Friday, March 23, 2012

Playoff Gameday 1: vs Screaming Eagles

Round 1, Game 1
Saint John Sea Dogs vs Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
Tonight at 8pm
Radio: News 88.9 | Webcast: Telus | TV: Sportsnet | Live Blog: None
Harbour Station – Saint John, NB

SAINT JOHN – The journey begins tonight for the Saint John Sea Dogs.

The last time the Sea Dogs played a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoff game, Alexandre Beauregard was scoring the overtime winner to give Saint John their first ever President’s Cup title. Tonight, the road to a repeat begins with Dogs hosting the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles at Harbour Station in the opening game of a first round series. Game time is 8pm and can be seen nationally on Sportsnet.

The Sea Dogs, ranked No. 1 in the final edition of the BMO CHL MasterCard Top 10 Rankings, finished the season in first place with a record of 50-15-0-3 for 103 points. The Screaming Eagles finished in 16th with a 23-42-1-2 record for 49 points.

No matter what stat you look at, this is a huge mismatch. The Sea Dogs destroyed the Eagles in a four-game sweep in last year’s opening round, outscoring them 26-2. There is a legitimate chance that kind of lopsided series could happen again.

Cape Breton is taking a realistic approach to this series.

"Listen, they’re the three-time league champs and defending Mem Cup champs so we’re very respectful of what they’ve accomplished," Eagles head coach Ron Choules told the Chronicle Herald. "We know what we’re getting into. . . . But like I said to the kids, let’s accept this challenge. Playing against the best only makes you better. Let’s make sure we follow our plan, stay on the same page and make sure they earn everything they get."

This is the third time in four years that the two have met in the first round. Cape Breton swept Saint John back in 2009 and the Saint John swept the Eagles last year.

This is Game 1 of the best-of-seven series.


Cape BretonSaint John
Record23-42-1-2 (5th Maritimes)50-15-0-3 (1st Maritimes)
Home Record- - -28-5-0-1
Road Record17-16-0-1- - -
Goals For219298
Goals Against306180
Goals/Game3.19 (14th)4.34 (2nd)
GA/Game4.45 (2nd)2.62 (16th)
Shots/Game28.90 (12th)32.99 (3rd)
SA/GAME31.50 (14th)26.60 (1st)
PIM/GAME15.1 (12th)16.6 (6th)
Scoring First15-16-1-135-3-0-0
Overall PP22.3% (8th)23.8% (5th)
Home PP- - -23.4% (6th)
Road PP18% (14th)- - -
Overall PK70.6% (17th)81.1% (5th)
Home PK- - -84.6% (4th)
Road PK69.7% (16th)- - -

Cape Breton

Jonathan Brunelle68305585
William Carrier66274370
Alexandre Lavoie65232447

Saint John

Danick Gauthier66473986
Zack Phillips60305080
Jonathan Huberdeau37304272

Cape Breton

Philippe Trudeau16-26-1-24.010.877
William Racicot8-14-1-04.030.865

Saint John

Mathieu Corbeil37-10-0-12.380.911
Sebastien Auger14-2-0-22.650.897

Saint John went 7-1 against Cape Breton this year while the Screaming Eagles went 1-7 against the Sea Dogs.

September 16, 2011 - Cape Breton def. Saint John 8-5
October 28, 2011 - Saint John def. Cape Breton 6-3
November 25, 2011 - Saint John def. Cape Breton 5-2
November 26, 2011 - Saint John def. Cape Breton 4-1
December 16, 2011 - Saint John def. Cape Breton 4-3
February 26, 2012 - Saint John def. Cape Breton 9-1
March 16, 2012 - Saint John def. Cape Breton 4-0
March 17, 2012 - Saint John def. Cape Breton 7-4

Sportsnet is in Fredericton this weekend for the University Cup but will travel to Saint John tonight to broadcast the Sea Dogs game. The game can be seen live on Sportsnet Ontario, Pacific, and Sens.

Jeff Marek and Brian Lawton will be running the studio show. RJ Broadhead, Sam Cosentino, and Rob Faulds will be broadcasting the game from Harbour Station.

According to today's Telegraph-Journal, forwards Devon Oliver-Dares and Maxime Villemaire will not be playing in this series due to injuries. Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant said Villemaire would be re-evaluated after the first four games.

Defenseman Ian Saab still has five games remaining on his eight-game suspension. 

Here’s Sea Dogs president Wayne Long speaking to CHSJ News about this playoff series.


Moncton at Halifax - 7:00 PM ADT
Baie-Comeau at Victoriaville - 7:00 PM EDT
Gatineau at Blainville-Boisbriand - 7:30 PM EDT
Acadie-Bathurst at Chicoutimi - 7:30 PM EDT
Val-d'Or at Rimouski - 7:30 PM EDT
Rouyn-Noranda at Shawinigan - 7:30 PM EDT

The Sea Dogs and Eagles meet for Game 2 tomorrow night at 7pm at Harbour Station.

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