Sunday, April 26, 2015

Canada Wins U-18 Bronze

After suffering a 7-2 loss in the semifinals, Team Canada rebounded with a 5-2 victory over host Switzerland on Sunday to win bronze at the 2015 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.

Sea Dogs forward Nathan Noel and defenseman Thomas Chabot were both held pointless in the game but were each a +1. Noel also had two shots.
Noel finished the tournament with two assists in seven games. Chabot had one goal and five assists in seven games, placing him third in tournament defensemen scoring.

Sea Dogs defenseman Jakub Zboril had his tournament end in the quarterfinals when the United States defeated the Czech Republic 7-2. He registered a goal and an assist in the three games he was eligible to play in.

The United States, which also defeated Canada 7-2 in Saturday’s semifinal, defeated Finland 2-1 in overtime this afternoon to take home the gold.

Photo: IIHF website

Thursday, April 23, 2015

SN's Third Round Predictions

MONCTON – Four teams remain in the hunt for the QMJHL’s President Cup.

The quarterfinals just ended on Tuesday night but the semifinals start swinging right away with the Quebec Remparts taking on the Moncton Wildcats tonight at the Coliseum. In the other series, the top seeded Rimouski Oceanic take on the red hot Val-d’Or Foreurs beginning tomorrow night.

This year’s playoffs have been exceptional and hopefully this round will be as well. Here are the Station Nation staff’s picks.

Val-d’Or Foreurs (6) vs Rimouski Oceanic (1)
Kevin Chambers – SN Draft Guru: Rimouski in 5
The Rimouski Oceanic are coming off another short series against an underrated Gatineau squad and have still only lost a single game through the first two rounds of the playoffs. The Val-d’Or Foreurs are coming off an improbable victory in seven games after being down three games to none against the Baie Comeau Drakkar. Both teams will be riding a wave of momentum so something has to give and I’m sticking with the favorites in this one – the Oceanic. Their offense will expose the Foreurs’ defense and goaltending. The Oceanic are better in all areas and the stakes are high given the winner could potentially get a bye into the Memorial Cup (with a Quebec victory over Moncton).

Lorne Webster – SN Writer: Rimouski in 5
After a huge comeback from 0-3 to defeat Baie-Comeau of OT in game seven, the Foreurs behaved poorly. I have a feeling that karma is going to come back to haunt them. A powerful - and well-rested - crew from Rimouski are simply too strong for Val-d'Or this time around. The Oceanic entered the season as big time favorites and appear to be on their way to an appearance in the Memorial Cup.

Jamie Tozer – SN Editor: Rimouski in 5
I see this series being like the Winnipeg – Anaheim series that just ended. The games will be close but the series will end quickly. The Foreurs, although they are no doubt feeling some fatigue from their quarterfinal series, will be riding plenty of momentum and should give the Oceanic a decent run – but not a long run. Rimouski is just too good and they’ve shown that so far in this year’s playoffs.

Hoffman's Goal Keeps Sens Alive

MONCTON – Mike Hoffman has kept the Ottawa Senators alive.

Hoffman scored at 9:05 of the third period last night, a goal that ended up being the only one scored in the game. The Senators, facing elimination, are now down 3-1 in their first round series against the Montreal Canadiens.

The goal was Hoffman’s first of the playoffs. He had a few good scoring chances in the game, finishing the night with four shots in 12:54 of ice time.

According to Hockey Night in Canada, the shot clocked in at 124.9 km/h.

As expected, Nathan Beaulieu did not play for the Habs last night. He will miss the remainder of the series with an upper body injury.

Some other news and notes…

  • Simon Despres helped set up the game and series winning goal as the Anaheim Ducks defeated the Winnipeg Jets 5-2 last night to complete a series sweep. Despres registered an assist on Ryan Kesler’s third period goal at 6:41, making it 3-1 Ducks at the time. Despres also had two shots and four hits in an impressive 20:49 of ice time. Only one Duck had more ice time than Despres.
  • It was a rough night for Charlie Coyle and the Minnesota Wild as they fell 6-1 to the St. Louis Blues on home ice last night. Coyle was held pointless with one shot and a -1 rating in 14:43 of ice time. The series is now tied 2-2.
  • Tomas Jurco and the Detroit Red Wings return to action tonight. They lead the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 in the series after a 3-0 win on Tuesday. Jurco played just 6:49 in game three. The former Sea Dog has been credited with a goal in this year’s playoffs thanks to a scoring change in game one, a goal that came eight seconds into the second period. From the Red Wings website: “by changing the goal, it also means that Jurco now owns the Wings’ club playoff record for the fastest goal at the start of a period. The previous mark was 0:09 set by Gordie Howe in the first period of Game 5 of the 1954 Stanley Cup semifinals against Toronto goalie Harry Lumley.”
  • At the Under-18 World Hockey Championship today, the Czech Republic takes on the United States and Team Canada faces Sweden.
  • The QMJHL semifinals begin tonight with Noah Zilbert and the Moncton Wildcats hosting Marcus Cuomo’s Quebec Remparts. Cuomo has not played since the first round. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wildcats, Foreurs Advance To Semifinals

MONCTON - The Moncton Wildcats are moving on.

The Wildcats defeated the Halifax Mooseheads 6-3 last night in game seven of a wild and whacky quarterfinal playoff series at the Moncton Coliseum. The victory advanced the Wildcats to the league semifinals where they’ll play the Memorial Cup host Quebec Remparts.

Game one of the Wildcats-Remparts semifinal series is tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at the Coliseum.

It certainly wasn’t the prettiest series for the Wildcats but it was entertaining. Alex Dubeau was good when he had to be and Connor Garland and Ivan Barbashev stepped up at key times. Garland had five assists last night, nearly matching the six he registered in game five.

Making it to game seven of the second round has to be considered an accomplishment for the Mooseheads, who were seeded 12th entering the playoffs. Nikolaj Ehlers was unreal this post-season and likely played his last game with the Mooseheads last night.
In the other game seven last night, the Val-d’Or Foreurs beat the Baie-Comeau Drakkar 4-3 in overtime to win the series. The Drakkar blew a 3-0 series lead and 3-1 lead last night.
Via @DenisL_1981, here’s the overtime winner and the shenanigans that followed.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Big Day For Sea Dogs In Switzerland

It was a big day for Saint John Sea Dogs defensemen at the IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship in Switzerland.

In Canada’s 3-2 victory over Finland, Thomas Chabot recorded a goal and an assist to go along with two shots. Chabot finished the preliminary round of the tournament with one goal and four assists in four games.
Sea Dogs forward Nathan Noel had one shot in the game. Noel has two assists in four games.

Meanwhile, in the Czech Republic’s 5-0 win over Switzerland, Jakub Zboril returned to action and registered a goal and an assist. He also had three shots, was a +4 and was named the Czech’s player of the game.

Canada won Group A with a 4-0 record while the Czech Republic finished with a 2-2 record. Canada will play Sweden in the quarterfinals on Thursday while the Czechs will play the United States.

Photo via IIHF website

Monday, April 20, 2015

VIDEO: Beaulieu Rocked By Karlsson Hit

It was a hit heard ‘round the hockey world last night, and unfortunately for Nathan Beaulieu, he was the victim.

Midway through the second period of last night’s playoff game between the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens, Beaulieu got rocked by Erik Karlsson in open ice.

It was a rough game for Beaulieu who took a few big hits. His team had the last laugh though, winning 2-1 in overtime and taking a 3-0 series lead. Game four is Wednesday night in Ottawa. Beaulieu’s status for the game is unclear.
Former Sea Dogs forward Mike Hoffman was a -1 with three hits in 10:26 of ice time for the Senators last night.