Friday, November 21, 2014

Sea Dogs Acquire Armstrong's Rights

Not many details have been released yet, but the Sea Dogs have acquired forward Jamie Armstrong from the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in exchange for a 2016 fourth round draft pick.

Armstrong, a 16-year-old from Rhode Island, was a sixth round draft pick of the Titan in this past summer’s QMJHL Entry Draft.

He is committed to Northeastern University for the 2016-17 season. Will he report to Saint John?
We shall see.

UPDATE: A couple notes from the Sea Dogs’ press release…

Armstrong, 16, is listed at 6'2", 190 lbs. The Warwick, Rhode Island, native is about to begin his season at Avon Old Farms Prep School in Connecticut.

"Jamie is a big, strong, power forward who can score, compete hard for loose pucks, and play a solid, 200-foot game," said Sea Dogs general manager Darrell Young. "We see him as one of the top 1998 U.S.-born prospects for the 2016 NHL Draft. He has been well-schooled in the game by his father.

"He has a college commitment, but we wanted his rights in case he changed his mind and focus."

GAMEDAY 23: vs Cataractes

A preview of tonight’s game between the Saint John Sea Dogs and Shawinigan Cataractes…

When and where: Tonight at 7:30 p.m., Harbour Station

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are tied for first in the Maritimes Division, are fifth overall in the QMJHL and are ranked sixth in the CHL Top 10 with a record of 14-5-0-3 for 31 points. The Cataractes are fifth in the East Division and ninth overall with a record of 12-10-1-1 for 26 points.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 3-1 loss in Baie-Comeau on Saturday. Samuel Dove-McFalls had Saint John’s only goal while Bobby Dugan made 20 saves in the loss. The Cataractes are coming off a 7-4 loss in Val-d’Or on Saturday. Olivier Caouette had two goals for Shawinigan while singles came from James Phelan and Dennis Yan. Antoine Samuel made 29 saves in the loss.

2014-15 head-to-head: This is the first meeting of the season between the two.

Last meeting: February 20 at Harbour Station when the Sea Dogs fell 3-1 to the Cataractes. Alexis D’Aoust, Alex Pawelczyk and Alexandre Delisle-Houde scored for Shawinigan while Oliver Cooper had Saint John’s only goal. Marvin Cupper made 26 saves in the win while Sebastien Auger made 35 in the loss.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Cataractes: None

Random stat: This is Saint John’s first home game since Nov. 1.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Russia Wins Super Series

By Lorne Webster and Jamie Tozer

RIMOUSKI – Team Russia won the 2014 edition of the Subway Super Series on Thursday night at Colisee de Rimouski.

Russian defeated the QMJHL 3-2 to complete the series win. Russia won the annual six-game event four games to two, beating the WHL twice and the OHL and QMJHL once.

In Thursday’s game, Russia led 3-0 after two periods of play. In the second period, Russia outshot the QMJHL 8-1. In the third, the ‘Q’ was able to make a game of it with goals from Nicolas Meloche and Anthony Deluca, making it 3-2. But that would be as close as the Canadian squad would get.

Rimouski goaltender Philippe Desrosiers made 18 saves in the loss. Igor Shestyorkin made 25 stops in the win.

Olivier LeBlanc, the only Sea Dog participating in the series, finished the game with no points and a -1 rating.

Some notes from the match…
  • LeBlanc (SNB) and Ryan Graves (QUE) continued to be Team QMJHL’s primary penalty killers on defence. They played very well again. Unfortunately, they were on the ice when a clearing pass deflected off Frederik Gauthier (RIM) and Team Russia was able to get the puck past Philippe Desrosiers (RIM) for the first goal of the game.
  • A pair of odd goals early in the second were costly for the 'Q' as a deflection by Laurent Dauphin (CHI) and then a bad bounce off Jacob Sweeney (MON) eluded Desrosiers.
  • LeBlanc was clipped by a high stick late in the second period but he was not cut or injured. The 'Q' was unable to score on the resulting power play.
  • During the second intermission, Sportsnet's Sam Cosentino only listed four players from the QMJHL as "locks" to be invited to the final Team Canada selection camp in December. They were Halifax goalie Zach Fucale, Rimouski goalie Philippe Desrosiers, Rimouski defenceman Samuel Morin and Rimouski centre Frederik Gauthier.

Sea Dogs Slip To 6th

A couple loses in Quebec last week have pushed the Saint John Sea Dogs all the way down to sixth in the CHL Top 10 Rankings.

The Sea Dogs, ranked third in last week’s rankings, lost 3-0 to the Quebec Remparts last Wednesday and 3-1 to the Baie-Comeau Drakkar last Saturday. Saint John’s only victory during the road trip came on Friday when they defeated the Chicoutimi Sagueneens 2-1.

The Rimouski Oceanic were the top QMJHL team ranked, coming in fifth. Baie-Comeau came in ninth.

The weekly rankings of the Canadian Hockey League’s Top 10 teams are selected by a panel of National Hockey League scouts.

Here are week nine’s rankings:
This week, the Sea Dogs host the Shawinigan Cataractes on Friday and Charlottetown Islanders on Saturday.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

RECAP: Team QMJHL Wins 3-1

By Lorne Webster and Jamie Tozer

BATHURST – Team QMJHL edged Team Russia 3-1 in Game 5 of the 2014 Subway Super Series on Tuesday night at the KC Irving Regional Centre.

Francis Perron, Daniel Audette and Anthony Richard scored for Team QMJHL. Zach Fucale made 40 saves in the victory – including 22 in the third period alone. The 'Q' only registered 18 shots in the game with just one being registered in the third.

Dmitry Yudin scored Russia’s only goal. Igor Shestyorkin made 15 saves in the loss.

Russia has now lost back-to-back games after opening the series with three straight wins.

Some notes from the game…
  • Olivier LeBlanc was paired with Ryan Graves (Que). They received a regular shift and were the primary pair on the penalty kill, which kept Russia 0-for-9 on the PP. LeBlanc had two to three big shot blocks and was also on the second power play unit in the second period.
  • LeBlanc looked a bit nervous and struggled with the puck during his first couple of shifts. In his second shift, he turned the puck over at the blue line... the Russians appeared to score off that play but Zach Fucale had been bumped and the goal was waved off immediately. After that, he settled in and played well.
  • Sportsnet’s RJ Broadhead spoke about the overhaul of the Sea Dogs' roster by "Darrell Kelly" (later he corrected himself saying he got Darrell Young mixed up with David Kelly). Broadhead said that LeBlanc, as captain, is a huge part of the turn around in Saint John. Also, LeBlanc was drafted in the seventh round by Columbus, put on about 14 pounds over the summer and has a bright future. He is plus-18 so far this season. Broadhead also indicated that LeBlanc has been asked to take on more of a defensive role to lead a young defence in Saint John.
  • LeBlanc took a cross checking penalty on a penalty kill late in the second period. He was also called for charging (more of a check from behind – but it seemed like a weak call) about six minutes into the third. Russia did not score with LeBlanc in the box. 
  • Team QMJHL is small and fast. Frederic Gauthier and Nicolas Roy are the only forwards over 6'0". 
  • The next and final game of the series is on Thursday in Rimouski.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Super Series Hits Bathurst Tuesday

The Subway Super Series enters QMJHL territory on Tuesday.

Team Russia will face Team QMJHL in game five of the series on Tuesday at 8 p.m. at the KC Irving Regional Centre in Bathurst. The game can be seen on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

Russia swept the WHL and won their first game against the OHL before falling 5-1 last night in Kingston.

Defenseman Olivier LeBlanc will be the only Sea Dog playing in the event.

The final game of the series, also against the QMJHL, takes place on Thursday in Rimouski.

A few other notes: