Eagles Open Road Trip With Visit To The Remparts
The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles are set to kick off a gruelling three game in three nights road trip as they visit the league’s biggest and newest arena, the Centre Vidéotron, to visit the Québec Remparts. The two clubs will only play each other twice this season, but those meetings will come six days apart with the return match next Wednesday night in Sydney. The Eagles have split their two prior games in the Remparts’ new barn, losing in their first trip in 2015-16 but winning there last season.
Québec comes into the game in ninth place in the QMJHL, with a record of 22-14-5 and 14-4-3 at home. Cape Breton is in 12th spot, at 18-18-4, playing 8-10-1 on the road. The Eagles are looking to build off a strong home stand to open 2018 that saw the club earn five of a possible six points.
The Remparts were relatively busy during the trading period, making a series of deals including a move to pick up Philadelphia Flyers prospect Pascal Laberge. Québec sent out a Cape Bretoner in Derek Gentile, in the process of adding a pair of Charlottetown Islanders forwards in Matthew Grouchy and Gregor MacLeod. 20 year old netminder Antoine Samuel, along with his sparkling 924 save percentage, was acquired from Baie-Comeau by the Remparts over the holiday season.
Cape Breton also made moves during the trading period and received some production from the new faces in Sunday’s 5-2 over Baie-Comeau. Both Kyle Havlena and Shaun Miller were among the three star selections and Isiah Campbell scored a key insurance goall.
One player who has never been traded in his QMJHL career is the longest serving Screaming Eagle, captain Phélix Martineau. He’s the only regular player left off the Screaming Eagles 2015 playoff series between Cape Breton and Québec. (Cape Breton’s Declan Smith played one game in the series as an affiliate player. On the Québec side, current Rempart Jesse Sutton was sparingly used in that series while and Olivier Garneau is the lone regular player left from that showdown.) Martineau has collected 41 points through 40 games and is heating up again with five points in his last three outings.
Leading the attack for the Remparts is Matthew Boucher, son of team head coach (and former NHL all-star game participant) Philippe Boucher. The younger Boucher, in his final year playing for his father, is sixth in league scoring. Philipp Kurashev has also contributed to the club’s offense, with seven points in his last four games, and was just ranked 75th for the upcoming NHL draft by TSN analyst Craig Button.
Unfortunately for Cape Breton, Ross MacDougall remains sidelined with a lower body injury. The overage blueliner began his QMJHL career with the Remparts- including playing in that 2015 playoff series against Cape Breton- but will not play in any more QMJHL games in Québec City unless the two sides meet in the post-season.
Tonight’s contest kicks off at 8 PM Atlantic Time. You can catch all the action beginning with the pre-game show at 7:30 on 1270 CJCB with Patrick McNeil. Go Eagles Go!