Mooseheads & Sea Dogs meet tonight in Halifax

The Halifax Mooseheads will put the finishing touches on the pre-season t0night at 7:00pm when they welcome the Saint John Sea Dogs to Scotiabank Centre. It marks the first time since the 1990’s that the Herd have been able to play on their “true” home ice prior to the regular season home opener.  The Mooseheads will be chasing their sixth win in nine pre-season games which includes the Moncton Rookie Tournament. 16-year-olds Justin Barron and Xavier Parent lead the team in scoring with six points apiece.

Saint John is coming off a 4-3 loss to the Moncton Wildcats last night in Fredericton. The Cats scored four times in the third period to grab the winin front of a healthy crowd of more than 2800 fans.

Halifax remains without the services of Arnaud Durandeau, Jocktan Chainey, Otto Somppi and Max Fortier who are away at NHL training camps and AHL camp in Fortier’s case. Defenceman Patty Kyte is sidelined with a minor injury and forward Barrett Dachyshyn will sit out with a one-game suspension. The Mooseheads have called up forwards Caleb Rich, Fearghus MacDonald and Gavin Hart along with defenceman Curtis Heffernan.

The Sea Dogs will have a vastly different look this season after their veteran team won the President Cup in 2016-17 before competing in the Memorial Cup tournament in Windsor, ON. The reigning champs have lost an abundance of elite level players from their playoff roster and will be starting from the ground up when they raise their championship banner at Harbour Station later this month. The changes don’t end there as Josh Dixon becomes the new face behind the bench for Saint John. The 34-year-old takes over as Head Coach for the departed Danny Flynn who left to join the Portland Winterhawks staff in the WHL. Dixon has served as an Assistant Coach with Swift Current and Regina and brings an impressive resume to Saint John. Dixon faces a challenge with the Sea Dogs who are rebuilding and do not feature any 2001-born players on the season opening roster. The team did not have a pick until the third round (52nd overall) in June’s QMJHL Entry Draft.

Sea Dogs roster losses:

F Matthew Highmore
F Bokondji Imama
F Spencer Smallman
F Mathieu Joseph
F Samuel Dove-McFalls
F Nathan Noel
F Julien Gauthier
F Kyle Ward
F Matthew Pietroniro
D Thomas Chabot
D Simon Bourque
D Jakub Zboril
D David Comeau
D Chase Stewart
D Alexandre Bernier
D Oliver Felixson
G Callum Booth

Three Saint John players have been away attending NHL rookie camps with goaltender Alex D’Orio participating with the Pittsburgh Penguins, forward Cedric Pare with the Boston Bruins and newly signed CHL Import pick Ostap Safin in Edmonton. Safin, a big 6-foot-5 forward with slick hands, is a Czech Republic native and was taken by the Sea Dogs 53rd overall in June.

Tickets for Friday’s game are General Admission and are available now at the Ticket Atlantic Box Office, Select Superstore outlets, and the Official Mooseheads Shop in Scotia Square.

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