Monday, February 28, 2011

POSTSCRIPT: Sea Dogs 6, Cataractes 3

By Station Nation Staff

DOGS WIN BABY
The Saint John Sea Dogs rebounded from a 2-1 upset in Victoriaville on Saturday with a 6-3 victory in Shawinigan on Sunday afternoon at Centre Bionest in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play.

Saint John played a solid road game and never trailed in the contest. Stanislav Galiev opened the scoring at 7:21 of the first period. But despite the Cataractes scoring just under two minutes later, the Dogs battled hard and never fell behind.

After losing in regulation for the first time in 22-games the night before, Saint John didn’t miss a beat and played the typical high octane Sea Dogs game.

Phillips scored at 11:17 to cap off the goals for the first period. In the second, Saint John took a 4-1 lead thanks to back-to-back goals from Eric Gelinas and Tomas Jurco.

In the third, Shawinigan slowly attempted to climb back as Loik Poudrier netted his ninth of the season just 20 seconds into the fame to make it a 4-2 contest. But Galiev would not allow it to be a one-goal affair as he scored his second of the match at 9:37.

Poudrier was back at it just 22 seconds after Galiev’s goal to make it a two-goal game again. Phillips closed out the scoring at 12:14 to make it a 6-3 final in favour of the visitors.

"It was a big bounce-back game,'' Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant said about Sunday's performance to the Telegraph-Journal. "Coming in here, we looked at this as a big game with something to prove. We probably needed that loss (on Saturday) to get our best game back.''

Sunday, February 27, 2011

BACK TO BUSINESS

SN RECAP
FINAL: Sea Dogs 6, Cataractes 3

SHAWINIGAN, Que. – After a rough outing in Victoriaville on Saturday night, the Saint John Sea Dogs redeemed themselves in Shawinigan on Sunday.

Stanislav Galiev and Zack Phillips each had a pair of goals as the Sea Dogs cruised past the Cataractes 6-3 at Centre Bionest in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play. Eric Gelinas and Tomas Jurco also scored for the winners while goaltender Jacob DeSerres made 27 saves in the victory.

It was a much better game by the Sea Dogs than the one they put forward on Saturday against the Tigres. Saint John battled hard for most of the game and displayed their typical offensive display, putting up six goals on 38 shots.

Shawinigan goaltender Gabriel Girard was pulled after allowing three goals on 15 shots. His replacement, Alex Dubeau, didn’t do much better as he let in three goals on 23 shots.

It was the Cataractes’ fourth straight loss and their second defeat against Saint John in eight days. The Sea Dogs swept the season series by winning both contests and outscoring Shawinigan 13-6.

Loik Poudrier scored twice for the home squad and Jean-Francois Plante added a single marker. Shawinigan was able to hang around with the Dogs until the second where Saint John exploded for three goals.

This games ends the Sea Dogs’ three-in-three road trip. Despite the loss yesterday, the team still managed to pick up four-of-a-possible-six points.

LIVE BLOG: Sea Dogs vs Cataractes

PRE-GAME: at Shawinigan Cataractes

GAME DAY
Saint John Sea Dogs vs Shawinigan Cataractes
Today, February 27, 2011, 5:00 pm
Centre Bionest

PREVIEW
SHAWINIGAN, Que. – After suffering just their sixth regulation loss of the season, the Saint John Sea Dogs won’t have any time to think about yesterday’s match as they take on the Shawinigan Cataractes this afternoon at Centre Bionest. Game time is 5:00 pm AST (4:55, News 88.9; 4:45 SN Live Blog).

The Sea Dogs’ 15-game winning streak was halted yesterday in Victoriaville as the Tigres battled their way to a 2-1 victory over the top-ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League. Saint John had a difficult time playing “their” game. The Tigres were deserving of the victory and now the Sea Dogs must regroup.

How the Sea Dogs respond today will be huge. It was unlikely that Saint John would go undefeated all the way to the MasterCard Memorial Cup, and they will need to know how to bounce back after loses. The Dogs have only lost two straight games all year and that was way back in September – with one if those loses being in a shootout.

With nine games left until the post-season, there are still things for Saint John to improve on. The squad is still struggling to play a full 60 minutes, something that has been apparent in the first two games of this three-game road venture through Quebec.

Saint John will face possibly their stiffest test on this road trip today in Shawinigan. With a record of 37-19-2-1, the Cataractes sit seventh overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The Cats played at Harbour Station last Saturday, falling 7-3 to the Dogs.

The Cataractes were on a roll after Christmas but they have now dropped three straight games and are 6-4-0-0 in their last 10 games. On a losing skid and taking on the best team in the league, Shawinigan will surely be ready for this contest.

HEAD-TO-HEAD NUMBERS

Saint JohnShawinigan
Record50-6-1-2 (1st Maritimes)37-19-2-1 (4th Telus West)
Home Record- - -18-10-1-1
Road Record22-6-0-1- - -
Streak0-1-0-00-3-0-0
Last 109-1-0-06-4-0-0
Goals For278216
Goals Against145166
Overall PP24.4% (7th)25.1% (5th)
Home PP- - -25.9% (6th)
Road PP27.7% (2nd)- - -
Overall PK83.1% (1st)79.3% (9th)
Home PK- - -80% (9th)
Road PK79.1% (9th)- - -
PIM/GAME13.3 (13th)12.4 (16th)

SEA DOGS NOTEBOOK

MEMORIAL CUP SCHEDULE
The 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup schedule and game times were finalized this week. The QMJHL representative opens the tournament on May 20 at 8:00 pm against the host Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors.

Here is the full schedule (times are in EST):

Round-Robin Game 1 – QMJHL vs. Mississauga on Friday May 20, 2011 at 7:00 pm
Round-Robin Game 2 – OHL vs. WHL on Saturday May 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm
Round-Robin Game 3 – Mississauga vs. WHL on Sunday May 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm
Round-Robin Game 4 – OHL vs. QMJHL on Monday May 23, 2011 at 7:00 pm
Round-Robin Game 5 – WHL vs. QMJHL on Tuesday May 24, 2011 at 7:00 pm
Round-Robin Game 6 – Mississauga vs. OHL on Wednesday May 25, 2011 at 7:00 pm
Tie-Breaker (if necessary) – Thursday May 26, 2011 at 7:00 pm
Semi-Final – Friday May 27, 2011 at 7:00 pm
Championship Final – Sunday May 29, 2011 at 7:00 pm
All games are broadcast live on Rogers Sportsnet.

SAUVE SENT DOWN
Yann Sauve made his presence known on the Vancouver Canucks blue-line over the past few games, but with the teams inured defense core finally starting to return, the former Saint John Sea Dog was returned to the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose earlier this week.

"It was real fun, a good experience," Sauve said to the Winnipeg Free Press Wednesday. "For sure the pace is faster but I think I got a tempo going and I think I stepped up my game a bit. I had to, otherwise they were going to eat me alive."

In three games with the National Hockey League club he had no points or penalty minutes.

SEA DOGS ON NHL.COM
The Sea Dogs were featured on NHL.com the other day. Not much of an article, but you get what you can get on NHL.com.

Here is a selection from the post:
Keep in mind that there could be as many as six players from the QMJHL taken in the first round of the 2011 Entry Draft in St. Paul, Minn., on June 24. The last time the league produced as many as four first-round NHL draft picks was 2007 when forwards Jakub Voracek, Logan MacMillan, Angelo Esposito and David Perron were all taken among the top 26 selections.

Not only could there be as many as six players from the 'Q' drafted in the opening round, but four of the players might very well be from the surging Sea Dogs.
PRE-GAME RITUALS
The QMJHL website had a video this week asking players what are the most bizarre pre-game rituals they have seen in the league. Nathan Beaulieu and Zack Phillips were both asked.

Click HERE to check out the video.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

BACK DOWN TO EARTH

SN POST-GAME
FINAL: Sea Dogs 1, Tigres 2


VICTORIAVILLE, Que. – All good things must come to an end.

The Saint John Sea Dogs found that out the hard way this afternoon/evening in Victoriaville, falling 2-1 to the Tigres in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play. The loss ends the Sea Dogs’ winning streak at 15 games and their unbeaten in regulation streak at 22 games.

It’s a hard pill to swallow right now. The Sea Dogs hadn’t lost a regulation game since December 30 in Bathurst and hadn’t lost in any way since a shootout defeat on January 15 against Drummondville. But losing happens. Prior to this one, the team had lost five games in regulation and two in extra time. They rebounded from those loses and they will overcome this one.

The Sea Dogs just didn’t have it in this contest. There were times when the Dogs had plenty of pressure on but then there were times when they were sloppy and unorganized, allowing the Tigres to dictate the play. It wasn’t a typical game from the top-ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League.

Even in the third period and down a goal, Saint John couldn’t overcome whatever problems they were having. Victoriaville put on a show, outshooting the Sea Dogs 12-3 in the final 20 minutes of play.

The only Saint John goal came from captain Mike Thomas in the second period. Goaltender Mathieu Corbeil was fairly solid once again in net, making 23 saves in the loss.

Philippe Maillet and Pierre-Luc Pelletier each scored for the winners. Antonio Mastropietro put on a clinic at times, stopping 25 shots in the win. The Tigres played an all around great game and did what they had to do in order defeat the top team in the QMJHL.

The Sea Dogs will look to rebound tomorrow in Shawinigan against the team that should give them the most trouble on this three-in-three road trek.

LIVE BLOG: Sea Dogs vs Tigres

PRE-GAME: at Victoriaville Tigres

GAME DAY
Saint John Sea Dogs vs Victoriaville Tigres 
Today, February 26, 2011, 5:00 pm
Colisee Desjardins

PREVIEW
VICTORIAVILLE, Que. – The Saint John Sea Dogs continue their road trip this afternoon as they take on the Victoriaville Tigres the Desjardins Colisee. Game time is 5:00 pm AST (4:55, News 88.9; 4:45, SN Live Blog).

The Sea Dogs are coming off a hard fought victory in Gatineau last night. The 4-3 win gave the Sea Dogs their 50th win of the season and 15th straight victory. They have not lost a game in regulation over their past 22 contests with an overtime loss being the only blemish.

Saint John has been red hot over that past couple of months but there are still some things that could be improved for the playoffs. The Sea Dogs took plenty of penalties last night and also seemed to struggle closing out the win in the third period. With 10 games left on the schedule, now is the time to change these habits.

The Tigres enter today’s match with a record of 32-24-1-3 and sit ninth overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League standings. With eight games to go, they are still in battle for playoff positioning. If the playoffs started today, they’d face the Lewiston MAINEiacs in the dreaded eight vs nine spot.

Victoriaville is 6-4-0-0 in their last 10 games and have won two straight.

These two teams met in last year’s semi-finals of course. The memorable series saw Saint John prevail in six games. Since then, the two have played each other only once and that came way back on October 17 at Harbour Station with the Sea Dogs winning 4-2.

HEAD-TO-HEAD NUMBERS

Saint JohnVictoriaville
Record50-5-1-2 (1st Maritimes)32-24-1-3 (3rd Telus East)
Home Record- - -15-13-0-2
Road Record22-5-0-1- - -
Streak21-0-1-02-0-0-0
Last 1010-0-0-06-4-0-0
Goals For277231
Goals Against143214
Overall PP24.7% (6th)20.7% (11th)
Home PP- - -17.1% (13th)
Road PP28.4% (2nd)- - -
Overall PK82.8% (2nd)76.2% (15th)
Home PK- - -75.2% (15th)
Road PK77.3% (11th)- - -
PIM/GAME13.3 (13th)13.8 (11th)

GATINEAU OUTGUNNED

SN POST-GAME
FINAL: Sea Dogs 4, Olympiques 3


GATINEAU, Que. – They simply refuse to lose.

The Saint John Sea Dogs have now won 15 consecutive contests and are unbeaten in regulation in their past 22 games. Their latest win came Friday evening at Robert Guertin Arena as the top-ranked team in Canada defeated the Gatineau Olympiques 4-3 in a wild Quebec Major Junior Hockey League contest.

Michael Kirkpatrick, Zack Phillips, Nathan Beaulieu, and Stanislav Galiev all scored for Saint John. Jonathan Huberdeau chipped in with two assists. Goaltender Jacob DeSerres played extremely well for the Dogs, making some huge stops to keep Saint John in front.

Gatineau had goals from Jacob Conrad, Mitchell Porowski, and Hubert Labrie. Maxime Clermont struggled in the first period, allowing two goals on eight shots. Francois Lacerte replaced him to start the second period and put on clinic for most of the night, making 20 saves in the loss.

It was a bit of a strange one. The Sea Dogs scored two goals in less than 90 seconds to open the game and then got into penalty trouble. But the Saint John would kill off those penalties until the final frame where it finally started to cost them. The third period was flat out bizarre as both teams had penalty shots.

The victory gives Saint John 50 wins on the year, which, according to the Sea Dogs' Twitter, makes them only the fourth team in QMJHL to have back-to-back 50 win campaigns.

This game was a good test for Saint John as they battled through some adversity to win. Blame the officials all you want about some of the calls in this game, but the truth is the Sea Dogs have been quite undisciplined at times over the past few games. Luckily it hasn’t cost them any games, but with the playoffs just around the corner, now is the time to fix these kinds of problems.

Friday, February 25, 2011

LIVE BLOG: Sea Dogs vs Olympiques

PRE-GAME: at Gatineau Olympiques

GAME DAY
Saint John Sea Dogs vs Gatineau Olympiques
Tonight, February 25, 2011, 8:30 pm
Robert Guertin Arena

PREVIEW
GATINEAU, Que. – The Gatineau Olympiques will be looking to make a statement this evening.

Currently sitting seventh overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with a record of 34-16-3-5, the Olympiques host the top-ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League at 8:30 pm at The Bob. Gatineau has had a good season despite a number of injuries to key players. But with the injured starting to heal and after some deadline dealing, the Olympiques are surely trying and prove they can tango with the big boys.

Gatineau sits fourth in the tough Telus West Division and has Montreal, Drummondville, and Shawinigan parked ahead of them. The team is 4-3-1-2 in their last 10 games.

On the other side, the Sea Dogs enter this evening’s tilt on a serious hot streak. Saint John has won a league high 14 straight games going into tonight’s match and have not lost in regulation in 21 games. Their last regulation loss came on December 30 in Bathurst.

This is the second meeting of the year between the Dogs and ‘Piques. On December 4, Saint John downed the Olympiques 5-2 at Harbour Station. Tomas Jurco had two goals while Stanislav Galiev, Stephen MacAulay, and Zack Phillips added singles. Goaltender Jacob DeSerres made 25 saves on the win.

Tonight’s match will also see two of the league’s top point getters go head-to-head. Philip-Michael Devos leads the league in points with 94 while Jonathan Huberdeau is third with 87 points.

The game kicks off a three-in-three Quebec road trip for the Sea Dogs, a trek that will see them play three consecutive contests against above .500 teams. It will be a good test for the team as they prepare for the playoffs.

HEAD-TO-HEAD NUMBERS

Saint JohnGatineau
Record49-5-1-2 (1st Maritimes)34-16-3-5 (4th Telus West)
Home Record- - -19-8-1-1
Road Record21-5-0-1- - -
Streak20-0-1-01-0-0-0
Last 1010-0-0-04-3-1-2
Goals For273198
Goals Against140167
Overall PP24.5% (7th)21.6% (10th)
Home PP- - -20.5% (10th)
Road PP28.0% (2nd)- - -
Overall PK82.8% (2nd)77.7% (13th)
Home PK- - -77.5% (14th)
Road PK77.8% (12th)- - -
PIM/GAME13.3 (13th)12.6 (14th)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

GALLANT BEING GALLANT


Former Saint John Sea Dogs enforcer Brett Gallant recently signed with the American Hockey League’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Gallant, who is the Sea Dogs franchise leader in penalty minutes, has not lost his fighting skills over the years.

Last Sunday in a loss against the Hershey Bears, Gallant had an epic tilt with Joel Rechilcz. From Sweetest Hockey on Earth:

Soon it became 3-1 Bears as Joel Rechlicz (yes, Joel Rechlicz) scored his first goal of the season. Not only his first goal, but his first ever AHL goal and his first goal since his 2007-2008 IHL season (s/t to Tim Leone for that fact). Right after, Rechlicz dropped the gloves with Brett Gallant. It was a brilliant fight, both guys got in some huge punches and the fight lasted for at least a minute. That’s the kind of fight people will be talking about the next day. Before the end of the period, the Sound Tigers got one goal back.
Here is the round of fisticuffs:



“That was a really long fight,” Rechlicz said to The Patriot News. “I give credit to the other guy on the other side. He’s a pretty tough kid. He looks small, but he throws pretty hard.”

Gallant played 13 games with the Elmira Jackals this season and 12 games with Reading Royals of the East Coast Hockey League before getting his AHL gig. In seven games with the Sound Tigers, Gallant has already accumulated 23 penalty minutes.

Photo Credit: Sweetest Hockey on Earth; Thanks to Emily B. for the links

A TOUGH TRIP AHEAD

GATINEAU, Que. – The Canadian Hockey League’s top-ranked team is way up in Gatineau, Quebec preparing to kick off a three-in-three road trip through La Belle Province. It will be the Saint John Sea Dogs' last major Quebec road swing of the season and it will also be one of their toughest.

After Friday’s tilt against the Olympiques, the Sea Dogs travel to Victoriaville on Saturday and then close out the venture on Sunday in Shawinigan. Game time tomorrow night is 8:30 pm while the two other matches begin at 5:00 pm.

It will be a stiff test for Saint John. All three teams have above .500 records with the Tigres having the worst winning percentage at a fairly solid .559. Shawinigan sits sixth overall on the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League standings, Gatineau seventh, and Victoriaville ninth.

The Dogs sit comfortably atop the QMJHL standings with a nine-point lead over the Montreal Juniors with two games in hand. But Saint John will have to crank up the intensity level as all three squads should be pumped and ready to go. Although the three organizations have all clinched a playoff spot, all teams in the middle of the standings are jockeying for post-season positioning.

Saint John is currently on their hottest stretch of the season having won 14 straight and going 21 consecutive contests without losing in regulation. They are a decent hockey team.

Along with the winning streak, the weekend of action will provide some other interesting story lines. Tomorrow night, two of the league’s most dangerous offensive players in Saint John’s Jonathan Huberdeau and Gatineau’s Philip-Michael Devos will go head-to-head. Devos currently leads the QMJHL in scoring with 94 points while Huberdeau is third with 87.

On Saturday, the Dogs will travel to Victoriaville for the first time since the 2010 semi-finals. Saint John won the series 4-2, sending them to the President’s Cup final.

Finally, the trek will end Sunday afternoon as the Sea Dogs enter the Bionest Centre to play the Cataractes. These two teams met last Saturday at Harbour Station with Saint John prevailing by score of 7-3.

Of course, this match will see the two strongest bidders for the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup play each other. The Shawinigan media has been slamming the Sea Dogs of late, mainly about the drafting of Huberdeau saga. No clue what they might pull out of their hats this weekend.

As always, SN will have pre- and post-game coverage of every match as well as an in-game blog. Be there.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

11 STRAIGHT WEEKS AT THE TOP

For the 11th straight week, the Saint John Sea Dogs are ranked No. 1 in the Canadian Hockey League. The latest edition of the BMO CHL MasterCard Top 10 Rankings were released today.

The Sea Dogs played three games this week, winning all three by a combined score of 14-6. Saint John has now won 14 straight contests and have gone 21 consecutive games without losing in regulation.

The top team in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League started the week Friday with a 3-2 win over the Val-d’Or Foreurs. On Saturday, Saint John’s offense exploded in the second period and cruised to a 7-3 win over the Shawinigan Cataractes. Finally, the Dogs defeated the Halifax Mooseheads 4-1 on Tuesday.

“It’s a terrific team,” said Mooseheads head coach Bobby Smith to Metro Halifax. “They’ve been No. 1 in the rankings since quite early in the season for a reason and they have high-end players who are dangerous all the time.”

Other QMJHL teams to make the list were the Montreal Juniors at No. 3, Quebec Remparts at No. 6, and the Drummondville Voltigeurs finally crept into the No. 10 spot after several weeks of being an honourable mention.

The weekly rankings of the Canadian Hockey League’s Top 10 teams are selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts.

Here are the BMO CHL MasterCard Top 10 Rankings for Week 22:

1 Saint John Sea Dogs (49-5-1-2)
2 Saskatoon Blades (46-12-0-2)
3 Montreal Juniors (42-9-4-4)
4 Mississauga St. Michael's Majors (42-12-0-2)
5 Red Deer Rebels (41-14-3-4)
6 Quebec Remparts (40-15-1-2)
7 Portland Winterhawks (40-16-0-3)
8 Owen Sound Attack (38-16-1-3)
9 Niagara IceDogs (36-14-2-4)
10 Drummondville Voltigeurs (38-14-5-2)

Honourable Mention:
Ottawa 67's (37-17-1-2)
Kootenay Ice (39-18-1-2)
Saginaw Spirit (37-16-3-1)
In the Buzzing The Net ‘Dynamic Dozen,’ the Sea Dogs were ranked No. 1 yet again this week.

The Sea Dogs play three games this weekend – all on the road against above .500 teams. The team plays in Gatineau Friday, Victoriaville Saturday, and Shawinigan Sunday.

Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

POSTSCRIPT: Mooseheads 1, Sea Dogs 4

SEA DOGS – MOOSEHEADS GAME AT A GLANCE
Final Score: Halifax 1, Saint John 4
Saint John Goals: Michael Kirkpatrick (27), Tomas Jurco (28), Nathan Beaulieu (11), and Stanislav Galiev (28)
Halifax Goals: Matthew Boudreau (9)
Winning Goaltender: SNB – Mathieu Corbeil
Losing Goaltenders: HAL – Anthony Terenzio
News 88.9 Top Dog: Stanislav Galiev

THE NUMBERS
Power Play: Mooseheads: 0/5; Sea Dogs: 2/3
Shots on Goal: Mooseheads: 10+7+6=23; Sea Dogs: 12+14+10=36
Length: 2:08
Attendance: 3,685

SAINT JOHN SCRATCHES
Defenseman Gabriel Bourret and forwards Scott Oke and Ryan Tesink were all healthy scratches.

DOGS WIN AGAIN
The Saint John Sea Dogs continued their season long domination of the Halifax Mooseheads with a 4-1 victory at Harbour Station Tuesday night. It was the last meeting of the season between the two teams with Saint John winning all eight games.

After Halifax failed to score on three power play opportunities, Michael Kirkpatrick opened up the scoring at 14:51 of the first period. Kevin Gagne fired the puck on goal and produced a rebound that was picked up and dished in by Kirkpatrick to give the Dogs a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes.

In the second, Tomas Jurco scored on the power play with Kirkpatrick picking up the lone assist. Fast forward to 13:24 of the middle frame, Eric Gelinas put the puck on a tee for Nathan Beaulieu who one-timed a point shot through traffic and past Mooseheads netminder Anthony Terenzio to give Saint John a 3-0 edge after two.

Matthew Boudreau got the Herd on the board at 2:39 of the final frame. A point shot nailed Boudreau in front of the net but made the smart play of finding the puck and sliding it past Sea Dogs goaltender Mathieu Corbeil to make it a 3-1 affair.

But the Dogs would have the last laugh as Stanislav Galiev blasted home his 28th of the season at 11:12 to give the Dogs a 4-1 win over the lowly Mooseheads.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

14 STRAIGHT

Michael Kirkpatrick scored for Saint John in the win.
SN RECAP
FINAL: Mooseheads 1, Sea Dogs 4

SAINT JOHN – For the second straight year, the Saint John Sea Dogs have hit the triple digits.

With a 4-1 victory over the Halifax Mooseheads on Tuesday night at Harbour Station, the Sea Dogs picked up two points to increase their point total to a whopping 101 on the year. The win also saw Saint John’s lead in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League standings increase to 11 points over the Montreal Juniors.

According to the Sea Dogs’ Twitter, the hockey club is only the seventh team in QMJHL history to have back-to-back 100 point seasons. The win was also the Dogs’ 14th straight. Finally, they have now gone an amazing 21 consecutive games without losing in regulation.

As for the game itself, the Sea Dogs played well and were able to stop any possibility of an upset happening. The team got into some penalty trouble in the first period but their defense and a strong goaltending performance from Mathieu Corbeil was enough to shutdown the Mooseheads.

Michael Kirkpatrick, Tomas Jurco, Nathan Beaulieu, and Stanislav Galiev all scored for winners. Corbeil made 22 stops in the win, putting his season record up to 15-15-1-1.

As for the Mooseheads, they played quite well and they certainly did not play as bad as they had in the past against Saint John this season. Matthew Boudreau scored the lone goal for the visitors while Anthony Terenzio made 32 saves in the loss.

LIVE BLOG: Mooseheads vs Sea Dogs

PRE-GAME: vs Halifax Mooseheads

GAME DAY
Halifax Mooseheads vs Saint John Sea Dogs
Tonight, February 22, 2011, 7:00 pm
Harbour Station

PREVIEW
SAINT JOHN – The Halifax Moosheads are still fighting for playoff positioning as they enter Harbour Station this evening to play the Saint John Sea Dogs for the final time this year. Game time is 7:00 pm.

The Mooseheads, who have not made the post-season since 2008, are currently ranked 15th overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with a record of 18-37-1-2. They scored a big win last Friday over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, moving them two-points up on the final playoff spot. The Eagles currently hold the last post-season seat, eight points up the 17th placed Baie-Comeau Drakkar.

The Herd have been struggling of late and have hot-and-cold all season long. They are 3-7-0-0 in their last 10 games and snapped a lengthy losing skid Friday at Centre 200.

If the Eagles pull off a late season surge and push Halifax into the No. 16 slot, they will likely play Saint John in the opening round.

The Sea Dogs enter play this evening with the QMJHL’s best record of 48-5-1-2 and own a nine-point lead with two games in hand over the Montreal Juniors for the league's top spot. A win this evening or an overtime or shootout loss will give Saint John their second straight 100-point campaign.

The Dogs, top-ranked in the country for several weeks now, have won a season high 13 straight games and have gone 20 games with earning at least a point. Safe to say they are on a bit of hot streak.

You know the Mooseheads will be bringing their ‘A’ game, so hopefully the Sea Dogs can much their intensity all game and play a complete 60 minutes.

THE NUMBERS

HalifaxSaint John
Record18-37-1-2 (5th Maritimes Division)48-5-1-2 (1st Maritimes)
Home Record- - -27-0-1-1
Road Record9-20-0-0- - -
Streak0-1-0-019-0-1-0
Last 103-7-0-010-0-0-0
Goals For165269
Goals Against226139
Overall PP17.5% (13th)24% (6th)
Home PP- - -20.9% (9th)
Road PP17.3% (16th)- - -
Overall PK76.6% (16th)82.4% (3rd)
Home PK- - -85.9% (2nd)
Road PK75.6% (17th)- - -
PIM/GAME15.9 (7th)13.3 (13th)

Monday, February 21, 2011

VIDEO: Turk on the stretch run

Halifax Mooseheads play-by-play man John Moore talks to Saint John Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant about a variety of topics as the the 2010-11 season hits the stretch run.



The Mooseheads are in town tomorrow night at 7:00 pm at Harbour Station.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

POSTSCRIPT: Cataractes 3, Sea Dogs 7

SEA DOGS – CATARACTES GAME AT A GLANCE
Final Score: Shawinigan 3, Saint John 7
Saint John Goals: Zack Phillips (31, 32), Michael Kirkpatrick (26), Jonathan Huberdeau (36), Stanislav Galiev (27), Tomas Jurco (27), and Gabriel Bourret (8)
Shawinigan Goals: Tommy Giroux (3, 4) and Michael Bournival (28)
Winning Goaltender: SNB – Jacob DeSerres
Losing Goaltenders: SHA – Gabriel Girard and Alex Dubeau
News 88.9 Top Dog: Gabriel Bourret

THE NUMBERS
Power Play: Cataractes: 0/5; Sea Dogs: 1/2
Shots on Goal: Cataractes: 11+8+7=26; Sea Dogs: 10+18+11=39
Length: 2:22
Attendance: 5,954

SAINT JOHN SCRATCHES
Forwards Jason Cameron and Aidan Kelly and defenseman Jason Seed were all healthy scratches.

DOGS WIN
A second period rally would prove to be all that was needed as the Saint John Sea Dogs downed the Shawinigan Cataractes 7-3 on Saturday at Harbour Station in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action. The Sea Dogs struck four times in the middle frame in what was a dominant period. The Sea Dogs outshot the Cataractes 18-8 in the second stanza and 39-26 through the entire tilt.

Saint John got off to a bit of a slow start but played well for most of the game. It was the Sea Dogs’ 13th straight victory and 20th straight contest in which they at least picked up a point.

The Cataractes opened the scoring at 12:52 of the opening period as Ryan Kavanagh threw the puck on the crease, allowing Tommy Giroux to slide it home and give visitors a 1-0 lead. But Saint John would tie the affair up at 17:06 as Zack Phillips sent the puck on goal from a very sharp angle and somehow getting it over the shoulder of Cats goaltender Gabriel Girard and into the corner. There was a lengthy review, but it was ruled a good goal. Just 31 seconds after the Sea Dogs tied the match, Michael Kirkpatrick scored to give the Dogs a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.

In the middle frame, Saint John’s offense would explode. The party started at 3:43 on a power play as Jonathan Huberdeau was setup beautifully and had an wide open net to make it a 3-1 game. Then at 10:18, Stanislav Galiev found the back of the cage to make it 4-1. Just under two minutes later, Tomas Jurco scored and that would chase Girard from the Shawinigan crease.

Replacement goaltender Alex Dubeau couldn’t do much better as Gabriel Bourret blasted a point shot through some traffic to make it a 6-1 game after two periods.

Shawinigan would not just go away however. At 1:15 of the third, Michael Bournival came down the wing and beat Sea Dogs netminder Jacob DeSerres with a low wrist shot on a two-on-one to make it a 6-2 tilt. But the Dogs would get one right back as Phillips registered his second of the night on a rebound at 4:40. The Cataractes would close out the scoring as Giroux scored his second of the night at 5:52 to make it a 7-3 final.

VIDEO: Sauve vs Dallas

Yann Sauve may not have gotten a point on this play, but he certainly helped in making it happen.

Sauve dove to chip the puck ahead to Daniel Sedin which would eventually lead to a beautiful passing play finished off by Henrik Sedin at 15:43 of the third period.



Sauve would finish the game with no points, a plus-1 rating, three shots, and spent 14:47 on the ice. The NHL.com boxscore also shows that Sauve spent 20 seconds on the Canucks penalty kill last night.

In three games with the National Hockey League club, the former Saint John Sea Dogs defenseman has no points or penalty minutes, a zero rating, and five shots.

DOGS FLAMEOUT CATARACTES

SN RECAP
FINAL: Cataractes 3, Sea Dogs 7


SAINT JOHN –In 2001, a goal in the second period would be all that was needed to clinch the Calder Cup for the Saint John Flames. In 2011, a four goal second period would give the Saint John Sea Dogs enough markers to defeat the Shawinigan Cataractes.

The Dogs took down the Cataractes 7-3 in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action Saturday night at Harbour Station. It was Saint John Flames tribute night with the Sea Dogs wearing special throwback Flames jerseys for the contest.

Zack Phillips scored two goals while single markers came from Michael Kirkpatrick, Jonathan Huberdeau, Stanislav Galiev, Tomas Jurco, and Gabriel Bourret. Jacob DeSerres made 23 saves in net for the victory.

It was a solid game for the Dogs. The team got off to a bit of a slow start, allowing Shawinigan to strike first. But Saint John would pick up momentum – and in a big way. A four-goal second period cemented a Sea Dogs victory.

The win is the Sea Dogs’ 13th straight. They have now gone 20 consecutive games without losing a game in regulation time.

Shawinigan had a pair of goals from Tommy Giroux while Michael Bournival added a single. Gabriel Girard made 16 saves while Alex Dubeau also made 16 saves in relief. The Cataractes had struggles on the power play, failing to score on any of their five opportunities.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

LIVE BLOG: Cataractes vs Sea Dogs

POLICE FEEL WRATH OF WIN

SAINT JOHN – Following the Saint John Sea Dogs’ 3-2 win over the Val-d’Or Foreurs last night, a police car was vandalized outside Harbour Station.

Well, not really, but it is kind of embarrassing.


SN photographer Marc Henwood flashed the above photo after the game, posting a disclaimer that “I did not stage this photo. The photo was taken AS IS upon exiting Harbour station following the game.”

There are only two types of people who would do something like this:

1. Pranksters.
2. Montreal Canadiens fans after a win, loss, or tie.
We can’t decide which side is probably responsible.

To view the rest of Marc’s pictures, visit the Isurus Photography Facebook page.

PRE-GAME: vs Shawinigan Cataractes

GAME DAY
Shawinigan Cataractes vs Saint John Sea Dogs
Tonight, February 19, 2011, 7:00 pm
Harbour Station

PREVIEW
SAINT JOHN – After playing below average opponents for a few games now, tonight’s tilt at Harbour Station should offer the Saint John Sea Dogs a stiffer test.

The Shawinigan Cataractes make their only regular season appearance in Saint John this evening at 7:00 pm. The Cataractes enter play tonight with a record of 37-16-2-1 which is good for third in the tough Telus West Division and sit fifth overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. If Shawinigan played in any other division, they would be in the No. 2 slot.

Since Christmas, Shawinigan has been on a tear. They are 8-2-0-0 in their last 10 games and have won four consecutive contests. They are 20-5-0-0 since early December.

But tonight the Cats will face a team that has been much hotter since Christmas. The Sea Dogs are currently on a 12-game winning streak and have picked up at least a point in their last 19 contests. They are 18-0-1-0 over that span.

Saint John has yet to lose in regulation in 2011 and still have not lost a single regulation match at Harbour Station this season, an incredible feat with six-home games remaining.

We should be in for some good hockey tonight.

ShawiniganSaint John
Record37-16-2-1(3rd Telus West)47-5-1-2 (1st Maritimes)
Home Record- - -26-0-1-1
Road Record19-7-1-0- - -
Streak4-0-0-018-0-1-0
Last 108-2-0-010-0-0-0
Goals For212262
Goals Against154136
Overall PP26.9% (2nd)23.8% (8th)
Home PP- - -20.4% (10th)
Road PP26.4% (3rd)- - -
Overall PK79.2% (9th)82.0% (4th)
Home PK- - -85.4% (3rd)
Road PK78.5% (9th)- - -
PIM/GAME12.5 (16th)13.2 (13th)

FLAMES HONOURED TONIGHT

Tonight, the Saint John Sea Dogs will honour the past by wearing Saint John Flames throwback jerseys to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the American Hockey League franchise capturing the 2000-01 Calder Cup.

Via Sea Dogs equipment manager David Kelly’s Twitter, here are some shots of the jerseys that will be worn tonight:


More info on the game from the Sea Dogs website:

Saturday, it's Saint John Flames Tribute Night as the Sea Dogs take on the Shawinigan Cataractes (36-16-2-1) at 7 p.m. In honour of the 10th anniversary of the Calder Cup championship, the Sea Dogs will be paying tribute to professional hockey's memorable 10-year run in the city. The players will wear special throwback jerseys, and former Flames Marty Murray and Doug Doull will be in attendance, along with the Calder Cup and other memorabilia. The special jerseys will be auctioned right off the players' backs at the end of the night.

Friday, February 18, 2011

DOGS CLINCH DIVISION TITLE

SN POST-GAME
FINAL: Foreurs 2, Sea Dogs 3

SAINT JOHN – For the second straight year, the Saint John Sea Dogs are division champions.

The Sea Dogs clinched the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Maritime Division title with a 3-2 victory over the Val-d’Or Foreurs Friday night at Harbour Station. This is the second division title in franchise history.

Gabriel Bourret, Stanislav Galiev, and Pierre Durepos each scored for Saint John who won their 12th straight contest. Mathieu Corbeil only needed to make 13 saves for the win.

The Sea Dogs dominated most of the game but something just didn’t click right. The offense looked good but it just wasn’t able to produce in the same way it has in the past this season. It was weird.

The top-ranked team in Canadian junior hockey also allowed the Foreurs to get back in the game a bit in the third period. Saint John has been struggling to put together full 60-minute games of late and it is something they will surely want to improve.

The Foreurs played a decent game but just couldn’t get much offense generated. Nicolas Marcoux and Anthony Taylor each scored for Val-d’Or in the loss. Goaltender Jacob Chouinard made 34 stops in the loss.

LIVE BLOG: Foreurs vs Sea Dogs

CATARACTES CONFIDENT IN 2012 TEAM

Tomorrow night, the two leading contenders to host the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup will meet at Harbour Station for the first time this season. The Saint John Sea Dogs and Shawinigan Cataractes also meet-up next Sunday at Centre Bionest.

Both teams are having solid seasons. The Sea Dogs have the best record in the Canadian Hockey League while the Cataractes are 36-16-2-1 and sit fifth overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. But both teams know having a great team this year won’t have as big of an impact on the Memorial Cup Selection Committee as their setup for a strong squad next season.

Shawinigan Cataractes general manager Martin Mondou compared the 2012 versions of the Sea Dogs and Cataractes in the Times & Transcript today.

"We just have two 20-year-olds, (forward Dave) Labrecque and (defenceman Gabriel) Lemieux," said Shawinigan general manager Martin Mondou. "We expect to lose four, maybe five guys. We'll have most of our team back next season.



"Since Christmas, us and Saint John have been the two best teams in the league," said Mondou. "I think they're losing a little bit more than us in terms of quality players (after this season).

"We have one European spot open for next season. We have 11 picks in the top six rounds of the (2011 QMJHL draft). That's the most picks among the four teams who are bidding for the Memorial Cup. We also have some good young prospects in midget AAA. I think we have every tool in hand to have a strong team next season. Our goal is to win the Memorial Cup.

"We have chips that we can use in trades to get the pieces that we're missing. Drafting players won't be something that's important for us this year. All the focus is on acquiring players that will help us build for next season."
Sounds like draft weekend could be a eventful time for the Cataractes.

Safe to say Shawinigan has full confidence in their team for next season. But there seems to be a lot of unknowns here. Both the Sea Dogs and the Cataractes will have their core players returning. But is having the assets to buy better, impact players that big of a selling point? Who knows.
April 7 can’t come soon enough.

PRE-GAME: vs Val-d'Or Foreurs

GAME DAY
Val-d'Or Foreurs vs Saint John Sea Dogs
Friday, February 18, 2011
7:30 pm, Harbour Station

PREVIEW
SAINT JOHN – The Canadian Hockey League’s top-ranked team hits the ice this ice evening against the Val-d’Or Foreurs at 7:30 pm at Harbour Station.

The Sea Dogs, 46-5-1-2, sit first in the Maritimes Division and sit atop the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League standings. The Sea Dogs need two points via a victory or an Acadie-Bathurst Titan loss to clinch the division for the second-straight year.

Saint John has been red hot of late and are currently on an 11-game winning streak. They have also picked up a point in their last 18 contests, not losing in regulation since the calendar switched to 2011.

The Sea Dogs face an unfamiliar – yet familiar foe this evening. The Val-d’Or Foreurs enter Harbour Station tonight with a record of 21-27-4-2, placing them fifth in the Telus West Division and 14th overall in the QMJHL.

This will be the Foreurs’ only visit to Saint John this season (pending a playoff matchup). But, the two teams did meet-up twice earlier this season in the province of Quebec with the Dogs prevailing in both contests.

Val-d’Or is certainly battled tested, playing in the tough Telus West Division that features the Montreal Juniors and Drummondville Voltigeurs. The team is currently on a four-game road trip through the Maritimes that began with a 4-3 shootout loss in Bathurst Wednesday.

Saint John will be looking for a solid 60-minute effort this evening, something they didn’t get last Sunday against Moncton. It’s the same old story – the Sea Dogs can’t the Foreurs lightly, can’t look ahead to tomorrow’s hoopla, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

SEA DOGS LAUNCH IPHONE APP


SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Sea Dogs have joined the magical world of mobile ‘apps.’

The team officially announced today the launch of their free app which is available to Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users. The app can be downloaded for free from the Apple iTunes store.

“Connecting with fans is a priority for our hockey club. Whether it’s through a thrilling live game at Harbour Station, or simply making the latest Sea Dogs news and information available, we’re always looking for ways to improve the fan experience,” said Sea Dogs president Wayne Long in a release. “We’re proud to be launching this app, which puts the Sea Dogs literally in the palm of our fans’ hands.”

Along with team news, the app features the Sea Dogs’ schedule, standings, and roster information. It also features a link to purchase game tickets.

A few teams now have apps available to fans. The Halifax Mooseheads seemed to start the trend a few weeks ago when they launched one of their own.

It is good to see the Sea Dogs as well other Quebec Major Junior Hockey League teams launch apps and staying up-to-date in terms of technology. Anytime you can connect with fans through a free service it has to be viewed as a positive.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

10 WEEKS AT THE TOP

For a tenth consecutive week, the Saint John Sea Dogs are ranked as the No. 1 team in the Canadian Hockey League. The latest edition of the BMO CHL MasterCard Top 10 Rankings were released this afternoon.

The Sea Dogs, who now have an 11-point lead over the Montreal Juniors for top spot in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, are the hottest team in the country having won 11 straight and earning a point in 18 consecutive contests.

Saint John won both of their games this week, defeating the Prince Edward Island Rocket 4-1 on Friday and then pulling off a 3-2 comeback shootout win over the Moncton Wildcats Sunday afternoon at Harbour Station.

Other QMJHL teams to make the CHL’s Top 10 were the Juniors at No. 4 and Quebec Remparts at No. 6. Once again this week, the Drummondville Voltigeurs were an honourable mention.

One notable change in the rankings saw the Memorial Cup hosting Mississauga St. Michael's Majors slip to third.

The weekly rankings of the Canadian Hockey League’s Top 10 teams are selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts.

Here is the BMO CHL MasterCard Top 10 Rankings for week 21:

1 Saint John Sea Dogs (46-5-1-2)
2 Saskatoon Blades (44-11-0-2)
3 Mississauga St. Michael's Majors (40-10-0-2)
4 Montreal Juniors (38-9-4-4)
5 Red Deer Rebels (39-14-2-4)
6 Quebec Remparts (40-13-1-2)
7 Niagara IceDogs (36-11-2-4)
8 Owen Sound Attack (37-15-1-2)
9 Portland Winterhawks (38-16-0-3)
10 Ottawa 67's (35-16-1-1)

Honourable Mention:
Drummondville Voltigeurs (37-14-5-2)
Kootenay Ice (37-17-1-2)
Saginaw Spirit (34-16-3-1)
In the Buzzing The Net ‘Dynamic Dozen,’ the Sea Dogs were ranked No. 1 once again.

Saint John plays three games this week with all of them being played at Harbour Station. The Dogs take on the Val-d’Or Foreurs Friday, Shawinigan Cataractes Saturday, and the Halifax Mooseheads Tuesday.

Photo Credit: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

SOLID DEBUT FOR SAUVE

Defenseman Yann Sauve became the first Saint John Sea Dog to skate in a National Hockey League game last evening as he played a role in the Vancouver Canucks’ 4-1 victory in Minnesota over the Wild.

Sauve managed to fight through the nerves and played a solid defensive game. He saw 12 minutes and 16 seconds of ice time, not bad for an 20-year playing in his first NHL game.

The Vancouver Province has more:

Yann Sauve has come a long way since a concussion threatened his season last September. He played 12: 16, had no points, was an even plus-minus and only made one major gaffe -when Wild centre John Madden turnstiled him midway through the third, but goaltender Cory Schneider saved his bacon by making a big stop.
The former Sea Dogs played 18 shifts, averaging 40 minutes per shift according to NHL.com. He recorded one hit and was credited for one giveaway.

''That was one mistake, it's going to happen and I'll probably play it different next time for sure,'' said Sauve to The Province on his error in the third period. ''After the first couple of shifts I was feeling a bit better and the nerves were gone. It was a good experience.''

Before the game, the Vancouver Sun had a great article on Sauve’s bizarre season that his seen him go from car accident to the NHL.

“My mom didn't believe it,” Sauve said of his late-night phone call Monday to tell his parents, Carol and Michel, he had been called up from the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. “She thought I was kidding because I always do this. But they were really happy. They were half-asleep. They were really happy.
“Hopefully, I'll be in Vancouver [after the road trip ends Thursday in Nashville] and they'll probably come down there. But we'll go game by game.”
The Sun also had the best title of any Sauve reading: “Yann Sauve’s Canucks journey: From hood ornament to NHL.”

CanucksTV spoke to the first overall selection in the 2006 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft after the game:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

SAUVE SET TO MAKE HISTORY


More info on Yann Sauve’s National Hockey League debut continues to roll in.

Rogers Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy has been in beast mode today, posting up a storm on Twitter. Murphy reports that Sauve will wear No. 47 as he has in the past with the Vancouver Canucks during exhibition games.

Some other stuff, including the defense pairings:


Of course, what is bad news for Andrew Alberts is probably good news for Sauve. The Canucks are currently missing four other defensemen along Alberts and his broken wrist: Dan Hamhuis (concussion), Keith Ballard (knee sprain), Alex Edler (back surgery), and Lee Sweatt (foot fracture).

From Nucks Misconduct:

These injuries and fourth line holes have made it a rookie parade which continues tonight with Yann Sauve playing his first NHL game as our 12th blueliner this season. Coincidentally Sauve was paired with Sami Salo just last week with the Moose. Since the bottom pairings are going to be notably weak, Bieksa and Ehrhoff will probably flirt with 30 minutes TOI again.
While Sauve will be the first Saint John Sea Dog to appear in a NHL game, the 20-year old will be making Victoria Salmon Kings history as well. From VicNews.com:

Take note hockey fans, Yann Sauve’s debut as a Vancouver Cancuk against the Minnesota Wild tonight (Feb. 15) is a piece of history for the Victoria Salmon Kings organization.

Sauve will be the first Salmon King to climb the organizational ladder from the ECHL to AHL (Manitoba Moose) to the NHL's Canucks.

Trivia buffs back off, the three minutes former Salmon Kings’ goalie Rob McVicar played for Vancouver in 2005-06 was emergency stuff. Sauve is a bona fide NHL prospect.
Sea Dogs president Wayne Long chimed in on what will be a proud and historic moment for the still-young junior hockey franchise.

“Yann is an outstanding hockey player, but more importantly he’s an outstanding young man. He’s a great ambassador for our organization and I’m looking forward to watching him play many more games in the National Hockey League,” said Long in a team release.

“We’re extremely proud of how far Yann has come. To think back to when he arrived here as a 16-year-old and to see his progress to date, that’s what junior hockey is all about,” Long said. “We’re proud when anyone from our organization moves on to the next level, whether it’s in hockey or in life. But there’s something extra special about the NHL. It’s what every kid dreams of, and we hope to see many more of our alumni there in the future.”

The Canucks, currently the best team in the NHL, take on the Minnesota Wild tonight at 9:00 pm on Rogers Sportsnet Pacific. If you don’t have the NHL package or whatever the game is probably blacked out. Gotta love Sportsnet.

The crew at ‘Nucks Misconduct’ have a game preview.

Photo Credit: Dan Murphy

PRE-GAME: Video Game Challenge


SAINT JOHN – Tonight at Boston Pizza, an epic battle between Sea Dog Danick Gauthier and Wildcat Scott Trask will be played in the world of EA Sports’ NHL 11. The video game features Canadian Hockey League clubs for this time in this year's version.

The event is part of the Brunswick News Rivalry Cup, which Saint John already won for having a sell-out crowd on hand for Sunday’s match at Harbour Station.

From the Sea Dogs website last Friday:

The Saint John Sea Dogs and Moncton Wildcats have agreed on the format for the newest component of the Cup: the EA Sports NHL 11 Video Game Challenge. The latest version of this video game includes teams from the Canadian Hockey League.

The challenge has been set for Tuesday, Feb. 15, as Boston Pizza in Saint John and Moncton will link up for the head-to-head online challenge. Danick Gauthier of the Sea Dogs and Scott Trask of the Wildcats will battle for three Rivalry Cup points in one winner-take-all game. Meanwhile, two lucky fans will compete on behalf of their teams in a best-of-three series, with the winner taking five points in the Cup.

Fans in both cities will have the opportunity to watch the competitions by attending the event. In Saint John, there will be giveaways courtesy of the Sea Dogs, Moosehead Breweries, Boston Pizza and EB Games. The fun begins at 6 p.m., with the puck set to drop on Game 1 of the fan challenge at 6:30 p.m.
The fun begins at Moncton’s Boston Pizza at the same time.

SAUVE GETS THE CALL

The Vancouver Canucks announced late last night that defenseman Andrew Alberts fractured his wrist in the team’s 3-2 loss in St. Louis. The injury added to an already depleted defense core that features five d-men on the sidelines.

To fill the void on the backend, the Canucks called up a familiar face – Yann Sauve.

The former Saint John Sea Dogs defenseman is expected to play for the top team in National Hockey League this evening when they travel to Minnesota to face the Wild at 9:00 pm AST.

From the Vancouver Province:

It's come to the point where the call-up from the Manitoba Moose is Yann Sauve -who's missed most of the season after being hit by a car in downtown Vancouver before training camp in September, suffering a concussion. Sauve, who turns 21 this week, will join the Canucks in Minnesota today and is slated to play his first NHL game.

Sauve is a stay-at-home type and that likely worked in his favour.
If Sauve plays this evening, he’ll become the first Sea Dog alum to appear in a NHL contest.

It has been an eventful season for the 2006 first overall selection in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft. It started off with him getting hit by a car in downtown Vancouver during Canucks rookie camp in the fall. He was diagnosed with a concussion amongst other bumps and bruises.

“It might have been a French-English thing, I'm not quite sure,” Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said earlier this season, “but he decided to walk the opposite way of everybody else and got hit by a car.”

After a lengthy recovery and some mystery about where the team that took him the second round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft would send him, Sauve started his season in late November with the East Coast Hockey League’s Victoria Salmon Kings. In eight games, he had two assists and four penalty minutes.

After the brief ECHL stint, Sauve joined the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose where he has been playing since his call-up last night. In 20 matches, the Rigaud, Quebec native has three assists and eight penalty minutes.

In four seasons with Saint John, Sauve accumulated 20 goals, 82 assists, 296 penalty minutes, and a plus-14 rating in 251 regular season games. In 39 post-season contests he recorded six goals, 14 assists, 67 penalty minutes, and was a minus-eight.

Monday, February 14, 2011

POSTSCRIPT: Wildcats 2, Sea Dogs 3 (SO)

By Station Nation Staff

SEA DOGS – WILDCATS GAME AT A GLANCE
Final Score (SO): Moncton 2, Saint John 3
Saint John Goals: Tomas Jurco (26) and Stanislav Galiev (25)
Moncton Goals: James Melindy (3) and Marek Hrivik
Winning Goaltender: SNB – Jacob DeSerres
Losing Goaltender: MON – Steve Gleeson
News 88.9 Top Dog: Eric Gelinas

THE NUMBERS
Power Play: Wildcats: 1/7, Sea Dogs: 0/5
Shots on Goal: Wildcats: 8+8+6+3=25, Sea Dogs: 9+15+12+3=39
Length: 2:39
Attendance: 6,488

SAINT JOHN SCRATCHES
Defenseman Kevin Gagne was injured in the first period of Friday’s win in Charlottetown after being checked into the boards by Philippe Paradis. Gagne missed yesterday’s game with an upper body injury.

Forward Alexandre Beauregard missed his fourth straight game with a lower body injury. Lastly, forward Scott Oke was a healthy scratch.

DOGS BEAT ‘CATS 3-2
The Saint John Sea Dogs were able to climb back on Sunday afternoon at Harbour Station and defeat the Moncton Wildcats 3-2 in a shootout.

The Wildcats held a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League contest and were playing solid. But Saint John turned it up a notch in the final frame and tied the match and eventually took it to a shootout.

"Moncton came in here and played their typical game,” said Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant to the Times &Transcript. “They dumped pucks in, they forechecked hard and they put a lot of pressure on us. They didn't let us move the puck the way we're capable of moving it. Give credit to them. They came in here and played a heckuva game.

"I would say we were off our game some, but I thought Moncton competed hard and played a real solid game. I knew they would. They didn't want to get embarrassed again. I thought Gleeson was outstanding and made a lot of big saves."

The Wildcats opened the scoring at 12:05 of the opening period when James Melindy sent a shot from the point on goal and went upstairs on Sea Dogs goaltender Jacob DeSerres.

Moncton opened up a two-goal lead at 15:39 of the second period on a power play. DeSerres was able to stop Brandon Gormley’s point shot but Marek Hrivik was parked in front and sailed the disc over the arm of the goaltender to make it a 2-0 lead in favour of the visitors.

Finally, at 2:08 of the third, Tomas Jurco got Saint John on the board. A shot from the point hit something in front, allowing Jurco to slid the disc into the Wildcats’ cage. The Sea Dogs didn’t stop there as Stanislav Galiev tied the match with a snip at 4:21.

"It was a lucky bounce, right on my stick,'' Galiev said to the Telegraph-Journal. "This year I'm trying to shoot more and it's working.''

Overtime was useless so to a shootout the game went. The Saulnier’s were both stopped and Jurco and Jonathan Huberdeau connected to give the Dogs the extra point.

COMEBACK KEEPS STREAK ALIVE

SN RECAP
FINAL (SO): Wildcats 2, Sea Dogs 3


SAINT JOHN – A comeback against the Moncton Wildcats kept the Saint John Sea Dogs’ winning streak intact.

Two goals in the third period allowed Tomas Jurco and Jonathan Huberdeau to score in the shootout to give Saint John the win and the extra point. The victory was the Sea Dogs’ 11th straight in Quebec Mjor Junior Hockey League play and seventh straight over their rivals from Moncton.

The Wildacts played well through two periods but ultimately could not handle Saint John’s dynamic offense, falling 3-2 to the top-ranked junior team in Canada. It was certainly a better showing than their last meeting with the Dogs where they fell 11-2 on home ice.

Moncton had goals from James Melindy and Marek Hrivik. Goaltender Steve Gleeson had a tremendous night, making 37 saves in the loss.

The Sea Dogs had some troubles in the first 40 minutes of the match and had some problems staying out of the box, something that seemed to take the home team off their rhythm a bit. But Saint John turned it on the third, sending it to extra time and allowed the teams unbeaten-in-regulation-at-home record to keep on rolling.

Tomas Jurco and Stanislav Galiev scored in regulation for the Dogs. Jacob DeSerres was solid one again, making 23 saves for the win.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

LIVE BLOG: Wildcats vs Sea Dogs

PRE-GAME: Rivalry Cup Game 7 - Moncton Wildcats vs Saint John Sea Dogs

By Station Nation Staff

GAME DAY
WHO: Moncton Wildcats vs Saint John Sea Dogs
WHEN: Today, 4:00 pm
WHERE: Harbour Station

VISITING TEAM: Moncton Wildcats
Record: 27-20-2-4 (3rd in Maritimes Division)
Last Game: 3-2 win at Cape Breton Wednesday
Leading Scorer: Alex Saulnier (53GP-21G-46A-67Pts)
Notes: The Moncton Wildcats enter Harbour Station this afternoon with a record of 27-20-2-4 which is good for third in the Maritimes Division and tenth overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The Wildcats are just barely hanging on to the third spot in the division as the PEI Rocket have closed the gap to just three points… the Wildcats are coming off a 3-2 victory in Cape Breton over the Screaming Eagles on Wednesday. Daniel Pettersson, Simon Jodoin, and Thomas Flynn each scored for the winners who were outshot 30-24 by the Eagles. Steve Gleeson made 28 stops for the win… 5-5-0-0 in their last 10 games and are coming off a win… 15-9-0-1 on the road this season and have been outscored 85-82 by the opposition. They have earned 31 of their 60 points on the road this season and have the divisions second best winning percentage away from home at 0.620… 6-3-0-1 in their last 10 games away from the Moncton Coliseum… Moncton enters action today with the fourth best power play in the league with a rating of 26%. On the road they are running at 25.5% which is also good for fourth in the league… on the penalty kill side, the Wildcats are ranked tenth with a rating of 78.8%. On the road they are operating at 80.4%, good for third overall in the QMJHL amongst road teams… Moncton is currently averaging 14.6 penalty minutes per game which places them eighth overall in the league… Alex Saulnier leads the Wildcats in scoring this season with 67 points in 53 games. He has taken a seven-point lead over his twin brother, Allain, who sits second in team scoring… Allain Saulnier leads the club in goals on the year with 25 in 53 games… Alex Saulnier leads the club in helpers with 46 on the year… rookie defenseman Daniel Milan is a team worst -23 this year… Daniel Pettersson and Alex Saulnier are a team best +2… Allain Saulnier is second in the league in power play goals with 14… Alex Saulnier is third in power play assists with 24 this season… Steve Gleeson will likely start in goal today. The goaltender has a record of 12-5-2-1, a goals against average of 3.55, and a save percentage of 0.888… it is worth noting that backup netminder Jordan Kennedy has some brutally awful numbers. Kennedy has a record of 0-1-0-0, a goals against average of 13.11, and a save percentage of 0.692… Moncton is allowing the most shots against per game with an average of 33.74… 21-5-0-1 when scoring first… Marek Hrivik has gotten an assist in nine straight games. He is on a 10 game point scoring streak… Olivier Daoust has taken a penalty in five straight road games.

HOME TEAM: Saint John Sea Dogs
Record: 45-5-1-2 (1st in Maritimes Division)
Last Game: 4-1 win at PEI Friday
Leading Scorer: Jonathan Huberdeau (52GP-35G-46A-81Pts)
Notes: The Saint John Sea Dogs enter play today with a record of 45-5-1-2 which is good for first in the Maritimes Division and first overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The Sea Dogs have a 21-point lead for top spot in the division over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan and a nine-point lead over the Montreal Juniors for first overall in the league. The Sea Dogs have played two fewer games than the Juniors and three fewer than the Titan… in this week’s BMO CHL MasterCard Top 10 Rankings, Saint John was ranked No. 1 for a ninth consecutive week… the Sea Dogs are coming off a 4-1 win in Charlottetown over the Prince Edward Island Rocket on Friday night. Jason Cameron, Steven Anthony, Michael Kirkpatrick, and Jonathan Huberdeau each scored for the Dogs. Tomas Jurco added three assists. Goaltender Mathieu Corbeil made 20 saves in the win… Saint John enters today’s game on a 10-game winning streak. A win will give them the longest winning streak in the QMJHL so far this season. The Sea Dogs won 10 straight earlier this season as did Quebec and Lewiston… 10-0-0-0 in their last 10 games and are on a stunning run of 16-0-1-0. They have not lost a regulation game in the new year… with eight home games remaining, the Dogs are still unbeaten in regulation at Harbour Station. They now have a record of 24-0-1-1 on home ice and have outscored their opposition 132-55… 9-0-1-0 in their last 10 home games… the Sea Dogs’ power play comes into today’s game ranked seventh in the league with a rating of 24.6. At home they are running at 21.7%... on the penalty kill, the Dogs are ranked fourth overall in the QMJHL with a rating of 81.1%. At home they are operating at 85.1%, which is good for second in the league amongst home teams… the Sea Dogs are averaging 13 penalty minutes per game which places them 13th in the league… Jonathan Huberdeau leads the Dogs in scoring with 81 points in 52 games. He is now 10 points back of league point leader Philip-Michael Devos… Huberdeau leads the team in goals with 35 this season. Zack Phillips is second on the team with 30… Huberdeau and Phillips are tied for the team lead in assists with 46 each. Michael Kirkpatrick sits third on the team with 41… Jacob DeSerres will likely get the start in goal this afternoon. The 20-year old has a record of 21-2-0-0, a goals against average of 2.21, and a save percentage of 0.918… Kirkpatrick is on a five-game goal scoring streak. He has gotten a point in nine straight… Huberdeau is on a four-game goal scoring streak… Phillips is on a four-game assist scoring streak.

SEA DOGS PLAY NO. 400 TODAY

SAINT JOHN – This afternoon’s game against the Moncton Wildcats will be a historic match for the Saint John Sea Dogs franchise. Standing room tickets are still available for the 4:00 pm contest.

Along with clinching their first ever Brunswick News Rivalry Cup, the Sea Dogs will play their 400th game in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

The Sea Dogs entered the league in 2005 and played three seasons that were 70 games in length. The schedule was shortened in 2008-09 to 68 games and that continues to current day. This afternoon’s match will be the teams 54th game of the 2010-11 campaign.

Today will also be the clubs 200th regular season home game at Harbour Station.

Saint John’s all-time record in the league sits at 208-163-11-17.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

THE SUCCESSFUL VISIT


SAINT JOHN – As you have probably heard by now, the 2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup Selection Committee made their way to Saint John Wednesday for a site tour.

The site tour is a crucial part of the Memorial Cup bid and is likely the one aspect that will stick in the committee member’s minds when it comes time to decide who will host the Canadian Hockey League’s championship tournament next Spring.

The Selection Committee is made of Chair, Gerald Janneteau, Michel Cote, Vincent Damphousse, Robert Basque and Bernard Valcourt. They were accompanied by Gilles Courteau, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Commissioner.

The bidders are graded using the following criteria:

1. Logistics - Accreditation plan, hotels, etc.
2. Hockey operations - Will the team be competitive?
3. Host facility - Does it have large enough seating capacity, enough luxury suites, big enough dressing rooms, a state-of-the-art score clock?
4. Strength of the organizing committee
5. CHL Events - Are there adequate facilities to host such events as the awards banquet and golf tournament?
6. Sales and marketing - Is there enough corporate sponsorship?
7. Finance - How will a team foot the bill?
The committee visited Halifax on Monday, Cape Breton Tuesday, Saint John Wednesday, and closed out the tour Friday in Shawinigan. For numerous reasons, it is believed that the bid will come down to Shawinigan and Saint John.

It seems as though the Sea Dogs’ site tour was success.

"This was an amazing day and we really sold the city,” said Sea Dogs governor and Memorial Cup vice-chairman Joe Richard to the Telegraph-Journal. “Everything went according to plan, so that makes me feel very, very confident.''

Also in Wednesday's paper was the schedule that the committee followed for their tour. There is a lot of pictures and video floating around, so here is a deeper look at Wednesday’s events.

POSTSCRIPT: Sea Dogs 4, Rocket 1

SEA DOGS –ROCKET GAME AT A GLANCE
Final Score: Saint John 4, PEI 1
Saint John Goals: Jason Cameron (3), Steven Anthony (21), Michael Kirkpatrick (25), and Jonathan Huberdeau (35)
PEI Goals: Alex Noel (10)
Winning Goaltender: SNB – Mathieu Corbeil
Losing Goaltender: PEI – Evan Mosher
News 88.9 Top Dog: Jason Cameron

THE NUMBERS
Power Play: Rocket: 0/5, Sea Dogs: 0/3
Shots on Goal: Rocket: 4+11+6=21, Sea Dogs: 15+6+12=33
Length: 2:20
Attendance: 2,135

SAINT JOHN SCRATCHES
Defenseman Jason Seed and forward Aidan Kelly were both healthy scratches for Saint John. Alexandre Beauregard missed his third straight game with what the Telegraph-Journal is reporting as a knee injury.

DOGS WIN 4-1
A strong first period helped guide the Saint John Sea Dogs to their tenth straight win. Saint John scored twice in the first period en route to a 4-1 victory over the Prince Edward Island Rocket Friday night at the Charlottetown Civic Centre.

PEI native Jason Cameron scored his third goal of the season in the first period while Steven Anthony also scored in the frame to give the Sea Dogs a 2-0 lead. PEI would play much better in the second period and got on the board thanks to Alex Noel. But in the third, the Sea Dogs would turn it on again and score twice in the frame.

“The first period was real good,'' Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant said to the Telegraph-Journal. "We skated and moved the puck real well and we were ready to play. The second was an ugly period and then we picked it up again in the third and played well.''

“A bad start in the first period. We just didn’t score on our chances,’’ said Rocket forward Alex Noël to The Guardian. “A good first period would have put them on their heels.’’

Cameron opened the scoring at 11:26 of the opening frame as he jammed the disc past Rocket netminder Evan Mosher. The Sea Dogs doubled their lead at 16:34 after Tomas Jurco’s shot found its way behind the net. Michael Kirkpatrick picked it up and put in front where Steven Anthony had a wide open cage to give the visitors a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.

Noel scored the lone goal in the second period to put the Rocket on the board as he managed to get the puck past Saint John goaltender Mathieu Corbeil.

In the third, the Sea Dogs got back on track as Kirkpatrick scored to give Saint John a two-goal lead once again. Then, at 16:57, the Dogs put the game away as Jurco sent a tremendous spinning backhand pass to an open Jonathan Huberdeau at the side of goal. Huberdeau registered his team leading 35th marker of the year to make it a 4-1 final on the Island.