The Screaming Eagles battled back on a pair of occasions on Wednesday night, but a point was taken in the last seconds in a gutwrenching 4-3 loss to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.
Cape Breton had to battle from behind early on as the visitors opened the scoring as Alexis Arsenault got a fortunate bounce off the boards to put Rouyn-Noranda ahead 1-0 before the five minute mark. The Huskies would find a more conventional goal at the 8:03 mark when Samuel Ianniciello collected a pass in front of the net, and then banged in his own rebound for his first career QMJHL goal.
There was some pushback from the home side before the first break, though, as Brooklyn Kalmikov ripped a high shot by Samuel Harvey to put the Eagles on the board. The period would finish 2-1, but not before the scoresheet would fill up with penalties in the final two minutes.
It began with a physical sequence with the teams trading hits, and Zachary Ouellet would take exception to a hit thrown by Cape Breton’s Peyton Hoyt, and those two would drop the gloves. Ouellet would be sent off for slashing in the first power play of the night for either team.
But the Eagles wouldn’t finish the period on the power play, as Phélix Martineau was sent off for high sticking. This would lead to a 5 on 3 early in the middle stanza for the visitors when Gabriel Proulx was sent off for delay of game, but Cape Breton was able to kill it off.
The Eagles would get their own big power play opportunity when Félix Bibeau was given a double minor for high sticking. There was no power play goal to be found but not less than a minute after the penalty elapsed, Hoyt would tie the game at even strength, getting a rebound on an Egor Sokolov shot and the two teams would finish the period knotted at two. However, there would once again be fireworks in the late stages of a period as Declan Smith of the Screaming Eagles and Taylor Ford of the Huskies would be sent off for fighting.
In the third period there would be another double minor for high sticking, this time to Sokolov. Cape Breton was able to hold off the Huskies power play in the early going, but Rafaël Harvey-Pinard would score on a one timer in the final minute of the penalty to put the visitors ahead.
Once again Peyton Hoyt would get his club a tying goal, with a highlight reel effort at the with under six minutes to play. It was the first two goal game of his career. It appeared as though both teams would earn a point but the direction of the game would change in the final two seconds.
With time ticking down, Martineau tried to kill the clock by pushing the puck along the boards. However, Rouyn-Noranda would win the puck along the boards and Jacob Neveu fired the puck from the blueline and it found its way through and past Kyle Jessiman with under two seconds to play.
Harvey would pick up the win in goal, stopping 30 of 33 shots. Jessiman would turn aside turn 25 of 29 shots in the loss.
Cape Breton now heads out on a one game road trip to Moncton on Friday night to play the Wildcats. You can catch all the action starting with the pre-game show with Patrick McNeil at 6:30 on 1270 AM CJCB or online at http://www.cjcbradio.com.
DAIRY QUEEN THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1. Peyton Hoyt (Cape Breton) 2 goals, +2
2. Gabriel Proulx (Cape Breton) 3 assists, 3 shots
3. Rafaël Harvey-Pinard (Rouyn-Noranda) 1 goal, 2 assists, 4 shots
Scratches For Cape Breton: Sacha Roy (suspension), Drake Batherson (hand injury), Ross MacDougall (lower body injury), Noah Laaouan (lower body injury)
Scratches For Rouyn-Noranda: Zachary Lauzon (injury), Alex Beaucage (injury), Lane Cormier (injury), Kyle Ward (suspension), Lane Cormier (injury), Tommy Beaudoin,
Final Shots On Goal: 33-29 in favour of Cape Breton
Cape Breton Power Play: 0/4
Rouyn-Noranda Power Play: 1/5