SYDNEY- The Screaming Eagles struck the first blow in a weekend series with the Charlottetown Islanders, thwarting a rally en route to a 4-3 overtime victory.
Charlottetown had more of the chances in the first period but it was the home side taking a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. The Islanders failed to take the lead when Pascal Aquin fanned on a chance in front of an open goal.
Special teams would begin to be a factor in the opening 20 minutes as Charlottetown failed to score on their first period power play, but Cape Breton would convert on theirs. The Eagles were able to keep the puck in the Islanders end for almost a full 90 seconds before Isiah Campbell tipped a puck past Matthew Welsh.
It would be another tip that would double the lead for the Screaming Eagles. The play started when Ty Fournier flipped a cross ice pass to Sacha Roy at the top of the left faceoff circle, who fired a shot on goal that would be redirected by Peyton Hoyt past Welsh and the Eagles left the opening period up 2-0.
The Eagles penalty kill would be put to work in the second period, beginning with a 31 second five on three in the early going. Cape Breton was able to dodge the bullet but the penalty kill was sent back to work when Fournier sent off for a check from behind on Nathaniel Doyon. Fournier would be challenged and would trade blows with Hunter Drew. Doyon would be helped off the ice but would return to action later, while Fournier was given a game misconduct.
In total Charlottetown would fire 25 shots on the Cape Breton goal in the second period. Kevin Mandolese would deliver several quality saves for the Eagles, being beaten only a strange hop bounce on a shot by Sam King. Mandolese’s best save of the period may have also come against King, denying the speeding Islanders forward on a breakaway. It was 2-1 for Cape Breton after 40 minutes.
Just past the six minute mark Mathias Laferrière would pad the Eagle lead with a nifty effort coming off the boards. The Cape Breton forward would cut into the front of the net and rip the puck past Welsh.
Past the halfway mark of the third stanza the Islanders would begin the comeback as Nikita Alexandrov and Daniel Hardie set up in front of the goal, with Hardie finishing the passing play to make it a one goal game. With less than five minutes to play it was a tie contest due to an individual effort from Pascal Aquin, who like Laferrière before him would peel off the boards and score from the slot.
Overtime was a cautious affair to begin with both teams cautiously changing and moving the puck. The goal would come at the 3:24 mark as Ross MacDougall spun to create a space, hit Peyton Hoyt with a pass and the Eagles forward slipped it by Welsh to secure a second point in the standings for the home team.
Mandolese picked up the win in goal, stopping 44 of 47 shots. Welsh took the loss in allowing four goals on 28 shots.
The two teams will do it all again tomorrow night at Centre 200. Puck drop is 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
DAIRY QUEEN THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1. Peyton Hoyt (Cape Breton) 2 goals, 3 shots
2. Kevin Mandolese (Cape Breton) 44 saves on 47 shots
3. Pascal Aquin (Charlottetown) 1 goal, 6 shots
Scratches For Cape Breton: Tyler Hylland (upper body injury), Brooklyn Kalmikov (flu), Ian Smallwood
Scratches For Charlottetown: Noah Massie, Cayse Ton
Final Shots On Goal: 47-28 in favour of Charlottetown
Cape Breton Power Play: 2/4
Charlottetown Power Play: 0/6