Just one more sleep until the Saint John Sea Dogs – Lewiston MAINEiacs semifinal playoff series kicks off at Harbour Station at 7:30 pm.
According to the Maineiacs’ Facebook page, the team departed Androscoggin Bank Colisee this morning at 8:00 am local time.
“We were an eighth-place team, but I don’t think we played as an eighth-place team,” said Maineiac Zach Zafiris to Metro Halifax. “People know our team is talented, and we definitely need to be looked out for.”
Tickets are still available for both Game One of Friday and Game Two on Saturday.
ABOUT THE SEMIFINALS
Great run down of both semifinal series over at Buzzing The Net.
On why Saint John should win their series against Lewiston:
This is Saint John's series to lose. They have the Huberdeau-Stanislav Galiev-Zack Phillips monster line leading the way up front and a defence corps led by two high-drafted 19-year-olds, Pittsburgh Penguins first-rounder Simon Després and New Jersey Devils second-rounder Eric Gélinas. Unless coach Gerard Gallant's team gets a whack of injuries or a breakdown in discipline, they can win the series on form.The site predicts Gatineau and Saint John to win their series in six games.
Good post from Maineiacs play-by-play man DJ Abisalih in the team’s newsletter about the history of the Sea Dogs – Maineiacs rivalry.
One of the neat things he takes a look at is the very first game played between the two. We’ll post the excerpt because anything involving Martin Bartos is worth posting.
The rivalry began back on September 30, 2005 at Harbour Station. The MAINEiacs were playing in their fourth game of a six-game road trip, while the Sea Dogs were playing in their fourth home game ever. Thanks to three goals in the second period, as well as 37 saves by Jason Churchill, the first ever meeting went to Saint John, as the home team skated to a 5-2 victory in front of 4,346 fans. Lewiston's Mathieu Aubin scored the first goal in the all-time series, while Martin Bartos scored the Sea Dogs' first goal a little more than six minutes later.ABOUT THOSE MAINEIACS
The good old Kennebec Journal had an article on the Maineiacs today, discussing a little of everything about the frnachise.
Cameron Critchlow on moving to America:
"I was coming not just to a new team, but a new country," said Critchlow, 20, who plays left wing. "It was a culture shock. I didn't know what to expect. Coming to a new country, you get skeptical. Everything is different. The health care is different. People respond differently to situations. People have different views. It was just different. But I got comfortable, especially this year."Lewiston head coach JF Houle also mentioned that his players don’t really notice the frequently low attendance figures.
The Sea Dogs lost just seven regulation games during the regular season. The team lost twice to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan and once to the Montreal Juniors, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, Prince Edward Island Rocket, Lewiston Maineiacs and Victoriaville Tigres.
The Sea Dogs played Cape Breton in the first round, Victoriaville in the second round, and now face Lewiston in the third round - all teams that defeated Saint John in regulation during the regular season. Weird.
A MOCK DRAFT
Mock draft season is starting to pick up and, of course, the Sea Dogs will be heavily involved in the top 30 selections this June.
Friend-of-the-blog Tom Stivali had a good post over at In Lou We Trust on why the Florida Panthers may select Jonathan Huberdeau. It’s a good read.
AWARDS GALA VIDEO
The QMJHL website posted some videos awhile back from the Golden Puck Awards Gala. The videos are unembeddable, sadly, so here is the link to the video page.
CHURCHILL ON ALLAN CUP WIN
Finally, the Chronicle Herald had a story on ex-Sea Dogs goaltender Jason Churchill and his Allan Cup win. It turns out Churchill flies to Newfoundland from Halifax each weekend to play in the senior circuit.
"It’s quite a trek, I’ll tell you that much," said Churchill, a fourth-round selection, 129th overall, by the San Jose Sharks in the 2004 NHL entry draft. "Flying back every weekend, you rack up the air miles. But I love it. I see lots of my friends and family and it’s good hockey."Photo Credits: Marc Henwood/Station Nation, La Nouvelle Union