Friday, April 8, 2011

PRE-GAME: Game One vs Victoriaville Tigres

Round Two, Game One - 2011 President’s Cup Playoffs
Victoriaville Tigres vs Saint John Sea Dogs
Tonight, 7:30 pm
Harbour Station

This is the first game of the best-of-seven quarter-final series between the 11th seeded Victoriaville Tigres and the top seeded Saint John Sea Dogs.

SAINT JOHN – Oh yeah, the playoffs!

The Saint John Sea Dogs have not played a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League game in over a week thanks to their four-game dismantling of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in the first round. Saint John swept the Eagles in convincing fashion, outscoring them 26-2.

Since that series ended last Wednesday in Sydney, two members of the Sea Dogs’ coaching staff picked up awards, two players won awards, two players were also named to the league’s first all-star team, and the franchise suffered through the disappointment of watching the Shawinigan Cataractes awarded 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup hosting duties.

It has been an eventful few days, but now it’s time to get back down to business.

The Sea Dogs host the Victoriaville Tigres tonight at Harbour Station in Game One of their quarter-final best-of-seven series. Game time is 7:30 pm.

It's a surprise to see the Tigres playing in the second round of the President’s Cup playoffs. The squad went up against the sixth seeded Acadie-Bathurst Titan in the first round and were definitely considered the underdogs. But the Tigres shocked the world by not only winning the series, but sweeping Bathurst.

Victoriaville is not the team they were last year when they took the Sea Dogs to six games in the semi-finals before falling, but they still have plenty of talented players. Even without QMJHL leading scorer Philip-Michael Devos, the team still has Philippe Maillet, Phillip Danault, Brandon Hynes, and the star of the first round – goaltender David Honzik.

Saint John can’t take the Tigres lightly. Unlike the first round against Cape Breton, Victoriaville does have the ability to steal at least a game.


VictoriavilleSaint John
Record35-29-1-3 (3rd East)58-7-1-2 (1st Maritimes)
Home Record- - -32-0-1-1
Road Record19-13-1-1- - -
Last 105-5-0-08-2-0-0
Goals For256324
Goals Against240165
Goals/Game3.76 (6th)4.76 (1st)
Goals Against/Game3.53 (12th)2.43 (1st)
Shots/Game31.16 (6th)36.81 (1st)
Shots Against/Game30.24 (10th)26.96 (5th)
Overall PP22.1% (11th)25.1% (6th)
Home PP- - -24.4% (8th)
Road PP25.4% (6th)- - -
Overall PK75.0% (16th)83.7% (1st)
Home PK- - -86.1% (1st)
Road PK75.9% (14th)- - -
PIM/GAME14.0 (11th)13.1 (13th)

Game One - Friday, April 8 at 7:30 pm at Harbour Station
Game Two - Saturday, April 9 at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station
Game Three - Tuesday, April 12, at 8:00 pm at Colisee Desjardins
Game Four - Wednesday, April 13, at 8:00 pm at Colisee Desjardins
*Game Five - Friday, April 15, at 8:00 pm at Colisee Desjardins
*Game Six – Monday, April 18 at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station
*Game Seven – Tuesday, April 19 at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station

*if necessary

After yesterday’s disappointment, the Sea Dogs can’t let it get to them. Especially since, well, they have a decent chance at winning at all this year.

According to the Telegraph-Journal, “after the practice had ended, head coach Gerard Gallant gathered his players and reminded them to stay focused on their second-round playoff series against the Victoriaville Tigres.”

"I don't think the best team won,” said Gallant. “The five committee members have to live with (their decision), so if they think it's the right thing, that's all that matters.''

Of note, if Saint John and Shawinigan both win their series and the Lewiston MAINEiacs don’t advance, the Sea Dogs and Cataractes would meet in the semi-finals.

It’s been awhile since the Sea Dogs played a game, but Gerard Gallant doesn’t seem to think that will affect his team. From today’s Times & Transcript:

"No, I don't think so," said Gallant when asked if he has any concerns that Victoriaville may be more battle ready than his club because it's coming off a tougher test in the opening round.

"That doesn't bother us at all. We played a lot of those (lopsided) games this season. It really doesn't affect our team. We usually just come out and play our type of game whether we're facing a top team or one of the weaker teams in the league."
The Sea Dogs went 1-1-0-0 against the Tigres this season, winning 4-2 on October 17 at Harbour Station and then falling 2-1 at Colisee Desjardins on February 26.

The win:

The loss:

Victoriaville at Saint John - 7:30 PM ADT
Shawinigan at Quebec - 7:00 PM EDT
Lewiston at Montreal - 7:05 PM EDT
Gatineau at Drummondville - 7:30 PM EDT

Venue: Harbour Station
Capacity: 6,297
Reg. Season Average Attendance: 4,478
Playoff Average Attendance: 4,010
QMJHL Arena Guide

Radio (Sea Dogs): News 88.9 FM
Live Web Feed: Telus
Television: None
Post-Game Coverage: Station Nation, Telegraph-Journal, La Nouvelle Union
Live Coverage: Follow Station Nation on Twitter ( or follow the Live Blog on this site for live coverage of tonight’s game.

The Sea Dog and Tigres meet tomorrow night at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station in Game Two of their second round series.

Photo Credits: Yahoo! Sports, Google

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