Shawinigan Cataractes vs Saint John Sea Dogs
2012 MasterCard Memorial Cup – Round-Robin
Tonight at 8:00pm
Radio: News 88.9 | TV: Sportsnet/TVA Sports | Live Blog: SN
SHAWINIGAN, Que. – Just like on Monday, tonight’s game is not an elimination game for the Saint John Sea Dogs. But it might as well be treated like one.
The loser of tonight’s MasterCard Memorial Cup game between the Sea Dogs and Shawinigan Cataractes will have the toughest road of any team to win the Memorial Cup. A loss tonight would mean they would have to win three games in four nights beginning tomorrow to become champions. It’s not an impossible task but a very, very difficult one.
If the Sea Dogs win this evening, they will advance to Friday’s semi-final game where they would play the winner of tomorrow’s Shawinigan-Edmonton tie-breaker. If the Cataractes win tonight, they would advance straight to Sunday’s final and London would face the winner of the Edmonton-Saint John tie-breaker.
This is the game that everyone has been waiting for. With both teams sitting at 1-1, it just makes tonight’s contest that much more important.
These are two teams that showed they don’t like each other during the regular season. There were six fights over the four-game season series. There were also two players suspended multiple games for illegal hits. All four games were highly intense and two were decided by one-goal.
Despite all that has gone down between these two franchises since Shawinigan was awarded hosting rights for this year’s tournament, the Sea Dogs are downplaying any kind of rivalry.
"Last year we were disappointed when we didn't get to host the Memorial Cup, there's no doubt," Sea Dogs coach Gerard Gallant told Buzzing The Net. "But that's long in the past. There's no big rivalry, us and Shawinigan. I think us and Shawinigan are the two best teams in our league supposedly, so that's the rivalry. We play other [Maritimes] teams, Moncton and Halifax [Mooseheads], our rivalry is as big with them as it is with Shawinigan. It's not like there's going to big six fights.”
Shawinigan and Saint John battled for first overall in the league standings all year. The Cataractes stumbled a bit down the stretch and the Dogs beat them by six points. The Cataractes finished the regular season with a record of 45-16-3-4 for 97 points.
The Cats swept Rouyn-Noranda in the first round of the playoffs before falling in seven games to the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in the second round. Saint John and Shawinigan never got to meet in the playoffs but, tonight, they’ll face each other in the most important game of the year.PLAYOFF NUMBERS
|Goals For/Game||5.75 (1st)||4.21 (3rd)|
|Goals Against/Game||2.18 (1st)||2.51 (2nd)|
|Shots For/Game||35.38 (2nd)||37.88 (1st)|
|Shots Against/Game||26.11 (3rd)||25.52 (1st)|
|Overall PP||28.2% (2nd)||15.1% (14th)|
|Home PP||39% (1st)||25.0% (9th)|
|Road PP||13.3% (12th)||4.0% (16th)|
|Overall PK||88.2% (1st)||83.3% (3rd)|
|Home PK||82.1% (7th)||77.3% (10th)|
|Road PK||94.6% (1st)||90.0% (2nd)|
|PIM/GAME||16.1 (8th)||17.1 (6th)|
|Attendance||5,522 (3rd)||3,961 (7th)|
LEADING SCORERS – PLAYOFFS
GOALTENDERS - PLAYOFFS
|Sebastien Auger||0-0-0-0||- - -||- - -|
Gabriel Girard will start in goal for the Cataractes once again. He made 24 saves for the Cataractes in their 6-2 victory over the London Knights on Sunday night. The netminder started three of the four regular season games against Saint John going 1-1-1-0.
The Sea Dogs and Cataractes split the season series with each tea, picking up a win in the opponents building. Shawinigan was the better team, picking up five of a possible eight points. We took a look back at all four games earlier today.
There are a few solid game previews out there for this.
Sportsnet.ca – Cataractes aim for berth in final vs Sea Dogs
Buzzing The Net - Saint John, Shawinigan have old scores and new goals in heated QMJHL matchup
London Free Press – Memorial Cup a coin-flip
Some Shawinigan players are off to a good start at the Memorial Cup. Michael Chaput leads all players in scoring with three goals and two assists for five points. Brandon Gormley is tied for second with two goals and two assists for four points.
- Shawinigan allowed the fewest goals against in the QMJHL’s regular season with 179.
- Cataractes went 22-8-1-3 at home during the regular season.
- Michael Chaput’s three goals lead the Memorial Cup.
- Charlie Coyle is tied for the Memorial Cup lead in assists with three.
- Saint John is the “home” team tonight.
NEXT GAMEIf Saint John wins, they will play in Friday’s semi-final game. If Saint John loses, they play Edmonton in tomorrow’s tie-breaker game.