Thursday, December 31, 2015

RECAP: Sea Dogs Win 3-2

FINAL: Charlottetown 2, Saint John 3
SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Sea Dogs did something on Thursday that they couldn’t do in each of their past two games – hang on to a third period lead.

After blowing a 4-1 third period lead in a shootout win on Tuesday and a 4-0 lead in an overtime loss on Monday, the Sea Dogs bent a bit but didn’t break in a 3-2 victory over the Charlottetown Islanders. Saint John entered the third up 3-1 and, despite giving up a goal and being outshot 15-9, hung on for the regulation time victory.

Mathieu Joseph, Spencer Smallman and Matt Murphy scored for Saint John while Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 36 saves in the victory. Daniel Sprong and Mitchell Balmas replied for Charlottetown while Guillaume Briand-Briere made 26 stops in the loss.

Just a minute into the game, Joseph skated around the Charlottetown defence and beat Briand-Briere with a low wrist shot to make it 1-0 Saint John. Then at 5:16, Smallman beat the Isles netminder top corner on the blocker side to double the Sea Dogs’ lead.

With eight minutes left in the first, Joseph sent a great pass to Matthew Highmore in front but Briand-Briere made a nice pad stop off the deflected shot. A minute late, Balmas beat Turcotte but not the post.

Charlottetown got on the board at 15:15 when Sprong grabbed the puck along the side boards, skated into the slot and fired a hard wrist shot through the legs of Turcotte and making it a 2-1 contest.

In the second, Charlottetown was applying the offensive zone pressure early and even hit a crossbar a few minutes in. Later on it was Saint John getting chances – and then Turcotte had to make a few good saves as Charlottetown turned it on.

At 14:02, Joe Veleno drew a slashing and roughing penalty out of Luc Deschenes, giving Saint John a four-minute power play. On the man advantage at 16:24, a point shot from Murphy beat Briand-Briere to give Saint John a 3-1 lead.

Charlottetown got within one at 6:35 of the third. After the Sea Dogs failed to grab the puck, Balmas grabbed it and fired a shot top corner past Turcotte to make it a 3-2 game.

The Isles applied some serious pressure in the final minutes of the game. With 41.7 seconds remaining, Murphy took a high sticking penalty to give Charlottetown a six-on-four advantage to end the game. Despite maintaining puck possession, the Islanders could not convert to tie it up.

GAME DAY 38: vs Islanders

The Saint John Sea Dogs (21-13-3-0, 45 points, 2nd Maritimes, 8th QMJHL) host the Charlottetown Islanders (14-19-2-2, 32 points, 5th Maritimes, 16th QMJHL) tonight at 7 p.m. at Harbour Station for the final game of the 2015

TV/Radio/Webcast: None/96.1 NewSong FM/QMJHL Live

Last games: The Islanders are coming off a 4-3 shootout loss to the Moncton Wildcats on home ice last night. Filip Rydstrom, Oliver Cooper and Daniel Sprong all scored for Charlottetown while Matthew Welsh made 47 saves in the loss. The Sea Dogs are coming off a 6-5 shootout win in Bathurst on Tuesday night. Adam Marsh, Nathan Noel, Spencer Smallman, Vincent Martineau and Sam Povorozniouk all scored for Saint John while Alex Bishop made 35 saves in the win.

2015-16 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 3-0-0-0 against the Islanders this season while Charlottetown is 0-3-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Dec. 5 at Harbour Station where the Sea Dogs defeated the Islanders 4-3. Matthew Highmore, Dawson Theede, Sam Povorozniouk and Spencer Smallman scored for Saint John while Charlottetown goals came from Filip Rydstrom (two) and Quinn O’Brien. Alex Bishop made 31 saves in the win while Mason McDonald made 22 in the loss.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Islanders: Defensemen Alexander McQuaid and Will Thompson and forward Oliver Cooper.

Player to watch: Daniel Sprong has three goals and an assist in two games with the Islanders since his return from the NHL. The 18-year-old forward had two goals in 18 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Three Things to Know
1. The Islanders are without forward Filip Chlapik (Czech Republic) and goaltender Mason McDonald (Canada) due to the world juniors. The Sea Dogs are without defensemen Jakub Zboril (Czech Republic) and Thomas Chabot (Canada).

2. The Sea Dogs, who are sporting a shorthanded lineup due to injuries and the world juniors, have picked up three of a possible four points in their past two games – but it has been an adventure. In those two games Saint John has given up a total of nine third period goals.

3. Like the Sea Dogs, the Islanders have been better on the road this season than at home. Eight of Charlottetown’s 14 wins this season have come away from Eastlink Centre.

Other notes: Today is the final day of 2015.

2015 Year In Review

Ah, 2015. It was a year of trades, a year of first round draft picks, a year of suspensions, and a year of exceptionalism. Here's a look back at some of the biggest Sea Dogs stories and events from the year that was.

Jan. 5 - the Sea Dogs made a couple of huge trades, which included shipping out captain Olivier LeBlanc and bringing in Bokondji Imama and Jason Bell. Oh, and they acquired Drummondville's first round pick from Cape Breton.

Jan. 12 - Mark Tremaine was named Sea Dogs captain.

Jan. 27 - Shane Bowers was ranked as the top prospect available for the 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft. Maybe the Sea Dogs will draft him!

Feb. 5 - The Sea Dogs are struggling right now, you guys. And we got to use a fantastic photo.

Feb. 12 - Changes have been made to the QMJHL website. Repeat - CHANGES TO THE Q SITE.

DiDomenico Wins Spengler Cup

Chris DiDomenico is a Spengler Cup champion.

The former Sea Dogs forward recorded two assists in Canada’s 4-3 victory over HC Lugano in the championship game this morning in Switzerland. It’s the 13th time Canada has won the annual tournament.

DiDomenico setup Canada’s first goal at 15:59 of the first period, tying the game at 1-1.
Then at 5:00 of the second period, DiDomenico made a tremendous pass to Tom Pyatt to make it 3-1 Canada at the time.
Lugano came back to tie it in the third but a Matt D’Agostino goal would give Canada a 4-3 lead and victory.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

DOGS DAILY: Sprong Show Coming

The Daniel Sprong show will make its first Harbour Station appearance of the 2015-16 season tomorrow evening. The Sea Dogs host Sprong and the Charlottetown Islanders at 7 p.m. for a New Year’s Eve tilt.

Sprong was reassigned to the Islanders by the Pittsburgh Penguins a couple weeks ago. The 18-year-old made an immediate impact in his return to the QMJHL, scoring two goals in Charlottetown’s 4-1 win in Cape Breton on Monday.

Tomorrow night’s contest will be Sprong’s 19th career game against Saint John. Sprong is averaging over a point-per-game in his QMJHL career but is averaging slightly under that in his career against the Sea Dogs. 
SeasonGP vs SJGoalsAssistsPoints

The Islanders, who sit 16th overall in the QMJHL standings with a 14-19-2-1 record entering their home game tonight against the Moncton Wildcats, appear as though they will be buying during the holiday trade period now that Sprong is back. So far they’ve acquired Samuel Blais and Guillaume Beaudry and dealt David Henley and Alexandre Goulet.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

RECAP: Sea Dogs Win 6-5 (OT)

FINAL: Saint John 6, Bathurst 5 (SO)
By Lorne Webster | SN Staff

BATHURST - In the back half of a home-and-home to kick off the second half, the Saint John Sea Dogs pulled out a 6-5 shootout win over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan at the KC Irving Regional Centre Tuesday night. The win avenged a heart breaking 6-5 overtime loss to the Titan at Harbour Station on Monday.    

Mathieu Joseph scored the decisive goal in the shootout. Adam Marsh, Nathan Noel, Spencer Smallman, Vincent Martineau and Sam Povorozniouk scored for Saint John in regulation time. Jeffrey Viel, Andrew Cordssen-David, Vladimir Kuznetsov, Mark Trickett and Christophe Boivin replied for Acadie-Bathurst. 

1st Period
In a tight checking first period, Marsh opened the scoring on a power play at 14:47 when he unloaded a lethal wrist shot past Reilly Pickard. At the other end, goaltender Alex Bishop made a few stellar saves to help keep the hosts off the scoreboard. 

2nd Period
Early in the second, Bishop stoned Viel on a breakaway. Shortly after, the Sea Dogs power play connected again at 2:23 as Noel one-timed a rebound from the left faceoff circle to give Saint John a 2-0 lead. At 6:48, Smallman extended the lead to 3-0 when he finished off a give and go with Luke Green. Viel finally beat Bishop at 9:18 after he one-timed a clean faceoff win by Rothesay's Mark Simpson to make it 3-1. At 18:22, Martineau scored his first QMJHL goal after he picked off a pass and fired a wrist shot from the high slot to restore Saint John's three-goal lead. 
3rd Period
In a case of "deja vu all over again," the Titan battled back with goals early in the third to tie the game.  In the first minute, Pickard stopped Joseph and Daniel Del Paggio (twice) in close.  Then at 2:07, Cordssen-David's long wrist shot near the blue line eluded Bishop to make it 4-2. On a five-on-three power play at 3:49, a shot from in close by Kuznetsov banked off the post and in. The Titan completed the comeback at 10:30, when Trickett's power play blast from the point found its way past a screened Bishop to make it 4-4. However, on another five-on-three power play at 15:09, a Povorozniouk snap shot from the lower part of the left faceoff circle beat Pickard on the short side. Not to be deterred, with six seconds left in regulation, Boivin scored another power play goal when he corralled a loose puck down low and snapped it over an out-stretched Bishop to tie the game at 5-5.
The Sea Dogs pretty much dominated the five-minute overtime period - but Pickard came up with nine big saves to force a shootout.

After Boivin and Povorozniouk exchanged goals off lovely dekes, Joseph scored what proved to be the winner with a hard wrist shot through Pickard's legs. Meanwhile, Bishop thwarted Kuznetzov and Simpson to seal the victory for Saint John.

DOGS DAILY: About Last Night

Blowing a four-goal third period lead certainly doesn’t happen every day. While Sea Dogs fans may not have liked what they saw last night at Harbour Station, at least it turned a lopsided game quickly into a very entertaining 20-plus minutes of hockey.

The Sea Dogs certainly missed defensemen Thomas Chabot and Jakub Zboril in the game. D-man Bailey Webster was also out with an injury as were strong defensive forwards Samuel Dove-McFalls and Spencer Smallman. This isn’t a team that’s going to blow a four-goal lead too often when they have all their regulars dressed.

A few other notes from the game:
  • Saint John now has a -10 goal differential in third periods this season. They are +6 in first periods and +11 in second periods.
  • This was just the fifth time this season overall – and second time on home ice – that the Sea Dogs have lost a game when leading after two periods. On the other side, this was Bathurst’s third win of the year when trailing after two and the first time they’ve done so on the road.
  • As noted in our pre-game, Bathurst’s five-goal third period tied a league high for goals scored in a third this season.

The Sea Dogs and Titan meet again tonight at 7 p.m. in Bathurst.

GAME DAY 37: at Bathurst

The Saint John Sea Dogs (20-13-3-0, 43 points), who sit second in the Maritimes Division and eighth overall in the QMJHL, travel to Bathurst tonight to take on the Titan (14-19-2-1, 31 points), who sit fourth in the Maritimes and 14th overall, at 7 p.m. at the KC Irving Regional Centre.

TV/Radio/Webcast: None/96.1 NewSong FM/QMJHL Live

Last games: The Sea Dogs blew a four-goal third period lead in a 6-5 overtime loss to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan last night at Harbour Station. Christophe Boivin, Mark Simpson and Jeffrey Truchon-Viel each scored twice for Bathurst. Mathieu Joseph had a hat trick for Saint John while singles came from Joe Veleno and Nathan Noel. Reilly Pickard made 25 saves in the win while Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 33 in the loss.

2015-16 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 1-1-1-0 against the Titan this season while Bathurst is 2-1-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Last night.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Titan: Defenseman Jason Bell.

Player to watch: Sea Dogs forward Mathieu Joseph, who had a hat trick last night, has 10 goals, nine assists and 53 shots in his past 10 games. The Tampa Bay Lightning prospect is now averaging over a point-per-game (19 goals and 37 points in 32 games).

3 Things to Know
1. After 18 home games, the Titan are averaging a league low 1,380 fans per game. That’s 310 fans per game lower than the Baie-Comeau Drakkar who have the second worst average attendance in the league.

2. With a shorthanded goal last night, Mathieu Joseph is now tied for the league lead in shorthanded markers with five. As a team, Saint John has 12 goals when down a man this season, which is second most in the QMJHL.

3. Last night’s five-goal third period by the Titan ties a league high for goals scored in a third this season.
Other notes: The Titan have won four straight games… Christophe Boivin has goals in three straight games… Antoine Morand has assists in six straight games… Saint John has picked up three more points on the road this season than at home.

Monday, December 28, 2015

RECAP: Sea Dogs Lose 6-5 (OT)

FINAL: Bathurst 6, Saint John 5 (OT)
By Kevin Chambers | SN Staff

SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Sea Dogs kicked off the second half with a Monday meltdown at Harbour Station.

The Sea Dogs blew a four-goal third period lead in a 6-5 overtime loss to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan at Harbour Station. The Titan have now won four straight games while the Sea Dogs’ home woes continue.

In the first period back from the Christmas break, both teams looked a little sluggish in a frame that lacked any real type of flow. A few nice hits coming from both sides made for a physical period with limited scoring chances for both sides.

After a lackluster first period, Mathieu Joseph brought the Harbour Station faithful to their feet after one timing a Daniel Del Paggio feed past Reilly Pickard, giving the Sea Dogs the 1-0 lead one-minute into the second. Joseph would strike again - this time with his fifth shorthanded goal of the season - doubling the Sea Dogs’ lead to 2-0 at 13:26. Saint John would strike again just over a minute later when Joe Veleno banged home a rebound which gave the Sea Dogs a 3-0 advantage. Nathan Noel rounded out the second period scoring with a power play marker at 19:28, giving Saint John a commanding 4-0 lead entering the third period.

The Titan would strike early in the third after killing a Sea Dogs’ power play chance. Christophe Boivin went top shelf on Marc-Antoine Turcotte, cutting Saint John’s lead to 4-1. Mark Simpson got the Titan within two goals after ripping a shot past Turcotte at 4:23. Boivin would strike again at the 5:03 mark, getting the Titan within one after a furious start to the third period. Bathurst completed the comeback when Jeffrey Truchon-Viel scored a power play marker with just 5:37 left in the final frame. The Titan would then take the lead when Mark Simpson scored with just 3:09 remaining, giving the Titan the lead for the first time. The Sea Dogs would battle back though. With Turcotte pulled for the extra attacker, Joseph completed his hat trick and tied the game with 1:20 left in regulation.

In overtime there was plenty of back and forth action - but the Titan would ultimately get the game winner. Truchon-Viel beat Turcotte with 2:03 remaining, giving the Titan an unlikely 6-5 victory.

DOGS DAILY: Chabot, Zboril Pick Up Points

Thomas Chabot picked up his first point of the world juniors in Canada’s 6-1 victory over Denmark today.

Chabot setup Matt Barzal’s second period power play goal to put Canada up 3-1 at the time. Team Canada scored four times in the second after entering the period tied 1-1.

The Sea Dogs defenseman finished the game with one point, two minutes in penalties and three shots. He was called for slashing late in the second, a penalty the Canadians easily killed off.

After a tough 4-2 loss to the United States to open the tournament, this was a dominant performance – and an expected performance – by Team Canada. They are now 1-0-1 at this year’s world juniors and, with the US losing today, still have a shot at winning Group A.

Canada takes on the Switzerland tomorrow at 2 p.m. on TSN. They’ll play their final game of the preliminary round on New Year’s Eve against Sweden.

Earlier in the day, Jakub Zboril assisted on David Pastrnak’s game-winner in the Czech Republic’s 2-0 victory over Slovakia. Pastrnak was just given clearance by the Boston Bruins to join the Czechs while Zboril is, of course, a Bruins prospect.

Zboril finished the game with one point, two penalty minutes and two shots. The Czech Republic, now 1-0-1, plays Belarus on Wednesday.

GAME DAY 36: vs Titan

The Saint John Sea Dogs (20-13-2-0, 2nd Maritimes Division, 8th QMJHL) host the Acadie-Bathurst Titan (13-19-2-1, 4th Maritimes Division, 15th QMJHL) tonight at 7 p.m. at Harbour Station to kick off the QMJHL’s second half.

TV/Radio/Webcast: None/96.1 NewSong FM/QMJHL Live

Last games: The Titan are coming off a 6-1 win in Charlottetown on Dec. 18. Mark Trickett, Jeffrey Truchon-Viel, Christophe Boivin, Guillaume Brisebois, Mark Simpson and Daniil Miromanov all scored for Bathurst while Reilly Pickard made 33 saves in the win. The Sea Dogs are coming off a 3-1 win over the Halifax Mooseheads on Dec. 18. Luke Green, Ryan Chiasson and Nathan Noel all scored for the Dogs while Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 18 saves in the win.

2015-16 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 1-1-0-0 against the Titan this season while Bathurst is 1-1-0-0 against Saint John.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Titan: Defenseman Jason Bell

Player to watch: Antoine Morand, who was picked second overall in the 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft behind Joe Veleno, is fourth in QMJHL rookie scoring with 10 goals and 23 assists for 33 points in 30 games.

3 Things to Know
1. The Titan have the second worst road record in the league this season (4-11-1-1). The Baie-Comeau Drakkar have the worst with just one road win in 16 tries.

2. Bathurst entered the Christmas break on a three-game winning streak, beating Drummondville (5-2) once and Charlottetown twice (2-1 and 6-1).

3. The Titan enter the second half with 29 points and sit 4th in the Maritimes Division. The Halifax Mooseheads and Charlottetown Islanders, who sit 5th and 6th in the division, respectively, also have 29 points.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

DOGS DAILY: Siska Produces For Slovaks

Former Sea Dogs forward Juraj Siska registered a goal and an assist in Slovakia’s 4-2 victory over Denmark on Sunday at the world juniors.

Playing on a line with Vancouver Giants forward Radovan Bondra and Lukas Hrusik, Siska won the faceoff that led to Hrusik’s game winner early in the third period. Siska was then credited with an empty net goal in the final minute of the game – even though he didn’t score – on a bizarre play that saw the Belarus netminder jump off the bench and try to intercept Siska near the blue line.

Siska finished the game with two points, three shots and a +2 rating. The 19-year-old assisted on Slovakia’ first goal, a point shot from Patrik Koch that he nearly got a piece of.

Slovakia, 1-0, plays Jakub Zboril and the Czech Republic tomorrow at 8 a.m. on TSN. The Czechs are coming off a 2-1 shootout loss to Russia on Saturday.

In other news…
  • Denmark upset a shorthanded Swiss squad 2-1 in today’s second game at the world juniors. Halifax’s Timo Meier had four shots in the Swiss loss.
  • Thomas Chabot and Team Canada look to pick up their first win tomorrow at 2 p.m. against Denmark. Meanwhile, the United States plays Sweden at 10 a.m. and Finland takes on Russia at noon.
  • At the Spengler Cup tomorrow, Chris DiDomenico and Team Canada take on HC Davos at 3:15 p.m. on TSN.
  • The Sea Dogs return from the Christmas break tomorrow. They’ll host the Acadie-Bathurst Titan at 7 p.m. for a rare Monday game. The two teams battle again on Tuesday night in Bathurst.
  • I’ll be talking Sea Dogs and world juniors tomorrow at 8:10 a.m. on CBC Radio’s Information Morning.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Saturday, December 26, 2015

DOGS DAILY: Tough Start To WJC

It was a rough start to the World Junior Hockey Championships for two Saint John Sea Dogs defensemen.

Jakub Zboril’s first game of this year’s tournament lasted just a little more than 10 minutes. At 10:17 of the first period in the Czech Republic’s opening game against Russia, Zboril was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for boarding.
The Czechs lost the game 2-1 in a shootout. Cape Breton’s Maxim Lazarev had the only goal of the breakaway contest.

The Czech Republic plays again on Monday against Juraj Siska and Slovakia.

ALUMDATE: At The Christmas Break

It has not been a fun season for Simon Despres and the Anaheim Ducks.

Just four games into the 2015-16 season on Oct. 16, Despres suffered a concussion from a hit to the head. He has not played since.

From the Orange County Register on Dec. 19:

Earlier this month, Despres showed signs of improvement and attempted to skate on his own before a practice at Anaheim Ice. Lingering symptoms are now keeping the defenseman from taking steps forward in getting back on the ice, and the Ducks aren’t pushing him.

The Ducks have underperformed so far this season and sit dead last in the NHL's Western Conference, two points behind the Edmonton Oilers. Their problem hasn't been on the backend but up front - they've scored the fewest goals in the league this season with just 62 in 33 games.

On a more positive note, Mike Hoffman sits sixth in NHL goal scoring. 

Mike HoffmanOTT31171532
Jonathan HuberdeauFLA3541721
Charlie CoyleMIN338917
Nathan BeaulieuMTL352911
Eric GelinasNJ21123
Tomas JurcoDET13123
Stanislav GalievWAS7022
Simon DespresANA4000

Friday, December 25, 2015

DOGS DAILY: December Q Draft Rankings

A member of the Saint John Vito’s could be one of the top players chosen in the 2016 QMJHL Entry Draft. unveiled their QMJHL Entry Draft rankings for December on Wednesday. Vito's forward Anderson MacDonald, a 2000-born Quispamsis native, was ranked sixth overall.

MacDonald leads the Vito's in scoring this season with 13 goals and 25 points in 18 games.

Only three players from Atlantic Canada were ranked in’s top 10 – Cole Harbour defenseman Jared McIsaac (2nd), MacDonald (6th) and PEI-native d-man Noah Dobson (10th) of the Red Bull U-18 team. has the top 50 players ranked for the draft. The top 10 can be viewed for free.

In other news…
  • The Sea Dogs already have the top 2000-born player available on their roster – Joe Veleno. The forward being granted exceptional player status was Sportsnet’s sixth biggest junior hockey story of the year.
  • The return of Daniel Sprong certainly hurts Saint John’s drafting, assuming the Isles keep the Pittsburgh Penguins prospect. Saint John owns Charlottetown’s first round pick, a pick that will no doubt lower on the draft board thanks to Sprong. Charlottetown currently sits 17th overall, which would put Saint John into the draft lottery – again.
  • Speaking of Sprong, he and the Islanders visit Saint John on New Year’s Eve for a 7 p.m. matchup.
  • Sea Dogs defenseman Luke Green went on The Pipeline Show last week.
  • Dobber Hockey has a big preview up on Team Canada’s world junior team.
  • Dobber Hockey also looked at some of the key players playing with the European teams. On Jakub Zboril: “Zboril will play huge minutes and be counted on to shutdown opposing top attackers but also chip in offensively. Expectations are high and so will his workload.”
  • We don’t get to link to BuzzFeed on here too often, so here’s the tale of a Rothesay resident that is not happy with the town’s new outdoor rink.
  • Merry Christmas and happy world junior eve.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

DOGS DAILY: Dogs Attendance Up Slightly

Halfway through their home schedule, the Sea Dogs are averaging 3,186 fans per game. While it’s not a great number, it’s actually up a small amount from last year.

Here's a look at Saint John's attendance on Christmas Eve from the past few seasons:

SeasonHome GamesAverage
2010-11183,852 (4th)
2011-12193,950 (3rd)
2012-13183,639 (4th)
2013-14173,029 (5th)
2014-15173,135 (5th)
2015-16173,186 (4th)

The website 3rd Line Grind has a post on CHL attendance and how teams are doing this year compared to last. Not surprisingly, the Quebec Remparts' attendance is way up. In fact, Quebec's average of 13,337 is better than what the Carolina Hurricanes, New York Islanders, Arizona Coyotes and Florida Panthers are averaging. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

DOGS DAILY: Coyle Burns Beaulieu

Charlie Coyle got the better of Nathan Beaulieu last night.

Coyle’s goal at 4:55 of the third period – a goal that saw the forward fly past his former Sea Dogs teammate – proved to be the game winner in the Minnesota Wild’s 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.

Here’s video, via theScore:

Coyle, the game’s second star who finished the game with one goal, three shots and three hits in 16:20 of ice time, now has eight goals and nine assists in 33 games this season with the Wild. The 23-year-old forward has two goals and an assist in his past two games.

Meanwhile, Beaulieu finished fourth on the Habs in ice time last time. Montreal enters the Christmas break on a five-game losing streak.

"We deserve better," Beaulieu told "We've had some bad games along this stretch but we've played some good hockey, especially tonight. Good goaltender, [defense] played well, forwards were playing our system. I know we keep saying, 'It was just one of those nights,' but we played a good hockey game tonight."

DiDomencio To Play In Spengler Cup Again

Chris DiDomenico will suit up for Canada’s Spengler Cup team again this year, according to the international hockey website The Hockey House.

DiDomenico has been playing overseas since the 2012-13 season. In his second full season with the SCL Tigers in Switzerland, the 26-year-old forward leads the team in scoring with seven goals and 20 assists in 27 National League A games.

The former Sea Dog played with Canada at last year’s tournament as well where he was held pointless. Canada lost in the semifinals.

DiDomenico also played with Team Canada at the 2009 world juniors, helping the team win gold in Ottawa.

A native of Woodbridge, ON, DiDomenico spent two-and-a-half seasons with the Sea Dogs from 2007-2009. According to Elite Prospects, he is fifth all-time in franchise scoring with 75 goals and 204 points in 166 games.

DiDomenico is arguably the most important player in Sea Dogs history. Not only was he the team’s first big offensive star, he was also traded to the Drummondville Voltigeurs in the deal that saw Saint John acquire the pick used to draft Jonathan Huberdeau.

Canada’s first game of the 2015 Spengler Cup is on Boxing Day at 3 p.m. against Yekaterinburg. TSN will be broadcasting the entire tournament.

UPDATE: Here is the full roster:
Photo via Elite Prospects

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

DOGS DAILY: Langan's Number Retired

Andrew Langan only played in 14 QMJHL games but still managed to have an impressive junior career.

Langan was a fifth-round pick of the Sea Dogs in the 2007 QMJHL Entry Draft. The Quispamsis native played in 14 games with Saint John over three seasons, recording three assists.

While he could never earn a full time roster spot with the Sea Dogs, Langan had quite a career at the junior ‘A’ level with the Woodstock Slammers, which was highlighted by captaining the team to the RBC Cup final in 2012.

According to the Slammers website, Langan “would play in 223 games, collecting 98 goals and 144 assists.” Along with making it to the national final in 2012, Langan and the Slammers also won MHL championships in 2010 and 2012.

This past weekend, Langan had his number retired by the Slammers.
Following his junior career, the former Saint John Vito’s forward spent three seasons with the Dalhousie Tigers.

Monday, December 21, 2015

DOGS DAILY: Huberdeau Assists Old Man

Jonathan Huberdeau helped move Jaromir Jagr into fourth all-time on the NHL goal scorning list yesterday.

Huberdeau assisted on Jagr’s 732nd career goal, which moves him past Marcel Dionne on the all-time list. As theScore notes, “he's only nine goals shy of Brett Hull for third on the list.”

Huberdeau has four goals and 17 assists in 34 games this season for a Panthers team that only has a +13 goal differential.

Gerard Gallant's Panthers have an 18-12-4 record for 40 points. They currently lead the NHL’s Eastern Conference wildcard standings.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sea Dogs Confirm Two Trades

The Sea Dogs have confirmed a couple of trades this evening.

From a press release:

Defenceman Jason Bell has been traded to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2016 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Entry Draft and a third-round pick in 2018.  
Forward Julien Tessier goes to the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in exchange for a conditional second-round draft pick in 2018.

The condition on the Tessier trade is apparently based on the number of games the second-year forward plays in. Tessier has been dealing with a health issue this season. He tweeted about the deal:
As did Bell:
The Sea Dogs open up the second half of the season against Bell and the Titan on Dec. 28 at Harbour Station.

The QMJHL has been a bit slow at confirming trades on their website this year for whatever reason. A couple of big deals involving the Charlottetown Islanders were confirmed today though as Alexandre Goulet (pictured... sort of) was dealt to Victoriaville for Samuel Blais and David Henley was sent to Val-d’Or for draft picks.

The Islanders find themselves in an odd situation with the news of Daniel Sprong heading back to the QMJHL. Despite today’s deals and the fact that they are sitting in the league’s basement, the Isles apparently want to be buyers. We’ll see how that works out.

The QMJHL’s trading period ends on Jan. 6.

Thomas Chabot Named To Team Canada

Chabot was one of the seven defensemen named to the team today as the final four cuts were made.

Other QMJHL players named to the team were forwards Julien Gauthier (Val-d’Or) and Anthony Beauvilllier (Shawinigan) along with goaltenders Mason McDonald (Charlottetown) and Samuel Montembeault (Blainville-Boisbriand).

Chabot, a first-round pick of the Ottawa Senators in this year’s NHL Draft, has been solid in Team Canada’s pre-tournament games. TSN’s Bob McKenzie indicated yesterday that he was one of the favourites to make Canada’s defensive unit.

The 18-year-old has seven goals and 13 assists in 22 games with Saint John this season.

Looking back on the past couple seasons, Chabot has been on quite a rise. He has gone from a second-round pick in the 2013 QMJHL Entry Draft and an under-the-radar NHL prospect a year ago to a first-round NHL pick and, now, part of Canada’s world junior team.

Other Sea Dogs that have been on Canada's world junior team in the past are Chris DiDomenico (2009), Simon Despres (2011), Nathan Beaulieu (2012) and Jonathan Huberdeau (2012 and 2013).

Canada defeated Jakub Zboril and the Czech Republic 1-0 in a pre-tournament game this morning in Finland. They play Sweden in an exhibition game on Wednesday and begin the tournament on Boxing Day against the United States.

DOGS DAILY: WJC Exhibition Continues

During an intermission segment, TSN’s Bob McKenzie even suggested that Chabot is currently one of the favourites to grab one of the spots on the Canadian backend for the world juniors.

Corey Pronman of ESPN was also impressed.
Team Canada continues pre-tournament play today when they take on Jakub Zboril and the Czech Republic at 11 a.m. That game can be seen on TSN. The Hockey House has a preview of the Czech team, writing that Zboril had “a solid Summer Showcase tournament in Canada this past summer, and there’s no question the Boston Bruins first rounder will be a leader on a team without a great group of stars like Canada or the United States.”

Canada plays Sweden in exhibition play on Wednesday before opening up the tournament on Boxing Day against the United States.

Meanwhile, former Sea Dogs forward Juraj Siska (pictured) is on Slovakia’s world junior camp roster. In an article on The Hockey Writers, Alessandro Seren Rosso writes that Siska could be on the team’s top line.

Siska, drafted ninth overall by Mike Kelly and the Sea Dogs in the 2013 CHL Import Draft, played in 64 games with the Sea Dogs last season and recorded seven goals and eight assists. The 19-year-old is playing with HC Nitra this season, according to the IIHF website.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Reviewing The First Half

By Lorne Webster | SN Staff

After having a record seven players drafted in the 2015 NHL Draft, two others given NHL training camp invitations and having the first 15-year-old to gain "exceptional status" on their roster, hopes and expectations ran very high among Sea Dogs players, management and fans entering the 2015-16 season. Upon reflection, as we enter the holiday break, those high expectations may have been a tad overly optimistic. 

With an overall record of 20-13-2-0 in 35 games played - including a 9-5-1-0 record against Quebec based teams - the Sea Dogs are comfortably in a playoff position and second in a tough Maritimes Division. However, it's fair to say that the team has been consistently inconsistent, often playing to the level of their competition. And the Sea Dogs have not performed as expected against the rival Moncton Wildcats, especially at home. The Sea Dogs' three heartbreaking losses (2-1 on Sept. 13, 4-2 on Oct. 24 and 4-3 on Dec. 4) and one down right lousy loss (5-0 on Nov. 12) on Harbour Station ice have left a bad taste in the mouths of fans and management. On the flip side, the Dogs have actually played well at the Moncton Coliseum with a 4-3 overtime loss on Oct. 25 and a convincing 6-2 win on Dec. 9.  

The Sea Dogs have been one of the top three teams on the road thus far - but their pedestrian 9-7 record on Harbour Station ice has more than a few of the faithful scratching their heads as well.  

In assessing what has prevented the Sea Dogs from challenging Rouyn-Noranda, Val-d'Or, Shawinigan and Moncton for first overall at this stage, a few theories have emerged:

Theory 1 - NHL Hangovers
To varying degrees, the nine players that were returned to Saint John from NHL camps (i.e. Thomas Chabot, Jakub Zboril, Samuel Dove-McFalls, Mathieu Joseph, Spencer Smallman, Bokondji Imama, Adam Marsh, Nathan Noel and Jason Bell) along with Luke Green (who was cut from Team Canada’s under-17 team for the Ivan Hlinka summer tournament) have struggled to find their way again in the QMJHL. For virtually all of these guys, it is the first time they have been cut from a team. That's tough for just about anyone - but especially for teenagers with big dreams. Besides the negative impact on their confidence, it's likely that they were told by the respective NHL teams' staffs to focus on improving some aspect of their game.  Anyone who has played competitive sports - or is a golfer - can relate to focusing too much time and effort into one part of their game to the detriment of other aspects. The talent is there, and the results should improve as their hard work builds more confidence.

DOGS DAILY: The Trade Period Begins

The QMJHL’s holiday trading period begins today.

The Saint John Sea Dogs are expected to make a couple moves early on in the annual trading period. It was reported yesterday that defensemen Jason Bell will be traded to Bathurst and Julien Tessier will be dealt to Chicoutimi in exchange for draft picks.

The Sea Dogs have made just three trades during the 2015-16 season so far, acquiring affiliate players Jordan King and Ryan Chiasson along with veteran defenseman Matt Murphy. The Murphy deal took place last week.

Saint John made four deals during the holiday trading period last year, including significant deals involving Bokondji Imama and Olivier LeBlanc.

Today should be a busy day around the league as a numbered of rumoured deals will be made official. All official trades will be posted on the QMJHL website.

The trading period ends on Jan. 6.

REPORTS: Trade Winds Will Blow

It appears the Saint John Sea Dogs will be active in the early goings of the QMJHL’s holiday trading period.

According to Mikael Lalancette of TVA Sports, defenseman Jason Bell will be traded to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2018 QMJHL Entry Draft and a sixth-round pick in 2016.
However, the Chronicle Herald's Willy Palov has tweeted that a second-round pick in coming to Saint John in the deal.
Bell, who was injured in last week’s Imama/Bent incident, has one goal and one assist in 19 games with the Sea Dogs this season. He has been a healthy scratch at times this season thanks to Saint John’s wealth of quality defensemen.

The 18-year-old was acquired from the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in the Olivier LeBlanc trade last season.

Friday, December 18, 2015

RECAP: Sea Dogs Win 3-1

FINAL: Halifax 1, Saint John 3

By Kevin Chambers | SN Staff

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs closed out the first half with a 3-1 victory over the Halifax Mooseheads on Friday night at Harbour Station.

The Sea Dogs and Mooseheads got off to a bit of a slow start with a lot of neutral zone play. The Sea Dogs would eventually get on the board first at the 17:24 mark when Luke Green rushed in and buried his own rebound past Eric Brassard. That’s all the damage that would be done in the opening period despite an 11-5 shot advantage for Saint John.

The Sea Dogs had a great start to the middle stanza as call up Ryan Chiasson scored the second goal of his QMJHL career, putting a shot past Brassard and giving the Sea Dogs a 2-0 lead at the 4:19 mark. The Mooseheads would cut the lead in half when Maxime Fortier buried a second chance on his wraparound attempt, cutting the deficit to 2-1. Saint John peppered Brassard with 23 shots in the second period but the netminder managed to keep the Mooseheads within a single goal heading to the third period.

After Matthew Highmore was called for a slashing penalty just 1:20 into the third period, it was Nathan Noel finishing off a nice two-on-one with Mathieu Joseph, giving the Sea Dogs a shorthanded marker and extending their lead to 3-1. Halifax would pull Brassard late in the final frame but could not beat Marc-Antoine Turcotte, giving the Sea Dogs a 3-1 victory.

GAME DAY 35: vs Mooseheads

A preview of tonight’s game between the Halifax Mooseheads and Saint John Sea Dogs…

When and where: Tonight at 7:30 p.m., Harbour Station

TV/Radio/Webcast: Rogers TV/96.1 NewSong FM/QMJHL Live

Records: The Mooseheads are fifth in the Maritimes Division and 16th overall in the QMJHL with a record of 12-17-4-1 for 29 points. The Sea Dogs are third in the Maritimes and ninth overall with a 19-13-2-0 record for 40 points.

Last games: The Mooseheads are coming off a 4-1 home loss last night to the Moncton Wildcats. Arnaud Durandeau scored Halifax’s lone goal while Kevin Resop made 35 saves in the loss. The Sea Dogs are coming off a 4-2 loss to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles last night at Harbour Station. Adam Marsh and Mathieu Joseph scored for Saint John while Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 28 saves in the loss.

2015-16 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 2-2-0-0 against the Mooseheads this season while Halifax is 2-1-1-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Last Friday at Scotiabank Centre where the Mooseheads defeated the Sea Dogs 8-5. Cavan Fitzgerald, Danny Moynihan and Timo Meier each had two goals for Halifax while singles came from Andrew Shewfelt and Maxime Fortier. Saint John had a hat trick from Luke Green and single from Daniel Del Paggio and Matt Murphy. Eric Brassard made 31 saves in the win. Marc-Antoine Turcotte and Alex Bishop combined to allow eight goals on 35 shots.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Mooseheads: Kelly Bent

Random stat/fact: Both Kelly Bent and Bokondji Imama are suspended for this game following the incident from last week’s meeting between the two.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

RECAP: Sea Dogs Lose 4-2

FINAL: Cape Breton 4, Saint John 2
By Lorne Webster | SN Staff

SAINT JOHN - In the second game of a home-and-home set, the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles defeated the Saint John Sea Dogs 4-2 Thursday evening at Harbour Station - which avenged a 4-3 loss to the Sea Dogs last Saturday. With the win, Cape Breton leapfrogged Saint John into second place in the Maritimes Division - although the Sea Dogs now hold two games in hand.   

Anthony Sorrentino, Michael Joly, Joel Caron and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored for Cape Breton. Adam Marsh and Mathieu Joseph replied for Saint John.     

1st Period
In a hard fought, back and forth period, both Marc-Antoine Turcotte and Alexandre Belanger were tested early and often. However, both goaltenders came up with a number of 'grade A' saves to keep the game scoreless. Just before the nine-minute mark, Bailey Webster and Jordan Ty Fournier met for a short tilt after the Eagles forward bowled over Turcotte behind the Sea Dogs net.   

2nd Period
An apparent Eagles goal by Alexandre Gosselin near the six-minute mark was called back due to a missed offside call. However, four minutes later, Sorrentino's one-timer from the slot beat Turcotte to open the scoring. At 12:44, seconds after the Eagles killed off a penalty, Joly banged a rebound past a fallen Turcotte to extend Cape Breton's lead to 2-0. Frustrations boiled over at 14:17 when Marsh fought Colby Tower, landing several hard punches. Caron extended Cape Breton's lead to 3-0 when he deposited his first QMJHL goal off a goalmouth scramble. 
3rd Period
The Screaming Eagles onslaught continued into the third and at 3:24 Dubois swooped out of the corner and beat Turcotte to the far side to make it 4-0 Cape Breton. The Sea Dogs finally got on the scoreboard on a power play at 8:32 when Marsh tipped a Matthew Highmore point shot past Belanger. On another power play at 14:58, Joseph unloaded a slap shot from the right face-off circle and past Belanger to bring the Sea Dogs back to 4-2. Despite applying tremendous pressure in the closing minutes, Belanger was able to hold the fort for the win. 

GAME DAY 34: vs Screaming Eagles

A preview of tonight’s game between the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and Saint John Sea Dogs…

When and where: Tonight at 7 p.m., Harbour Station

TV/Radio/Webcast: None/96.1 NewSong FM/QMJHL Live

Records: The Screaming Eagles are third in the Maritimes Division and ninth overall in the QMJHL standings with an 18-14-3-0 record for 39 points. The Sea Dogs are second in the Maritimes and eighth overall with a 19-12-2-0 record for 40 points.

Last games: The Screaming Eagles and Sea Dogs met last Saturday at Centre 200 with Saint John posting a 4-3 victory. Mathieu Joseph, Sam Povorozniouk, Adam Marsh and Joe Veleno scored for the Dogs while a pair of Eagles goals came from Phelix Martineau and a single from Michael Joly. Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 18 saves in the win while Alexandre Belanger made 34 in the loss.

2015-16 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 3-0-0-0 against the Screaming Eagles while Cape Breton is 0-3-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: See above.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Screaming Eagles: Olivier LeBlanc

Random stat/fact: Saint John and Gatineau have played the fewest home games in the league this season (15). The Sea Dogs close out the first half with two home games.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

DOGS DAILY: Dialling Back The Rumours

That Timo Meier rumour that surfaced yesterday was fun. Now lets crash back down to reality a bit.
Meanwhile, le Journal de Quebec has an article debunking rumours that goaltender Callum Booth is heading to Saint John – or anywhere.

The QMJHL’s trading period opens on Saturday.

In other news…

  • The Sea Dogs host the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Thursday night at 7 p.m.
  • The Adirondack newspaper The Post Star has an article on former Sea Dogs forward Michael Kirkpatrick. In 21 games with the ECHL’s Thunder this season, Kirkpatrick has 10 goals and nine assists.
  • RDS has a story on Jonathan Huberdeau’s season so far. Huberdeau has four goals and 14 assists in 31 games with the Florida Panthers.
  • At tonight’s County Aces games in St. Stephen, former Sea Dogs goaltender Kyle Porter had to be helped off the ice by teammates in the third period after suffering an apparent lower body injury. The Aces won the game 7-4 over the Dieppe Commandos.
  • You can vote for Adam Marsh’s beautiful goal against Cape Breton for the Fan Choice Play of the Week.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Is It #TimoTime In Saint John?

Could it soon be Timo time in Saint John? There are rumours it could be.

According to Stephane Leroux of RDS, there are rumours circulating that the Sea Dogs could trade for Halifax Mooseheads captain Timo Meier.
Meier has 11 goals and 25 assists in 23 games with the Mooseheads this season. He is currently with Switzerland’s under-20 team preparing for the World Junior Hockey Championship.

In today’s Chronicle Herald, Willy Palov had an article on Meier’s future with the Mooseheads. Given that Halifax is rebuilding and Meier, the ninth overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft, is a 19-year-old, it makes a whole lot of sense for the Moose to deal him.

Meier would certainly give the Sea Dogs something they need: a highly skilled forward that can take over a game. Saint John has plenty of offensive depth, but they are missing that big impactful player up front that can dominate.

The price to get Meier will no doubt be high – even though the San Jose Sharks prospect will likely be playing pro next season. But last week’s Matt Murphy deal indicates that Saint John believes they can do some winning this season and aren’t afraid to move some assets.

The Murphy deal also helps with the possibility of having to move Jakub Zboril or Oliver Felixson – the team’s two current imports.

Meier was recently named the QMJHL's first star of the week after setting a career high with six points in Halifax's win over the Sea Dogs on Friday. The Mooseheads – without Meier – visit Saint John on Friday.

The QMJHL trading period begins on Saturday.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

DOGS DAILY: Green Enjoying Road Life

Luke Green has enjoyed life on the road this season.

Green, a 17-year-old defenseman in his second year with the Sea Dogs, has a solid seven goals and 11 assists in 29 games this year. Impressively, six of his seven goals and 10 of his 11 assists have come on the road (15 games). Green only has two points – one goal and one assist – in 14 home games.

Saint John, overall, has been good on the road this season. With an 11-6-1-0 record away from home this season, they are tied for the second most road wins in the QMJHL.

All of the players who sit ahead of Green on the team scoring leaderboard have relatively even home/road numbers. Green, the third star of the league this week, is an exception, it seems.

In other news…
  • Mike Hoffman’s incredible season continued last night, scoring two goals and adding an assist in a first star performance. Hoffman now sits eighth in league scoring and fourth in goals with 17 goals and 30 points in 27 games.
  • It’ll be interesting to see what kind of impact Matt Murphy will have on Saint John’s woeful power play. Murphy has three goals and nine assists on the man advantage this year, accounting for nine of his 25 points. Murphy had a goal and an assist on the power play in his Sea Dogs debut on Friday in Halifax.
  • The Sea Dogs host the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Thursday and Halifax Mooseheads on Friday.
  • Friday’s game will be Saint John’s last match of the first half. They return to action on Dec. 28 at home against Bathurst.
  • The QMJHL trading period opens on Saturday and runs until Jan. 6.

Monday, December 14, 2015

DOGS DAILY: Remembering The Streak

On Saturday, Dec. 12 the Golden State Warriors’ 28-game winning streak came to an end. It was six years ago Sunday, Dec. 13 that the Saint John Sea Dogs’ 22-game winning streak came to a close.

Six years later, the streak that got the glory days of the Sea Dogs franchise rolling is often forgotten about thanks to all the championships that followed. It’s too bad, really – because the streak was a whole lot of fun.

During their streak, which extended from October 17th until December 12th, Saint John scored 107 goals while allowing a mere 44. The offence was led mainly by Mike Hoffman (36 points and 8 game-winning goals), Nicholas Petersen (31), Michael Kirkpatrick (30) and rookie Stanislav Galiev (25 points). The strong defensive brigade saw its veteran, Yann Sauvé, register a solid +24 differential in addition to gathering 16 points. In nets, veteran Marc-Antoine Gélinas won 15 games, allowing a meagre 1.83 goals per game along with a .933 save percentage. Karel St-Laurent posted the other seven wins.

The streak began on Oct. 17, 2009 with a 3-2 overtime victory over Kirill Kabanov and the Moncton Wildcats at Harbour Station. It ended on Dec. 13 with a 7-3 loss to the Wildcats at the Moncton Coliseum.