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Quebec City will host 2007 Top Prospects game

QUEBEC CITY, Wednesday, September 20, 2006 - The Canadian Hockey League and the NHL announced today that the 2007 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game will be played at Quebec's Colisee Pepsi Wednesday, January 17, at 7 p.m. The Quebec Remparts, 2006 Memorial Cup Champions, will work to put on the annual event, which will be telecast live across Canada on Rogers Sportsnet and in Quebec on RDS.

The Top Prospects game will showcase 40 of the CHL's top players eligible for selection in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft in Columbus, Ohio.

"The Canadian Hockey league is excited to award Quebec City with this showcase event, a first for the city and a first for the province of Quebec." said CHL president David Branch. "Quebec City and the Remparts organization had tremendous success in hosting the 2003 Memorial Cup and we feel the city is a fitting stage for this prestigious event. "

"Again without the long-term support of the NHL and Home Hardware, the Top Prospects game would not be available for these young players to showcase their skills to the eye of an NHL audience, we are very thankful to have the tremendous support from them, along with many other sponsors, who collectively make this a world class event," added Branch.

Home Hardware, a title sponsor since 2000, continues as the title partner of the CHL Home Hardware Top Prospects Game this year.

"On behalf of more than 1,000 Home Hardware Dealers across the country, I take great pride in presenting this exciting hockey event to Quebec City and CHL fans who will be watching on television from coast-to-coast," says Paul Straus, Vice-President and CEO, Home Hardware Stores Limited. "From local rinks to the national spotlight of the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, Home Hardware is proud to be involved at every level and thrilled to part of this exciting event."

The 2007 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects game will feature a local flavour as Angelo Esposito of the host Quebec Remparts has been selected to the roster of players for the game by the NHL. Esposito led the Remparts last season with 98 points (36G, 59A) and is a top prospect looking forward to the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.The NHL's 30 teams will select the remaining 39 players to participate in the game. The announcement of the remaining players will be made in early January.

"The CHL Top Prospects Game is a much anticipated showcase event for all the scouting staffs across the National Hockey League," said Central Scouting, EJ McGuire. This is a major event where scouts can see all the premier draft-eligible players in Major Junior hockey compete head-to-head, with Quebec City and the current home of the Memorial Cup Champions being a perfect venue," said McGuire.

The Quebec Remparts will announce at a later date player and fan events such as a skills competition and player luncheon.

The NHL's 30 teams will select the 40 players to participate in the game. The announcement of the players will be made in early January.

More than 400 players have suited up in the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and gone on to be selected in the NHL entry draft. The game has featured five players who were the first overall picks in the NHL entry draft - Chris Phillips (1996), Joe Thornton (1997), Vincent Lecavalier (1998), Rick Nash (2002) and Marc-André Fleury (2003).

Participants from the 2006 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game include, Jordan Staal, Chris Stewart, and Derrick Brassard who, along with eleven other game participants, were all selected in the First Round at the NHL Entry Draft held in Vancouver on June 24th.
 

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Two Sea Dogs blueliners on NHL prospect list

SAINT JOHN, Sept. 20, 2006 - A global scouting organization has ranked two Saint John Sea Dogs defencemen as first-round prospects for the 2007 NHL entry draft.

In their latest analysis, International Scouting Services (ISS) lists David Stich as the 11th top pick for the draft in Columbus, Ohio next June while Alex Grant is slotted 21st overall. Both are 17-year-olds.

Logan Couture of Ottawa 67's is ranked first by ISS, followed by Angelo Espositio of the Quebec Remparts and Jan Voracek of the Halifax Mooseheads.

Stich, a native of the Czech Republic, was the fourth selection by the Sea Dogs in the 2006 import draft. Grant, from Antigonish, N.S., was picked first overall by Saint John in the 2005 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League draft.

Two other highly-touted Sea Dogs defencemen - Jann Sauvé and Pascal Amyot - are only 16-years-old. They will be eligible for the NHL draft in 2008.

"I believe we are building one of the best young defensive corps in the league," said Bob "Tipper" LeBlanc, general manager of the Sea Dogs. "The scouting fraternity is also recognizing the potential of our blue line."

LeBlanc noted that seven NHL scouts, representing Toronto, Calgary, Carolina, Dallas, Boston, Columbus and Tampa, attended the Sea Dogs home opener last Friday.

The Sea Dogs next home game is this coming Sunday at 4 p.m. vs. the PEI Rocket. The first 4,000 fans will receive a free Sea Dogs magnetic schedule. It's also Family Fun and Aliant 4 for $44 Day.
 

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Wildcats declare Friday Ted Nolan Day

Moncton - The Moncton Wildcats plan to pay tribute to the man who led them to their first QMJHL championship and the President Cup trophy on Friday when Ted Nolan comes to town with his New York Islanders. And the good news for fans is the Wildcats want you to be part of it.

"Ted Nolan did so much for our organization last year that we felt it was only appropriate for us to recognize him in a special way," Bill Schurman, general manager of the Wildcats said. "We are calling Friday Ted Nolan day in Cat Country and have organized a very special ceremony prior to the Islanders - Boston game on Friday night in which we will present the championship rings to Ted, Danny Flynn, Daniel Lacroix and Graham Black," Schurman said.

The best news for fans however is the agreement the Wildcats and the City of Moncton have struck with the promoters. "Everyone wants to see a full house for Ted's return to Moncton so the promoters have offered 500 fans a chance to buy a balcony ticket for full price and receive a second ticket free of charge," Schurman said. "It is really an unbelievable chance for our fans to come out and thank Ted, Danny, Daniel and Graham, while at the same time seeing a very exciting NHL exhibition game at the Coliseum."

Fans can visit the Coliseum box office to take advantage of this special offer or call the box office at (506) 857-4100. "Only the first 500 fans will get this very special offer so we encourage everyone to get out early," Schurman said.

As for the other members of the team from last year, Schurman said a special ceremony will be held prior to the Lewiston game on Sunday afternoon. "We will present the rest of the 2005-2006 team with their rings on Sunday in what will be a very special presentation for the players," Schurman said. Game time Sunday is 4:00 PM and the ceremony will take place immediately before the game.
 

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Wildcats look to finish what they started

The rebuilding process has begun a little early in Moncton.

After winning the QMJHL championship and extending their season into the final game of the MasterCard Memorial Cup last May, the Wildcats were hit hard by graduation and expected to spend this season in rebuilding mode.

Scrap that plan.

The youthful Wildcats have picked up right where they left off winning their first three games of the new season.

"We might be young, but we've got a lot of heart," sophomore Matt Eagles told the Moncton Times and Transcript this week. "We've got a lot of character. We have a lot of small, gritty guys who want to go out there every night and not take a backseat."

Eagles is one of 12 returning players in the Moncton lineup.

Rookie goalie Nicola Riopel was outstanding in a 50-save shutout performance that backed the Wildcats to a 2-0 win over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in the season-opener on Thursday. The next night in Bathurst, the Wildcats rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the second period to a 5-4 win over the Titan.

It was a gutsy effort that new head coach John Torchetti expects to build on.

"What I liked most about this game is the team character that we showed," Torchetti said. "We didn't get down on ourselves when we were trailing by a couple of goals. The small group of veterans that we have played tonight the way we need them to play. We have a very young team and our veterans played a key role in leading us back in this game."

Despite the turnover from last year, Torchetti won't settle for a rebuilding effort from his squad in his rookie season behind the bench.

"We need four lines playing and that's what it comes down to, plus getting solid goaltending," Torchetti said. "We're a young team that's going to keep getting better and tonight was a character win for us."

On Sunday, Jerome Samson scored a pair of goals, including a penalty shot goal that tied the game in the third period and a powerplay marker that won it in overtime, to give the Wildcats a 5-4 win over the Saint John Sea Dogs.

The Wildcats scored six times with the man-advantage in their first two games and expect that their powerplay will be a big part of their success this season.

"The way the game is played now, you've got to be good on special teams," Eagles said. "(We) did pretty well, but there's always room for improvement. It's something that we've got to keep working on all season long."

Veteran defenceman Nathan Welton says that with a young team, Moncton will need their first and second year players to step up and play a big role.

"We have a lot of young guys playing in key situations with penalty kill and power play so this is a learning situation for them," Welton said. "They're doing a good job. It's a confidence builder for us."

Wildcats' owner Robert Irving is passionate about winning the Memorial Cup. His team hosted the event last May and earned their way into the tournament by winning their QMJHL championship. They lost their rematch with the Quebec Remparts in the championship game, but Irving said the experience only made his desire to win junior hockey's top prize more intense.

"We played 102 games last season and we came down to 60 minutes from achieving that dream of hoisting the Memorial Cup," Irving said. "We got a taste of it and saw what it's all about. We want to get back there as fast as we can.

"The dream of this organization since Day 1 has been to win the Memorial Cup. That's always been our objective and it always will be. The dream is still alive."
 

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Friday's QMJHL Roundup

Alexandre Imbeault and the Tigres helped make sure Drummondville's first loss of the season wasn't one they would soon forget.

Imbeault scored two of his three goals in a six-goal third-period outburst as Victoriaville routed the Voltigeurs 10-2 in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action Friday.

Keven Guerette-Charland also scored a hat trick for the Tigres (2-2-0-0), while Benoit Doucet, Keven Veilleux, Philip-Michael Pinard-Devos and Jason Demers added singles.

Jean-Christophe Blanchard made 16 saves for the win.

Elsewhere in the QMJHL on Friday, it was: Lewiston 7, P.E.I. 1; Acadie-Bathurst 8, Saint John 4; Chicoutimi 3, Quebec 2; Baie-Comeau 4, Halifax 2; St. John's 4, Rimouski 3 (OT); Val-d'Or 6, Rouyn-Noranda 4; and Gatineau 6, Cape Breton 4.

At Victoriaville, Francis Charette scored both goals for the Voltigeurs (2-1-0-0).

Maineiacs 7, Rocket 1

At Charlottetown, Pierre-Luc Faubert scored two goals to lead Lewiston over the Rocket.

Danick Hudon-Paquette, David Perron, Eric Castonguay, Stefano Giliati and Chad Denny added goals for the Maineiacs (1-0-0-0).

David Laliberte replied with the lone goal for P.E.I. (1-2-0-0).

Titan 8, Sea Dogs 4

At Bathurst, N.B., Thomas Beauregard scored a hat trick as the Titan beat Saint John.

Renaud Des Alliers, with two, Martin Bartos, Samson Mahbod and Mathieu Perreault added goals for Acadie-Bathurst (1-3-0-0).

Maxime Dubuc, Alexandre Labonte, Ryan Sparling and Sebastien Rioux answered for the Sea Dogs (1-1-1-0).

Sagueneens 3, Remparts 2

At Quebec, Jean-Sebastien Cote scored twice, including the game-winner at 9:42 of the third period, to power Chicoutimi past the Remparts.

Jeff Christison added a goal for the Sagueneens (2-1-1).

Maxime Lacroix and Ruslan Bashkirov replied for Quebec (0-3-0-0).

Drakkar 4, Mooseheads 2

At Baie-Comeau, Que., Pierre-Cedrick Labrie scored the game-winning goal and assisted on an insurance marker as the Drakkar beat Halifax.

Alexandre Picard-Hooper, Benjamin Breault and Francois Bouchard added goals for Baie-Comeau (2-1-0-0).

Luciano Lomanno and Jakub Voracek replied for the Mooseheads (1-3-0-0).

Fog Devils 4, Oceanic 3 (OT)

At Rimouski, Que., Wesley Welcher scored shorthanded 2:46 into overtime to lift St. John's over the Oceanic.

Ryan Graham, Josh MacKinnon and Jean-Simon Allard added goals for the Fog Devils (2-1-0-0).

Jordan Caron, Olivier Fortier and Pierre-Alexandre Joncas scored for Rimouski (1-0-2-0).

Foreurs 6, Huskies 4

At Rouyn-Noranda, Que., Brad Marchand had a goal and two assists as Val-d'Or beat the Huskies.

Maxime Levesque, Alexandre Leduc, Maxime Lincourt, Marc-Andre Cote and Bruno Desjardins added goals for the Foreurs (2-0-0-1).

Michael Dubuc, Hugo Carpentier, David Buc and Tyler Whitehead replied for Rouyn-Noranda (1-2-0-0).

Olympiques 6, Screaming Eagles 4

At Gatineau, Que., Jean-Philip Chabot had two goals and an assist to help the Olympiques beat Cape Breton.

Keven Petit, Alexandre Boivin, Darryl Smith and Claude Giroux added goals for Gatineau (2-1-0-0).

Dean Ouellet, Jean-Christophe Gauthier, Jason Swit and Jean-Claude Sawyer replied for the Screaming Eagles (1-2-0-0).
 

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Moose fall again

The Halifax Mooseheads continued a difficult road trip in Baie-Comeau, Que., last night, losing their third straight.

The Mooseheads, who haven't tasted victory since their season opener, fell 4-2 to the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play at Centre Henry-Leonard.

Rookie winger Jakub Voracek had the Herd in the driver's seat 96 seconds into the second period, when he put the team up 2-1 with the first goal of his young major junior career.

The Drakkar took over from there, scoring three goals in a stretch of 11:05 to seize a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes.

complete article
 

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Titan beat Fog Devils

Mathieu Perreault had three goals and two assists to lead the Acadie-Bathurst Titan to a 7-3 win over the St. John's Fog Devils in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action Saturday.

complete article
 

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McIlveen has five points in Eagles’ victory

Paul Alexander McIlveen had two goals and three assists to lead the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles to a 7-4 win over the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action Saturday.

Chris Culligan, with two, Mark Barberio, Alexandre Quesnel had the other goals for Cape Breton (2-2-0-0).

Justin Munden, Michael Dubuc, Guillaume Lepine and Marc-Antoine Desnoyers replied for Rouyn-Noranda (1-3-0-0).
 

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No place like home for Flynn

He lives in Oyster Bay, N.Y., now, but there’s still no place like home for Danny Flynn.
Flynn, the longtime head coach of the St. Francis Xavier X-Men men’s hockey team, was behind an NHL bench in Nova Scotia for the first time, and received a nice ovation before the game.
“I haven't been away too long, but I won't see a lot of my family during the year so it was nice to be here and see them before the season starts up,” said Flynn, a Dartmouth native.
Flynn left X to join friend Ted Nolan as an assistant with the Moncton Wildcats when they hosted the Memorial Cup last year. When Nolan took the job in Long Island, Flynn followed. “Leaving Antigonish was tough, and leaving Moncton was tough after only one season,” Flynn added.

complete article
 
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