Sunday, February 27, 2011

PRE-GAME: at Shawinigan Cataractes

Saint John Sea Dogs vs Shawinigan Cataractes
Today, February 27, 2011, 5:00 pm
Centre Bionest

SHAWINIGAN, Que. – After suffering just their sixth regulation loss of the season, the Saint John Sea Dogs won’t have any time to think about yesterday’s match as they take on the Shawinigan Cataractes this afternoon at Centre Bionest. Game time is 5:00 pm AST (4:55, News 88.9; 4:45 SN Live Blog).

The Sea Dogs’ 15-game winning streak was halted yesterday in Victoriaville as the Tigres battled their way to a 2-1 victory over the top-ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League. Saint John had a difficult time playing “their” game. The Tigres were deserving of the victory and now the Sea Dogs must regroup.

How the Sea Dogs respond today will be huge. It was unlikely that Saint John would go undefeated all the way to the MasterCard Memorial Cup, and they will need to know how to bounce back after loses. The Dogs have only lost two straight games all year and that was way back in September – with one if those loses being in a shootout.

With nine games left until the post-season, there are still things for Saint John to improve on. The squad is still struggling to play a full 60 minutes, something that has been apparent in the first two games of this three-game road venture through Quebec.

Saint John will face possibly their stiffest test on this road trip today in Shawinigan. With a record of 37-19-2-1, the Cataractes sit seventh overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The Cats played at Harbour Station last Saturday, falling 7-3 to the Dogs.

The Cataractes were on a roll after Christmas but they have now dropped three straight games and are 6-4-0-0 in their last 10 games. On a losing skid and taking on the best team in the league, Shawinigan will surely be ready for this contest.


Saint JohnShawinigan
Record50-6-1-2 (1st Maritimes)37-19-2-1 (4th Telus West)
Home Record- - -18-10-1-1
Road Record22-6-0-1- - -
Last 109-1-0-06-4-0-0
Goals For278216
Goals Against145166
Overall PP24.4% (7th)25.1% (5th)
Home PP- - -25.9% (6th)
Road PP27.7% (2nd)- - -
Overall PK83.1% (1st)79.3% (9th)
Home PK- - -80% (9th)
Road PK79.1% (9th)- - -
PIM/GAME13.3 (13th)12.4 (16th)

VISITING TEAM: Saint John Sea Dogs

NOTES: The Sea Dogs are led offensively by Jonathan Huberdeau who has 89 points in 58 games this season. He was held pointless yesterday… Huberdeau leads the team in goals with 36… Huberdeau also leads the club in assists with 53… Zack Phillips is second in all offensive categories with 33 goals, 50 assists, and 83 points… Phillips is sixth in the league in power play goals with 13… Michael Kirkpatrick is 16th in power play assists with 17… Mike Thomas is sixth in shorthanded goals with three… Phillips is fourth in game winning goals with seven. Tomas Jurco is sixth with six… Phillips is sixth in first goals with seven… Jurco is tied for the league lead in insurance goals with seven… Huberdeau is a league best plus-53… Simon Despres is seventh in shorthanded assists with two… Michael Kirkpatrick is now tied with Lewiston MAINEiacs sniper Etienne Brodeur for the league lead in dangerous shots with 170. Huberdeau is third with 143… Kirkpatrick is fifth in the league in total shots with 214… 35-2-0-1 when scoring first… 11-1-1-1 against Telus West Division teams this season. They lost in regulation against the Montreal Juniors and lost in both overtime and a shootout against the Drummondville Voltigeurs… the Sea Dogs average a league high 4.71 goals per game… the team allows a league low 2.46 goals against per game on average… averaging a league high 36.53 shots for per game… allowing 27.14 shots against per game… Michael Kirkpatrick has gotten a point in eight straight road games.

PROBABLE STARTER: 20-year old Jacob DeSerres will likely get the start in goal. He has a record of 24-2-0-0, a goals against average of 2.26, and a save percentage of 0.915. He still sits second in GAA but has slipped to third in SV% to make room for the machine that is PEI Rocket goaltender Evan Mosher.

LAST GAME: The Dogs fell 2-1 in Victoriaville yesterday. Mike Thomas scored the lone goal on a nice dish from Michael Kirkpatrick. Mathieu Corbeil took the loss in goal.

HOME TEAM: Shawinigan Cataractes

NOTES: The Cataractes are led offensively by Dave Lebrecque who has 66 points in 50 games… Michael Bournival and Benjamin Casavant each have a team leading 28 goals this season. Bournival has played 55 games while Casavant has appeared in 59 contests… defenseman Ryan Kavanagh has a team high 48 assists. Since joining the Cataractes, he has 17 helpers in 21 games… Kavanagh is second in the league in power play assists with 31. Bournival is sixth with 22… Bournival is 13th in the league in first goals scored with six… Casavant is tied with Saint John’s Tomas Jurco for most insurance goals with seven… Dillon Donnelly is eighth in penalty minutes with 120 served… Anton Zlobin is eighth in rookie scoring with 34 points in 50 games… Bournival is sixth in total shots with 212 taken… Donnelly has taken 16 major penalties this year, good for fourth in the league… Kavanagh is second in power play points with 40… rookie Peter Sakaris has the fourth highest shooting percentage at 22.9%... goaltender Gabriel Girard has played the fourth most minutes of any netminder in the QMJHL this season… Girard has made the second most stops with 1241… Girard is tied for the league lead in shootout wins with five… 21-4-0-0 when scoring first… 8-4-1-0 against the Maritimes Division this year… averaging 3.66 goals per game… averaging 2.81 goals against per game… averaging 30.80 shots per game… averaging 30.58 shots against per game.

PROBABLE STARTER: Gabriel Girard has played the most minutes in net for Shawinigan this season. He has a record of 26-15-2-1, a goals against average of 2.70, and a save percentage of 0.913. He is ranked seventh in GAA and fourth in SV%.

LAST GAME: Like the Sea Dogs, the Cataractes are coming off a 2-1 loss last night. Dave Lebrecque scored the lone goal for Shawinigan as they fell to the Gatineau Olympiques at Centre Bionest. Gabriel Girard only faced 17 shots in the loss. The Cats went 0-for-7 on the power play.

Best Cataractes Video We Could Find: The Cataractes selected Alex Dubeau in the QMJHL Entry Draft.

This is the Sea Dogs’ first appearance at Centre Bionest since October 3, 2009. Saint John fell 5-4 in overtime that night.

A tweet by Jean Deschesnes, who covers the Cataractes, says that the Sea Dogs are 0-5 in Shawinigan all-time. They are 0-4 at the old Jacques Plante Arena and 0-1 at the shiny new Centre Bionest.

Unless these two teams meet in the playoffs, this will be the final meeting between the two until after the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup hosting duties are awarded. Saint John and Shawinigan are considered the favourites to host.

The Sea Dogs wrecked the Cataractes 7-3 last Saturday at Harbour Station. Now on the home ice, Shawinigan will be looking to get some revenge.

The media reaction after this game could be interesting as the Shawinigan media has had some bizarre arguments about why Saint John should not be awarded the tournament.

Baie-Comeau at Chicoutimi - 4:00 PM EST
Rouyn-Noranda at Gatineau - 4:00 PM EST
Drummondville at Lewiston - 4:00 PM EST
Saint John at Shawinigan - 4:00 PM EST
Moncton at Montréal - 7:00 PM EST

Venue: Centre Bionest
Capacity: 4,300
Average Attendance: 3,226
QMJHL Arena Guide

Radio (Sea Dogs): News 88.9 FM
Live Web Feed: Telus
Television: None
Post-Game Coverage: Station Nation
Live Coverage: Follow Station Nation on Twitter ( for live in game coverage. All tweets will also appear in the SN Live Blog that is posted on this site.

The final game of the 2010-11 Brunswick News Rivalry Cup is Friday at Harbour Station at 7:30 pm.

Photo Credits: Marc Henwood/Station Nation, Marc Henwood/Station Nation, Google

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