Friday, December 31, 2010

PRE-GAME: Rivalry Cup Game 3 - Moncton Wildcats vs Saint John Sea Dogs

By Station Nation Staff

WHO: Moncton Wildcats vs Saint John Sea Dogs
WHEN: Tonight, 7:30 pm
WHERE: Harbour Station

VISITING TEAM: Moncton Wildcats
Record: 20-14-1-3 (3rd in Maritimes Division)
Last Game: 4-1 loss vs PEI yesterday
Leading Scorer: Allain Saulnier (38GP-17G-29A-46Pts)
Notes: The Moncton Wildcats enter play on this New Year’s Eve with a record of 20-14-1-3 which places them third in the Maritimes Division and tenth overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The Wildcats are 16 points back of the division leading Saint John Sea Dogs and four points back of the the second place Acadie-Bathurst Titan… Moncton is coming off a 4-1 loss last night at the Moncton Coliseum against the Prince Edward Island Rocket. Thomas Flynn opened the scoring in the first period and that would prove to be the lone ‘Cats goal as the Rocket scored four unanswered markers. Shane Owen made 29 saves in the loss… Moncton is on a bit of slide of late. They have lost three straight contests and have been outscored 11-3 during that time. They include a shutout loss against Bathurst, a one-goal defeat against the cellar dwelling Halifax Mooseheads, and last night’s loss… 4-5-1-0 in their last 10 games… the Wildcats are 11-8-0-1 on the road so far this season but have been outscored 72-66 along the way… Moncton’s power play has been decent this year. They are currently ranked fifth in the league with a rating of 26.9%. On the road, their power play is operating at 26.2%... the Wildcats’ penalty kill is ranked eighth in the QMJHL with a rating of 80.1%. On the road, their penalty kill improves to 81%... Allain Saulnier leads the Wildcats in scoring with 46 points on the year. His twin, Alex, is a close second with 45 points… Marek Hrivik is currently playing with Team Slovakia at the world juniors but still leads Moncton in goals scored with 18. Allain Saulnier and Daniel Pettersson are a close second with 17 markers each… Daniel Milan is a team worst -13… 20-year old Shane Owen will likely get the start in net for Moncton. He has a record of 11-11-0-3, a goals against average of 3.14, and a save percentage of 0.910… Hrivik and Alex Saulnier are tied for fifth in the QMJHL with 15 power play assists… goaltender Shane Owen is tied for the league lead in shootout loses with three… Milan leads all rookies in power play points with 14… Moncton is 16-4-0-1 when scoring first… the ‘Cats are averaging 3.45 goals per game and 3.50 goals against per game… the ‘Cats are allowing a league high 33.42 shots against per game… Moncton is 1-0-0-1 when playing Saint John on New Year’s Eve… they are 0-2-0-0 against the Sea Dogs this season.

HOME TEAM: Saint John Sea Dogs
Record: 29-5-0-2 (1st in Maritimes Division)
Last Game: 5-4 loss at Bathurst yesterday
Leading Scorer: Jonathan Huberdeau (36GP-24G-32A-56Pts)
Notes: The Saint John Sea Dogs enter play this evening with a record of 29-5-0-2 which is good for first in the Maritimes Division and third overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The Dogs slipped to third after losing in Bathurst last night, falling three points back of the Quebec Remparts and one point back of the Montreal Juniors. The Sea Dogs have played four fewer games than Quebec and three fewer than Montreal… in the last BMO CHL MasterCard Top 10 Rankings, the Sea Dogs were ranked first… Saint John is coming off a 5-4 loss in Bathurst last night. Kevin Gagne and Steven Anthony both scored early to give the Dogs a 2-0 lead. But the Titan climbed back to eventually win the game with a late third period marker. Stanislav Galiev and Scott Oke were the other goal scorers. Jacob DeSerres and Federic Piche combine to stop 28 shots… Saint John has the sixth best power play in the league with a rating of 24.1%… the team's penalty kill is operating at 81.3%, good for fifth overall in the QMJHL… Saint John remains a remarkable 17-0-0-1 at Harbour Station this season, picking up 35 of a possible 36 points. They have outscored their opposition 94-38 on home ice this season... 8-2-0-0 in their last 10 games and are coming off a loss. Prior to yesterday’s loss, the Sea Dogs had won three straight… Jonathan Huberdeau leads the Dogs in points with 56 in 36 games this season. He also leads the team in assists with 32 and is second in goals with 24… Zach Phillips leads Saint John in goal scoring with 25 markers on the season… Huberdeau is a league best +33 this year… Jacob DeSerres will likely get the start in net. He has a record of 12-2-0-0, a goals against average of 2.37, and a save percentage of 0.916. DeSerres replaced Frederic Piche halfway through yesterday’s game… Michael Kirkpatrick is second in the QMJHL with 96 shots on goal… DeSerres’ GAA of 2.37 is the second best in the QMJHL… Saint John leads the league in shots for per game with an average of 35.67… the Sea Dogs are 2-0-0-0 against Moncton this season and have outscored them 15-9.

Simon Despres and Tomas Jurco are away representing their countries at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Buffalo. Both Canada and Slovakia play today.

Danick Gauthier left last night’s game in the second period and did not return.

From the Sea Dogs website:

Not only will the Dogs and Cats resume the Brunswick News Rivalry Cup, but Saint John sports heroes of the past will be honoured as part of the city’s 225th anniversary celebrations. In addition, the Sea Dogs and Sea Dogs Foundation have set a goal of collecting $10,000 for flood relief efforts in Charlotte County. Fans will be asked to make donations at the game, with the Sea Dogs Foundation matching every donation dollar for dollar, up to the first $5,000.
Tonight is the third installment of the 2010-11 Brunswick News Rivalry Cup.

The Point system that will be involved for tonight’s game: 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. Three (3) points awarded for 6,000 fans, two (2) points for 5,000 fans, and one (1) point for 4,000 fans.

Saint John currently leads the challenge 8-2. With over 6,000 tickets already sold for tonight’s game, the Sea Dogs take an 11-2 lead.

The Wildcats have a bunch of players both on the injury list or away at some world junior tournament.

From Tuesday’s Times &Transcript:

The Wildcats also have three players on the injured list: defenceman Brandon Gormley and forwards Daniel Pettersson and Ted Stephens.

Gormley was sidelined with a knee injury on Nov. 26 and he's being targeted for a mid January return to the lineup. Pettersson was expected to miss 6-8 weeks after suffering a broken wrist on Dec. 12 so that means he will likely return in late January or early February.

Stephens hasn't played since suffering a concussion on Sept. 22. He will begin practising with the club this week doing non contact drills. If he does well there, he will move on to contact drills and could be cleared to play within the next two weeks.

The Wildcats are missing three more forwards. Marek Hrivik is with Slovakia at the 2011 World Junior Hockey Championship in Buffalo. Ryan Penny and Brett Malone are with Team Atlantic at the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Championship, which begins tomorrow in Winnipeg.

The Wildcats are also without defenceman James Melindy. He remained in Newfoundland to spend time with his family following the death of his grandmother.

Moncton defenceman Patrick Downe (concussion) will return to the lineup for Thursday's game.
Bunch of New Year's Eve stuff going down on the Market Square Boardwalk after the game. HERE is all the info.

Venue: Harbour Station
Seating Capacity: 6,297
Average Attendance: 3,852
Year Built: 1993
QMJHL Arena Guide

Radio (Sea Dogs): News 88.9 FM
Live Web Feed: Telus
Television: None
Live Blog: Station Nation
Post-Game Coverage: Station Nation, Telegraph-Journal, Times & Transcript, L’Acadie Nouvelle

Follow Station Nation on Twitter at for in-game updates, scores, stats, and live coverage during tonight’s game.

The Sea Dogs travel to Moncton Sunday to face the Wildcats. Please note that this game is a 2:00 pm start.

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