Today was the final day of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s 2011 pre-season schedule as the PEI Rocket tool on the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and the Quebec Remparts traveled to Ottawa to take on the 67s.
The regular season begins this Thursday at 7pm at Harbour Station when the Saint John Sea Dogs host the Moncton Wildcats. Season Opening Night is sponsored by founding partners Irving Oil and Moosehead Breweries. The first 6,000 fans in attendance will receive a special limited-edition keepsake of the 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup championship, compliments of the Sea Dogs and Irving Oil.
The Harbour Station website lists ticket availability as "good."
Following Thursday’s game, the Sea Dogs travel to Bathurst on Friday to face the Titan in their home opener at the KC Irving Regional Centre.
The annual Sea Dogs charity baseball game against the Saint John Police Force All-Stars will take place on September 14 at Memorial Field. More info on the event from the Dog Bytes Newsletter:
The Sea Dogs will put down their hockey sticks and test their softball skills against the Saint John Police Force All-Stars for the seventh consecutive year. The record is tied at 3-3, so this is a winner-takes-all fight for bragging rights. Someone will have to step up from this year's roster to cover the hole left by forward Steven Anthony, who put up a two-home run effort in the come-form-behind win last year.
The game is set to be played on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at Memorial Field on Dever Road in West Saint John. The game raises funds and public awareness for the various programs supported by the Saint John Neighborhood Police Council. The Neighborhood Watch, Kids 'n Kops and Block Parents are some of the programs being supported this year. The last six contests held between the Sea Dogs and Police All Stars have raised thousands of dollars and both sides look to continue the tradition this year. Tickets are $10 each, four for $30, five for $35 or six for $40. For tickets or information, call 1-800-561-4422.
HUBERDEAU TOPS LIST
Last week, Jonathan Huberdeau was named the Florida Panthers’ top prospect by Hockey’s Future. Today, the Panthers blog ‘The Litter Box Cats’ also named the Sea Dogs’ top scorer Florida’s No. 1 prospect.
“It's easy to see why Huberdeau is regarded by many as the Panthers' best prospect,” writes Crooklyn Banks. “At the age of 17, Huberdeau became one of most dangerous forwards in not just the QMJHL, but in the CHL itself.”
Panthers rookie camp begins September 9. Their first game is Sunday against Tampa Bay.
Looks like the Moncton Wildcats roster is basically set for opening night on Thursday.
The team cut defenseman Zach Shannon and forwards Mitchell Deruelle, Kristopher Hodge, Ludlow Harris Jr. and Cole MacMillan yesterday leaving 27 players on their roster. Defensemen Brandon Gormley (Phoenix) and Daniel Milan (Tampa Bay) and forward Olivier D'Aoust (Dallas) will all take part in National Hockey League training camps.
GOALTENDERS: Roman Will (age 19, Czech Republic junior) and Brandon Thibeau (age 18, Dieppe junior A and Wildcats)
DEFENSEMEN: Brandon Gormley (age 19, Wildcats); Daniel Milan (age 19, Wildcats); Patrick Downe (age 19, Wildcats); Lance Pridham (age 19, Wildcats); Charles Johnson (age 18, Wildcats); James Melindy (age 18, Wildcats); Cameron McDonald (age 18, Amherst junior A); Samuel Roussy (age 17, Quebec midget AAA) and Myles McGurty (age 17, U.S. midget AAA)
FORWARDS: Marek Hrivik (age 20, Wildcats); Devon MacAusland (age 20, Wildcats); Patrick Delisle-Houde (age 20, Rimouski QMJHL); Alex Saulnier (age 19, Wildcats); Allain Saulnier (age 19, Wildcats); Scott Trask (age 19, Wildcats); Olivier D'Aoust (age 19, Wildcats); Sebastien Dyk (age 19, Sweden junior); Grant West (age 19, Campbellton junior A); Erik Robichaud (age 18, Ontario junior A); Thomas Flynn (age 18, Wildcats); Brett Malone (age 17, Wildcats); Ryan Penny (age 17, Wildcats); Christophe Lalonde (age 17, Lewiston QMJHL); Mark Tremaine (age 17, Nova Scotia midget AAA) and Brandon Shea (age 16, U.S. prep school).
Also according to the T&T, import Marek Hrivik, who usually plays in beast mode against Saint John, will start the year with the club but could be leaving at some point over the next few weeks to take part in an American Hockey League camp.
The Telegraph-Journal had an editorial in today’s paper on the Rivalry Cup.
The annual Brunswick News Rivalry Cup has always focused on fan participation and charitable works. In this, the fourth year of the challenge, fans will get credit for supporting their teams through social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter.
Living in the shadows of Thursday’s opener is the fact that it will be the first match of the Rivalry Cup for this year.
The Hockey News’ Ryan Kennedy conducted a video interview with Jonathan Huberdeau at the NHLPA’s Rookie Showcase Event last week.
Among other things, Huberdeau talks about Florida Panthers development camp and his Twitter battles with fellow Panthers prospect Rocco Grimaldi.