HALIFAX- A come from behind overtime victory has kept the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in the hunt to move further up the QMJHL standings into the final day of action. Massimo Carozza scored at the 37 second mark of overtime to give the Eagles a 3-2 win over their arch-rivals from Halifax.
It didn’t take long for the visitors to fall behind, though, as Ty Fournier took an obstruction penalty 2:14 into the contest. Just nine seconds into the man advantage Arnaud Durandeau jammed in a rebound at the side of the net. Halifax, wearing special green jerseys for St. Patrick’s Day, grabbed a 1-0 lead. The Eagles outshot the Mooseheads 13-8 in the opening twenty minutes, but the score held through the buzzer.
The traditional rivalry between the two teams would escalate in the middle frame after some big hits, and then a spirited fight between Cape Breton’s Peyton Hoyt and Joel Bishop. Bishop landed most of the early shots before Hoyt rallied for some big blows of his own, and would land a takedown. Then the attention turned back to hockey and both teams would find the back of the net before period’s end.
First it was the Halifax power play striking again, with Frédéric Aubé wiring a shot through traffic to double the lead for the home side. It looked like the Mooseheads would a carry a two goal advantage to the break but the Eagles would have their breakthrough on Alexis Gravel. Leon Gawanke would slip one at the side of the net through the five hole and Cape Breton was on the board, trailing 2-1 heading to the third period.
Coming up on the halfway mark of the period, Drake Batherson would find the tying goal. He wired a shot on Gravel that hit the goaltender’s glove and bounced over it, trickled past the goal line and tied the game at 2. But Cape Breton would have to buckle down before sending the game to overtime.
After an otherwise penalty free period, Ross MacDougall was sent off for the final 1:56 of regulation. The Mooseheads, who outshot the Eagles for the first time on the evening in the third period, would fire three attempts on goal during the power play but couldn’t find a way past Kyle Jessiman. The game would head to overtime.
With time still remaining in the MacDougall penalty, the overtime began 4 on 3 and quickly became 4 on 4 after the penalty expired. Shortly after coming out of the box the Cape Breton defenseman flipped a shot on Gravel for a faceoff, and the teams would revert to 3 on 3. The 3 on 3 would last for exactly four seconds.
Massimo Carozza took the draw for Cape Breton against Benoit-Olivier Groulx. After pushing the puck forward, Carozza would take the puck off Groulx and slip it through Gravel for the game winning goal. Following the winner Carozza and his Eagles teammates celebrated next to the glass in front of a large contingent of traveling Cape Breton fans.
Jessiman picked up the win for the Eagles, stopping 24 of 26 shots. In the loss Gravel turned aside 35 of 38 shots.
Tomorrow marks the final day of the regular season and the Eagles will conclude their calendar with a game in Moncton against the Wildcats. It’s a special 4 PM start time and you can hear all the action on 1270 AM CJCB or online at http://www.cjcbradio.com.
1. Massimo Carozza (Cape Breton) 1 goal, 1 assist, 4 shots, +2
2. Maxime Fortier (Halifax) 1 assist, 3 shots
3. Alexis Gravel (Halifax) 35 saves on 38 shots
Scratches For Cape Breton: Olivier Bourret, Logan O’Neil
Scratches For Halifax: Blade Mann-Dixon (injury), Caleb Rich, Barrett Dachyshyn, Otto Somppi (shoulder injury)
Final Shots On Goal: 38-26 in favour of Cape Breton
Cape Breton Power Play: 0/5
Halifax Power Play: 2/5