Friday, December 28, 2012

Sea Dogs Notebook

The Sea Dogs begin a rare three-in-three against divisional opponents on Saturday night. Saint John hosts the Acadie-Bathurst Titan at 7pm at Harbour Station to kick off the second half.

The Dogs then travel to Moncton on Sunday for the first part of the annual New Year’s home-and-home with the Wildcats. Game time is 4pm at the Moncton Coliseum. The second half of the mini-series between the two rivals is on Monday night at 7:30pm at Harbour Station.

Saint John will be without some regulars – including defenseman Kevin Gagne who was traded last week – so it’ll be interesting to what their lineup looks like.

The QMJHL holiday break ends tonight with six games on the schedule. Gagne and the Rimouski Oceanic host the Victoriaville Tigres this evening.

The World Under-17 Hockey Challenge begins tonight in Quebec with some exhibition action. Sea Dogs defenseman Olivier LeBlanc and Team Quebec take on Russia while Sea Dogs forward Matthew Highmore and Team Atlantic take on Finland.

Team Quebec and Team Atlantic begin the tournament by facing each other on Saturday night in Victoriaville.

The two teams are in Group B with Team Ontario, the United States, and Slovakia.

The London Knights won their 22nd straight game last night, beating the Windsor Spitfires 9-4 in Ontario Hockey League action.

According to the London Free Press, “the Knights are on the hunt to break the Ontario Hockey League and Canadian Hockey League record for most wins in succession. That record belongs to the 1983-84 Kitchener Rangers, who won 25 in succession, and Sorel who won 25 in 1973. Sorel is now the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.”

The Sea Dogs won 22 straight games in 2009, a streak that began on October 17 and ended December 13.

The Sea Dogs have called up defenseman Justin McDonald from the Dieppe Commandos. The Will MacLaren Blog had some good things to say about him.

“With the Sea Dogs thin on the blueline, in part due to the departure of Jason Seed to the Summerside Western Capitals and Kevin Gagne to the Rimouski Oceanic in the biggest deal of the Q trade period thus far, MacDonald has a temporary spot on the roster,” writes MacLaren. “All Justin MacDonald has been to Dieppe this year is the best dman on the club, moving the puck with veteran poise, playing very tough along the wall, controlling the game in all zones and eating minutes up with extreme prejudice. If he can translate his game in the MHL into the Q, his stint will be a very successful one.”

McDonald has nine goals and 15 assists in 24 games with the Commandos this season.

The Sea Dogs are dealing with life after Huberdeau, explains an article on the QMJHL website.

“Even after Christmas, (the fans) still should come and support the team, even if it’s going to be harder for the young kids,’’ Huberdeau said. “Just encourage them to work hard and keep coming. Hopefully, we’re going to host the Memorial Cup in 2015. I would like that for the guys. That’s why they’re (going to be) trading players. They want to build a team for 2015.”

Mikael Lalancette of TVA Sports released his annual alphabetical review of the QMJHL. The Sea Dogs got a mention along with Gerard Gallant, Jonathan Huberdeau, Kevin Gagne, Mike Kelly, and Charlie Coyle.

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