The Saint John Sea Dogs evened their all-time series with the Saint John Police Force All-Stars at three wins apiece at Memorial Softball Field on Tuesday night, earning a come-from-behind 20-19 victory which featured a two-homerun performance from veteran forward Steven Anthony. Several thousand dollars was raised for charity in the fun-filled event, which has been held each of the last six Septembers.
Along with Zach Phillips and Tomas Jurco switching numbers, several Sea Dogs freshman will wear some unique digits this season.
Defenseman Guillaume Cloutier will wear Ryan Sparling’s old number four, making him only the second player in franchise history to wear the digit. Jason Cameron will wear Nicholas Pard’s former number, 14. Ryan Tesink will wear number 19, formally worn by Payton Liske.
This week’s edition of The Hockey News should excite Sea Dogs fans:
The major junior preview looks ahead to 2010-11 by ranking each team in each CHL league. We also rank the top 10 prospects available in the 2011 NHL draft who will be playing in the WHL, OHL or QMJHL. Neil Hodge also features Sean Couturier of the Drummondville Voltiguers, while Ryan Kennedy profiles Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels, Ryan Murphy of the Kitchener Rangers and Nathan Beaulieu of the Saint John Sea Dogs.Hodge will also have reasoning as to why he believes Saint John will finish first overall in the QMJHL this season.
There will be lots of pre-game stuff before the Sea Dogs and PEI Rocket hit the ice Friday night at Harbour Station. Tickets to the 7:30 pm season opener are still available.
A special pre-game banner-raising ceremony honouring the success of the 2009-10 Sea Dogs will be held on Friday, with the first 5,000 fans in attendance set to receive a free replica banner magnet compliments of Irving Oil and Moosehead Breweries.
Also, Friday will mark the first game for the new high definition video scoreboard that hangs over center ice.
Station Nation will have all of your pre-game coverage.
MCEWAN JOINS HUSKIES
Former Sea Dog Robert McEwan has joined the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. The 19-year old Mississauga, Ontario native was released by the Sea Dogs in January.
In 37 games with the Sea Dogs between 2008 and 2010, the defenseman recorded two assists, 35 penalty minutes, and a plus-two rating while having very limited ice time.
The Huskies are expected to finish in the basement of the QMJHL standings this year.
PENS ROOKIE TOURNAMENT
Two former and one current Saint John Sea Dog will hit the ice for the Pittsburgh Penguins in the annual NHL Rookie Tournament held at the John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario.
On the Penguins rookie roster, as listed by the Citizen’s Voice Penguins Insider, is current Sea Dogs defenseman Simon Despres, former Dog Nick Petersen, and the first ever draft pick in Saint John history Alex Grant.
“Alex Grant and Carl Sneep also have opportunities to make a mark,” writes Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins beat reporter Jonathan Bombulie. “If Pittsburgh keeps seven D to start the season and doesn’t sign a veteran for that spot, the sixth D position in Wilkes-Barre is up for grabs and those two would be the top contenders. If Pittsburgh goes with six D or signs a veteran, those two could be competing for the last roster spot in Wilkes-Barre.
“The pressure is on Nick Petersen, Joey Haddad, Casey Pierro-Zabotel and, if he signs, Schnell, to show they deserve an AHL roster spot.”
Eric P of the Wilkes-Blog, a division of the great Penguins blog “The Penblog,” recently placed Petersen centering a line with Casey Pierro and Tom Kuehnhackl in his projected line combos. He had Despres paired with Robert Bortuzzo and Grant matched up with Brian Strait.
The Pens’ rookies will face Ottawa on Saturday at 2 p.m. and then Sunday vs. Toronto at 7 p.m. and Tuesday vs. Chicago at 2 p.m.
ROSZELL IS BACK
Fans can sleep easy knowing that Sea Dogs play-by-play man Tim Roszell is back for another season behind the microphone on News 88.9. The Telegraph-Journal also reports that News 88.9 will carry every Sea Dogs game from now until the completion of the 2011-12 season.
Roszell and News 88.9 have been broadcasting the team’s games since the 2006-07 season. Also, Roszell’s voice will be wired to the Telus webcast at Harbour Station this year.
Both the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and Moncton Wildcats will reportedly have new play-by-play people this season as well.
Also reported in today’s Telegraph-Journal, Sea Dogs defenseman Yann Sauve was injured in a car accident on Saturday in Vancouver.
"He is making very good progress,'' according to a team statement. "He is continuing to be evaluated and his playing status will be updated at a later time."
Sauve, who did not attend Sea Dogs Training Camp and is not listed on the team’s roster, was scheduled to partake in the Young Stars tournament this weekend. The 20-year old is eligible to return to Saint John but is likely headed to the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose.
Sea Dogs forward Jonathan Huberdeau made the cover of this year’s QMJHL Media Guide. The guide can be downloaded in PDF format for free on the QMJHL website.
Also featured on the cover is Drummondville Voltigeur Sean Couturier and Montreal Junior Xavier Ouellet.
THE TEAM TO WATCH
Yahoo! Sports’ junior hockey blog “Buzzing The Net” recently named the Sea Dogs as the number four of five storylines to follow for the upcoming QMJHL season.
“By spring, the Sea Dogs, guided by Columbus Blue Jackets coach Gerard Gallant, could have a championship team and at least two potential NHL first-round picks in defenceman Nathan Beaulieu and centre Jonathan Huberdeau,” writes Neate Sager. “Slovak forward Tomas Jurco will also have some draft buzz, and when you include Pittsburgh Penguins first-round Simon Després and Washington Capitals-drafted forward Stanislav Gatiev, it easy to see why the Sea Dogs are a league favourite.”
SPEAR TO PLAY JUNIOR B?
The St. Croix Courier (sorry, couldn’t find a link on the interweb anywhere) reports that Sea Dogs prospect Nick Spear may play Junior B hockey with the St. Andrews Whalers this season. The newspaper states that Spear will be attending classes at NBCC Saint John this year and may like more time to focus in his studies – something Junior A may not offer.
The Whalers are coached by former Sea Dogs assistant Bob Kaine.
COUZY FEELING DUCKY AGAIN
Former Sea Dogs net minder Marco Cousineau will play in the Young Stars rookie tournament with the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks today announced the club’s 2010 rookie roster for the five-team round-robin tournament scheduled Sept. 12-16 in Penticton, British Columbia.
The eight-game round-robin tournament will feature the Ducks, host Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks, Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers. Anaheim prospects will play three games at the South Okanagan Events Centre, including Sept. 12 vs. San Jose (7:30 p.m. PDT), Sept. 13 vs. Calgary (4 p.m. PDT) and Sept. 15 vs. Vancouver (4 p.m. PDT). The tournament will be covered on AnaheimDucks.com and the Ducks' social media sites, including live streaming of the all three of Anaheim's games.