Bailey Webster, Saint John Sea Dogs have extra motivation

P.E.I. defenceman thinking of his former defence partner, Oliver Felixson, on eve of QMJHL final


Published on May 5, 2017

Saint John Sea Dogs defenceman Bailey Webster celebrates his first period goal against the Charlottetown Islanders Sunday at the Eastlink Centre.

©Jason Malloy/TC Media

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Bailey Webster and his Saint John Sea Dogs teammates have extra motivation to win the President Cup.

The Kelvin Grove, P.E.I., native’s defence partner, Oliver Felixson, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in March. He returned home to Finland to receive cancer treatments.

“I really want to win it, especially for him,” Webster said Thursday. “We use it as motivation.”

The Sea Dogs start the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League final with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada today in Saint John, N.B. Game time is 7 p.m.

Webster, the six-foot-three, 214-pound blue-liner, has played three seasons with the Sea Dogs. Teammates still with the squad from his rookie year include Summerside native Spencer Smallman, Nathan Noel, Mathieu Joseph, Thomas Chabot, Samuel Dove-McFalls, Jakub Zboril, Matthew Highmore, Bokondji Imama and Matthew Green.

“It’s nice when you know you’ve come all the way up with those guys. We’re a really close team,” said Webster, who turns 20 in September.

“We’ve been working hard towards this, putting in full seasons and countless hours of off-ice and on-ice (training) and it’ll be really exciting (to play in the) final,” he added. “We all wanted to get here, that’s why we’re on the team – we all love to win.”

After sweeping their opponents in the first two rounds of the playoffs, the Sea Dogs dropped two games to the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in the semifinal. It looked like the series might go seven games with the Sea Dogs trailing 5-3 with 15 minutes to go in Sunday’s Game 6. Saint John responded with three goals in about seven minutes to eliminate the Sagueneens.

“We went up to Chicoutimi with the mindset that it’s like a Game 7,” Webster said. “That's how we’re going to treat this series – play every game like it’s a Game 7.”

There are a couple of other Island connections with the Sea Dogs.

Charlottetown native Tyler Jay is an equipment manager with the team, and defenceman David Comeau played with the Charlottetown Islanders.

Smallman was born in Summerside and raised in Fredericton, N.B. He was a baby when his father, Stacy, helped the Summerside Western Capitals win the 1997 Royal Bank Cup Canadian junior A title.

Webster said the Sea Dogs have to play disciplined and stick to their game plan to have success against the Armada.

“It’s been a long week waiting for tomorrow night to come,” Jay added on Thursday. “It’s going to be an electric atmosphere here at Harbour Station. . .

“Blainville is a tough team, they’ve got a hot goalie, (so) it’s going to be fun.”

Playoff road map

A look at how the Saint John Sea Dogs and Blainville-Boisbriand Armada got to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League final.

Saint John

– Swept Rimouski 4-0 in opening round.

– Swept Val-d’Or 4-0 in quarter-final.

– Defeated Chicoutimi 4-2 in semifinal.

Blainville-Boisbriand

– Swept Drummondville 4-0 in opening round

– Defeated Acadie-Bathurst 4-3 in quarter-final.

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– Defeated Charlottetown 4-1 in semifinal.