Saturday, October 16, 2021

Recap: Sea Dogs win 4-3 (OT)

FINAL: Cape Breton 3, Saint John 4 (OT)
Michael Hawkins/Saint John Sea Dogs
- Peter Reynolds scored on a breakaway at 1:20 of overtime to lift the Sea Dogs to a 4-3 victory over the Cape Breton Eagles on Saturday at TD Station.

It was far from a perfect game as the Sea Dogs looked stuck in neutral for much of the night, unable to generate much of anything offensively. The team got off to good start thanks to two goals from Jeremie Poirier in the first 12 minutes of the game but couldn't keep the momentum going.

It wasn't until a Saint John power play at 14:00 of the third period did the Sea Dogs really start to get going. The team created plenty of quality scoring chances and were finally rewarded at 16:26 at even strength when Poirier completed his hat trick.

Reynolds scored the overtime winner to give the Sea Dogs the extra point and split the weekend series with the Eagles.

Noah Patenaude had a solid performance in net for Saint John, making 28 stops in his first start of the year.

Jack Campbell, Jeremy Langlois and Sean Larochelle scored for Cape Breton. Nicola Ruccia made 29 saves in the loss.

Francis debuts; Cajkovic and Veleno score in AHL opening night action

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Ryan Francis made his American Hockey League debut on Friday night in Stockton.

Francis, playing on the team's fourth line, was held pointless in the Heat's 1-0 overtime loss to the Tucson Roadrunners. Former Moncton Wildcat Jakob Pelletier also made his AHL debut in the game.

Francis remains with the Heat on a professional tryout. He still has not been signed to an entry-level deal by the Calgary Flames.
The Sea Dogs remain optimistic that Francis, an overager, will return to the club at some point.

19-year-old defenseman Yan Kuznetsov, Saint John's first-round pick in this year's CHL Import Draft, also played Friday for the Heat.

The Heat and Roadrunners play again on Saturday night in Stockton.

Recap: Sea Dogs lose 5-4 (SO)

FINAL: Cape Breton 5, Saint John 4 (SO)
Michael Hawkins/Saint John Sea Dogs
- The Cape Breton Eagles defeated the Saint John Sea Dogs 5-4 in a shootout on Friday night at TD Station.

Ivan Ivan netted the shootout winner to give the Eagles the extra point. Former Sea Dogs Dawson Stairs (one goal, two assists and a shootout goals) and Nicholas Girouard (one goal and one assist) both had strong performances against their old club.

Connor Trenholm and Jeremy Langlois also scored for the Eagles. Rookie netminder Remi Delafontaine made 44 saves in the victory.

The Sea Dogs got off to a rough start once again and spent most of the night playing from behind. Penalties proved to be a problem with Saint John playing shorthanded on seven occasions. Cape Breton did not give Saint John any power plays.

William Dufour scored a pair of goals for Saint John while Carter McCluskey and Cam MacDonald added singles. Jonathan Lemieux was pulled late in the first period after allowing three goals on 12 shots. Noah Patenaude allowed a goal on 24 shots in relief.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Game Day 6 & 7: vs Eagles

SAINT JOHN - The Cape Breton Eagles make their long awaited return to TD Station this weekend.

The Eagles take on the Saint John Sea Dogs tonight and Saturday in the Port City. It's the team's first trip to Saint John in nearly a year.

There are plenty of new faces on both sides since their last meeting in November of 2020. Two new faces on the Eagles side are familiar faces in Saint John: forwards Nicholas Girouard and Dawson Stairs. The two ex-Dogs will take on their former club for the the first time this weekend.

Game time for both games is 7 p.m.

TV/Radio/Webcast: None/93 CFBC/CHL TV 

Capacity/Proof of Vaccination/Masks: 100%/Required/Required

Records: The Sea Dogs are 1-3-0-1 for two points (sixth Maritimes/ninth Eastern/17th QMJHL) while the Eagles are 1-2-2-1 for five points (fourth Maritimes/sixth Eastern/11th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 3-1 win in Charlottetown on Monday afternoon. Riley Bezeau, William Dufour and Cam MacDonald scored for Saint John. Jonathan Lemieux made 38 stops in the win. The Eagles are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to the Shawinigan Cataractes on home ice on Wednesday. Nicholas Girouard scored both of Cape Breton's goals. Nicolas Ruccia made 25 stops in the loss.

2021-22 head-to-head: This is the first meeting of the season between the Sea Dogs and Eagles.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Notebook: Eagles coming to town

Michael Hawkins/Saint John Sea Dogs
- For the first time in nearly a year, the Saint John Sea Dogs and Cape Breton Eagles will square off.

The Eagles were the last Nova Scotia club the Sea Dogs faced last season, falling in a wild 8-6 contest on Nov. 18, 2020 at Centre 200. That game ended up being Saint John's last until the restart in March.

The last time the Eagles were in Saint John was on Halloween of 2020.

The Eagles will have a couple of familiar faces in their lineup when they take on the Sea Dogs on Friday and Saturday at TD Station. Former Sea Dog Nicholas Girouard leads the team in scoring with five goals and three assists while Dawson Stairs has a goal and three helpers.

Basketball is returning to TD Station.

The Eastern Canadian Basketball League announced this week that Saint John is officially the second franchise in the new Maritimes-based hoops circuit. The team will be called the Saint John Union.
Truro was announced as the league's first franchise. The league expects to have four to six teams when it tips off next March, reports the Telegraph-Journal (paywall).

The Saint John Riptide, formerly the Mill Rats, of the National Basketball League of Canada were the last professional basketball team to call Saint John home. They took a one-year absence from the league in 2019 but never returned.

Nine former Sea Dogs started the 2021-22 season in the NHL. According to the CHL, that's the most of any QMJHL team.

They are: Mike Hoffman (Montreal Canadiens), Nathan Beaulieu (Winnipeg Jets), Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida Panthers), Charlie Coyle (Boston Bruins), Jakub Zboril (Boston Bruins), Matthew Highmore (Vancouver Canucks), Julien Gauthier (New York Rangers), Thomas Chabot (Ottawa Senators), and Mathieu Joseph (Tampa Bay Lightning).

Unsurprisingly, the London Knights led all CHL clubs with 32 players on opening night NHL rosters.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

NHL season begins for former Sea Dogs

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Will a former Saint John Sea Dog raise the Stanley Cup for a third straight season?

Mathieu Joseph and the Tampa Bay Lightning have lifted the trophy the past two seasons. Joseph remains the only Sea Dogs alumnus to win the Stanley Cup.

Joseph and the Lightning certainly have a shot at a third straight championship - but a number of other former Dogs will be in contention as well.

Here's the full list of former Sea Dogs who will start the 2021-22 season in the NHL (in no particular order):

Mike Hoffman - Montreal Canadiens
Nathan Beaulieu - Winnipeg Jets
Jonathan Huberdeau - Florida Panthers
Charlie Coyle - Boston Bruins
Jakub Zboril - Boston Bruins
Matthew Highmore - Vancouver Canucks
Julien Gauthier - New York Rangers
Thomas Chabot - Ottawa Senators
Mathieu Joseph - Tampa Bay Lightning

Eric Gelinas (Carolina Hurricanes), Joe Veleno (Detroit Red Wings) and Alex D'Orio (Pittsburgh Penguins) will all start the season in the AHL it appears but have a chance of being called up at some point.

The Rangers bench also features former Sea Dogs coaches Gerard Gallant, Mike Kelly and Jim Midgley.

One player who is noticeably absent from this list: Tomas Jurco, who doesn't appear to have signed anywhere yet. He appeared in three games with Slovakia at Olympic qualifying.

The NHL season begins tonight in Tampa.