Our recap. Jonathan Huberdeau brought the President’s Cup to centre ice and presented it to the crowd with a huge roar from the 4,193 attending fans and within moments all were staring at yet another championship banner being raised to the rafters.
The Telegraph-Journal’s recap (paywall). The opening-night crowd was down slightly from the 4,550 fans who watched last year’s 3-1 loss to Moncton.
News 88.9’s recap. Featuring Tim Roszell’s goal call.
The Canadian Press’ recap. The Acadie-Bathurst Titan's power-play unit made all the difference in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's season opener.
SaintJohnSeaDogs.com’s recap. Stephen MacAulay scored the lone marker for the Sea Dogs while Sebastien Auger made 26 saves on 29 shots.
Sea Dogs Live replay. Big thanks to Bryan for running this thing last night.
MISSING IN ACTION
According to News 88.9’s Sea Dogs blog, “Sea Dog scratches were defencemen Pierre Durepos (hip) and David Weckworth (knees), and forwards Matthew Highmore (shoulder), Spencer Smallman (shoulder), Michael Mastrangelo and Marcus Cuomo.”
Of course, the Sea Dogs celebrated their 2012 championship season before the game. Captain Jonathan Huberdeau brought the President Cup to centre ice, lifting it in the air one final time in the process. QMJHL commissioner Gilles Courteau and Scott McCain were at centre ice for a short ceremony. The commissioner was booed because, y’know, he’s the commissioner.
Former Sea Dog Grant West and injured defenseman Pierre Durespos helped out with the banner raising. It was eventually skated over to the Tim Hortons side of the building where it was lifted to the rafters, joining Saint John's three division banners, three regular season banners, a President Cup banner and a Memorial Cup banner.
The President Cup and Memorial Cup banners got a new look over the summer, separating themselves from the division and regular season ones.
Back to back @qmjhl champions! Your @seadogshockey #QMJHL #LHJMQ @station_nation twitter.com/bcameron1988/s…
— Blair Cameron ©(@bcameron1988) September 21, 2012
Several players made their Sea Dogs debut. A look at how they did statistically:
Olivier Leblanc: two shots, one hit
Jakub Izacky: -1, one shot, 2/3 on faceoffs
Andreas Tsogkas: two shots
Noah Zilbert: 0/1 on faceoffs
Jurij Repe: -1, two shots, 0/1 on faceoffs, one hit
Oliver Cooper took an awkward hit during the first period. He went to the bench in pain, headed to the room, and never returned. It appeared to be some kind of upper body issue.
Cooper had 10 goals and 14 assists in 60 games with the Dogs last year. He’s expected to have a much larger role with the squad this year.
The loss means that the Sea Dogs are now 4-4-0-0 all-time in season opening games over their eight-year history.
2005: St. John’s 3, Saint John 2
2006: Rimouski 2, Saint John 3 (OT)
2007: Saint John 1, Lewiston 4
2008: Saint John 3, Bathurst 2 (OT)
2009: Saint John 4, Bathurst 3 (SO)
2010: PEI 4, Saint John 6
2011: Moncton 3, Saint John 1
2012: Bathurst 3, Saint John 1
Only once have the Sea Dogs season opener been decided by more than two goals.
The announced crowd was 4,193 although quite a few fans told us they believed there were a lot fewer people actually there. The number isn’t that bad considering there was just a few hundred more fans at last year’s much hyped season opener.
“The crowd here in Saint John has always been great,’’ Scott McCain told the Telegraph-Journal. “We always would like to have more, but that’s junior hockey and these are still the early days (of the season) and we’re very excited.”
Saint John averaged 4,561 fans per game at Harbour Station last season, good for third in the league.
Bathurst’s power play was the difference in the game, scoring twice on three opportunities.
Saint John had some troubles on the man advantage, scoring just once on six chances.
Not sure what went on with the three stars last night.
News 88.9 listed them as this: 1. Brennan (BAT) 2. Gagne (SJ) 3. Girard (BAT)
QMJHL website as this: 1. SNB - 21 Kevin Gagné 2. SNB - 3 Olivier Leblanc 3. BAT - 91 Brandon Hynes
Brandon Hynes had five shots for Bathurst… Raphael Lafontaine and Sean Girard each had three hits… Kevin Gagne had four shots for the Sea Dogs… Devon Oliver-Dares had four hits… Robert Davis scored the first goal of the Canadian Hockey League season… Thursday games suck… Pita Pit board ad for the win.
Courtesy of SeaDogsTV.
The Sea Dogs battle the Titan again tonight in Bathurst at 7:30pm.