One of the fiercest rivalries will see its first instalment in the year 2019 as the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles host the Memorial Cup host Halifax Mooseheads at Centre 200 tonight.
Neither team waited for the weekend to play this week, with the Eagles topping Charlottetown 6-2 on Wednesday, while Halifax picked up a 5-4 win in Bathurst on Tuesday, and romped at home 7-1 over Shawinigan last night.
Halifax comes into tonight’s game in a tie atop the Eastern Conference and is 5-0-1 in their last six games. This season the Mooseheads are 29-8-3 (18-5 on the road). The Screaming Eagles are tied for fifth in the conference with a record of 24-14-3 (11-7-1 at home). Halifax has had success at Centre 200, winning all three meetings (including one in a shootout). In total the Mooseheads have won 5 of 7 meetings this year.
For the Eagles, a trio of three point performances carried the day in the win on Wednesday as Egor Sokolov, Mitchell Balmas, and Declan Smith all had three notches on the scoresheet. William Grimard picked up the win in his fourth straight start although starting goaltender Kevin Mandolese did dress as a backup after missing the prior two games due to injury. The Eagles elected to rest newly acquired Roddie Sandilands on Wednesday after lengthy travel to Cape Breton, but the former Cataractes captain should make his debut on the Screaming Eagles blueline tonight.
The Mooseheads were able to pick up victories this week over two teams at the bottom of the standings despite injuries on the backend to Walter Flower and New Jersey draft pick Jocktain Chainey. One familiar face has helped fill the void- former Eagle Alexis Sansfaçon who was acquired in a deadline deal by the Mooseheads from Bathurst. The team has been strong defensively when down a man all season, as Halifax’s penalty kill (89.4%) is tops in the QMJHL.
Up front Halifax captain Antoine Morand has led with offense in recent outings. The draft pick of the Anahiem Ducks has 11 points over a seven game point streak.
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!