Sunday, January 22, 2017

RECAP: Sea Dogs win 5-3

FINAL: Baie-Comeau 3, Saint John 5
SAINT JOHN - It wasn't easy, but the Saint John Sea Dogs managed to edge one of the league's worst team's on Saturday night at Harbour Station.

Bokondji Imama had two goals while David Comeau, Simon Bourque and Mathieu Joseph also scored in Saint John's 5-3 victory over the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. Alex D'Orio made 18 saves in the win.

Saint John outshot the Drakkar for the entire game but never led by more than two goals. Even when the Dogs went up two, they still weren't able to pull away, keeping life in the Drakkar. The Sea Dogs also had trouble staying out of the box, giving Baie-Comeau seven power play chances - which saw two goals scored.

On a positive note, a win is a win. Fans should expect even the league's basement dwellers to bring their top game when they play a loaded Saint John team.

Simon Chevrier, Jordan Martel and Xavier Bouchard scored for Baie-Comeau. Antoine Samuel made 30 saves in the win.

To the notes...
  • The Sea Dogs made it 1-0 on a power play at 2:13 when Imama wired a bullet of a wrist shot past Samuel.
  • Imama struck again on a power play at 10:36. Nathan Noel fired a shot that was blocked but found its went to Imama, who then redirected it past Samuel to make it 2-0 Saint John.
  • The Drakkar got on the board at 17:28 when Vincent Deslauriers fired a shot on net that went off Chevrier and in, making it 2-1.
  • At 10:28 of the second, Comeau's first QMJHL goal made it 3-1 Sea Dogs. The defenceman fired a shot through a screen that beat Samuel upstairs.
  • Spencer Smallman nearly made it 4-1 Sea Dogs five minutes into the third but hit the crossbar.
  • Martel scored on a power play at 7:01, firing a knuckler (or something) from the slot and under the arm or D'Orio. That made it 3-2.
  • Bourque got Saint John's two-goal lead back at 10:33 when he blasted a shot from the line past Samuel.
  • The Drakkar quickly got back within one with another power play goal - this one from Bouchard - at 11:31.
  • Saint John finally put the game away with 28 seconds left when Joseph beat Samuel, making it a 5-3 final.
  • Joseph's goal extended his point streak to a franchise record setting 23 games. He passed Zack Phillips who held the previous record of 22.
  • Joseph took two minor penalties in the first period while Thomas Chabot took two in the third.
  • Imama's goals ended a four-game goalless drought. He also retook the team goal scoring lead with 29.
  • Imama now has seven multi-goal games this season.
  • Joseph is now tied for fifth all-time in Sea Dogs franchise goal scoring with 83.
  • With two helpers, Matthew Highmore is now second in franchise assists with 145. He is just eight back of Jonathan Huberdeau for the franchise lead.
  • The Sea Dogs have now won three straight games.
  • Solid crowd of 4,465 in the house for this one.
  • Saint John doesn't play at Harbour Station again until Feb.10.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Game Day 45: vs Drakkar

The Saint John Sea Dogs (28-12-3-1, 1st Maritimes, 3rd QMJHL) are back in action tonight when they host the Baie-Comeau Drakkar (16-21-3-3, 6th East, 17th QMJHL) 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 1-0 victory over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens last night at Harbour Station. Mathieu Joseph scored Saint John's lone goal while Callum Booth made 22 saves in the shutout win. The Drakkar are coming off a 7-4 win in Halifax last night. Jordan Martel scored twice for the Drakkar while singles came from Simon Chevrier, D'Artagnan Joly, Jean-Simon Belanger, Christopher Benoit and Ivan Chekhovich. Justin Blanchette made 36 saves in the win.

2016-17 head-to-head: This is the first meeting of the season between the two. They meet again on Feb. 19 in Baie-Comeau.

2015-16 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 1-1-0-0 against the Drakkar last season while Baie-Comeau went 1-1-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Feb. 13, 2016 at Harbour Station where the Sea Dogs defeated the Drakkar 5-1. Adam Marsh had two goals for Saint John while singles came from Spencer Smallman, Mathieu Joseph and Sam Povorozniouk. Matt Jones scored for Baie-Comeau. Alex Bishop made 27 saves in the win. Antoine Samuel made 37 saves in the loss.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Drakkar: None.

Random stat: Despite putting up seven last night in Halifax, the Drakkar have scored the fourth fewest goals in the QMJHL this season (129).

Friday, January 20, 2017

RECAP: Sea Dogs win 1-0

FINAL: Chicoutimi 0, Saint John 1
SAINT JOHN - Mathieu Joseph's second period goal was all the Saint John Sea Dogs needed in a 1-0 victory over the Chicoutimi Sagueneens on Friday night at Harbour Station.

The goal gives Joseph points in 22 straight games, which is the longest streak in the QMJHL this season and also ties a Sea Dogs franchise record. Zack Phillips had points in 22 straight contests during the 2011-12 season.

Callum Booth earned his first shutout as a Sea Dog, making 22 saves in the win.

Xavier Potvin had a strong game in the Chicoutimi net, making 33 saves in the loss.

To the notes...
  • Chicoutimi's Zachary Lavigne had a good shorthanded chance early but hit the outside of the post. Late in the period, Matthew Highmore fired a shot from a sharp angle that beat Potvin but not the post.
  • Less than a minute into the second period, Bokondji Imama had a great chance but wired his shot off the crossbar.
  • At 8:21, Thomas Chabot fed Joseph who broke in past the Chicoutimi defence and beat Potvin blocker side to make it 1-0 Saint John.
  • The Sea Dogs had a lengthy five-on-three power play in the second but could not score.
  • Both teams applied pressure at moments in the third period but could not connect. Saint John was the better team late, and when Frederic Allard slashed Joseph with 1:40 to play, that basically ended the game.
  • Both Nathan Noel and Samuel Dove-McFalls returned from upper body injuries. Chabot was also back in Saint John's lineup after being given Tuesday's game off.
  • Imama has not scored in four straight games.
  • Chabot now has assists in seven straight home games.
  • Highmore's 11-game home point streak came to an end.
  • German Rubtsov, a Philadelphia Flyers first-rounder and a member of Team Russia at the world juniors, appeared in his second career QMJHL game.
  • The game featured 14 NHL drafted players, including four Carolina Hurricanes prospects.
  • Former NHLer Glenn “Chico” Resch was in the house for Faith and Family Night.
  • The Sea Dogs and Sagueneens meet again on Feb. 18 in Chicoutimi. 

Game Day 44: vs Sagueneens

The Chicoutimi Sagueneens (23-18-2-1, 3rd East, 9th QMJHL) make their lone regular season visit to Harbour Station tonight, taking on the Saint John Sea Dogs (27-12-3-1, 1st Maritimes, 3rd QMJHL) at 7 p.m.

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

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 7-2 win over the Moncton Wildcats on Tuesday at Harbour Station. Spencer Smallman and Samuel Leblanc each scored twice while singles came from Julien Gauthier, Matt Green and Cole Reginato. Callum Booth made 18 saves in the win. The Sagueneens are coming off a 4-3 shootout win in Halifax last night. Nicolas Roy scored twice while Frederic Allard added a solo marker. Julio Billia made 23 saves in the win.

2016-17 head-to-head: This is the first meeting of the season between the Sea Dogs and Sagueneens. They meet again on Feb. 18 in Chicoutimi.

2015-16 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 2-0-0-0 against the Sagueneens last season while Chicoutimi went 0-0-1-1 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Feb. 14, 2016 at Harbour Station where the Sea Dogs defeated the Sagueneens 6-5 in overtime. Sam Povorozniouk and Samuel Dove-McFalls each scored twice for Saint John while singles came from Spencer Smallman and Mathieu Joseph. Nicolas Roy, Antoine Marcoux, Dmitry Zhukenov, Taylor Cooper and Mark Bzowey scored for Chicoutimi. Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 15 saves in the win. Xavier Potvin made 37 stops in the loss.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Sagueneens: None.

Random stat: This game could feature four Carolina Hurricanes prospects: Nicolas Roy of the Sagueneens and Julien Gauthier, Spencer Smallman and Callum Booth of the Sea Dogs.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Thursday notes: Joseph's streak still going

After returning to the Saint John Sea Dogs from the World Junior Hockey Championship, Mathieu Joseph picked up right where he left off.

Joseph's final game with the Sea Dogs before departing for Team Canada camp was on Dec. 8, leaving with an 18-game point streak. The Tampa Bay Lightning prospect has points in all three games since his return, giving him a goal or an assist in 21 consecutive contests.

If Joseph can get a point on Friday night against the Chicoutimi Sagueneens, he'll have the longest point streak in the QMJHL this year, surpassing Filip Chlapik and Francois Beauchemin.
Joseph has collected 36 of his 52 points during the streak.

Joseph's point streak is the second longest in Sea Dogs history. The longest belongs to Zack Phillips, who had points in 22 consecutive matches in 2011-12 - a record Joseph can tie on Friday.
Game time on Friday is 7 p.m. at Harbour Station.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Pare, D'Orio make Central Scouting midterm rankings

Two Saint John Sea Dogs cracked NHL Central Scouting's midterm rankings for the 2017 draft, which were released Tuesday afternoon.

Forward Cedric Pare was ranked 203rd amongst North American skaters while Alex D'Orio was ranked eighth amongst North American goaltenders.

Both Pare and D'Orio were first round picks of the Sea Dogs in the 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft and are in their first full seasons with the club.

Pare has five goals and eight assists in 42 games with Saint John this season. D'Orio, meanwhile, has put up some of the QMJHL's best goaltending numbers with a 13-1-0-1 record to go along with a 2.31 goals against average and a .902 save percentage.

D'Orio will take part in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Quebec City later this month.

Sea Dogs prospect Shane Bowers was ranked 13th by Central Scouting. Saint John draft picks Ben Mirageas (48th) and Morgan Barron (88th) were also ranked. Bowers is committed to Boston University (2017-18), Mirageas to Providence College (2018-19) and Barron to Cornell University (2017-18).

Charlottetown Islanders defenceman Pierre-Olivier Joseph, the brother of Mathieu Joseph, was ranked 42nd.

The 2017 NHL Draft takes place June 23-24 in Chicago.