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The Saint John Sea Dogs were eliminated from the QMJHL playoffs on April 7, 2023. Image: Submitted/Saint John Sea Dogs

Sea Dogs looks for improvements, guidance for second leg of season

By Regis Phillips Jan 2, 2024 | 11:37 AM

The Saint John Sea Dogs look to improve in the second half of the season, according to the team’s head coach.

“Right now our goal is to be the more improved team in the league, build it back up to a championship run in the future, and try to improve on our results from last year,” said Travis Crickard.

At the end of 2023, the team was last in the Maritimes Division and second last in the Eastern Conference ahead of the Quebec Remparts.

“It’s been a slow start, but we made some changes on how we play and operate, and as a result, the players have done an admirable job adjusting to those changes,” Crickard added.

“Since then, it’s been much better where way more competitive in games against all opponents whether they’re at the top or bottom of the league.”

Crickard also says he looks for guidance from assistant coach Mark Lee with his pro hockey experience.

After playing professional hockey for almost two decades for leagues such as the American Hockey League, East Coast Hockey League and the Finnish Elite League, the Newfoundland native began coaching the East Coast Blizzard in the Newfoundland Under-18 Major Hockey League for three seasons before joining the Sea Dogs coaching staff in 2022.

“Whenever I’m trying to think about what a player might be thinking or how they might adjust to my style of coaching, I often rely on him to give me an idea of what a player might be thinking or how they might preside my coaching,” Crickard continued.

“He’s far less removed from being in a player’s shoes than I am, so anything I’m thinking about is through a coaching lens or my experience as an assistant coach in the CHL going through rebuilding teams and winning teams.”

Saint John’s first home game of 2024 is this Thursday against the Charlottetown Islanders.