Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sea Dogs Notebook

The Sea Dogs play their final games before the world ends of the first half this week at Harbour Station. Saint John hosts the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Thursday at 7pm at the Halifax Mooseheads on Friday at 7:30pm.

This has the potential to be an interesting couple games. The Sea Dogs enter play with a 16-17-0-0 record and are three points ahead of the Titan and have played three fewer games. Meanwhile, the Mooseheads, the best team in the QMJHL, come to town missing Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, Martin Frk, and Konrad Abeltshauser.

Following Friday’s game, the Sea Dogs don’t play again until December 29. That is, of course, as along as the world doesn’t end on Friday.

The QMJHL trading period begins on Saturday and runs until January 8. It’s hard to say how many trades will go down - or when they will happen - but there will definitely be some as the Sea Dogs continue their rebuild. Could be an interesting few weeks.

The Hockey Writers previewed Team Canada’s forwards for the world juniors today.

“Jonathan Huberdeau is considered one of the most NHL-ready players on Canada’s roster,” writes David O’Connor. “The third-overall selection of the Florida Panthers in 2011 would likely be in Sunrise right about now if not for the lockout. Huberdeau has starred for the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs for a few seasons now, and is expected to play a leadership role for Canada. An injury limited him in last year’s tournament, but he’ll be looked to for offensive sparks on the international-sized ice surface.”

Huberdeau will reportedly not play in Canada’s pre-tournament game on Thursday against Finland.

The Hershey Bears announced today that they have called up former Sea Dogs forward Stanislav Galiev from the ECHL’s Reading Royals.

According to the Bears news release, Galiev “paid immediate dividends, recording his first professional goal on November 28 before notching nine points (five goals, four assists) and a plus-seven rating in six December contests.  Among Galiev’s monthly highlights were two game-winning goals and his first professional hat trick on December 15.” Galiev finished his ECHL stint with six goals and seven assists in 12 games.

"He's been on fire," Reading coach Larry Courville told the Reading Eagle over the weekend. "One goal was in a dirty area in front of the net. That's an area that Hershey wants him to focus on."

Galiev had played in nine games with the Bears before the demotion to the ECHL. Hershey’s next game is on Wednesday against Norfolk.

Former Sea Dogs defenseman Nathan Beaulieu scored his first career American Hockey League goal last Thursday against the Chicago Wolves. Beaulieu’s Hamilton Bulldogs lost the game 4-3.

Beaulieu added an assist, four shots, and was a +1 in the game. He now has one goal and eight assists in 23 games with the Bulldogs this season.

The Montreal Canadiens blog “Eyes on the Prize” named Beaulieu the Bulldogs player of the week.

Hamilton sits last in the North Division with a 10-12-1-1 record. They play the St. John’s IceCaps on Friday and the San Antonio Rampage on Saturday. Both games can be seen on Sportsnet.

Former Sea Dogs forward/fighter Brett Gallant currently leads the AHL in penalty minutes. He has 128 PIM in 24 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers this season.

According to HockeyFights.com, Gallant has 14 fights this season.

The Summerside native is playing in his fourth pro season. He spent parts of three season with the Sea Dogs from 2005-06 to 2007-08.

Hockey’s Future released their latest team rankings a couple weeks ago. The teams are ranked in terms of the quality of their overall prospect pool as voted on by the staff of Hockey's Future.

Leading the way are the Minnesota Wild featuring former Sea Dogs Charlie Coyle and Zack Phillips. Jonathan Huberdeau and the Florida Panthers are ranked second. Nathan Beaulieu’s Montreal Canadiens come in at No. 8 and Tomas Jurco’s Detroit Red Wings round out the top 10.

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