Wednesday, July 27, 2011

SAINT JOHN, NB – Due to the unprecedented success and national attention attracted by their MasterCard Memorial Cup championship, the Saint John Sea Dogs are planning two separate gameday events to celebrate.

The Sea Dogs open the 2011-12 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season at home on Sept. 8 against the Moncton Wildcats at Harbour Station. This festive Championship Celebration Night will feature the Memorial Cup at centre ice for a pre-game ceremony alongside the QMJHL President’s Cup. Saint John fans will be treated to a special video presentation highlighting the championship season, and will have a final opportunity to have photos taken with the cups before they are returned to the league offices.

Five core members of the Sea Dogs were selected in the recent NHL Entry Draft and as many as 15 players eligible to return from last year’s team are expected to miss opening night due to opportunities to attend NHL training camps. For that reason, the organization has decided to schedule the raising of the championship banners for the Oct. 29 game against the Chicoutimi Sagueneens.

The later date will allow returning Sea Dogs players, as well as defenseman Gabriel Bourret, now with the Sagueneens, to be honoured for their hard work by watching the banners rise to the Harbour Station rafters. Banner-Raising Night will also feature a ring presentation ceremony as the champions receive their commemorative championship rings.

“This was a difficult decision but it’s the price of success,” said Sea Dogs President Wayne Long. “To have this many returning players attract the interest of NHL teams is unheard of. We felt we owed it to our players, and owed it to our fans, to delay the banner raising until the core of that championship team is back to enjoy it.”

The Sea Dogs are set to begin training camp on Aug. 17, with their first home exhibition game scheduled for Aug. 20 against the Wildcats. The Dogs will welcome the Prince Edward Island Rocket to the qplex on Aug. 27 before returning to Harbour Station to face the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Aug. 31. Pre-season tickets went on sale to season-ticket holders Monday and will be available to the general public beginning Aug. 2.

Good seats are still available for traditional season tickets, and the Sea Dogs are once again offering flex packs, which consist of 34 pre-paid ticket vouchers that can be used anytime, in any combination.

Benefits for season-ticket and flex-pack holders include a game-day draw valued at $50 per game, five complimentary tickets valued at $85, and a 10 per cent discount on Sea Dogs merchandise. Holders also receive priority access to playoff tickets, use of the season-ticket holder entrance and an invitation to two exclusive events with the team: a meet-and-greet barbecue and a winter skate. Packages range from $301 for youth upper bowl tickets to $493 for adult lower bowl.

For further information, contact the Sea Dogs office at 657-DOGS (3647).

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