Thursday, September 8, 2011

Gameday 1 - vs Wildcats

Moncton Wildcats vs Saint John Sea Dogs
Tonight, September 8, 2011, 7:00pm
Harbour Station

SAINT JOHN – The last time the Saint John Sea Dogs played a meaningful game, they skated off the ice with the most prized possession in junior hockey.

Tonight, the quest for glory begins again.

The Sea Dogs host the Moncton Wildcats this evening at 7pm at Harbour Station in the first game of the Canadian Hockey League season. The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League gets into full swing tomorrow night with eight games on the schedule.

Saint John will of course be having a video presentation to honour all of their accomplishments. The team captured their first President’s Cup and Memorial Cup and second regular season and division championship.

The Sea Dogs will however be holding off on raising their banners due to the amount of returning players that will miss this evening’s game. Saint John will be missing 10 regular players this evening and are also missing three other players who could turn pro.

Of the 16 Sea Dogs who will be attending National Hockey League training camps, only three are expected to play this evening. Saint John’s rookie filled lineup will be a major factor heading into tonight’s contest and throughout the next few weeks.

The Wildcats will be missing just three players this evening due to NHL camps - defensemen Brandon Gormley (Phoenix) and Daniel Milan (Tampa Bay) and forward Olivier D'Aoust (Dallas).

Moncton beat Saint John twice during the pre-season when both teams featured rookie-laden lineups. Both Wildcat wins were by one goal.

Tonight’s game is the first of eight the two rival squads will play this year. Saint John won all eight contests last year.

PRE-SEASON RECORD: 4-2-0-0 (2nd Maritimes Division)

NOTES: Marek Hrivik and Ludlow Jr Harris finished the pre-season with a team high four points each. Harris had three goals and an assist while Hrivik had two goals and two assists… Mark Tremaine and Harris both recorded a team high three goals in the pre-season. Hrivik, Mitchell Deruelle and Alex Saulnier all recorded two goals… Moncton outscored their opposition 20-18.

IN NET: Roman Will, a rookie import goaltender, had a solid pre-season, allowing five goals against in just over 118 minutes of action. He finished exhibition play with a 1-1-0-0 record, a 2.54 goals against average, and a 0.923 save percentage.

Brandon Thibeau finished exhibition play with a GAA of 3.00 and a save percentage of 0.882. He played nearly 120 minutes in net and allowed six goals on 51 total shots.

WHO’S MISSING: According to the Times & Transcript, the Wildcats will be missing the following players this evening due to National Hockey League rookie camps: defensemen Brandon Gormley (Phoenix) and Daniel Milan (Tampa Bay) and forward Olivier D'Aoust (Dallas)

NEWCOMERS: Notable acquisitions for the Wildcats during the off-season include Will, Brandon Shea, and Patrick Delisle-Houde.

Will was selected by the ‘Cats with their top pick in the 2011 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft while Shea was drafted in the first round of June’s QMJHL Entry Draft. Shea, an American who played against Saint John during the pre-season, chose the Wildcats over Boston College.

Delisle-Houde, 20, was acquired in a trade during the off-season. The forward had 16 goals and 19 assists in 56 games with the Rimouski Oceanic last year.

LAST GAME: Moncton’s final pre-season game was a 4-3 shootout win in Halifax on Saturday. Marek Hrivik scored two goals and Mark Temaine added another in regulation play. Sebastien Dyk scored the only goal of the shootout. Brandon Thibeau allowed three goals on 25 shots in 60 minutes of play and didn’t allow any shootout goals.

Best Wildcats Video We Could Find On YouTube
Wildcat players carving some snow:

PRE-SEASON RECORD: 2-2-0-1 (5th Maritimes Division)

NOTES: Danick Gauthier led the Sea Dogs in pre-season scoring with six points… Gauthier also led the team in assists with five… Brock Morrison had a team high four goals. Alexandre Beauregard had three while Aidan Kelly and Oliver Cooper had two… the Sea Dogs outscored their opposition 21-20 in five exhibition contests.

IN NET: With Mathieu Corbeil away at Columbus Blue Jackets camp, Charlie Millen and Sebastien Auger will handle the goaltending duties for the Sea Dogs.

Millen had a 6.03 goals against average and a 0.778 save percentage in just under 60 minutes of work in the pre-season. He allowed six goals on 27 total shots.

Auger played 87 minutes in exhibition, recording 4.80 GAA and a 0.825 save percentage. He allowed seven goals on 40 total shots against.

WHO’S MISSING: The Sea Dogs will be missing Stephen MacAulay and Ryan Tesink (both St. Louis), Mathieu Corbeil (Columbus), Stanislav Galiev (Washington), Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida), Tomas Jurco (Detroit), Scott Oke (Dallas), Pierre Durepos (Los Angeles), Ian Saab (Vancouver) and Zack Phillips (Minnesota) all due to NHL rookie camps.

Simon Despres (Pittsburgh), Eric Gelinas (New Jersey) and Steven Anthony (Vancouver) are all eligible to return to Saint John but will likely turn pro.

According to the Times & Transcript yesterday, Nathan Beaulieu (Montreal) and Danick Gauthier and Alexandre Beauregard (both Phoenix) are the only NHL campers expected to play tonight.

FILLING HOLES: With so many players gone to NHL camps, several Sea Dogs will be given the opportunity to step up and fill the voids.

"It gives me a good opportunity to really show what I have," said forward Devon Oliver-Dares to the Telegraph-Journal. "It's a great opportunity for the younger guys to show they belong in this league."

Guys like Oliver-Dares, Jason Cameron, Aidan Kelly, and Tyrone Sock who usually occupy the fourth line or bottom pairing will get the opportunity to play a more prominent role.

Then there are rookies like Brock Morrison, Colin Campbell, Oliver Cooper, and Benjamin Hade who will get a chance to try and impress the coaching staff some more.

LAST GAME: Saint John fell 5-4 in a shootout in their final exhibition game last Wednesday against Bathurst. Danick Gauthier, Ryan Tesink, Oliver Cooper and Alexandre Beauregard scored for the Dogs. Sebastien Auger and Mathieu Corbeil combined to stop 32 of 36 shots against.

There will be a bunch of promotions going on tonight.

The first 6,000 fans who enter the building tonight will receive a limited edition keepsake of the 2011 Memorial Cup champion Sea Dogs, compliments of the team and Irving Oil.

A fan fest will take place in the Harbour Station parking lot from 4-6 p.m., something that includes a public barbecue and live music. There will be a video presentation inside the building prior to the game. The Rivalry Cup, President Cup and Memorial Cup - all trophies the Sea Dogs won last season - will be on display.

Tonight will also be the first game of the 2011-12 Brunswick News Rivalry Cup.

One (1) point will be awarded for an overtime or shootout loss, two (2) points for an overtime or shootout win, and three (3) points for a regulation win. 

Based on game-by-game attendance numbers, one (1) point will be given for 4,000 or more fans, two (2) points for 5,000 or more fans, and three (3) points for 6,000 or more fans. 

This will be the second time the Sea Dogs play on first day of the regular season. They opened up the 2007-08 season with a 4-1 loss in Lewiston against the then reigning President’s Cup champion Maineiacs.

The Wildcats played in the league’s opening game last year as 2010 President’s Cup champions, falling 2-1 in a shootout against Bathurst.


Venue: Harbour Station
Seating Capacity: 6,297
Average Attendance: N/A
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 up the highway to face the Titan in Bathurst tomorrow night at 7:30pm. 

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