Thursday, March 10, 2016

Thursday News & Notes

The race for second-place in the QMJHL is going to come down to the wire, it seems.

With Saint John’s loss last night in Moncton and Shawinigan’s victory over Rimouski, the Cataractes moved back into second-place in the overall standings, one point ahead of the Sea Dogs. The good news for Saint John is that they still have a game in hand.

Here’s a look at Saint John’s final five regular season games:

Friday, March 11 vs Charlottetown (31-26-5-2, 2-5-1-0 vs SJ)
Saturday, March 12 vs Moncton (35-19-9-1, 6-2-0-0 vs SJ)
Tuesday, March 15 at Bathurst (25-32-3-3, 2-5-0-1 vs SJ)
Friday, March 18 at Cape Breton (34-24-5-1, 1-5-0-1 vs SJ)
Saturday, March 19 at Cape Breton (34-24-5-1, 1-5-0-1 vs SJ)

And here’s a look at Shawinigan’s final four games:

Saturday, March 12 at Val-d’Or (47-13-3-1, 1-2-0-0 vs SHA)
Sunday, March 13 at Rouyn-Noranda (50-9-3-2, 2-0-1-0 vs SHA)
Friday, March 18 vs Sherbrooke (23-31-7-2, 1-1-1-1 vs SHA)
Saturday, March 19 vs Blainville-Boisbriand (23-31-7-2, 2-0-1-0 vs SHA)

While Saint John will have to play three games against two of the league’s better second half teams (Charlottetown and Cape Breton), Shawinigan’s road contests in northern Quebec this weekend will be no easy task.

The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, who have 105 points, are likely to finish first overall. While Val-d’Or and Gatineau – who play with Rouyn-Noranda in the West Division – have better records than Saint John and Shawinigan, the division winners are seeded one through three, regardless of point total.

In other news…

  • Mark Tremaine helped the StFX X-Men capture their first AUS title since 2004 with a 5-3 victory over Mike Thomas, Stephen Anderson and the UNB Varsity Reds last night in Antigonish.
  • The last time the X-Men captured an AUS championship, Danny Flynn was head coach.
  • There will be plenty of former Sea Dogs at this year’s University Cup in Halifax: Mike Thomas (UNB), Stephen Anderson (UNB), Mark Tremaine (StFX), Sebastien Auger (UQTR) and Stephen MacAulay (SMU). Jason Seed and David Weckworth will also be there if Carleton wins the OUA bronze medal game over Guelph on Saturday.
  • The Sea Dogs are hoping for a sellout on Saturday, which is the club’s final home game of the regular season.
  • Speaking of attendance, the Sea Dogs enter their final weekend of home games with an average of 3,497 fans per game. They averaged 3,582 in 34 home games last season.
  • Alex Bishop was considered for the CHL Goaltender of the Week award.
  • The Sea Dogs were, once again, an honourable mention in the CHL Top 10 this week.
  • It appears CHL websites are getting a revamp.
  • The Hockey Writers on the rise of Charlie Coyle.
  • Matthew Highmore recorded the 100th assist of his QMJHL career last night in Moncton.
  • Nathan Noel ended a five-game pointless drought and a 10-game goalless drought with a goal last night.
  • Highlights:

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

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