Thursday, October 30, 2014

GAMEDAY 16: at Cape Breton

A preview of tonight’s game between the Saint John Sea Dogs and Cape Breton Screaming Eagles…

When and where: Tonight at 7 p.m., Centre 200

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

Records: The Sea Dogs are first in the Maritimes Division and third overall in the QMJHL with a 9-3-0-3 record for 21 points. The Screaming Eagles are fourth in the Maritimes and 14th overall with a 7-8-1-1 record for 16 points.

Last games: The Sea Dogs are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to the Quebec Remparts on Sunday. Juraj Siska had both Saint John regulation time goals while Sebastien Auger made 34 saves. The Screaming Eagles are coming off a 2-1 loss in Charlottetown on Sunday. Kyle Farrell had Cape Breton’s lone goal while Francois Brassard made 25 stops in the loss.

2014-15 head-to-head: The Sea Dogs are 1-1-0-0 against the Screaming Eagles this season while Cape Breton is 1-1-0-0 against Saint John.

Last meeting: Oct. 4 in Sydney when the Screaming Eagles edged the Sea Dogs 4-2. Duncan MacIntyre had two goals for the Eagles while Colby Tower and Kyle Farrell added singles. Spencer Smallman and Samuel Dove-McFalls had Saint John goals. Blade Mann-Dixon made 23 saves in the loss while Francois Brassard made 26 in the win.

Ex-Sea Dogs on the Screaming Eagles: None

Random stat: Samuel Dove-McFalls has a goal and two assists in three games against Cape Breton this season.

Thursday Stuff

Some news, notes and stuff…

  • Former Sea Dogs goaltender Antoine Landry, traded to Bathurst during the off-season, made his season debut with the Titan last night. He made 29 saves in a 4-1 loss to Victoriaville.
  • RDS has a real nice article on Sebastien Auger en franca is.
  • The Sea Dogs announced yesterday that Support our Troops Night, originally scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 1, has been pushed back to Sunday, Feb. 22. According to a release, “the decision was made in consultation with Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, and other military personnel scheduled to be involved, in light of recent tragedies in Quebec and Ottawa.”
  • Meanwhile, the annual Teddy Bear Toss, originally slated for Saturday, Jan. 10, has been moved to Sunday, Dec. 7.
  • Saint John visits the Screaming Eagles tonight in Sydney. They host the Eagles at Saturday night at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday’s Sea Dogs game will be broadcast on Rogers TV. It’ll be the team’s final appearance until Nov. 30.
  • Also worth noting about Saint John’s television schedule: their Jan. 17 game in Gatineau will be broadcast. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sea Dogs Move Up To 7th

The Saint John Sea Dogs continue to gradually climb up the BMO CHL Top 10 Rankings.

The team made the Top 10 for a third consecutive week this week, climbing up to No. 7. The Dogs posted a win over the Baie-Comeau Drakkar and a shootout loss to the Quebec Remparts over the weekend.

The Rimouski Oceanic at No. 3 and the Sherbrooke Phoenix at No. 9 were the only other QMJHL teams to crack the Top 10. The WHL’s Kelowna Rockets sit in first.

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

Here are the rankings for week six:
This week, the Sea Dogs play a home-and-home against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Surprising Sea Dogs

The Saint John Sea Dogs have been a pleasant surprise this season.

The goaltending has been solid. The young and improving defense core has been getting the job done. Sure there have been some bumps along the way, but a 9-3-0-3 record in the final week of October is much better than most predicted.

But, by far the most surprising part of this team has been the offense. This team is scoring goals - a lot of goals.

Their 62 markers is the second most in the Maritimes Division and fifth overall in the QMJHL. Their 4.04 goals per game average is the second highest in the league.

Despite these solid offenisive numbers, not a single Sea Dog sits among the top 20 scorers in the league. This team is getting it done with depth and chemistry.

Not surprisingly, Nathan Noel is leading the way with 16 points. But after Noel sits Adam Marsh, Thomas Chabot, Justice Dundas and Mitchell Dempsey – not guys many had predicted to be offensive leaders in the early goings.

I don’t know if the Sea Dogs can keep this pace going all year; but, at least they’ve proven they have the ability to score.

Some other random thoughts…

  • The Sea Dogs/Drakkar rivalry is just weird. Pretty much every game between the two over the past few seasons has been ugly.
  • Nice to see Juraj Siska score a pair – and a shootout goal – on Sunday. Hopefully that gets him going.
  • Sunday’s loss dropped Saint John to 1-3 in shootouts this season. They’ve scored four goals on 13 attempts and allowed six on 14.
  • Matthew Highmore is off to a slow start, registering just three assists in 10 games this season. At this point last season, Highmore had only three goals and six assists in 17 games... so I don’t think it’s anything to be concerned about yet.
  • It’s pretty fantastic to finally see some free agents come in and find success. The past couple seasons have been rough in that department. Darrell Young has produced as advertised.
  • Watched both Rogers TV broadcasts this weekend and they’re doing a solid job. The commentary is knowledgeable, the camera work is good and the production is well done. So nice to have these broadcasts back (they also act as the league webcast for games that are broadcasted).
  • Speaking of the webcasts, what’s going on there? Another free month on the horizon? I know some markets are still having problems with audio hook up. Curious to see what the pricing is.
  • Sebastien Auger has more points (two assists) this season than Lukas Walter had all of last season. So there’s that.
  • Cape Breton and Charlottetown are certainly off to underwhelming starts.
  • The Sea Dogs play a weird Thursday-Saturday home-and-home against the Screaming Eagles this week.

Photo: Marc Henwood/Station Nation

Justice Being Served

From Saturday's game against Baie-Comeau.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

RECAP: Dogs lose 3-2 (SO)

FINAL: Quebec 3, Saint John 2 (SO)

By Lorne Webster | SN Staff

SAINT JOHN - Former Sea Dogs Marcus Cuomo, Nicolas Hebert and Alex McQuaid returned to Saint John with the Quebec Remparts (11-5-0-0) and had first row seats for a 3-2 win over the Sea Dogs (9-3-0-3) at Harbour Station Sunday afternoon.  

Zachery Moody scored in the fourth round of a shootout to carry the Remparts to victory. Proud Newfoundlanders Cody Donaghey and Kurt Etchegary also scored for Quebec. Juraj Siska scored three goals for Saint John, including one in the shootout.

The game got off to a feisty start when star defencemen Olivier LeBlanc and Nicolas Brouillard dropped their mitts for a short, spirited scrap just 69 seconds in. At 7:06, Remparts defenceman Donaghey carried the puck into Saint John's end, faked to move around the net but snapped the puck between Sebastien Auger and his post to open the scoring. The Sea Dogs responded quickly when, 28 seconds later, Siska took a feed from Matt Green, broke down the wing and ripped a wrist shot on the short side past Callum Booth to tie the score at 1-1. That assist was Matt Green's first QMJHL point. The period would end tied at ones and Quebec leading 14-10 on the shot clock.  

At 5:30 of the second period, the Remparts created an odd man rush following a goalmouth scramble in front of Booth. Etchegary one-timed a pass from Brouillard past Auger to give Quebec a 2-1 lead. The penalty killing units for both teams were tested in the second half of the period and both passed with flying colours as the each killed off two-man advantages. While the period ended with Quebec up 2-1, both teams managed 11 shots apiece.    

The Sea Dogs came out strong to start the third period but Booth made several big saves. Also, the Remparts’ Zachery Moody and Sea Dogs’ Justice Dundas came close to scoring but instead found iron behind the respective keepers early in the period. Then at 7:00, Siska corralled a rebound off a Bailey Webster point shot and flipped the puck past Booth to make it 2-2. That assist was Webster's first point of the season as well. With 2:04 left, Braydon Blight was assessed a major for interference on a huge hit on Brouillard behind the play. Auger came up big to allow the game to continue into overtime. Saint John held a 11-6 shot advantage in the third.

The OT session started with the Remparts still on the power play. But at 0:58, Taylor Burke was penalized which created lots of open ice for the skaters. There were several great scoring opportunities for both teams but Auger and Booth refused to be beaten, leading to a shootout. After Nathan Noel and Guillaume Gauthier were stopped, Siska and Dmytro Timashov scored five-hole goals. Thomas Chabot, Adam Erne and Adam Marsh all failed to score before Moody appeared to lose the puck in close but recovered in time to flip a backhand shot over Auger's shoulder to claim the win for Quebec.