A pair of QMJHL teams in two very different playoff races will face off tonight at Centre 200 as the Screaming Eagles host the Saint John Sea Dogs. It’s the final regular season game of 2018-19 in Sydney.
Heading into tonight’s game the Eagles are one of four teams still in contention for the final home ice position in the QMJHL’s Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, Saint John is one of two teams vying for the final playoff spot as 15 other teams have already punched their ticket to the dance.
Saint John trails Shawinigan by a single point for the last playoff position, and they hold the tie breaker over the Cataractes, which is regulation & overtime wins (ROW). Saint John and Shawinigan, along with everyone in the league except Rimouski and Victoriaville, all have three games left on the schedule.
The race the Screaming Eagles find themselves in a bit more complicated. Currently the Eagles are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, with the top four teams earning home ice. Cape Breton is well positioned to move up with three games remaining against the two bottom teams in the league.
Heading into this evening’s game, Charlottetown leads the race for fourth with 83 points and 31 ROW. Trailing are Moncton (81/33), Cape Breton (80/32), and Chicoutimi (79/33). All four teams in the race are in action tonight. Charlottetown will host Bathurst, Moncton will visit Halifax, and Chicoutimi hosts Drummondville.
The Eagles have had the better of the Sea Dogs this season, winning seven of eight meetings between the two sides, including all three games at the Nest. In those three matchups the home side has outscored the New Brunswick club 23-7. Neither team has been in action since the weekend, when Saint John was thumped 6-1 at home by Halifax on Sunday while the Eagles were edged 3-1 at home by Charlottetown.
Tonight’s game goes at 7 PM, and 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