Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Starting Short-Handed

Today’s Times & Transcript reports that forwards Danick Gauthier and Alexnadre Beauregard along with defenseman Nathan Beaulieu will be the only Saint John Sea Dog players who will be attending National Hockey League camps this season that will play in tomorrow’s season opener at Harbour Station.

The Sea Dogs open up the Canadian Hockey League regular season tomorrow night at 7pm against the Moncton Wildcats.

In total, 16 players who are eligible to return this season will be attending NHL camps over the next few weeks. Three players – Simon Despres (Pittsburgh), Eric Gelinas (New Jersey), and Steven Anthony (Vancouver) – could all turn pro this year and may not return to Saint John.

With Gauthier, Beauregard, and Beaulieu playing tomorrow, that leaves Stephen MacAulay (St. Louis), Ryan Tesink (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 absent from the lineup.

Gauthier and Beauregard will both be attending Phoenix Coyotes rookie camp eventually while Nathan Beaulieu will be heading to Montreal to join the Canadiens prospects.

Going by the roster on the Sea Dogs website, that leaves Gauthier, Beauregard, Devin Oliver-Dares, Jason Cameron, Colin Campbell, Aidan Kelly, Brock Morrison, and Oliver Cooper for forwards. Beaulieu, Tyrone Sock, Benjamin Hade, Jason Seed, Spencer MacDonald, and Kevin Gagne remain on the backend while Charlie Millen and Sebastien Auger are the goaltenders.

Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant knows that the first few games of the season will be tough for Saint John but there are benefits to getting some of the younger players more ice time.

"It's going to be real tough starting the season this way, but it gives the young guys a chance to play a lot of hockey and gain experience,” he said to the Times & Transcript.

"We expect to be missing a lot of guys for the first four games. It's too bad it has to happen like that, but that's how it goes with the regular season starting so early in our league. It gives the young guys a chance to play and gauge where they're at in this league."

Saint John’s first four games consist of tomorrow’s contest against Moncton, Friday’s match in Bathurst, and next weekend’s games in Cape Breton and versus Prince Edward Island. 

Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

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