The challenge involving on-and off-ice competition between the Saint John Sea Dogs and the Moncton Wildcats is held in conjunction with the two teams respective newspapers: the Telegraph-Journal and the Times & Transcript.
“This year’s challenge will adopt a streamlined scoring system, with a greater emphasis being placed upon on-ice performance,” states a Sea Dogs press release.
Here is this year’s scoring format:
(1) Head-to-head on-ice results: Three (3) points awarded to a team for a regulation win, two (2) points awarded for an overtime/shootout victory, and one (1) point awarded for an overtime/shootout loss.Missing in this year’s challenge compared to last year’s is in the mascot challenge, the road trip challenge, and the holiday food drive.
(2) Head-to-head attendance figure (per game): Three (3) points awarded for 6,000 fans, two (2) points for 5,000 fans, and one (1) point for 4,000 fans.
(3) EA Sports NHL 11 Fan/Player Video Game Challenge: Saint John and Moncton will each select one fan to participate in an online video game series (best two-out-of-three) using the virtual versions of the Sea Dogs and Wildcats. The winning fan will collect five (5) points for his team/city. In addition, the Sea Dogs and Wildcats will select one player from their current roster to compete in a single-game competition, with the winner set to earn three (3) points for his side. More details regarding this portion of the challenge will be announced at a later date.
This year’s format should make it easier for fans to follow.
"What we're trying to do this year is keep things simplistic," said Wildcats general manager Wayne McDonald to the Telegraph-Journal. "We want to freshen it up year after year."
The Rivalry Cup may have also have lost some of its creative edge with Bill Schurman, now former Wildcats general manager, moving to the Lewiston Maineiacs organization during the summer.
The first game of the challenge is next Friday at 7:30 pm at Harbour Station. It is the first time the two squads will meet on the ice since game six of the President’s Cup Final.
The Sea Dogs have yet to win the trophy since it was introduced in 2008-09.
Here is the full Sea Dogs - Wildcats schedule:
Oct. 8, 7:30 p.m., Harbour Station
Nov. 21, 4 p.m., Moncton Coliseum
Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m., Harbour Station
Jan. 2, 2 p.m. Moncton Coliseum
Jan. 27, 7 p.m., Moncton Coliseum
Feb. 4, 7:30 p.m., Moncton Coliseum
Feb. 13, 3 p.m., Harbour Station
Mar. 4, 7:30 p.m., Harbour Station