Stan is given his ring during “Night of Champions.” (Photo via sashastolemyheart)
Last year, the Saint John Sea Dogs were unstoppable. Led by Jonathan Huberdeau, Zack Phillips, Tomas Jurco, and Nathan Beaulieu — top prospects all of whom were selected in the top 35 of the 2011 NHL Draft — the Sea Dogs ripped off an insane 77-11 record capturing both the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Presidents Cup and the Canadian Hockey League’s Memorial Cup. Saint John — who joined the QMJHL as an expansion team just six years ago — became the first organization from Canada’s Maritimes region to win the most coveted prize in Junior Hockey.
The Sea Dogs new championship banners. (Photo credit: saintjohnseadogs.com)
On October 29th, the club celebrated their two titles by hosting a “Night of Champions” at Harbour Station. In front of an announced crowd of 5,888, the Sea Dogs raised their championship banners and handed out 67 rings to players and management.
After taking a short break, Galiev returned to his junior team, the Saint John Sea Dogs, in the fall. The talented Sea Dogs were coming off a 2009-10 season in which they started the campaign with a 22-game winning streak (from October 17 until December 12) and made it to the QMJHL Finals. To the surprise of no one, the squad continued its dominance in 2010-11, relying on Galiev’s play-making (37 goals, 28 assists) and the development of four potential first round picks in the upcoming 2011 NHL Entry Draft: Jonathan Huberdeau (top five), Nathan Beaulieu (top 15), Zack Phillips and Tomas Jurco.
Saint John racked up an insane 58-7-3 record in the regular season and lost just three of 19 games on the way to capturing their first QMJHL Championship in franchise history. Notably, Galiev finished in the top five of postseason scoring, notching 27 points (10 G, 17 A). The team’s winning ways have continued in the Memorial Cup, as the Sea Dogs won their first two games of the tournament and earned a bye to the finals which are set to begin Sunday.
Several Russia media members have spoke with the Caps prospect over the past week. RMNB’s Igor Kleyner and Fedor Fedin offer the translations.