WHO: Cape Breton Screaming Eagles vs Saint John Sea Dogs
WHEN: Tonight, 7:00pm
WHERE: Harbour Station
After a thrilling 6-4 season opening victory, it’s right back to business for the Saint John Sea Dogs.
Saint John (1-0-0-0) hosts the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (1-0-0-0) tonight at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station.
The Sea Dogs opened up the 2010-11 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season last night with a 6-4 victory over the PEI Rocket. Tomas Jurco and Ryan Tesink each scored a pair of goals while Michael Kirkpatrick added three assists.
The line of Tesink – Kirkpatrick – and Jonathan Huberdeau was Saint John’s best and could produce again tonight if Sea Dogs Head Coach Gerard Gallant elects to keep the three elite players together.
Goaltender Karel St. Laurent picked up the win for the Dogs. He wasn’t great, but good enough to pickup a win. It will be interesting to see if the Sea Dogs coaching staff chooses to go with the 20-year old goaltender again or if Frederic Piche will get the call between the pipes.
Cape Breton also made their season debut last night at the Halifax Metro Centre against the Mooseheads. The new look Screaming Eagles recorded a 3-2 victory over their provincial rivals.
William Carrier, Taylor McDougall, and Brad Cuzner each scored for the Eagles in the win.
Net minder Francois Lacerte made 29 saves in the win.
The Sea Dogs and Eagles did not meet in the pre-season.
THE LAST TIME THEY MET
Tomas Jurco did this move on former Eagles goalie Olivier Roy.
"The shootout spin-o-rama for sure needs to (be added),” said Jurco to the Telegraph-Journal about the move not being a feature in EA Sports NHL 11. “That would be great."
NOT THAT GOOD
By most pre-season predictions, the Screaming Eagles are expected to finish in the basement of the 18-team QMJHL. Many say only the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies will be worse.
"We have size and toughness on defence," said Cape Breton head coach Mario Durocher to the Times & Transcript. "We have a solid first line. I think we're going to be a balanced team. It's not going to be a one-two punch. Everybody can bring something to the table. I think we can surprise some people. We're looking to finish in the middle of the league. Our goal is to (finish in the top eight) and get home-ice advantage in the opening playoff round."
“A lot of players need to overachieve for the Eagles to squeeze into the top half of the standings,” writes the Chronicle Herald’s Willy Palov, who picked the Eagles to finish 13th overall. “They will be competitive most nights but might wind up losing a lot of close games.”
The Fourth Annual Saint John Sea Dogs Fan Festival will be held at Harbour Station's westernmost entrance this afternoon beginning at 4pm, with supporters of the Port City's major junior squad set to enjoy music, food, face painting, and more as the 2010-11 season enters its second day.
Venue: Harbour Station
Seating Capacity: 6,297
Average Attendance: 4,522
Year Built: 1993
QMJHL Arena Guide
Radio (Sea Dogs): News 88.9 FM
Live Web Feed: Telus
Live Blog: Station Nation
Post-Game Coverage: Station Nation, Telegraph-Journal, Cape Breton Post
Follow Station Nation on Twitter at www.twitter.com/station_nation for in-game updates, scores, stats, and live coverage during tonight’s game.
AFTER THE BUZZER
The Sea Dogs take a week off to prepare for a match against the Halifax Mooseheads next Saturday at Harbour Station at 7:00 pm.
Photo: David Connell