Sunday, December 10, 2017

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 4-2

FINAL: Gatineau 4, Saint John 2
SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs lost their third straight game on Sunday, falling 4-2 to the Gatineau Olympiques.

The Sea Dogs carried a 2-1 advantage into the third period only to allow three goals in the final frame. Saint John recorded just six shots in the third.

Saint John's power play provided some offence, going one-for-five on the night. Anthony Boucher and William Poirier scored for Saint John. Boucher also had an assist. Alex D'Orio made 21 stops in the loss.

Mitchell Balmas, Alex Breton, Alec Malo and Giordano Finoro scored for Gatineau. Tristan Berube made 28 saves in the win.

Balmas scored the lone goal of the first period. Saint John replied in the second with Boucher scoring at 3:23 and then Poirier putting Saint John in front with a power play marker at 13:58.

Some third period penalties proved costly for the Sea Dogs. At 10:29, Breton scored on the man advantage to make it 2-2. Then at 15:09 and Matt Green serving a four-minute high sticking penalty, Malo connected to put Gatineau back in front, 3-2.

The Olympiques added an empty net goal at 18:35 to make it a 4-2 final.

Game Day 33: vs Olympiques

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs are back in action on home ice this afternoon.

The Sea Dogs take on the Gatineau Olympiques at 3 p.m. It's Bingo Day at the Station in support of the Empty Stocking Fund.

Saint John is expected to be without captain Joe Veleno again, who is awaiting a trade.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 8-18-4-2 for 22 points (6th Maritimes, 17th QMJHL) while the Olympiques are 16-10-2-2 for 36 points (5th West, 10th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 5-2 loss in Bathurst last night. Cole Reginato and Ostap Safin scored for Saint John. Matt Williams made 30 saves in the win. The Olympiques are coming off a 3-1 win in Charlottetown last night. Piere-Olivier Lacombe, Anthony Beauchamp and Mitchell Balmas scored for Gatineau. Mathieu Bellemare made 31 saves in the win.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 0-1-0-0 against the Olympiques this season while Gatineau is 1-0-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Dec. 1 in Gatineau where the Olympiques edged the Sea Dogs 2-1. Pier-Olivier Lacombe and Alexandre Landreville scored for Gatineau while Ostap Safin replied for Saint John. Tristan Berube made 23 saves in the win. Matthew Williams made 27 saves in the loss.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

FINAL: Sea Dogs lose 5-2

FINAL: Saint John 2, Bathurst 5
BATHURST - With their captain out of the lineup, the Saint John Sea Dogs had a rough night offensively in a 5-2 loss to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

The Sea Dogs recorded just 10 shots on goal through the first 40 minutes. They had a better third period, putting 13 shots on net.

The team was no doubt a little shaken up after news came out last night that Joe Veleno would be traded in just over a week. Despite that and the offensive struggles, the Sea Dogs stayed in this game for much of the night. They were within one early in the third period but the Titan surged, adding two more in the 5-2 victory.

Saint John's power play also had a better performance than we've seen of late, scoring twice on six opportunities.

Cole Reginato and Ostap Safin scored for Saint John. Matt Williams made 30 saves in the loss.

Antoine Morand scored twice for Bathurst while singles came from Dawson Theede, German Rubtsov and Jeffrey Truchon-Viel. Joseph Murdaca made 21 stops in the win.

Veleno not dressed for Dogs in Bathurst

BATHURST - Has Joe Veleno's Saint John Sea Dogs career already come to an end?

The Sea Dogs opted not to dress Veleno for Saturday's contest against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, saying he is "day-to-day with an upper body injury," as per Tim Roszell. He is not with the team in Bathurst.

Following Friday night's news, it makes sense not to dress him. There's no point in risking him getting injured (or further injured - if he actually is injured) and having the trade called off.

The Sea Dogs have four games remaining before the QMJHL's trade period begins on Dec. 18 - tonight's game in Bathurst, tomorrow's against Gatineau, next Friday in Moncton and next Saturday against Charlottetown.

There's certainly a good chance Veleno does not dress for any of those games, either.

Following last night's news, the Sea Dogs have recalled forwards Ben Reid and Aiden MacIntosh from the MHL's St. Stephen Aces. Reid has appeared in seven games with Saint John this season while MacIntosh has yet to appear in a QMJHL game.

Sant John dressed 13 forwards and six defencemen for warm up on Saturday, which included recent call ups MacIntosh, Reid and Luke Wilson.

The Sea Dogs appear to be all in on rebuilding now, so more roster moves are likely on the way over the next couple weeks.

Game Day 32: at Bathurst

BATHURST - There is still hockey to be played even after last night's big news.

The Saint John Sea Dogs will take on the Acadie-Bathurst Titan at 7 p.m. at the KC Irving Regional Centre, a building they have struggled in for some time.

The Sea Dogs are not expected to have captain Joe Veleno in their lineup following last night's news of a soon-to-be-confirmed blockbuster trade.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 8-17-4-2 for 22 points (6th Maritimes, 17th QMJHL) while the Titan are 17-8-4-2 for 40 points (2nd Maritimes, 6th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 4-3 loss to the Drummondville Voltiegurs on Wednesday night at Harbour Station. Joe Veleno scored twice for the Sea Dogs while Ostap Safin added a solo marker. Alex D'Orio made 23 saves in the loss. The Titan are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss in Rimouski last night. Noah Dobson and Justin Ducharme scored for Bathurst. Reilly Pickard made 32 saves in the loss.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 1-2-0-0 against the Titan this season while Bathurst is 2-1-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Oct. 25 at Harbour Station where the Titan defeated the Sea Dogs 5-3. Samuel L'Italien scored twice for Bathurst while singles came from Ethan Crossman, Antoine Morand and Jordan Maher. Joe Veleno, Anthony Boucher and Robbie Burt all scored for Saint John. Reilly Pickard made 27 saves in the win. Alex D'Orio made 19 stops in the loss.

Report: Veleno will be traded to Drummondville

The Saint John Sea Dogs are on the verge of pulling off one of the biggest trades in franchise history, reports Mikael Lalancette of TVA Sports.

As reported by Lalancette, the Sea Dogs will trade captain Joe Veleno to the Drummondville Voltigeurs in exchange for several draft picks - which includes three first round selections.
The transaction will take place when the Christmas trading period opens.

The deal, which is presumably accurate, will be one of the largest made in the QMJHL in recent years. When five draft picks are involved it's usually large - when three first rounders are involved it's huge.

Veleno, who is expected to be a first round pick in this year's NHL Draft, was in an odd spot at this trade period. He has extremely high value given he will likely be back in the league next season.

The Sea Dogs just recently said publicly they would listen to calls for Veleno. Notably, the Sea Dogs have played the Voltigeurs twice in the past week. Sherbrooke, Halifax, Rouyn-Noranda and Quebec also expressed interest, according to Lalancette.

This deal is a lot to take in. We do know this: this trade accelerates Saint John's rebuild significantly - and it's safe to call it a rebuild now.

The QMJHL's trade period begins on Monday, Dec. 18. Saint John's final game prior to the deadline is Dec. 16 against Charlottetown.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 4-3

FINAL: Drummondville 4, Saint John 3
SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs' inability to score on the power play proved costly on Wednesday night.

The Sea Dogs went 0/6 on the man advantage in a 4-3 loss to the Drummondville Voltigeurs at Harbour Station.

Saint John looked good at times but bad at other points. The team displayed some good offensive jump at points during the contest, but made a few costly defensive errors in this loss.

Joe Veleno netted a pair of goals and added an assist while Ostap Safin chipped in with one helper. Alex D'Orio made 23 saves in the loss.

Connor Bramwell, Cedric Desruisseaux, Robert Lynch and Nicolas Guay scored for Drummondville. Olivier Rodrigue made 26 saves in the win.

Game Day 31: vs Voltigeurs

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs return home tonight, hosting the Drummondville Voltigeurs at Harbour Station.

Saint John is coming off a three-in-three weekend road trip through Quebec, which saw the team drop the first two games and then defeat the Quebec Remparts in a shootout to close out the journey.

Game time this evening is 7 p.m.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 8-16-4-2 for 22 points (6th Maritimes, 17th QMJHL) while the Voltigeurs are 19-8-1-1 for 40 points (2nd West, 4th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 3-2 shootout win in Quebec City on Sunday. Kevin Gursoy and Robbie Burt scored for Saint John. Alex D'Orio made 34 saves in the victory. The Voltigeurs are coming off a 7-2 home win over the Sea Dogs on Saturday. Nicolas Guay scored a hat trick while singles came from Morgan Adams-Moisan, Robert Lynch, Cédric Desruisseaux and Nicolas Desgroseilliers. Olivier Rodrigue made 22 saves in the win.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 0-1-0-0 against the Voltigeurs this season while Drummondville is 1-0-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: This past Saturday at the Marcel Dionne Centre where the Voltigeurs defeated the Sea Dogs 7-2. Nicolas Guay scored a hat trick while singles came from Morgan Adams-Moisan, Robert Lynch, Cédric Desruisseaux and Nicolas Desgroseilliers. Ostap Safin and William Poirier scored for Saint John. Olivier Rodrigue made 22 saves in the win. Matt Williams made 32 stops in the loss.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Safin, Salda receive Czech invites

At least two Saint John Sea Dogs will be attending a world junior training camp.

Sea Dogs forward Ostap Safin and defenceman Radim Salda were both invited to the Czech Republic's camp, the team announced on Monday.
It's not a huge surprise to see both invited. Safin is a lock to make the team while Salda's numbers speak for themselves. Still, Salda was a bit of a question mark given he was basically an unknown heading into this season.

Safin, an Edmonton Oilers prospect, leads the Sea Dogs in scoring and his third in QMJHL rookie scoring with 11 goals and 29 points in 30 games. This is his first season in the league.

Salda, who was passed over in the 2017 NHL Draft, is 10th in QMJHL defencemen scoring with six goals and 16 assists in 30 games. He has been one of the biggest pleasant surprises in the league this season.

At this point, it's a long shot any other Sea Dogs will receive invites to a world junior camp. Joe Veleno is the only Dog who has a shot. Canada will name its camp roster this week.

The world juniors begin on Boxing Day in Buffalo. The Czechs play in the tournament's opening game against Russia.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Two Sea Dogs named to U Sports team

Two former Saint John Sea Dogs have been named to the U Sports team that will take on Canada's national junior team later this month.

Goaltender Sebastien Auger and forward Stephen Anderson have both been named to the all-star team, which was announced on Monday.

The U Sports squad will face Canada on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. and Thursday, Dec. 14 at 5 p.m. at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines, Ont. The games will be part of Canada's evaluation camp ahead of the World Junior Hockey Championship.

This is the third straight year a U Sports all star team has face Canada's junior team.

Auger, who spent four seasons with the Sea Dogs from 2011 to 2015, is in his third season with UQTR. He is 6-4 this year with an impressive 2.28 goals against average and a .917 save percentage.

Anderson, who played with the Sea Dogs from 2011 to 2014, is in his third season with UNB. He has 11 goals and nine assists 18 games to lead the Varsity Reds in scoring. His 11 goals is tied for the AUS lead.

Another notable on the U Sports team is UNB's Randy Gazzola.

There could be some Sea Dogs content on the Canadian side, but that seems unlikely. Joe Veleno is likely the only Saint John player who could get an invite. The camp invitations are expected to be announced this week.

The world juniors begin on Boxing Day in Buffalo.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

RECAP: Sea Dogs win 3-2 (SO)

FINAL: Saint John 3, Quebec 2 (SO)
QUEBEC CITY, Que. - The Saint John Sea Dogs ended their road trip on a winning note on Sunday.

Anthony Boucher scored the only goal of the shootout in a 3-2 Sea Dogs victory over the Quebec Remparts at Videotron Centre. This was the final game a three-in-three Quebec road swing for the Sea Dogs, who dropped their previous two games.

Saint John can hopefully build off this win moving forward. The Dogs played a solid road game in an intimidating building. The team blew a 2-0 lead but managed to keep things even and win the match in a shootout.

Alex D'Orio returned to action and was named first star, making 34 saves in the win. He made a few spectacular saves, particularly with his glove hand. He did not allow a goal in the shootout.

Kevin Gursoy and Robbie Burt scored for Saint John.

Quebec goals came from Tomas Dajcar and Philipp Kurashev. Olivier Chalifour allowed two goals on three shot before getting pulled. Dereck Baribeau made 33 stops the rest of the way.

Game Day 30: at Quebec

QUEBEC CITY, Que. - The Saint John Sea Dogs play the final game of their Quebec road trip this afternoon in Quebec City.

It's been a rough go on this trip so far for the Sea Dogs, who lost 2-1 in Gatineau on Friday and 7-2 in Drummondville last night.

Puck drop today is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Centre Videotron.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 7-16-4-2 for 20 points (6th Maritimes, 17th QMJHL) while the Remparts are 18-9-2-1 for 39 points (2nd East, 4th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 7-2 loss in Drummondville last night. Ostap Safin and William Poirier scored for Saint John. Matt Williams made 32 saves in the loss. The Remparts are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to the Charlottetown Islanders last night at Centre Videotron. Luke Kirwan and Olivier Mathieu scored for Quebec. Derek Baribeau made 32 saves in the loss.

2017-18 head-to-head: This is the first meeting of the season between the Sea Dogs and Remparts.

2016-17 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 2-0-0-0 against the Remparts last season while Quebec went 0-2-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Nov. 25, 2016 in Saint John where the Sea Dogs defeated the Remparts 4-2. Nathan Noel had a hat trick for Saint John and Mathieu Joseph added a solo marker. Derek Gentile and Matthew Boucher scored for the Remparts. Alex D'Orio made 24 saves in the win. Evgeny Kiselev made 34 saves in the loss.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 7-2

FINAL: Saint John 2, Drummondville 7
DRUMMONDVILLE, Que. - The Saint John Sea Dogs kept it close for much of the game, but the Drummondville Voltigeurs showed late why they are one of the QMJHL's top teams this year.

The Voltigeurs scored five third period goals in a 7-2 win over the Sea Dogs on Saturday night at the Marcel Dionne Centre. The game was Saint John's second match of a three-in-three road trip through Quebec that began with a 2-1 loss in Gatineau on Friday and ends on Sunday in Quebec City.

Drummondville captain Nicolas Guay scored a hat trick while singles came from Morgan Adams-Moisan, Robert Lynch, Cedric Desruisseaux and Nicolas Desgroseilliers. Other players with ridiculously long last names may or may not have scored as well. Nicolas Beaudin had three assists and Olivier Rodrigue made 22 saves in the win.

Ostap Safin and William Poirier scored for Saint John. Matt Williams made 32 saves in the loss.

For the second straight game, Safin opened the scoring. But two goals from Guay in the first would give Drummondville a 2-1 advantage after one.

Alumdate: Chabot scores first NHL goal

Embed from Getty Images

It was only a matter of time.

Thomas Chabot scored his first career NHL goal last night (and added two assists), helping the Ottawa Senators defeat the New York Islanders 6-5 in Brooklyn.



Chabot, who has been up-and-down between the NHL and the AHL all season, now has an impressive one goal and five assists in six games with the big club this year.

The case for keeping Chabot with the AHL's Belleville Senators seems to be the fact that he could still be a regular healthy scratch in Ottawa, and the Sens want him playing, not sitting. But, given Ottawa's struggles, you have to wonder if they may start playing him more in the NHL.

Chabot has had a good year in the AHL as well, recording two goals and five helpers in 13 games. Belleville's assistant coach is former Sea Dogs assistant Paul Boutillier.

Game Day 29: at Drummondville

DRUMMONDVILLE, Que. - The Saint John Sea Dogs continue their Quebec road trip tonight.

After falling 2-1 in Gatineau last night, the Sea Dogs will take on the Voltigeurs in Drummondville this evening. Game time is 8 p.m.

Following tonight's contest, the Sea Dogs play the final match of this three-in-three trip on Sunday afternoon in Quebec City.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 7-15-4-2 for 20 points (6th Maritimes, 17th QMJHL) while the Voltigeurs are 18-8-1-1 for 38 points (2nd West, 4th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 2-1 loss in Gatineau last night. Ostap Safin scored Saint John's lone goal while Matt Williams made 27 saves in the loss. The Voltigeurs are coming off a 5-2 home loss to the Rimouski Oceanic last night. Robert Lynch and Pavel Koltygin scored for Drummondville. Olivier Rodrigue only faced 14 shots but allowed four goals.

2017-18 head-to-head: This is the first meeting of the season between the Sea Dogs and Voltigeurs. They meet again next Wednesday at Harbour Station.

2016-17 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 1-1-0-0 against the Voltigeurs last season while Drummondville went 1-1-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Feb. 10 at Harbour Station where the Sea Dogs defeated the Voltigeurs 4-1. Simon Bourque, David Comeau, Spencer Smallman and Joe Veleno scored for Saint John. Andrew Shewfelt scored Drummondville's lone goal. Alex D'Orio made 18 saves in the win. Olivier Rodrigue made 40 saves in the loss.

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 2-1

FINAL: Saint John 1, Gatineau 2
GATINEAU, Que. - The Saint John Sea Dogs struggled to score on Friday night in Gatineau.

Ostap Safin scored Saint John's lone goal in a 2-1 loss to the Olympiques at the Robert Guertin Centre. The game kicked off a three-in-three Quebec road trip for the Dogs.

The Sea Dogs opened the scoring just 1:21 into the game. But the Olympiques quickly countered with Pier-Olivier Lacombe scoring at 6:05 and then Alexandre Landreville netted what proved to be the game-winner at 13:45.

Late in the third, the Sea Dogs came very close to tying the game and Joe Veleno even celebrated. But after review, the no-goal call stood. Veleno was clearly frustrated in the third, taking an unsportsmanlike conduct misconduct at 18:21.

Saint John's power play, which has been a difference maker in several games this season, went 0/4 on the night.

Tristan Berube made 23 stops in the win. Matt Williams made 27 saves in the loss.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Game Day 28: at Gatineau

GATINEAU, Que. - The Saint John Sea Dogs begin a three-in-three Quebec road trip tonight in Gatineau against the Olympiques.

The Sea Dogs are coming off a solid 2-1 home win over the Wildcats and have now won three of their past five games.

Saint John will look to keep things rolling this weekend in Gatineau, Drummondville and Quebec City. Game time Friday night is 8:30 p.m.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 7-14-4-2 for 20 points (sixth Maritimes, 17th QMJHL) while the Olympiques are 12-10-2-2 for 28 points (fifth west, 11th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 2-1 win over the Wildcats at Harbour Station on Sunday. Radim Salda and Daniel Hardie scored for Saint John while Matt Williams made 36 saves in the victory. The Olympiques are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss in Quebec City on Wednesday. Mitchell Balmas scored both Gatineau goals. Tristan Berube made 20 saves in the loss.

2017-18 head-to-head: This is the first meeting of the season between the Sea Dogs and Olympiques.

2016-17 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 2-0-0-0 against the Olympiques last season while Gatineau went 0-1-1-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Dec. 4, 2016 in Gatineau where the Sea Dogs defeated the Olympiques 6-3. Spencer Smallman, Thomas Chabot, Matthew Highmore, Kyle Ward, Samuel Dove-McFalls and Nathan Noel all scored for Saint John. Gatineau goals came from Yakov Trenin, Vitalii Abramov and Zack MacEwen. Alex Bishop made 15 saves in the win. Mathieu Bellemare made 32 stops in the loss.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Sea Dogs recall top prospects

The Saint John Sea Dogs will have a younger look this weekend.

The Sea Dogs announced on Thursday that they have recalled three 16-year-olds from the Dartmouth Steele Subaru Major Midgets - defenceman Brendan Sibley, forward Luke Wilson and goaltender Stewart Bagnell.

Sibley and Wilson have yet to appear in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League games. Sibley was Saint John's top pick in the 2017 Entry Draft (third round, 52nd overall) while Wilson was a ninth-round selection. According to the Sea Dogs, Wilson has committed to the team after considering hockey and education options.
Bagnell, an eighth-round pick, was recalled by the Sea Dogs earlier this season as an injury replacement. He made his QMJHL debut on Nov. 3, making 30 saves in a loss in Chicoutimi.

All three players helped Steele Subaru win the 2017 Monctonian AAA Challenge championship earlier this month.

The Sea Dogs also announced that defenceman Thomas Ashe and goaltender Joel Goguen have been returned to the MHL's Amherst Ramblers.

The Sea Dogs will be without forward Cole Reginato (suspension) and Nick Deakin-Poot (presumably still injured) this weekend, while Alex D'Orio's (lower body) status seems to still be in question given the recalling of Bagnell.

Saint John plays their first game of a three-in-three on Friday night in Gatineau. Game time is 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Bless the Maritimes Division

The Maritimes Division is pretty weird this season - and it's awesome.

Just seven points separate the top team in the division and the fifth-place squad. Three teams have all spent time at the top - the Moncton Wildcats, Halifax Mooseheads and now the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

The Titan are 7-3 in their past 10 games and have taken over top spot with a one-point lead on the Mooseheads. The Mooseheads and Wildcats have been struggling a bit over the past few weeks - particularly the Wildcats - which has allowed Bathurst to climb to the top.

Following a 2-1 loss in Saint John on Sunday, Moncton has lost five straight and are just 2-7-0-1 in their past 10 games, placing them just two games over the .500 mark after a terrific start.

The best story in the QMJHL remains the Charlottetown Islanders, who are incredibly 15-9-1-0, placing them third in the Maritimes and eighth overall. The Isles are in year zero - or perhaps even minus-one - of a rebuild following last season's run and were projected to have a season similar to Moncton's a year ago. But they are somehow 8-2 over their past 10 games and have been one of the league's hottest teams over the past month.
While the Saint John Sea Dogs remain in the division basement, they are now only eight points back of fifth-place. Given how teams in the Maritimes seem to stay hot or stay cold for periods of time, the Dogs could gradually make their way up if they can regularly win some games.

While the Division may not be stacked like in year's past or have a championship favourite, this is entertaining stuff. We all love comebacks and lead changes, and the Maritimes Division standings could offer a full season of those things.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Lafreniere leaves Sea Dogs

The Saint John Sea Dogs announced a roster move on Monday.

Forward Alexandre Lafreniere, who has been used sparingly by the Sea Dogs all season, has left the team due to personal reasons.
Lafreniere appeared in 14 games this season, recording a goal and two assists. He has not seen action since Nov. 4.

An 11th-round pick of Saint John in the 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft, Lafreniere has appeared in 29 career QMJHL games over three seasons, registering two goals and four assists.

A graduate of the Saint John Vito's, the 18-year-old spent most of last season in the MHL, appearing in games with the Amherst Ramblers, Woodstock Slammers and St. Stephen Aces.

The Sea Dogs return to action on Friday night in Gatineau.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

RECAP: Sea Dogs win 2-1

FINAL: Moncton 1, Saint John 2
Lorne Webster | SN Staff

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs recovered nicely from a bad loss - less than 24 hours earlier - by beating the arch rival Moncton Wildcats 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at Harbour Station.

Radim Salda and Daniel Hardie scored for Saint John while Matt Williams had 36 saves.

Riley MacRae replied for the Wildcats while Mark Grametbauer also stopped 36 shots.

NOTES
  • The Sea Dogs controlled much of the play in the first period. Moncton opened the scoring while skating shorthanded at 10:28 when Simon Le Coultre's long up ice pass found MacRae in full stride at the Sea Dogs blue line. MacRae broke in all alone and fired a laser over Williams' shoulder.
  • While skating four-on-four in the dying seconds of the first, Joe Veleno won a face off to himself at the Moncton blue line, skated into the slot and fed a nice pass to a streaking Salda. The rookie import defenceman wired a wrist shot past Grametbauer with under a second left in the period.
  • The guys in stripes controlled the tempo in the middle frame, handing the visitors six power plays and the hosts two.
  • The Sea Dogs got the lead at 11:15 of the second when Hardie corralled the rebound of a Robbie Burt shot and slid it past Grametbauer.
  • The Sea Dogs held tight through a furious Wildcats onslaught in the closing minutes to seal the victory.
  • As Tim Roszell said in his post game comments, the Christmas Bells were ringing behind Williams - as the Wildcats found iron on at least four occasions throughout the game. Sea Dogs fans were loving Williams and his best friends in this match.

Game Day 27: vs Wildcats

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs will look to rebound this afternoon at Harbour Station.

The Sea Dogs got off to a decent start on Saturday night against the Halifax Mooseheads but fell apart quickly, ultimately falling 7-1.

Saint John will look to get back in the win column today against the Moncton Wildcats. Game time is 2 p.m.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 6-14-4-2 for 18 points (6th Maritimes, 17th QMJHL) while the Wildcats are 13-10-2-1 for 29 points (4th Maritimes, 9th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 7-1 loss to the Halifax Mooseheads last night at Harbour Station. Kevin Gursoy scored Saint John's only goal. Matt Williams allowed four goals on 18 shots while Joel Goguen allowed three goals on 14 shots. The Wildcats are coming off a 5-1 loss on home ice to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Thursday. Brady Pataki scored Moncton's lone goal. Mark Grametbauer made 23 stops in the loss.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 0-2-1-0 against the Wildcats this season while Moncton is 3-0-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Oct. 15 at the Moncton Coliseum where the Wildcats defeated the Sea Dogs 4-3 in overtime. Brady Pataki scored twice for Moncton while singles came from Julien Tessier and Mika Cyr. Cedric Pare scored twice for Saint John while Robbie Burt added a solo marker. Mark Grametbauer made 32 saves in the win. Matt Williams made 25 stops in the loss.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 7-1

FINAL: Halifax 7, Saint John 1
SAINT JOHN - A sluggish start to the second period and an off night on the power play proved costly for the Saint John Sea Dogs on Saturday night.

The Halifax Mooseheads scored three times in the second period en route to a 7-1 victory over the Sea Dogs at Harbour Station. Saint John's power play, which has been a major part of the team's offence all season, went 0/7.

Arnaud Durandeau recorded a natural hat trick for Halifax while singles came from Benoit-Olivier Groulx, Walter Flower, Filip Zadina and Connor Moynihan. Blade Mann-Dixon made 30 saves in the win.

Kevin Gursoy scored for Saint John. Matt Williams allowed four goals on 18 shots in 40 minutes of action. Joel Goguen made 11 saves in the third period.

Game Day 26: vs Mooseheads

SAINT JOHN - Coming off a solid road win on Wednesday, the Saint John Sea Dogs look to keep thing rolling tonight against the Halifax Mooseheads.

The Sea Dogs have won two of their past three games, the latest being a 5-4 win over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Wednesday.

Puck drop tonight is 7 p.m. at Harbour Station. It's Teddy Bear Toss night, meaning can throw stuffed animals onto the ice following the Sea Dogs' first goal.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 6-13-4-2 for 18 points (6th Maritimes, 17th QMJHL) while the Mooseheads are 14-7-4-0 for 32 points (2nd Maritimes, 7th Maritimes).

Last game: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 5-4 win in Cape Breton on Wednesday night. William Poirier scored twice while singles came from Samuel Leblanc, Matt Green and Thomas Ashe. Matt Williams made 27 saves in the win. The Mooseheads are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss in Charlottetown last night. Otto Somppi and Maxime Fortier scored for Halifax. Alexis Gravel made 31 stops in the loss.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 1-1-0-0 against the Mooseheads this season while Halifax is 1-1-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Nov. 17 at Scotiabank Centre where the Sea Dogs defeated the Mooseheads 7-2. Daniel Hardie had a hat trick for Saint John; Cedric Pare scored twice; and single came from Ostap Safin and Matt Green. Connor Moynihan and Filip Zadina scored for Halifax. Matt Williams made 25 saves in the win. Alexis Gravel allowed four goals on 19 shots before being pulled. Blade Mann-Dixon made 10 stops in relief.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Mooseheads release 2019 Memorial Cup campaign

The Halifax Mooseheads have launched their campaign to host the 2019 Memorial Cup.

The Mooseheads released the following video on social media Thursday night.
The Mooseheads are the first team to release a campaign like this for 2019. Both the Saint John Sea Dogs and Moncton Wildcats have previously expressed interest in hosting, but it has been quiet on both fronts for some time.

At last check, teams were expected to submit official applications in December.

In 2012, the Sea Dogs produced a similar campaign to the Mooseheads'... and we all know how that ended.

Porter back on the east coast

As has been evident this week, the hockey world works in cycles.

Earlier this week it was revealed that defenceman Marcus Tesink - who had been with the Saint John Sea Dogs all season - was joining the BCHL's Chilliwack Chiefs. Tesink was joining the team in part because Chiefs defenceman Brendon O'Reilly had left the team to join the Sea Dogs.

On Thursday, former Sea Dogs goaltender Cody Porter announced on social media that he was joining the MHL's Amherst Ramblers. Porter may get some playing time because the Ramblers' regular backup, Joel Goguen, recently signed as an affiliate with Saint John and has been backing up Matt Williams with Alex D'Orio injured.
The roster shuffling is particularly interesting because its happening on different coasts. Tesink goes from Saint John to the BCHL; O'Reilly from the BCHL to Saint John; and Porter from Saint John to the BCHL to Amherst.

Porter, 20, appeared in two games with Saint John this season, recording a 1-1 record to go along with a 2.54 goals against average and a .919 save percentage. His one win was a shutout victory over the Charlottetown Islanders.

After being let go by the Sea Dogs, Porter joined the West Kelowna Warriors.

The Sea Dogs recently called up two Ramblers - Goguen and defenceman Thomas Ashe. Amherst's leading scorer and captain is ex-Dog Jordan King.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

RECAP: Sea Dogs win 5-4

FINAL: Saint John 5, Cape Breton 4
SYDNEY, NS - The Saint John Sea Dogs seem to enjoy playing at Centre 200.

The Sea Dogs picked up another win in Sydney this season - their second - on Wednesday night, defeating the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 5-4.

Williams Poirier scored a pair of goals while singles came from Samuel Leblanc, Matt Green and Thomas Ashe. Nick Deakin-Poor had two assists. Matt Williams made 27 stops in the win.

It was a solid road win by the Sea Dogs, who have now won two of their past three games - a good stretch for a team that has won six games all season.

It was nice to see some of the Saint John's secondary scoring step up in this game - and it was nice to see the Sea Dogs win a game through even strength scoring. Saint John's penalty kill also came through when it had to, especially in the third period.

Both the Sea Dogs and Screaming Eagles were missing regulars due to suspensions and injuries.

Cape Breton had two goals from Brooklyn Kalmikov and solo markers from Jordan Ty Fournier and Leon Gawanke. Kyle Jessiman allowed five goals on 15 shots in just under 40 minutes of play. Kevin Mandolese stopped all seven shots he faced in relief.

Game Day 25: at Cape Breton

SYDNEY, NS - The Saint John Sea Dogs will look to get back on track tonight in Cape Breton after a rough outing on Sunday in Charlottetown.

Following a strong 7-2 win in Halifax last Friday, the Sea Dogs were thumped 6-2 by the Islanders on Sunday.

The Sea Dogs will look get back in the win column tonight when they face the Screaming Eagles. Game time is 7 p.m. at Centre 200.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 5-13-4-2 for 16 points (6th Maritimes, 17th QMJHL) while the Screaming Eagles are 12-9-1-1 for 26 points (5th Maritimes, 10th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 6-2 loss in Charlottetown on Sunday. Ostap Safin and Alexis Girard had Saint John goals. Matt Williams made 38 stops in the loss. The Screaming Eagles are coming off a 5-2 win in Moncton on Sunday. Tyler Hylland, Egor Sokolov, Phelix Martineau, Mathias Laferriere and Peyton Hoyt scored for the Screaming Eagles. Kevin Mandolese made 40 stops in the win.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 1-1-1-0 against the Screaming Eagles this season while Cape Breton is 2-1-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Oct. 22 at Harbour Station where the Screaming Eagles defeated the Sea Dogs 6-5 in overtime. Drake Batherson netted a hat trick for Cape Breton while singles came from Brooklyn Kalmikov, Ryan Francis and Adam McCormick. Daniel Hardie, Ostap Safin, Samuel Leblanc, Matt Green and Alexandre Lafreniere scored for Saint John. Kevin Mandolese was pulled after allowing two goals on eight shots. Kyle Jessiman made 19 saves in relief. Alex D'Orio made 33 saves in the loss.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Dogs will have different look Wednesday

SYDNEY, NS - The Saint John Sea Dogs will have a different looking lineup on Wednesday night when they face the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles at Centre 200.

The Sea Dogs announced on Tuesday that defenceman Thomas Ashe has been recalled from the MHL's Amherst Ramblers. The 17-year-old is in his first season with the Ramblers, recording one goal in 18 games.

Ashe, 6’0″ and 182 lbs., was a ninth-round pick of Saint John in the 2016 QMJHL Entry Draft. He has yet to appear in a regular season Q game - which will likely change tomorrow.

With Samuel Duchesne suspended for Wednesday's match, Brendan O'Reilly's unknown injury status and Marcus Tesink no longer with the club, the Sea Dogs were down to five defencemen prior to Ashe's recall.

O'Reilly was injured early in Sunday's Sea Dogs loss in Charlottetown. Duchesne will serve a one-game suspension on Wednesday for taking part in a second fight during the same stoppage on Sunday. Tesink, meanwhile, has reportedly joined the BCHL's Chilliwack Chiefs - the team O'Reilly left to join the Sea Dogs.
The Chiefs are hosting the RBC Cup this year.

Tesink appeared in 15 games with Saint John, recording two assists. He had not appeared in a game since Nov. 10.

The Sea Dogs will also be without forwards Cole Reginato and Robbie Burt on Wednesday due to suspensions. Goaltender Alex D'Orio missed both of last weekend's games due to an injury.

Game time at Centre 200 is 7 p.m.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Three Sea Dogs suspended

SYDNEY, NS - Suspensions have been handed down for Sunday's third period altercation between the Saint John Sea Dogs and Charlottetown Islanders.

The suspensions for the Sea Dogs are as follows:

  • Six games for Cole Reginato - four for physical abuse towards an official; one for being an aggressor; and one for code accumulation.
  • Two games for Robbie Burt for boarding.
  • One game for Samuel Duchesne for second fight on the same stoppage of play.

The only Islander to be suspended, as expected, was Drew Hunter, who fought Duchesne in what was the second fight of the same stoppage.

All of this took place after Burt put a huge hit - which resulted in a two-game suspension - on Charlottetown's Samuel Meisenheimer.

Wednesday's altercation came as a surprise as the Sea Dogs have been playing quite disciplined of late and have faced very little supplementary discipline this season compared to year's past.

The Sea Dogs lead the QMJHL in fights this season with 16.

Reginato, Burt and Duchesne will miss Saint John's Wednesday game in Sydney against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. The loss of Reginato, who started Sunday's game on the top line with Joe Veleno and Ostap Safin, is a big one.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Suspensions loom for Sea Dogs

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI - Who will be available to play for the Saint John Sea Dogs on Wednesday night is certainly in question.

Following a literally rough game in Charlottetown on Sunday, several Sea Dogs are likely facing suspensions.

At 4:06 of the third period in Saint John's 6-2 loss to the Islanders, Robbie Burt put a big hit on Samuel Meisenheimer. Burt was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for boarding on the play.
Following the hit, Cole Reginato dropped the gloves with Sam King and then Samuel Duchesne fought Hunter Drew.

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 6-2

FINAL: Saint John 2, Charlottetown 6
CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI - The Saint John Sea Dogs didn't look like a team coming off one of their biggest wins of the season.

The Sea Dogs allowed three first period goals and never recovered in a 6-2 loss to the Charlottetown Islanders on Sunday afternoon at Eastlink Centre.

Saint John recorded a 7-2 upset win in Halifax on Friday night and had Saturday to prepare for Sunday's contest. But the Dogs couldn't carry that momentum over in a loss to one of the league's hottest teams.

The Dogs also struggled to stay disciplined on Sunday, something that hasn't been an issue of late. The Islanders scored three power play goals on eight opportunities.

Gregor MacLeod and Pascal Aquin each scored twice for Charlottetown while singles came from Keith Getson and Saku Vesterinen. Matthew Welsh made 33 saves in the win.

Ostap Safin and Alexis Girard scored for Saint John. Matt Williams made 38 saves in the loss.

Game Day 24: at Charlottetown

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI - The Saint John Sea Dogs look to make it back-to-back wins today in Charlottetown.

The Sea Dogs are coming off one of their best victories of the season, defeating the Halifax Mooseheads 7-2 at Scotiabank Centre on Friday. It was Saint John's first regulation time win since Oct. 6 in Charlottetown.

The Islanders, meanwhile, will look to stay hot. The team is 8-2 in their past 10 games and have won two straight.

Game time today is 3 p.m. at Eastlink Centre.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 5-12-4-2 for 16 points (6th Maritimes, 17th QMJHL) while the Islanders are 12-8-1-0 for 25 points (4th Maritimes, 9th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 7-2 win in Halifax on Friday night. Daniel Hardie netted a hat trick, Cedric Pare had two goals and singles came from Ostap Safin and Matt Green. Matt Williams made 25 stops in the win. The Islanders are coming off a 3-2 shootout win in Moncton last night. Nathanial Doyon and Hunter Drew scored for the Islanders. Matthew Welsh made 36 saves in the win.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 1-1-1-0 against the Islanders this season while Charlottetown is 2-1-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Oct. 19 at Eastlink Centre where the Islanders edged the Sea Dogs 3-2. Cayse Ton, Pascal Aquin and Matthew Grouchy scored for Charlottetown. Cedric Pare and Nathan Larose had Saint John goals. Matthew Welsh made 26 saves in the win. Alex D'Orio made 21 stops in the loss.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

News & Notes: Dogs look to keep momentum rolling Sunday against Isles

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI - What will the Saint John Sea Dogs have for an encore? That's the big question heading into Sunday's Sea Dogs game in Charlottetown.

Saint John is coming off one of its best - and few - wins of the season, defeating the Halifax Mooseheads 7-2 at Scotiabank Centre on Friday night. It was a victory that felt long overdue after weeks of close losses for the Sea Dogs.

Friday's win was Saint John's first regulation time victory since Oct. 6 - which came against the team and in the building the Dogs will face on Sunday. The Sea Dogs have had trouble picking up and maintaining momentum all season, so it'll be interesting to see how the team performs tomorrow against the Islanders.

Saint John and Charlottetown have headed in opposite directions since that Oct. 6 meeting at Eastlink Centre, which the Sea Dogs won 4-0. While the Dogs have just two wins since then, the Isles have been one of the hottest teams in the QMJHL. They are 8-2 in their last 10 games.

The Sea Dogs will be the rested team on Sunday with the Isles playing in Moncton this evening. Game time tomorrow is 3 p.m.

Friday, November 17, 2017

RECAP: Sea Dogs win 7-2

FINAL: Saint John 7, Halifax 2
HALIFAX - Well, would you look at that.

Led by Daniel Hardie, the Saint John Sea Dogs had an offensive outburst on Friday night at Scotiabank Centre, upsetting the Halifax Mooseheads 7-2.

The win was Saint John's first regulation time victory since Oct. 6. The win also ended a five losing streak and a seven game road losing skid.

Play was pretty even until a couple of quick Saint John goals midway through the second, which made it 4-2 Sea Dogs. The goals seemed to deflate Halifax and - combined with some opportunistic scoring - gave the Dogs momentum for the rest of the game.

Daniel Hardie scored a hat trick, Cedric Pare scored twice and singles came from Ostap Safin and Matt Green. Radim Salda recorded four assists. Matt Williams made 25 saves in the victory.

Saint John's power play had another strong night, going 3/5.

Connor Moynihan and Filip Zadina scored for the Mooseheads. Alexis Gravel was pulled after allowing four goals on 19 shots. Blade Mann-Dixon allowed three goals on 13 shots in relief.

Game Day 23: at Halifax

HALIFAX - The Saint John Sea Dogs return to action tonight following a week off.

The Sea Dogs will try and snap a five-game losing skid this evening in Halifax. Game time against the Mooseheads is 7 p.m.

Halifax sits second in the Maritimes Division and is an impressive 6-1-2-0 at home.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 4-12-4-2 for 14 points (6th Maritimes, 18th QMJHL) while the Mooseheads are 12-6-3-0 for 27 points (2nd Maritimes, 6th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 4-3 shootout loss to the Baie-Comeau Drakkar last Friday at Harbour Station. Nicolas Deakin-Poot, Robbie Burt and Daniel Hardie all scored for Saint John. Alex D'Orio made 29 stops in the loss. The Mooseheads are coming off a 3-2 overtime win over the Sherbrooke Phoenix last Saturday in Halifax. Cooper Jones, Benoit-Olivier Groulx and Raphael Lavoie scored for the Moose. Blade Mann-Dixon made 21 saves in the victory.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 0-1-0-0 against the Mooseheads this season while Halifax is 1-0-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Opening night at Harbour Station where the Mooseheads defeated the Sea Dogs 4-1. Maxime Fortier scored twice for Halifax while singles came from Filip Zadina and Xavier Parent. Daniel Hardie scored for Saint John. Alexis Gravel made 31 stops in the win. Alex D'Orio made 24 saves in the loss.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Mooseheads: Goaltender Blade Mann-Dixon

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Sea Dogs sign, recall Joel Goguen

The Saint John Sea Dogs made another roster move on Thursday, signing and recalling goaltender Joel Goguen.

Goguen, 18, attended Sea Dogs training camp as a free agent. He will now be an affiliate with the team.

The Cocagne, New Brunswick native has appeared in eight games with the MHL's Amherst Ramblers this year, posting a 3-3-1 record with a 2.45 goals against average and a .920 save percentage.

According to a Sea Dogs press release, Goguen "spent most of last season with the Kent Koyotes of the New Brunswick Junior Hockey League (NBJHL)."

The recall indicates that regular Saint John backup goaltender Matt Williams remains injured. The team has been using Stewart Bagnell as a backup for the past few weeks.

Yesterday, the Sea Dogs signed 20-year-old defenceman Brendan O'Reilly.

Saint John is back in action on Friday night in Halifax, facing the Mooseheads at 7 p.m.

Canada Russia Series ends tonight

MONCTON - Joe Veleno and Team QMJHL wrap up the 2017 Canada Russia Series tonight at the Moncton Coliseum.

Veleno had a strong performance on Tuesday night in Charlottetown, helping set up the game winning goal in a 3-1 Team QMJHL victory.

Tuesday's win gave the CHL an edge in the series heading into tonight's finale.

According to the CHL website, "up 9-6 in points, a QMJHL win on Thursday in Moncton would secure a third straight series victory for the Canadian Hockey League."

Some other notes...

  • Nice to see a crowd of 3,613 at the Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown on Tuesday. The attendance number was just shy of s sell out, apparently.
  • This is the first time a Canada Russia Series game has been played in Moncton since Nov. 22, 2005. Team QMJHL won that game 6-4.
  • Samuel Harvey will start in goal again tonight, according to media reports. He may play himself into a world junior camp invite.

Photo: Vincent Ethier

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Sea Dogs sign overage defenceman

The Saint John Sea Dogs got some defensive help on Wednesday.

The team announced the signing of 20-year-old defenceman Brendan O'Reilly earlier in the day. He has been added to the club's roster.

O'Reilly has been playing with the BCHL's Chilliwack Chiefs this season where he has a goal and three assists in 13 games.

A native of Southlake, Texas, O'Reilly spent the previous three seasons with the WHL's Tri-City Americans. In 153 career WHL games, O'Reilly had three goals and 13 assists.

Given his numbers, O'Reilly seems to be more of a defensive defenceman rather than an offensive one. Either way, he adds some much needed experience to Saint John's backend. Other than Bailey Webster, the Sea Dogs' D care is fairly young and inexperienced.

O'Reilly is listed at 6’3″ and 209 lbs as the Sea Dogs continue to add size to their lineup.

The defender joins Webster and Cole Reginato as the team's overage players. Saint John has had just two overage players on its roster most of the season.

Saint John's next game is on Friday night in Halifax against the Mooseheads.

Photo: Elite Prospects

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Veleno has strong game for Team QMJHL; new 2018 draft rankings released

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI - Joe Veleno was one of Team QMJHL's standout players in Game 5 of the Canada Russia Series on Tuesday night.

Veleno was praised throughout Sportsnet's broadcast for his strong play with and without the puck. The Saint John Sea Dogs captain finished the game with one assist (which came on Drake Batherson's game-winning goal in the third period), no shots, an even rating and 3/5 in the faceoff circle.

This was the first game of the QMJHL portion of the 2017 Canada Russia Series. The Russians and CHL entered the game tied in points at 6-6. The final game of the series takes place on Thursday in Moncton.

This was Veleno's first career game in the annual series, which is used to determine Canada's world junior team.

Batherson, Shawn Boudrias and Nicolas Guay scored for the QMJHL Samuel Harvey was terrific in net, making 25 stops in the win.

Veleno no doubt wanted to have a strong game after sliding way down Craig Button's latest 2018 draft rankings. The Sea Dogs forward has been projected as a top 10-15 pick by most draft publications, but Button's November rankings at TSN.ca had him ranked 25th.

Future Considerations' Fall rankings have Veleno ranked seventh.

Jeff Marek's November rankings had Veleno at No. 6.

A recent mock draft conducted by The Hockey News had Veleno going eighth overall to the Arizona Coyotes.

Photo: Vincent Ethier/QMJHL

Monday, November 13, 2017

Saint John's painful amount of one-goal losses

SAINT JOHN - Losing 18 of your first 22 games is frustrating enough, but the Saint John Sea Dogs' 2017-18 season has been extra painful.

Following Friday's shootout loss to the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, the Sea Dogs have now lost 11 games by a single goal. Four other loses have been decided by two goals.

DateOpponentScoreGoal Dif.
Sept. 21vs Halifax4-13
Sept. 23vs Cape Breton3-12
Sept. 28vs Charlottetown2-1 (OT)1
Sept. 29at Moncton6-42
Oct. 7vs Blainville-Boisbriand8-17
Oct. 12at Bathurst2-11
Oct. 14vs Moncton3-21
Oct. 15at Moncton4-3 (OT)1
Oct. 19at Charlottetown3-21
Oct. 21vs Chicoutimi4-3 (SO)1
Oct. 22vs Cape Breton6-5 (OT)1
Oct. 25at Bathurst5-32
Oct. 28vs Val-d'Or4-22
Nov. 2at Baie-Comeau5-41
Nov. 3at Chicoutimi6-06
Nov. 4at Shawinigan3-2 (OT)1
Nov. 9vs Sherbrooke5-41
Nov. 10vs Baie-Comeau4-3 (SO)1

The Sea Dogs are also 1-6 in games that go to overtime or shootout.

The large amount of one-goal losses is typical of a young team. But there's something about this year's - perhaps it's the amount of consecutive defeats - that make them stick out.

You can say what you want about Saint John's season so far, but if they had been able to win just a few more of these one-goal games, they'd be in much better shape in the standings.

The Sea Dogs have a tough weekend coming up, travelling to Halifax to face the Mooseheads on Friday and taking on the red hot Islanders in Charlottetown on Sunday.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 4-3 (SO)

FINAL: Baie-Comeau 4, Saint John 3 (SO)
Lorne Webster | SN Staff

SAINT JOHN – It was David "DK" Kelly night at Harbour Station Friday evening. But the Saint John Sea Dogs' spirited comeback fell short in another tough loss - this time 4-3 in a shootout to the Baie-Comeau Drakkar.

The Sea Dogs honoured DK during an emotional ceremony prior to the game to recognize his 800th match behind the bench. Much like his idol (and former lead singer of The Tragically Hip) Gord Downey, DK's courageous battle to "live with cancer" has been a major source of inspiration to his #TeamDK followers around the world.

After on-ice presentations of mementos from Game 800 on Thursday by team owners, players as well as his Mom, sister and nephew (DK's motivation for the infamous monkey bandaid tattoo), a series of video tributes were played from friends, colleagues and former players such as:

  • Jeff Marek and Colby Armstrong (Sportsnet CHL Hockey)
  • Oliver Felixson - who is also living with cancer and recovering in Finland
  • Majority Owner Scott McCain 
  • Sea Dogs Memorial Cup coach Gerard Gallant (now with Vegas Golden Knights)
  • Alex Grant (Sea Dogs inaugural draft choice)
  • UNB Varsity Reds Mike Thomas, Olivier LeBlanc, Matt Murphy, Stephen Anderson and Oliver Cooper
  • Matthew Highmore (now with AHL Rockford)
  • Ron McLean and Tara Sloan (Sportsnet's Hometown Hockey)
  • QMJHL Commissioner Gilles Courteau
  • Jonathan Huberdeau (Sea Dogs inaugural Hall of Fame member and current Florida Panther)
  • Thomas Chabot (Ottawa/Belleville Senators)
  • Sam Cosentino (Sportsnet CHL Hockey)

As for the game itself, a 52 save performance by Justin Blanchette (49 in regulation and overtime plus all three in the shootout) and a shootout goal by Edouard St-Laurent proved to be the difference in this contest.

Jordan Martel had a pair of goals for the Drakkar and Gabriel Fortier added another.

Robbie Burt, Nicholas Deakin-Poot and Daniel Hardie replied for the Sea Dogs after the hosts had fallen behind 3-0 early in the second period. Alex D'Orio had 31 saves in total for Saint John.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Game Day 22: vs Drakkar

SAINT JOHN - The Baie-Comeau Drakkar are in town tonight to face the Saint John Sea Dogs.

This is the final game of a three-game road trip through the Maritimes for Baie-Comeau, who picked up a 3-2 win in Halifax last night.

Saint John played last night at home, losing their fourth straight game.

Game time this evening is 7 p.m.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 4-12-4-1 for 13 points (6th Maritimes, 18th QMJHL) while the Drakkar are 9-9-0-1 for 19 points (4th East, 13th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 5-4 home loss to the Sherbrooke Phoenix last night. Anthony Boucher, Matt Green, Kevin Gursoy and Radim Salda scored. Alex D'Orio made 34 saves in the loss. The Drakkar are coming off a 3-2 win in Halifax last night. Ivan Chekhovich, Isaiah Gallo-Demetris and Jean-Simon Bélanger scored for the Drakkar. Antoine Samuel made 31 saves in the win.

2017-18 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 0-1-0-0 against the Drakkar this season while Baie-Comeau is 1-0-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Nov. 2 in Baie-Comeau where the Drakkar defeated the Sea Dogs 5-4. Jordan Martel scored twice for Baie-Comeau while singles came from D'Artagnan Joly, Jean-Simon Bélanger and Gabriel Fortier. Landon Quinney, William Poirier, Cedric Pare and Joe Veleno scored for Saint John. Antoine Samuel made 31 saves in the win. Alex D'Orio made 36 saves in the loss.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

RECAP: Sea Dogs lose 5-4

FINAL: Sherbrooke 5, Saint John 4
SAINT JOHN - It happened again.

The Saint John Sea Dogs lost yet another one-goal game on Thursday night at Harbour Station, falling 5-4 to the Sherbrooke Phoenix in Quebec Major Junior Hockey league action.

Saint John is now 4-12-4-1 on the season and have dropped four straight. The record is painful enough, but adding to that pain is the fact that 10 of Saint John's 17 losses this season have been decided by a single goal.

Thursday's game was like so many others. The Sea Dogs weren't terrific - both teams were quite sloppy - and there were certainly areas for improvement, but this was a winnable game right until the end. It was a back-and-forth contest with a few lead changes, ending with Nicolas Poulin's late third period goal.

Poulin had two goals for Sherbrooke while singles came from Yaroslav Alexeyev, Hugo Roy and Benjamin Tardif. Evan Fitzpatrick made 31 stops in the win.

The Phoenix ended a seven-game losing streak with the victory.

Anthony Boucher, Matt Green, Kevin Gursoy and Radim Salda scored for Saint John. Alex D'Orio made 34 saves in the loss.

Game Day 21: vs Phoenix

SAINT JOHN - The Saint John Sea Dogs will look to end a a three-game losing streak tonight at Harbour Station.

Saint John won its last home game, ending a lengthy loosing skid. Despite that big upset win over the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, the Sea Dogs struggled on their three-game road trip in Quebec last week, dropping all three matches.

Game time this evening is 7 p.m.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 4-11-4-1 which is good for 13 points (6th Maritimes, 18th QMJHL) while the Phoenix are 6-8-3-2 for 17 points (6th West, 15th QMJHL)

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss in Shawinigan on Saturday. Ostap Safin and Joe Veleno scored for Saint John. Alex D'Orio made 32 stops in the loss. The Phoenix are coming off a 5-4 overtime loss on home ice to the Charlottetown Islanders last Saturday. Kevin Gilbert had two goals while singles came from Felix Robert and Nicolas Poulin. Brendan Cregan made 26 stops in the loss.

2017-18 head-to-head: This is the first meeting of the season between the Sea Dogs and Phoenix.

2016-17 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 2-0-0-0 against the Phoenix last season while Sherbrooke went 0-2-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Nov. 12, 2016 in Saint John where the Sea Dogs pounded the Phoenix 7-2. Bokondji Imama had four goals in that game while Mathieu Joseph had three. Yaroslav Alexeyev and Anderson MacDonald scored for Sherbrooke. Alex D'Orio made 24 saves in the win. Justin Blanchette made 33 saves in the loss.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Remparts trade Smallwood to Eagles

In a surprise move, defenceman Ian Smallwood was traded to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles on Tuesday.

The move came as a surprise because it was the Quebec Remparts that traded him to Cape Breton (for a 2018 ninth-round pick) and not the Saint John Sea Dogs. The 18-year-old has spent parts of the past two seasons with the Sea Dogs.

The Sea Dogs apparently removed him from their protected list after he was cut from training camp, allowing his rights to be picked up by the Remparts.

Smallwood started the season in the MHL with the Woodstock Slammers but was later traded to South Shore Lumberjacks. In 17 MHL games this season, the St. John's native has two goals and 13 assists.

Smallwood was a ninth-round pick of the Sea Dogs in the 2015 QMJHL Entry Draft. He spent most of the 2015-16 season with the Saint John Vito's.

By the sounds of it, the defenceman could soon be in Cape Breton's lineup. There's little doubt he will put up huge numbers against Saint John in a future meeting, because that's just how things go.
Some other MHL news...

  • There were some doubters about this happening, but Nico Blachman is indeed joining the St. Stephen Aces, the team announced Monday. The former Sea Dogs forward started the year with the Rimouski Oceanic before leaving the club.
  • Ben Reid made his return to the Aces this past weekend and scored a goal in Saturday's game.
  • Former Sea Dog Jordan King, the captain of the Amherst Ramblers, sits third in MHL scoring with 11 goals and 27 points in 16 games.
  • Further west, Bryson Michel has a goal in 12 games with the CCHL's Nepean Raiders.

Monday, November 6, 2017

18 Thoughts: Checking in on our friends from Windsor

We know the Saint John Sea Dogs are off to a rough start, but how about those other teams that played this past May in Windsor?

The Sea Dogs were joined by the host Windsor Spitfires, OHL champion Erie Otters and WHL champion Seattle Thunderbirds at last season's Memorial Cup. All three, along with the Sea Dogs, were expected to take steps back this year - and they have, but none as large as Saint John (yet, at least).

The Spitfires have gotten off to a decent start and sit fourth in the OHL's Western Conference with an 11-6-1-0 record.

After four straight 100 points seasons, the Otters are finally taking a step back. They are currently 8-7-2-1, which is a respectable start.

Out west, the Thunderbirds are fourth in the Western Conference with a 9-5-1-1 record.

Saint John is by far off to the roughest start of last year's Memorial Cup teams, sporting a record of 4-11-4-1. They could eventually catch up, depending on how the rest of their seasons go.

It's always interesting to follow other Memorial Cup participants to compare rebuilds/retools. As we know, the Sea Dogs and Shawinigan Cataractes, who met in the 2012 tournament, seem forever stuck in the same cycle.

To the notes...

Saturday, November 4, 2017

FINAL: Sea Dogs lose 3-2 (OT)

FINAL: Saint John 2, Shawinigan 3 (OT)
SHAWINIGAN, Que. - The Saint John Sea Dogs suffered their third loss in as many days on Saturday, going winless on their first Quebec road trip of the season.

In an early Saturday match, the Sea Dogs blew a 2-0 first period lead at the Gervais Auto Centre, falling 3-2 in overtime to the Shawinigan Cataractes.

Saint John's power play had another strong performance, going 2/3 on the day. Saint John's strong start to the game was offset by a bad finish. The Dogs were outshot 19-5 in the third period and allowed the game-winning goal just 52 seconds into overtime.

Adding to the pain of this loss was that Shawinigan's game-winner came off the stick of Cameron Askew, the overage player who could fit into Saint John's lineup. Askew doesn't appear to be heading to the Port City at this time.

Gabriel Sylvestre and Antoine Demers also scored for the Cataractes. Lucas Fitzpatrick made 30 stops in the win.

Ostap Safin and Joe Veleno had Saint John goals. Safin opened the scoring just 1:54 into the game and Veleno scored with 10 seconds remaining in the first.

Alex D'Orio made 32 stops in the loss.

Saint John remains last overall in the QMJHL standings with a 4-11-4-1 record for 13 points. Even worse, Saint John's league low .325 win percentage is .087 below the team that sits above them in the standings.

This road trip, which was against teams that surround the Sea Dogs in the bottom of the standings, was a big chance for the squad to gain some ground. The hole Saint John finds themselves in now will be difficult to climb out of.

Game Day 20: at Shawinigan

SHAWINIGAN, Que. - The Saint John Sea Dogs will try to salvage a win today in the final game of their Quebec road trip.

After a decent opening game on Thursday in Baie-Comeau - which ended in a 5-4 Sea Dogs loss - Saint John got roughed up last night in Chicoutimi, losing 6-0 to one of the QMJHL's worst offensive teams.

The Dogs will try to close out this trip with a win - or even just a point - today in Shawinigan. Puck drop against the Cataractes is 5 p.m.

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are 4-11-3-1 for 12 points (6th Maritimes, 18th QMJHL) while the Cataractes are 6-10-1-0 for 13 points (6th East, 17th QMJHL).

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 6-0 loss in Chicoutimi last night. Stewart Bagnell allowed six goals on 36 shots in his QMJHL debut. The Cataractes are coming off a 4-3 win over the Drummondville Voltigeurs last night on home ice. Cameron Askew scored twice for Shawinigan while singles came from Alex Plamondon and Jeremy Manseau. Mikhail Denisov made 25 saves in the win.

2017-18 head-to-head: This is the first meeting of the season between the Sea Dogs and Cataractes.

2016-17 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs were 1-1-0-0 against the Cataractes last season while Shawinigan went 1-0-0-1 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Feb. 11 in Shawinigan where the Cataractes defeated the Sea Dogs 3-0. Alex D'Aoust, Brandon Gignac and Denis Yan all scored for Shawinigan. Mikhail Denisov made 25 saves in the shutout win. Callum Booth made 17 stops in the loss.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Cataractes: None