Friday, September 13, 2013

GAMEDAY 1 - at Moncton

GAMEDAY
Saint John Sea Dogs vs Moncton Wildcats
Tonight at 7:00pm
Radio: News 88.9 | Webcast: Telus | TV: None | Live: @station_nation
Moncton Coliseum – Moncton, NB
PREVIEW
MONCTON – Here. We. Go.

Tonight in Moncton, the Saint John Sea Dogs kick off season No. 9 as they take on the Wildcats at 7pm. It’s the season opener for the Sea Dogs while the ‘Cats opened up their campaign last night in Halifax.

Tonight’s game is the unofficial start of a new era for the Sea Dogs. The days of Huberdeau and Co. are over as a new group of young players – Noel, Thompson, Chabot, and returnees like LeBlanc and Highmore – begin to take the reins of this franchise.

After the Sea Dogs sold off everything they could at Christmas last season, Saint John’s rebuild really got rolling in the second half. That rebuild will continue but with added young talent and skill acquired via the 2013 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft.

It looks like this will be a season with plenty of ups and plenty of downs. There will probably be some disappointing games and some thrilling games. Almost everyone has the Dogs finishing in the league’s basement and either just slipping into the playoffs of missing them completely.

The Sea Dogs are going to be a young team that will make plenty of mistakes. But at the same time they are a young team with lots of skill and should provide Saint John fans with some entertainment even if they aren’t going to win 58 games.

Saint John finished the pre-season with a 3-3 record, scoring 20 goals and allowing 20 as well. Returning forward Matthew Highmore led the team in scoring with one goal and four assists for five points. Goaltender Sebastien Auger was terrific, posting a 1.93 goals against average and a 0.946 save percentage in four appearences.

Meanwhile, the Wildcats, who are in the beginning stages of a retooling/rebuilding process as well, are 1-0 on the season thanks to a 4-0 shutout victory over the defending national champs last night. Cody Drover had two goals in that game while Alex Dubeau made 28 saves.

Buckle up. Hockey’s back, people.

LAST GAMES
The Sea Dogs are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Wildcats in their final pre-season game this past Sunday afternoon at Harbour Station. Stephen Anderson scored Saint John’s only goal in the loss. Sebastien Auger played the full 60 minutes and allowed four goals on 33 shots.

The Wildcats are coming off a 4-0 win in Halifax last night. Cody Drover had two goals while Ivan Barbashev and Ryan Penny added singles. Alex Dubeau made 28 saves in the shutout victory.

HEAD-TO-HEAD
The Sea Dogs went 5-3-0-0 against the Wildcats last season while Moncton went 3-4-1-0 against Saint John.

The teams went 1-1-0-0 against each other in this year’s pre-season. The road team won each game.

Tonight’s game is the first of nine meetings between the two.

NOTES
  • IT’S OPENING NIGHT.
  • According to today’s Times & Transcript, fans attending tonight’s game should be in their seats by 6:40. There will be a pre-game concert and fireworks/flame throwers before the player introductions. Combined with the weather, the ice should be completely melted by the first intermission.
  • This is the first game of the 2013-14 Brunswick News Rivalry Cup. One point will be awarded to the winner this evening.
  • IT’S OPENING NIGHT.
  • This is the first time since the 2009-10 season that the Sea Dogs have started the year on the road.

OUT OF TOWN
Cape Breton at Acadie-Bathurst - 7:00 PM ADT
Halifax at Charlottetown - 7:00 PM ADT
Qu├ębec at Chicoutimi - 7:00 PM EDT
Shawinigan at Victoriaville - 7:00 PM EDT
Rimouski at Baie-Comeau - 7:30 PM EDT
Sherbrooke at Blainville-Boisbriand - 7:30 PM EDT
Rouyn-Noranda at Drummondville - 7:30 PM EDT
Val-d'Or at Gatineau - 7:30 PM EDT

NEXT GAME

The Sea Dogs travel to Bathurst on Sunday to take on the Titan at 3pm.

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