Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Faces And Old Faces

A busy weekend is ahead for the Saint John Sea Dogs.

The Port City junior squad travels to Quebec for an always tough three-in-three road trip. The trip begins tomorrow night with a meeting against the Oceanic in Rimouski, continues on Saturday in Victoriaville, and ends on Sunday in Sherbrooke against the expansion Phoenix.

It’ll be a tough challenge for the Sea Dogs who will have a few new and a few returning faces in the lineup this weekend. They’ll also be seeing some old faces.

Tomorrow’s game will be the first time Saint John has played Rimouski since 20-year old defenseman Kevin Gagne was traded to the Oceanic. The Dogs got a few draft picks in return, including a first-round selection in this year’s draft. Gagne, who had played with the Sea Dogs since the 2008-09 season, has two goals and four assists in five games with the Oceanic since joining them.

The Oceanic also feature former Sea Dogs forward Scott Oke who has 18 goals and 26 assists in 33 games this season. However, Oke has not played since December 12 due to injury and is not expected to play tomorrow.

Rimouski lost to Saint John in the President's Cup final last year but have a good chance of returning. They sit fourth overall in the QMJHL with a 26-11-1-4 record. They are just two points back of the second-place Baie-Comeau Drakkar.

The Dogs will also face a former teammate on Sunday in Sherbrooke. Saint John traded defenseman Benjamin Hade to the Phoenix earlier this week in exchange for a draft pick. Hade made his Sherbrooke debut yesterday and recorded two hits in a 4-3 loss to Baie-Comeau.

Despite getting off to a terrible start, Sherbrooke would be in the playoffs if they started today. They sit 16th overall in the league with an 11-24-2-4 record and are three points up on 17th-place Cape Breton with a game in hand.

The Tigres don’t have any ex-Dogs but it could prove to be an interesting matchup. Victoriaville is just three points ahead of Saint John in the standings but have played three more games. They have a record of 16-19-2-5.

Victoriaville traded star player and captain Phillip Danault to the Moncton Wildcats on Tuesday in a blockbuster deal. 

Saint John is .500 on the road this season with a 9-9-0-0 record. Let's see how they do this weekend.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

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