Thomas Chabot and Oliver Felixson. Alex D’Orio had another solid performance, stopping 28 shots.

Scoring the lone goal for the Oceanic was Hunter Moreau while netminder Alexandre Lagace was able to stop 24 shots in the contest.

To the notes…
  • Joseph picked up the game’s first tally at 9:38 of the opening period, pulling off a deke to get by an Oceanic defender and going high on Lagace.
  • The first period also saw a tilt between former Sea Dog Nico Blachman and Chase Stewart. Stewart landed a couple solid shots while Blachman shot a nice little smile to the Sea Dogs bench. 
  • Chabot extended the Sea Dogs lead to 2-0 at 10:18 of the second period after making a nice move to his backhand and beating Lagace. 
  • The Sea Dogs wouldn’t wait long to strike again as Imama got in on the act at 11:38 of the middle frame. 
  • Then it was time for Felixson to pick up his first goal of the season at 14:48, letting a seeing eye wrist shot go that found it’s way into the back of the net and making it 4-0 Sea Dogs.
  • Imama picked up his second of the game at 1:06 of the third period when he banged home his own rebound, making it 5-0 for the Dogs. 
  • Moreau ended the shutout bid of D’Orio at 9:54 of the final frame when he finished off a partial breakaway with a backhand shot.
  • Joseph beat his personal best point streak, which now sits at 13 straight games. The Sea Dogs' team record is 22 games which is held by Zack Phillips (2011).
  • Joseph also climbed into the top 10 in all time scoring with 163 points. He is now tied for 10th with Steven Anthony.
  • Imama tied a personal best with his 13th goal of the season.
  • Earlier on Tuesday, Sea Dogs equipment manager David “DK” Kelly rang the bell, completing his 20 rounds of chemotherapy. 
  • Joe Veleno is getting very close to returning to action. He took the warm up in this game but still may not play on this trip.