For the second straight game the Screaming Eagles will take on a Western Division opponent as the Gatineau Olympiques make their lone visit of the season to Centre 200 tonight. It’s the final game the Eagles will play on home ice before heading out on a four game road trip.
The Eagles will look to bounce back from a 5-1 loss on Thursday night to the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in Sydney. Declan Smith scored the goal for the Eagles, as for the first time this season Cape Breton forward Mathias Laferrière and Egor Sokolov were held pointless. Laferrière leads the Eagles with nine points thus far this season, tied with Gatineau’s Shawn Boudrias, who was drafted by the NHL’s Minnesota Wild this past June.
Gatineau is looking for a perfect swing through Maritimes, collecting victories in Bathurst (4-1) and Saint John (2-1 in overtime) thus far. In addition to Boudrias, Iaroslav Likhachev is expected to be a key component in the Gatineau offense this year. On the recently released NHL Central Scouting list of players to watch for the 2019 NHL draft, Likhachev was given a “B” grade as a potential second or third round draft pick. On the same list, Eagles forward Brooklyn Kalmikov and defenseman Noah Laaouan were both given “C” ratings (as potential fourth to sixth round selections).
Thus far in 2018-19 both the Eagles and Olympiques have played better on the road than at home. Cape Breton currently sits at 3-3, with a 1-2 record on home ice. Gatineau is 4-2, with a perfect 4-0 record on the road. Last year the two teams split two games, with the road team winning both games. Gatineau’s 6-3 win at Centre 200 last fall broke a four game regular season losing streak at the Nest for the Olympiques.
As part of celebrating Thanksgiving weekend, Centre 200 will host a free barbecue in front of the arena prior to tonight’s game, which begins at 7 PM. Tickets for tonight’s game 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 Go Eagles Go!