Friday, April 30, 2010

PRESIDENT'S CUP PRE-GAME: Game One vs Moncton Wildcats

2010 President Cup Final
Game One: Moncton Wildcats vs Saint John Sea Dogs
Friday, April 30, 2010 at 7:30 pm
Harbour Station

This is the first game of the best-of-seven series.

Four years ago the Moncton Wildcats were on their way to a President's Cup championship. 90 minutes down the road, the expansion Saint John Sea Dogs were already golfing for over a month.

But now, the two archrivals have both built up a championship contending team. The journey for both squads continues tonight at 7:30 pm in game one of the President's Cup Final.

"There's going to be a lot at stake, but the way we look at it, we're just going to play another game," said Saint John head coach Gerard Gallant to Rogers Sportsnet. "We're hoping we come out on top, but it's just another hockey game."

"I think regardless of where you're from, you would feel the emotion of the building in this series," Wildcats head coach Danny Flynn said. "This series will receive heavy focus not only in New Brunswick, but in all of Atlantic Canada."

The all-New Brunswick battle is one of the hottest tickets in the provinces history, with over 25,000 tickets being sold in 24 hours.

It will be a series to remember. A matchup where friends, families, companies, and even municipal governments are all getting in on the Rivalry.

Whether the series will be (as the kids say) “epic” or a colossal bust will be known in the next two weeks. But either way, history will be made in the all-Atlantic rumble.

Visiting Team:
Moncton Wildcats

Playoff Record: 12-3
Record at Home: 6-2
Record on Road: 6-1
Power Play: 25.9%
Penalty Kill: 82.0%
Playoff Leading Scorer: Kelsey Tessier (15GP-10G-11A-21Pts)
All-Time Playoff Record: 71-50

Reg. Season Record: 48-14-2-4 (2nd Atlantic, 3rd QMJHL)
Record vs Saint John: 4-0-1-3
Record at Home: 26-6-0-2 (2nd)
Record on the Road: 22-8-2-2(2nd)
Power Play: 27.0%
Penalty Kill: 83.0%

Reg. Season Leading Scorer: Nicolas Deschamps (64GP-39G-57A-96Pts)

NHL Draft Picks: Nicola Riopel (Philadelphia), Randy Cameron (Detroit), Mark Barberio (Tampa Bay), Nicolas Deschamps (Anaheim), David Savard (Columbus), Gabriel Bourque (Nashville), and Kelsey Tessier (Colorado).

Home Team:
Saint John Sea Dogs

Playoff Record: 12-3
Record at Home: 7-1
Record on Road: 5-2
Power Play: 30.0%
Penalty Kill: 84.1%
Playoff Leading Scorer: Michael Kirkpatrick (14GP-10G-13A-23Pts)
All-Time Playoff Record: 20-13

Reg. Season Record: 53-12-1-2 (1st Atlantic, 1st QMJHL)
Record vs Moncton: 4-3-0-1
Record at Home: 26-7-0-1 (3rd)
Record on Road: 27-5-1-1 (1st)
Power Play: 24.3%
Penalty Kill: 78.8%

Reg. Season Leading Scorer: Mike Hoffman (56GP-46G-39A-85P)

NHL Draft Picks: Yann Sauve (Vancouver), Marco Cousineau (Anaheim), Simon Despres (Pittsburgh), Steven Anthony (Vancouver), Mike Hoffman (Ottawa), and Nicholas Petersen (Pittsburgh).

Season series tied 4-4

2009/09/27: Moncton Wildcats 3 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 4 SO
2009/10/17: Moncton Wildcats 2 @ Saint John 3 OT
2009/12/13: Saint John Sea Dogs 3 @ Moncton Wildcats 7
2009/12/31: Saint John Sea Dogs 4 @ Moncton Wildcats 3 SO
2010/01/06: Moncton Wildcats 5 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 3
2010/02/06: Saint John Sea Dogs 5 @ Moncton Wildcats 4 SO
2010/03/05: Moncton Wildcats 4 @ Saint John Sea Dogs 3 SO
2010/03/14: Saint John Sea Dogs 2 @ Moncton Wildcats 5

Saint John leading scorer vs Moncton: Tomas Jurco (8GP-5G-4A-9Pts)
Moncton leading scorer vs Saint John: David Savard (7GP-0G-10A-10Pts)

This is the first game of the best-of-seven series.

GAME 1: Friday, April 30 - 7:30pm @ Harbour Station
GAME 2: Sunday, May 2 - 4pm @ Moncton Coliseum
GAME 3: Tuesday, May 4 - 7pm @ Harbour Station
GAME 4: Friday, May 7 - 7:30pm @ Moncton Coliseum
*GAME 5: Saturday, May 8 - 7pm @ Harbour Station
*GAME 6: Monday, May 10 - 7pm @ Moncton Coliseum
*GAME 7: Tuesday, May 11 - 7pm @ Harbour Station
*if necessary

Moncton is 25-7-2-6 lifetime versus Saint John in the regular season. They've never met in the playoffs. Saint John has just seven regulation time wins in 40 lifetime games between these clubs. What's more, the Sea Dogs haven't managed a regulation time win against the Wildcats in their past 16 meetings.

Nicholas Pard has missed the last two games with a bruised foot. He suffered the injury last Friday in Victoriaville after taking a Pierre Durepos shot in the skate.

Kevin Gagne did not travel with the team to Victoriaville last week because of a knee injury. The 17-year old has not played since game five of the opening round.

Steven Anthony is questionable with a groin injury.

A look at both teams last round playoff series (courtesy of the Sea Dogs Bell Aliant Playoff Report):

Sea Dogs Win Series 4-2
Game 1: Sea Dogs 4 - Tigres 2 (First Star: Michael Kirkpatrick)
Game 2: Sea Dogs 5 - Tigres 1 (First Star: Stanislav Galiev)
Game 3: Tigres 6 - Sea Dogs 3 (First Star: Philip-Michael Devos)
Game 4: Sea Dogs 6 - Tigres 1 (First Star: Marco Cousineau)
Game 5: Tigres 4 - Sea Dogs 2 (First Star: Kevin Poulin)
Game 6: Sea Dogs 7 - Tigres 1 (First Star: Mike Hoffman)

Wildcats Win Series 4-1
Game 1: Wildcats 5 - Voltigeurs 3 (First Star: Nicolas Deschamps)
Game 2: Wildcats 5 - Voltigeurs 2 (First Star: Kelsey Tessier)
Game 3: OVERTIME, Voltigeurs 2 - Wildcats 1 (First Star: Jake Allen)
Game 4: Wildcats 4 - Voltigeurs 0 (First Star: Nicola Riopel)
Game 5: Wildcats 4 - Voltigeurs 2 (First Star: Benoit Levesque)

The first 5,000 fans attending Friday's series-opener will receive a free white Sea Dogs President's Cup Finals t-shirt courtesy of FibreOP from Bell Aliant (3,000 size L, 2,000 size XL - given away on a first come, first serve basis). All spectators are encouraged to wear white shirts, jerseys, etc. to Game 1 as a sign of support for the Port City's major junior squad.

This game has been sold-out since Wednesday afternoon. Games two and four in Moncton are also sold-out as well as game three Tuesday in Saint John.

If you have tickets that you are looking to dump, visit Kijiji Saint John.

Sea Dogs signs will be given out in today’s Telegraph-Journal. Fans are encouraged to put the signs in their window or bring it to the game.

The Wildcats could be without their leading scorer tonight. Nicolas Deschamps, who was tied for the league scoring lead with 96 points this season, hurt his ankle in game five against Drummondville last Friday.

"(Deschamps) is day-to-day," said Moncton head coach Danny Flynn to the Times & Transcript on Monday. "He had a preliminary examination (on Sunday). The doctor is going to wait a couple of days and re-examine him probably on Tuesday or Wednesday. He's still on crutches.

"He has a high ankle sprain. He got stood up with a clean open-ice hit, then came down and landed awkwardly on his ankle. We're just waiting to find out the extent of his injury.''

Don’t expect to see Kirill Kabanov on the ice for the ‘Cats tonight. The highly touted Russian was reportedly headed back to Moncton after being tossed off a team in his home country.

From News 91.9’s Shaun McKenzie on Twitter:

Moncton Wildcats will not have Karil Kabanov in lineup in series vs SJ... he will be traveling to Calgary

Sea Dogs star forward Mike Hoffman wants some noise.

“Last year, it was crazy,” Hoffman said of the atmosphere in the seven-game Drummondville-Shawinigan series to the Kitchener-Waterloo Record.

“This year, it should be close to that.”

The article is written by Jeff Hicks whose blog, “Rangers Rap,” has easily some of the worst jokes around.

This series is being called by many the biggest hockey series in New Brunswick history.

"It's shaping up to be maybe the biggest series in the history of hockey in New Brunswick," the Wildcats' head coach Danny Flynn told Rogers Sportsnet. "There's an enormous amount of excitement in every corner of the province."

For the young Sea Dogs, many of its players have never ran such a long marathon in their brief hockey careers.

"It's the longest schedule I've played," said Zach Phillips to the Daily Gleaner. "Last year, I played 30 something games. This year, I'm up to around 70 (80 and counting, actually). It's hard, but we all stretch regularly, we have a great training staff that knows their stuff...we're staying as fresh as we can."

"If we can stick to our structure and shut them down and let our offensive guys do their work, we should be fine."

Harbour Station
Capacity: 6,297
Playoff Average Attendance: 4,375
Reg. Season Average Attendance: 4,140

Telegraph-Journal, Times & Transcript, and L’Acadie Nouvelle
Television: None
Radio: Saint John- News 88.9; Moncton- News 91.9
Video: Telus Webcast
Post-Game Highlights: SeaDogsTV

Follow Station Nation on Twitter at for in game updates from tonight’s game.

Game two goes Sunday at 4:00 pm at the Moncton Coliseum.

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