Sunday, January 3, 2016

GAME DAY 39: at Cape Breton

The Saint John Sea Dogs (22-13-3-0, 47 points, 2nd Maritimes Division, 8th QMJHL) are in Sydney this afternoon to take on the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (20-16-4-0, 44 points, 3rd Maritimes, 9th QMJHL) at 3 p.m. at Centre 200.

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

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 3-2 win over the Charlottetown Islanders on New Year’s Eve at Harbour Station. Mathieu Joseph, Spencer Smallman and Matt Murphy scored for Saint John while Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 36 saves in the win. The Screaming Eagles are coming off a 5-4 overtime loss in Halifax on New Year’s Eve. Anthony Sorrentino had a pair of goals while singles came from Phelix Martineau and Clark Bishop. Alexandre Belanger was pulled after allowing two goals on four shots. Kyle Jessiman made 21 saves in relief.

2015-16 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 3-1-0-0 against the Screaming Eagles this season while Cape Breton is 1-3-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Dec. 17 at Harbour Station where the Screaming Eagles defeated the Sea Dogs 4-2. Anthony Sorrentino, Michael Joly, Joel Caron, and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored for Cape Breton while Adam Marsh and Mathieu Joseph replied for Saint John. Alexandre Belanger made 31 saves in the win. Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 28 in the loss.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Screaming Eagles: Defenseman Olivier LeBlanc.

Player to watch: Since being traded to Cape Breton, Michael Joly has 11 goals and 17 points in 11 games with the Screaming Eagles. In two games against Saint John this year, Joly has two goals and an assist.

Three Things to Know
1. While the Sea Dogs will be without two key defenseman in Thomas Chabot (Canada) and Jakub Zboril (Czech Republic) due to the world juniors, the Screaming Eagles will be without two key forwards in Evgeny Svechnikov (Russia) and Maxim Lazarev (Russia).

2. Alexandre Belanger has played the most minutes of any goaltender in the league this season. He’s coming off a rough start that saw him pulled after allowing two goals on four shots to the Halifax Mooseheads.

3. Former Sea Dogs captain Olivier LeBlanc is 14th in QMJHL defenseman scoring with two goals and 22 points in 35 games. He has three assists in three games against Saint John this year.

Other notes: Alexandre Belanger’s 17 wins are the fifth most in the QMJHL this season… Matt Murphy is 11th in defensemen scoring with five goals and 28 points… Luke Green leads all defensemen in shots on goal… the Screaming Eagles are averaging 17.08 penalty minutes per game, the second most in the league. Meanwhile, the Sea Dogs are averaging 16.84 penalty minutes per game, the third most in the league… Saint John’s power play has improved of late. They now sit 14th with a rating of 18.1%... Saint John has scored the second most shorthanded goals in the league (12) while Cape Breton has allowed the most (12)… Mathieu Joseph is on a 12-game point streak… the Sea Dogs are 3-0-1-0 in their past four games.

Out of town:
Halifax at Charlottetown - 3:00 PM AST
Rimouski at Drummondville - 3:00 PM EST
Qu├ębec at Baie-Comeau - 4:00 PM EST
Sherbrooke at Gatineau - 4:00 PM EST
Chicoutimi at Shawinigan - 4:00 PM EST
Rouyn-Noranda at Val-d'Or - 4:00 PM EST
Acadie-Bathurst at Victoriaville - 4:00 PM EST

Next game: The Sea Dogs travel to Bathurst on Saturday to take on the Titan at 7 p.m.

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