The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles will close their home portion of the first half of the QMJHL season looking to continue on a roll, as they host one of the famous names in hockey. The Patrick Roy coached Québec Remparts make their way to Centre 200 for their lone visit of the season on Teddy Bear Toss night at the Nest.
Coming into tonight’s game, the Screaming Eagles have a record of 8-0-1 in their last nine games. The Eagles are currently tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference with Rimouski. Moving up the strong Eastern Conference has been challenging, as Rimouski has also won eight of their last ten games, as has fourth place Charlottetown. The Eagles have a record of 18-11-2 , six points ahead of the eighth place Remparts (13-12-6).
This evening’s game is the second of two meetings of the two sides this year. Québec prevailed 6-2 on October 11th in Québec City. The Remparts have not been as strong on the road however where they hold a record of 6-7-3, while the Eagles have a record of 9-6 on the home.
Québec arrived in town last night to continue their Maritime trip after a loss in Charlottetown on Thursday, while the Eagles rallied for a 4-2 victory over the Bathurst Titan. The tying goal in that contest was scored by Ian Smallwood, who was moved up from the defense core partway through the game, and the winning goal sparked an emotional reaction after Declan Smith found the back of the net. It was Smith’s first game back in the lineup following the passing of his mother Rachel last Saturday morning.
Despite the situation occasionally keeping him out of the lineup, and from almost all practices, Smith was a key cog in the offense in the month of November with ten points in eight games before his two point showing last night. Mitchell Balmas, who has been a frequent linemate of Smith in recent games, has produced 17 points in his last 10 games although his nine game point run came to an end last night.
For the Remparts, Chicago Blackhawks draft pick Philipp Kurashev, who was named to Switzerland’s training camp roster for the upcoming World Juniors, has led the offense this season. He is currently 11th in league scoring and has 21 points in his last 14 games. At the other end of the ice, Dereck Baribeau (a signed prospect of the Minnesota Wild) hasn’t been slowed down by a mid-season injury: over his last four games, he has a save percentage of 914.
Roy makes a return to Centre 200 after a six year absence. The hall of fame goaltender previously coached Québec from 2005-06 to 2012-13, making the President’s Cup final and guiding his team to a Memorial Cup in his first year as Remparts coach.
Tonight also marks the annual Teddy Bear Toss game at Centre 200. This annual event is presented by Max 98.3 and plush toys collected will be distributed by the Salvation Army and Every Women’s Centre. Fans attending the game are encouraged to bring a teddy bear or plush toy to throw on the ice when the Screaming Eagles score their first goal.
In light of the sudden closure of Servicom, tonight the Screaming Eagles will be offering complimentary tickets to former Servicom employees. Those wishing to attend the game can bring their Servicom ID to the Centre 200 box office and will be provided a ticket, in addition to a ticket for any immediate family members residing in their household.
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!