A challenging couple of games are ahead for the Saint John Sea Dogs this weekend.
On Saturday, the Sea Dogs make their first trip of the year to Halifax to take on the defending Memorial Cup Champion Mooseheads at 7pm. The Mooseheads lineup has recently been improved with the returns of Jonathan Drouin and Darcy Ashley.
Halifax has a 6-5-0-0 record and host the top team in the league tonight – the 9-0 Blainville-Boisbriand Armada – at the Metro Centre. The Sea Dogs sit one point back of the Moose with a 5-3-0-1 record.
This will be the second meeting of the season between the Dogs and Moose. Saint John defeated Halifax 4-2 on October 1st at Harbour Station.
On Sunday, the Sea Dogs return home to host the top team in the Maritimes Division – the 7-1-0-1 Charlottetown Islanders – at 3pm. The Sea Dogs are 0-1-0-1 against the Isles this season.
Saint John is off to a fairly solid start and almost all of their games have proven to be quite entertaining so far. If you haven’t seen this team in action, you should probably do that some time.
Some other notes:
- Sunday’s home game against the Islanders is the first of four straight home matches for Saint John. They also host the Moncton Wildcats (Oct. 16), Quebec Remparts (Oct. 19), and the Chicoutimi Sagueneens (Oct. 20).
- The Sea Dogs are a solid 3-0-0-1 on Harbour Station ice this season. They outscoring opponents 12-7 at home.
- Nathan Noel currently sits sixth overall in QMJHL rookie scoring with seven points (five goals and two assists) in nine games. His five goals tie him for third in rookie goal scoring with Charlottetown’s Daniel Sprong and Halifax’s Nikolaj Ehlers.
- Michael Abbott sits third in defenseman scoring with 10 points (four goals and six assists) in eight games. Abbott also leads all defenseman in power play goals with four and sits second in power play points with seven.
- The Sea Dogs have had only eight fights this season, the fourth lowest total in the QMJHL. Lukas Walter leads the team with two but has not had a fight since September 22nd. All this according to HockeyFights.com.
- The Armada are off to the best start in the Canadian Hockey League. Former Sea Dogs forward Ryan Tesink is third on the team in scoring with two goals and seven assists for nine points in seven games.
- At the opposite end of the QMJHL standings sit the poor Shawinigan Cataractes who, entering tonight's contest against Victoriaville, are still winless with a 0-7-2-0 record.
- Former Sea Dogs defenseman Steven Duda has three assists, a +1 rating, and eight penalty minutes in nine games with the Ontario Hockey League’s North Bay Battalion. He had six assists in 52 games with Saint John last season. North Bay sits first in the OHL’s Central Division with a 5-4-0-0 record.