Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sea Dogs Notebook

After getting destroyed in Halifax on Saturday, the Saint John Sea Dogs will look to rebound against the Prince Edward Island Rocket tomorrow night in Charlottetown. Game time is 7pm at the Civic Centre.

Losing 4-3 to the Mooseheads on Friday at Harbour Station, the Sea Dogs couldn’t handle Nathan MacKinnon and friends at all on Saturday at the Metro Centre, losing 11-2 in one of the worst losses in team history.

But, Saturday is in the past now, and a mid-week road game against the Rocket might be just what the Dogs need to get the train back on the tracks.

The Sea Dogs also host the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies on Friday and the Val-d’Or Foreurs on Saturday.

The American Hockey League’s pre-season came to an end last night. The Hamilton Bulldogs lost 2-0 to the Toronto Marlies.

According to multiple reports, both Sea Dogs defenseman Kevin Gagne and forward Stephen MacAulay had solid camps as free agent invites. The question now is if they stay with the Bulldogs, get assigned to the ECHL, or are returned to Saint John.

The AHL’s regular season begins on Friday.

As UNBHockeyFans.com notes, Geordie Wudrick is blogging for the Varsity Reds again this year and brought up an interesting note in his first post of the season.

Mike Thomas, a local legend around Fredericton, unfortunately has to sit out this year, aka known as red shirting a season, as he played pro hockey in the AHL and ECHL last season. Thommer played 5 years in the QMJHL all for the Saint John Sea Dogs. He highlighted that time in the Q by winning the Memorial Cup as team captain in 2011. He’ll be keeping his skills fresh playing up in Newfoundland during the year while working on his kinesiology degree here at UNB. We look forward to having him playing next season.

So… that’s cool. Thomas played with the AHL’s Springfield Falcons and Grand Rapids Griffins last season as well as the ECHL’s Chicago Express and Toledo Walleye. The Packet reports that Thomas will play senior hockey in Newfoundland this season.

The QMJHL announced all the dates for this year’s “Pink in the Rink.” Each team will wear pink jerseys once again, jerseys that will then be auctioned off with the proceeds going to breast cancer research.

"This event is a key part of our social mission," QMJHL Commissioner Gilles Courteau said in a release. "Our goal is to extend our support to the women afflicted by this terrible disease by generating funds through the sale of prototype pink jerseys which are worn by our players during designated games in October. Thanks in large part to the hard work of our clubs, last year they were able to raise about $130 000 and we hope to surpass that amount this year.”

Saint John will host their Pink in the Rink on Friday, October 26 against the PEI Rocket.

Mike Damante of the Houston Chronicle listed both Charlie Coyle and Zack Phillips in his list of five Houston Aeros to watch this season.

“At 6-2, Coyle provides size and skill down the middle for the Aeros,” writes Damante. “Coyle has a lot of raw ability and with some seasoning in the AHL, he could develop into a Joe Thornton-like player for the Wild in the future.”

The Aeros begin the season this Saturday at home against the Charlotte Checkers.

Hockey’s Future calls Simon Despres the 31st best NHL prospect.

“After an impressive 2011-12 regular season that saw him play 18 games in the NHL regular season and another three in the post-season, Simon Despres has proved he is an NHL caliber defenseman,” writes Hockey’s Future. “The question now is what kind of NHL defenseman.”

The QMJHL website had an article on Sea Dogs head coach and general manager Mike Kelly last week.

“I think we’re a team in transition,’’ Kelly said. “That’s the way I look at it. We’ve had so many guys move along. Now we’ve got so many guys coming in. To me, that’s a transition.’’

Kelly will be put to the test this week as he tries to get his team to recover from  that disastrous 11-2 loss in Halifax on Saturday.

Jonathan Huberdeau has been discussed a lot on various websites over the past week.
  • Hockey’s Future calls Huberdeau the Florida Panthers best junior prospect. That’s a shocker.
  • Rant Sports takes an overall look at thus Heuberdeau fella.
  • Willy Palov of The Chronicle Herald says that Huberdeau is the QMJHL’s only lock to make Team Canada’s world junior team – as long as the NHL lockout continues.
  • At Buzzing The Net, Huberdeau is one of the nine junior players that would have started the season in NHL if the lockout didn’t happen.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

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