It was the Kyle & Kyle show for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles as they topped the Moncton Wildcats 4-3 in a wild game Friday night at the Moncton Coliseum. Kyle Jessiman stopped 51 Wildcats shots, and Kyle McGrath scored the first two goals of his career as the Eagles extended Moncton’s losing streak to six games.
Despite Moncton heavily outshooting Cape Breton in the early going, it would be the Screaming Eagles drawing first blood on a point shot from captain Phélix Martineau. However the Wildcats would tie it up on their second power play of the night, as Anderson MacDonald slammed home a one timer from the top of the faceoff circle to even the score.
Cape Breton would reclaim the lead on a power play of their own but not before an action packed sequence that would spell an early end to the night for multiple players between the two teams. The sequence started when Liam Dunda was given a five minute major, and a game misconduct for kneeing on Martineau. Eagles defenseman Sacha Roy, playing his first game after serving a four game suspension, came into avenge Martineau and would be given a two minute minor for instigating as well as a game misconduct for attempting to take off Dunda’s helmet. Martineau was injured on the play and also did not return. These absences were added to the departure of Mika Cyr of the Wildcats, who earlier in the period left the game with an apparent upper body injury.
After Roy’s minor elapsed, the Eagles were given a three minute power play which would turn into a 5 on 3 when Jacob Hudson was whistled for crosschecking. Cape Breton would take advantage when Ty Fournier would come in off the left boards, sweep through the crease and put the puck under Mark Grametbauer and the Eagles held a 2-1 lead after the first intermission.
Moncton didn’t waste time tying the game in the second period, as a pass from the corner from Julien Tessier to Jeremy McKenna would lead to a tying goal. But the rest of the scoring in the middle stanza would come from McGrath.
Just prior to the nine minute mark, with the Wildcats on the power play, McGrath would correctly read and intercept a drop pass to the blueline and raced in on a shorthanded breakway. Despite hearing footsteps from two Wildcat players, he would beat Grametbauer for the first goal of his QMJHL career to put the Eagles ahead. And then, with 46 seconds left in the middle frame, McGrath would net his second of the period to make it 4-2.
There would be more special teams in the third period when Adam Capannelli was sent off at the 5:25 mark. But the Eagles wouldn’t even get halfway through the power play before it was nullified when Adam McCormick would take a minor penalty of his own. Moncton couldn’t score on the man advantage, but not long after G Blackmore would cut the lead to 4-3.
The Wildcats would press and press but Jessiman came up time and time again with a big save. Darren Rumble lifted Grametbauer for an extra attacker with over two minutes left, but there was no tying goal to be found as the Screaming Eagles held on for a 4-3 victory.
Jessiman turned aside 51 of 54 Moncton shots in picking up the victory. Grametbauer allowed four goals on 23 shots.
The Screaming Eagles now head back to Centre 200 for a four game home stand that begins on Sunday when they take on the Vl-d’Or Foreurs. Puck drop is 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
THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1. Kyle Jessiman (Cape Breton) 51 saves on 54 shots
2. Kyle McGrath (Cape Breton) 2 goals, +2
3. Jeremy McKenna (Moncton) 1 goal, 10 shots
Scratches For Cape Breton: Ross MacDougall (lower body injury), Noah Laaounan (lower body injury), Drake Batherson (hand injury), Ryan Francis
Scratches For Moncton: Kyle Auger, Riley MacRae, Colton McKenna
Final Shots On Goal: 54-23 in favour of Moncton
Cape Breton Power Play: 1/5
Moncton Power Play: 1/5