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Friday, May 20, 2011

Memorial Cup : St John Sea Dogs

The Sea Dogs are probably the team most people outside the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League are looking forward to seeing. The Sea Dogs absolutely dominated the regular season with a 58-7-1-2 record on their way to amassing 119 points, 17 more than second place Montreal Juniors. They also ranked at or near the top of the CHL rankings for most of the season.

Not only are fans waiting to get what could be their first glimpse of the team because of what they've done, but of the four teams in the Memorial Cup, the Sea Dogs boast the highest number of draft eligible players and fans are waiting to get glimpses of sure fire first rounders Jonathan Huberdeau and Nathan Beaulieu, along with the rest of the group.

Make no mistake about it, this team is deep and it is talented. They scored a league leading 324 goals in the regular season, 59 more than second place Lewiston while only allowing 165, to also lead the league.

How they got here:

Round 1 : Beat Cape Breton 4-0. This wasn't even close. The Sea Dogs won the first two games on home ice with 10-0 and 7-1 before winning the next two on the road 5-1 and 4-0.

Round 2 : Beat Victoriaville 4-1. They split the first two games in St John with the Sea Dogs winning 4-1 in the opener and Victoriaville won 3-2. The Sea Dogs would win the next two on the road 6-3 and 5-4 in overtime before winning game 5 back at home 3-2.

Round 3 : Beat Lewiston 4-0. Game 1 went into overtime with a 5-4 Sea Dogs win. They then took game 2 4-1 before winning both games on the road 5-2 and 6-5.

Round 4 : Beat Gatineau 4-2. Probably the best competition the Ice Dogs faced throughout the playoffs. The teams split the first 2 games in St John. The Sea Dogs took game 1 2-1 while the Olympique took game 2 3-2. The Sea Dogs would take the next 2 in Gatineau, the first 5-0 and the second 4-3 in double overtime. Gatineau would then take game 5 back in St John. The Sea Dogs would need double overtime again to win game 6 3-2 and capture the Presidents Cup as League Champions.

Here's a look at the Sea Dogs draft eligible players production in the regular season and the playoffs.

So it's prediction time. Good friend Kirk Luedeke over at predicts St John to win. So I can't always follow on his coattails, so even though my head may say otherwise, I'll go with  my heart and take Mississauga.

So my order of finish is 1. Mississauga, 2. St John, 3. Owen Sound 4. Kootenay

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