Two teams battling for home ice position in their respective conferences will be fighting for positioning in a Saturday afternoon matchup at Centre 200. The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles will look to push a winning streak to six games (and seven home games) as they host the Victoriaville Tigres. It’s the only visit of the season by the Tigres.
In the much stronger Eastern Conference, the Eagles are holding on to fourth place- the final home ice position- with hopes of moving up. The Eagles hold a record of 31-15-3 (16-7-1 at home). Cape Breton also clinched a playoff spot with Saint John’s loss on Thursday night. The Eagles have a game in hand on third place Rimouski, whom they trail by four points, and the Eagles have played one more game than Charlottetown, who trails by two points.
Victoriaville is tied for fourth in the Western Conference with a 19-28-3 record, and have struggled away from home with a record of 5-19-1. Earlier this season the Tigres topped the Eagles 5-4 in a shootout in Victoriaville. Today is the final meeting of the season between the clubs: Cape Breton has won three of the last four games at home against Victoriaville, with the one loss coming in overtime.
Just like Wednesday’s game against Blainville-Boisbriand, today’s game will see a matchup of brothers. Victoriaville’s leading scorer is 20 year old forward Simon Lafrance (48 points in 50 games), older brother of Félix Lafrance. Barring a playoff showdown, it’ll be the final time the two brothers face off in the QMJHL.
Victoriaville has been led by overages this year, as on the backend Dominic Cormier is one of the elite offensive defensemen with 32 points in 49 games (and eight points in his last five). Cormier ranks 11th among QMJHL defensemen in points- while Cape Breton’s Leon Gawanke ranks sixth with 38 points in 43 matches.
One 20 year old on the Screaming Eagles has been producing plenty of points in his own right, as Mitchell Balmas scored a hat trick on Wednesday to lead his team to a 5-1 win over Sherbrooke. Balmas’s 59 points puts him in a tie for 16th overall in league scoring.
Today’s game goes at 4 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!