Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Memorial Cup Game Day: vs Thunderbirds

It's do or die for the Saint John Sea Dogs (0-2) and Seattle Thunderbirds (0-2) tonight at the Memorial Cup. The winner of tonight's 8 p.m. match will advance to Friday's semifinal while the loser will head home.

TV/Radio/Webcast: Sportsnet and TVA Sports/96.1 NewSong FM/SN NOW and CHL Live

Tournament status: The Thunderbirds and Sea Dogs are both 0-2 at this year's Memorial Cup. The winner tonight will advance to Friday's semifinal while the loser will be eliminated. The winner will play the loser of Wednesday's Windsor/Erie game in the semifinal.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a disastrous 12-5 loss to the Erie Otters last night at the WFCU Centre. Cedric Pare scored twice for Saint John while singles came from Mathieu Joseph, Spencer Smallman and Julien Gauthier. Callum Booth was pulled after allowing five goals on 14 shots. Alex D'Orio allowed seven goals on 25 shots in relief. The Thunderbirds are coming off a rough 7-1 loss to the Windsor Spitfires on Sunday. Keegan Kolesar scored Seattle's lone goal. Carl Stankowski was pulled after allowing three goals on six shots. Rylan Toth allowed four goals on 18 shots in relief.

Head-to-head: This is the first ever meeting between the two teams.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Thunderbirds: None.

Random stat: Saint John's penalty kill, which has been so good all year, has allowed six goals on 11 chances so far in this tournament. Five of Erie's goals last night came on the power play.

Three Things to Know
1. Jacob DeSerres, who won the 2011 Memorial Cup with Saint John, was a third-round pick of the Thunderbirds in the 2005 WHL draft. DeSerres spent parts of five seasons with Seattle.

2. Carl Stankowski will start in goal for Seattle tonight. The netminder was pulled after allowing three goals on six shots in just 5:26 of action on Sunday against the Windsor Spitfires.

3. While the Sea Dogs have allowed 15 goals in this tournament, they've also scored seven in two games. The Thunderbirds have scored just three.

Notes: Thomas Chabot and Mathieu Joseph lead Saint John in scoring at the Memorial Cup with three points each... rookie Cedric Pare leads the team in goals with two... Chabot and Joseph lead the team in assists with two each... Matthew Barzal leads Seattle in scoring with two points - both assists... no Seattle player has scored more than one goal... Saint John is the home team tonight... the Thunderbirds went 8-2 at both home and on the road during the playoffs... Keegan Kolesar led the WHL in playoff scoring with 12 goals and 19 assists for 31 points... Ethan Bear, a defenceman, led the WHL in playoff assists with 20... Seattle had a deadly power play during the playoffs, running at 35%.

Next game: If the Sea Dogs win, they'll face the loser of Windsor/Erie in Friday's semifinal. If the Sea Dogs lose, we'll see you all at the QMJHL Entry Draft in a couple weeks.

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