The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles finish a three game home stand tonight as they host the Shawinigan Cataractes. The Cataractes are making their only visit to Centre 200 of the season, and will be wearing one of the several throwback uniforms that they have designed for their 50th anniversary season.
Last night the Eagles shutout the Halifax Mooseheads 3-0, and in the process helped create a substantial logjam in the upper middle part of the Eastern Conference standings. Cape Breton is now in a four way tie for third in the conference, along with Rimouski, Moncton, and Charlottetown. Last night’s victory saw seven different Eagles players net points, including Shawn Boudrais’s first goal as an Eagle, and Kevin Mandolese stopped all 37 shots in his return to the lineup after missing four straight games due to injury.
Thus far the Eagles record this season is 25-14-3, with a home record of 12-7-1. Shawinigan has a record of 10-27-4, with a road record of 3-16-3. Under the QMJHL’s new playoff format the Cataractes are holding onto to the league’s last playoff spot, eighth (and last) in the Western Conference. However should the ninth place team in the Eastern Conference surpass them in the standings, the Cataractes would miss the playoffs. Currently Shawinigan is one point ahead of Saint John for the final playoff spot.
Tonight’s game is the second and final meeting between the two sides. On November 18th in Shawinigan, the Eagles shook off a tying goal from Mavrick Bourque (the third overall pick in June’s draft) with two seconds left in regulation, to record a 4-3 overtime win with the winning goal coming from Mitchell Balmas.
Bourque is one of the names to watch on this Shawinigan club, along with Eskasoni product Leon Denny who has 26 points in 39 games in his second year on the blueline. Slovenian forward Jan Drozg (Pittsburgh) is the lone NHL drafted player on the club, but he did not play in Shawinigan’s 7-1 loss in Halifax on Thursday night.
19 year old defenseman Roddie Sandilands made his Cape Breton debut last night, going +1 on the evenig After being acquired for a third round draft choice from Shawinigan, his second game in Eagles colours will come against his old club.
This evening’s game goes at 7 PM. 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 Go Eagles Go!