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Host St. John Sea Dogs enjoys the spot in the Memorial Cup final

Saint John Sea Dogs defenceman William Villeneuve (13) of the Saint John Sea Dogs after defeating the Shawinigan Cataractes at the 2022 Memorial Cup on June 25, 2022, at Harbour Station arena in Saint John, NB.
St. John Seadogs Defense William Bill Neuve (13) of St. John Seadog after defeating Shawinigan Cataract at the 2022 Memorial Cup at the Harbor Station Arena in St. John, New Brunswick on June 25, 2022. Photo: Vincent Ethier /CHL

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Saint John Sea Dogs in 2022 You can win the Memorial Cup. This is an impressive achievement for teams that have been waiting for the tournament to start for over a month.

Sea Dogs booked a spot in the final with a 5-3 come-from-behind victory over Shawinigan Cataractes at the Harbor Station Arena on Saturday. New York Islanders prospect William Dufour (QMJHL player of the year) scored four goals with a win, including a natural hat-trick within seven minutes of the second period.

Sea Dogs will face the semi-final winner between Cataractes and Hamilton Bulldogs on Monday. The final will take place on Wednesday, ending the longest junior hockey season in history.

"At the beginning of the tournament, I didn't want to regret, and before this match I knew there were only two or three matches left in his junior career," Dufour said. Said on Saturday. "I have only one game left right now, so I wanted to give everything I had, but I'll do the same on Wednesday."

St. John Finished third in the QMJHL Eastern Conference with a record of 47-17-1-3, but fell in the first round of the playoffs to Limousi Oceanic. The season was confused by the

pandemic, so the QMJHL playoffs were the best five series to the final, and Sea Dogs lost Game 5 4-3 at home.

After being eliminated, St. John fired head coach Gordie Dwyer and brought in the legendary Gardiner McDagal of New Brunswick University to run the team at the Memorial Cup. In 22 years at UNB, MacDougall has won seven national championships.

Now, MacDougall is a victory from adding the Memorial Cup Championship to the praise of all his colleges.

"I remember when I was a young Flin Flon coach and retired from Bobby Clarke's jersey, I retired from Reggie Reach's jersey and Bobby Clarke was the general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers at the time." Said McDagal. "In the early morning at the historic Flin Flon Hotel, I had the opportunity to ask Bobby Clarke about Mike Keenan. He won the college, the American Hockey League, the Flyers Division Final, and then the Stanley Cup Final. I took him to and told me, "He hasn't done anything yet."

"So I used it as a bit of a motto as a coach. We're doing the final business. This (Saturday) is the city, Seadog. And, in the history of the players, fortunately we have time to reorganize and we know we're in the top, so we need to find a way to get better in the next three days. -Quality opponents. We are hanging out and have another chance in the next game. "

At the Memorial Cup, Seadog is WHL Champion Edmonton Oil Kings, OHL Champion Bulldog, Or there was a question as to whether to play against QMJHL champion Motto.

Sea Dogs have been eliminated for 38 days before the opening round of the Memorial Cup.

With MacDougall, SeaDogs brought in a former NHL heavyweight Rocky Thompson as an advisor. Thompson coached the Windsor Spitfires in 2016-17, gaining similar experience and being knocked out of the first round of the OHL Playoffs as the host of the Memorial Cup. After that, Spitfire won the Memorial Cup tournament.

"He was a great resource for us," MacDougall said early in the tournament. "He experienced this before and was able to share with us what worked and what didn't work for him at the time."

Seadog to prepare for the tournament The training camp approach has been successful so far. Seadog opened the tournament with a 5-3 victory over Bulldog. After that, he lost to Oil Kings 4-3 in overtime and defeated Cataract. St. John finished first in the round-robin and now has three days to prepare for the finals.

Against Cataract, Seadog seemed to run out of his building, lagging behind 3-0 in the first period. However, Dufour took over and scored two goals in 21 seconds, returning the team to the goal.

The Islanders' fifth round pick (152 overall) in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft completes a hat-trick, drives to the net and finishes his rebound. I did.

"It was pretty special," MacDougall said. "He kills penalties, flips wings, flips the center. You go with your horse, and he's a pretty big horse. He has a second phase of magic and stands out.

"When your top guys agree, you see him doing shot blocks and penalty kills, he grows up as a player, and he's a teammate. He has become a true leader of the team. Whenever your lead horse is at the forefront of leading the group, I think everyone is following. Make sure you do this. It's special to see. "

Throughout the season, Seadogs hopes to be the last team to win the title of the second Memorial Cup. Their last championship took place in 2011, when Florida Panthers star Jonathan Yuberdeau joined the team.

"I feel good, but it doesn't make much sense right now because I still have another game to play," said Sea Dogs forward Josh Lawrence. "I'm ready to take the rest and move on to the finals."

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