Even if the Shawinigan Cataractes, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and Val-d’Or Foreurs were having bad seasons, this would be a tough road trip for the Saint John Sea Dogs. Unfortunately for Saint John, the three have been among the top teams in the QMJHL all year, adding an extra element of difficulty to an already challenging trip.
The Sea Dogs begin one of the toughest road trips in team history tomorrow night against the Cataractes. Saint John currently sits just behind Shawinigan for second overall in the QMJHL with an identical record of 35-14-4-0 for 74 points. The Cataractes are in action tonight in Quebec City.
Given the closeness between the Dogs and Cats in the standings, Wednesday’s contest could be key in determining who finishes second overall. The second place finisher would get home ice advantage through, at least, the first three rounds.
It’ll also be neat to see the Sea Dogs-Cataractes rivalry renewed. The two faced each other in the 2012 Memorial Cup and have now cycled back to the top of the league.
Game time tomorrow night as 8 p.m.
On Friday, the Sea Dogs will take on the Huskies in Rouyn-Noranda at 8:30 p.m. The Huskies feature the likes of Francis Perron (second in overall scoring), Timo Meier (he’s Timo Meier) and Nikolas Brouillard (second in defensemen scoring) and have just eight regulation time losses this season (40-8-3-2).
Rouyn-Noranda currently sits fourth overall in the league because the division leaders are seeded one through three. The Foreurs, who also have 85 points, sit ahead of the Huskies with a 41-10-2-1 record.
The Sea Dogs, who visit Val-d’Or on Saturday at 8 p.m., handed the Foreurs one of their few loses this season. Matthew Highmore and Daniel Del Paggio each had a goal and an assist in Saint John’s 5-3 home win on Halloween.
The Sea Dogs have been impressive since the Christmas break. Now we’ll get to see how they perform against teams that have been equally impressive.
Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation