The QMJHL playoffs will not begin for another two weeks, but the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles are getting a taste of a playoff type schedule. Both this weekend and next the Screaming Eagles will play back to back games against a divisional opponent at the Nest, and tonight it’s the Charlottetown Islanders visiting Centre 200.
It’s the second of a three game home stand for the Screaming Eagles, a stretch that kicked off with a 4-2 victory over the Moncton Wildcats on Wednesday. Kyle Jessiman was the first star of the game as he turned aside 28 of 30 shots and Declan Smith helped pace the attack with two assists.
With the victory the Eagles were able to stay in 12th place in the QMJHL standings, two points ahead of Baie-Comeau. Thus far Cape Breton has posted a record of 29-27-7, with a 15-10-5 record at home. Charlottetown finds itself in ninth place, but with hopes of earning home ice fading, six points back of Rouyn-Noranda. The Islanders are looking to hold off Sherbrooke, who is one point behind in the standings, and Gatineau who is three points back. Charlottetown’s record is 34-23-6, with a 16-13-2 mark on the road.
Thus far the season series has been back and forth, with the Eagles winning four of seven meetings, including two of three in Sydney. Despite the close nature of the rivalry only one of the seven games has been decided by one goal- Cape Breton’s 2-1 win in Charlottetown on January 27th, which was the last time the two teams played.
Charlottetown made multiple significant additions during the holiday trading period and tonight will mark their first appearances as Islanders at Centre 200. Two of the Isles’ leading point getters are mid-season acquisitions with Sydney native Derek Gentile collecting 56 points in 62 games. Daniel Hardie, who was acquired from Saint John, has 50 points in 63 games.
Cape Breton’s Phélix Martineau is the leading point getter among the two clubs, with 59 points in 63 contests. In recent games Mathias Laferrière has added to the Eagles attack with six points in his last four games.
Tonight’s game is the third annual Bullying Awareness Night at Centre 200, with the prior two meetings also being against Charlottetown. The focus of theme is on SPIRIT, which stands for Students Practicing and Inspiring Respect, Inclusiveness and Thoughtfulness. Fifteen middle schools in CBVRSB have been invited to participate, as well as Munro Academy, Ecole Etoile de L’Acadie as well as schools in Membertou and Eskasoni.
Puck drop is at 7 PM. Go Eagles Go!