Screaming Eagles Set For Sunday Matinee In Baie-Comeau
It’s better late than never as the Screaming Eagles conclude a three game road swing with a game this afternoon against the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. The two clubs were supposed to play yesterday, but mother nature had other ideas. They defeated the Drakkar 5-2 seven days ago before heading out on the trip. This afternoon they’ll finish that trip in Baie-Comeau against the same Drakkar.
Since then the Screaming Eagles have picked up two victories to begin the road swing, pushing their record in 2018 to 4-0-1. Baie-Comeau concluded their road trip in the Maritimes with a 4-1 loss to Charlottetown, before posting a 3-0 victory over the Bathurst Titan last night.
On Friday night Francis Leclerc and Declan Smith were stars for their respective clubs. Leclerc, making his Baie-Comeau debut after being claimed on waivers from Blainville-Boisbriand, stopped 38 shots in the shutout. Many veteran QMJHL pundits expressed surprise that Leclerc was available for free, as thus far this season he has a record of 18-7 with a save percentage of 898 and a goals against average of 2.82.
Smith scored a natural hat trick in the Eagles victory in Chicoutimi. Smith has two hat tricks this season, as six of his twelve goals have come in the span of two games. The 19 year old forward has heated up his play as of late, with eight points in his last five contests.
Another offensive player to watch, in addition to Baie-Comeau’s Jordan Martel (11th in league scoring) is Luke Kirwan. The 20 year old came to the Drakkar during the trading period and has averaged a point a game through his last five contests.
The Drakkar’s scorers will be in for a challenge if Kyle Jessiman continues his recent play. The Eagles goaltender has started three consecutive games since the injury to Kevin Mandolese, and he has a save percentage of 946 in those three starts, winning all three. He’ll get an added physical presence in front of him this afternoon as Cape Breton defenseman Sacha Roy returns from a three game suspension.
Five points currently separate the Screaming Eagles and the Drakkar. Cape Breton is tied for 11th in the QMJHL with Sherbooke, as the Eagles hold a record of 20-18-4 (10-10-1 on the road). The Eagles could move into a tie for 10th in the league with a victory of Baie-Comeau and a Victoriaville regulation loss against Gatineau. Baie-Comeau is in 14th place, as the Drakkar’s record is 18-20-3 (10-7-1) at home.
Today’s contest goes at 2 PM Atlantic time. You can catch all the action beginning with the pre-game show on 1270 CJCB with Patrick McNeil. Go Eagles Go!