The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles begin a stretch of three games in three nights this evening, and make their first visit to La Belle Province tonight when they visit the Québec Remparts. This season the Remparts have a famous name behind the bench, as Hall of Famer Patrick Roy has returned as head coach. Roy previously served in that capacity with the Remparts from 2005-06 to 2012-13.
Currently Québec sits sixth in the Eastern Conference with a record of 4-3-1, with a record of 3-1 on home ice. They come into tonight’s game on a two game losing skid. The Eagles are looking to break a three game losing streak, and are currently tied for eighth in the Eastern Conference with a record of 3-5 (2-2 on the road).
Last season the two teams split the season series, with the road team winning both games. After falling to defeat in their first game at the Centre Vidéotron in the fall of 2015, the Eagles have won in both trips to Québec City.
Much of the experience in the Remparts team lies on the backend as the club is using all three 20 year old spots on defensemen- Sam Dunn, Benjamin Gagné, and Etienne Verrette. Verrette is expected to return to action tonight after missing two games, following a scary incident which saw the veteran blueliner temporarily lose vision after receiving a high stick to the eye.
The Remparts also possess an NHL signed goaltender, Dereck Baribeau (by Minnesota). Baribeau is part of an unconventional three goaltender rotation with Marc-Antoine Bérubé-Jalbert and Anthony Morrone.
Up front Philipp Kurashev (a draft pick of Chicago) and follow 19 year old Louis-Filip Côté are leading the offense for the Remparts. Kurashev has seven points in his last four games, and Côté was named to the QMJHL’s week three all-star team with eight points in his last three games.
For Cape Breton, the Eagles will hope to do a better job of converting chances as thus far this season they have outshot their opponents in all eight games. That does not include four hit posts in a 5-3 loss in Saint John on Tuesday. It’s been offense by committee for Marc-André Dumont’s group which ranks seventh in goals for in the QMJHL. The last nine Cape Breton goals have been scored by different players. One player counted on for offense is Mitchell Balmas, a 42 goal scorer last season, who had two points in Saint John earlier this week.
Tonight’s game begins at 8 PM, and you can catch all the action beginning with the pre-game show at 7:30 on 1270 CJCB (or online at cjcbradio.com) with Patrick McNeil. Go Eagles Go!