Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Notebook: Dogs Defence Much Improved

SAINT JOHN – With 19 wins, the 2014-15 Saint John Sea Dogs have already matched the win total of the 2013-14 team. That’s pretty much where the similarities end between this year’s team and last’s.

One of the biggest differences between the two has been the defence core’s performance. The Dogs have allowed 89 goals against, the second fewest in the league this season. They’re averaging 2.90 goals against per game compared to 3.72 at the end of the 2013-14 campaign.

Much of the team’s defensive success can be attributed to the play of Sebastien Auger. But, the Dogs defence has been allowing just under 31 shots against per game which is about six fewer than last season.

The team also has the league's best penalty kill with a rating of 85.5%. Last season, the team had a rating of 78%.

Saint John’s defence, although young, has been getting the job done.

Saint John remains unbeaten in regulation time on home ice this season, improving to 12-0-1-3 with Sunday’s overtime win. The Sea Dogs are the only team in the CHL that has earned a point in every home game this year.

The Dogs are 7-6-0-1 on the road this year. Although that record isn’t spectacular, they are one of just five QMJHL teams with a .500 or better record away from home.

Alex Bishop certainly looked a bit nervous in the early goings of his QMJHL debut on Sunday. Val-d’Or’s second shot of the game going off the post probably didn’t help things, either.

Sebastien Auger now leads the league in goals against average by a fairly large margin. He has a 2.50 GAA while the Armada’s Samuel Montembeault is second with a 2.62 GAA. Auger’s .919 save percentage is tied for the league lead with Victoriaville’s Chase Marchand.

20-year old forward Justice Dundas, who was given some rest on Sunday and did not dress, has cooled down after his hot start. Dundas had nine goals and six assists in his first 15 games with the Sea Dogs. In his past 10 games he has just one goal and one assist and has not scored since Nov. 21.

Even with all of Saint John’s success this season, there is still not a single Sea Dog among the league’s top 20 scorers. Rimouski’s Alexis Loiseau and Moncton’s Conor Garland are tied for the league lead in points with 52 each.

As if this past weekend wasn’t busy enough, the Sea Dogs will depart for Quebec this week to play three games in four nights. The trek begins on Wednesday in Victoriaville and then heads to Rouyn-Noranda on Friday and Val-d’Or on Saturday.

Luke Green talks to John Moore about his rookie season and his second goal of the year scored on Saturday.


From Sunday’s Hershey Bears game.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

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