Tonight the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles make their first ever trip to the new Avenir Centre, and will face off against a team that is their mirror image at this early point of the season.
Since the QMJHL’s arrival in the Maritimes 25 years ago, the Moncton Wildcats are the first Maritime team to move into a new home arena. The Cats opened their new arena with a 5-2 victory over Saint John on Friday night, before falling to Halifax on Sunday afternoon. At this point in the young season, the Eagles and Cats hold identical records: both win two wins and two losses, both with 1-1 records at home and away, and both with road wins in Bathurst and home losses to Halifax.
Last season the Screaming Eagles won six of nine meetings against the Wildcats. In total Cape Breton was 28-53-5 all time at the Coliseum, although the Eagles are 8-9-1 in Moncton in the last five years. There’s been a surprising amount of blowouts between the two teams in New Brunswick as of late: eight of the last nine Screaming Eagles/Wildcats games in Moncton have been decided by three goals or more.
The Eagles come into tonight’s game off a 3-1 victory over the Charlottetown Islanders Saturday night, a game that saw the Eagles get goals from Mathias Laferrière, Egor Sokolov, and Brooklyn Kalmikov. Laferrière’s two point effort gave him a total of eight points on the season, which puts him in a tie for second in the scoring race behind Baie-Comeau’s Ivan Chekhovich.
For Moncton 19 year old forward Jeremy McKenna has started the season strong, with seven points in four outings. It’s a continuation from last season where the PEI native scored 36 goals. Elliot Desnoyers, the final pick of the first round of the 2018 draft, has been impressive for the Wildcats in the early going with two goals in his first four QMJHL games. Moncton will be without 20 year old forward Brady Pataki, who was given a one game suspension for a high stick in Sunday’s loss to Halifax.
Game time tonight is 7 PM, and you can catch all the action on 1270 CJCB AM, or online at cjcbradio.com. Go Eagles Go!