The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles had their chances but couldn’t finish in a 3-1 loss to the Charlottetown Islanders on Saturday night.
The Eagles carried the game early, and found the breakthrough past the halfway mark of the opening period. Brooklyn Kalmikov and Félix Lafrance found themselves on a 2 on 1. Nikita Alexandrov hustled to come back to break up the odd man rush, but Lafrance was still able to complete the pass to Kalmikov who put the puck over Matthew Welsh. The period would end with Cape Breton up 1-0.
Prior to the halfway mark of regulation the visitors found themselves in penalty trouble- with Leon Gawanke in the penalty box, Isiah Campbell was whistled to the sinbin 45 seconds into that minor. The Eagles were able to kill off the first penalty, but before the second penalty ended Lukas Cormier hammered home a shot from above the right circle to tie the game.
Cape Breton was outshooting Charlottetown 20-11 but it was still tied at the end of 40 minutes. In the final six minutes Charlottetown would find the go ahead goal. Daniel Hardie had the puck behind the net and found Kevin Gursoy alone in front of the goal and he was able to beat William Grimard for the go ahead marker.
With 2:39 remaining, Eagles coach Marc-André Dumont would lift Grimard for the extra attacker. They were unable to find the tying goal though, and with a little over a minute left, Thomas Casey skated the puck out of the Islander end and passed it to Jordan Maher who hit the empty net to secure the win for Charlottetown.
Welsh picked up the win in net, stopping 37 of 38 shots. Grimard took the loss, stopping 17 of 19 in addition to the empty netter.
The Screaming Eagles now head home for the first home games of 2019, against the same Charlottetown Islanders on Wednesday night. Puck drop is at 7 PM, and tickets can be purchased at the Centre 200 box office, by phone at 902-564-2200 or online at https://tickets.capebreton.ca/Online/default.asp
THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1. Matthew Welsh (Charlottetown) 37 saves on 38 saves
2. Kevin Gursoy (Charlottetown) game winning goal, +1
3. Declan Smith (Cape Breton) 11 for 19 faceoffs, 1 hit
Scratches For Cape Breton: Gabriel Proulx (upper body injury), Kevin Mandolese (upper body injury). Ian Smallwood, Liam Kidney
Scratches For Charlottetown: Drew Johnston
Final Shots On Goal: 38-20 in favour of Cape Breton