The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles finished the regular season in the win column with a 4-2 victory over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. As a result of that game and the rest of Saturday’s QMJHL schedule, the Eagles have finished the regular season in fifth place in the Eastern Conference and will take on the Charlottetown Islanders in round one.
Cape Breton came out of the gates on fire, outshooting Bathurst 7-0 to open the first period. But it was the Titan who scored first, on a beautiful individual effort from Anderson MacDonald. MacDonald cut out of the corner to the front of the goal and lifted the puck over William Grimard and the Titan led 1-0.
While the Titan led late in the opening frame, it would be the Eagles that were ahead at the buzzer. Mathias Laferrière converted a pass from Mitchell Balmas in the final two minutes. Then, with less than five seconds to play, a loose puck came to Brooklyn Kalmikov and he fired it by Mark Grametbauer to put the visitors in front.
Both teams would add to their tally in the second period. While neither side had a power play in the middle stanza, there was two full minutes of four on four. Nathan Larose appeared to have pushed the Eagles edge to 3-1, but the goal was called back on an offside. However less than a minute later Larose took advantage of the open ice and fired the shot over Grametbauer’s shoulder. The Titan would counter, as Mathieu Desgagnés converted on a nifty individual effort to pull the home side to within one.
Bathurst may have had their best chances in the third period, but the Eagles still outshot the Titan 13-6. With over 3:30 remaining Bathurst coach Mario Durocher elected to lift Grametbauer for an extra attacker. A tying goal was not to be found and Leon Gawanke hit the empty net with over two minutes remaining to seal the deal for the Eagles.
Grimard picked up the win, stopping 14 of 16 shots. Grametbauer stopped 34 of 37 shots, in addition to the empty netter, in his final QMJHL game. (It was also the final game for fellow 20 year old Jesse Sutton of Bathurst.)
Charlottetown will have home ice advantage in the series against the Screaming Eagles, which is tentatively scheduled to start on Friday. Games 1 & 2 will be televised on Eastlink TV. All Screaming Eagles playoff games will also be broadcast on radio, and fans can hear all the action by tuning into 1270 CJCB AM or online at cjcbradio.com
Tickets for all Screaming Eagles playoff games 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. Mark Grametbauer (Acadie-Bathurst) 34 saves on 37 shots
2. Jesse Sutton (Acadie-Bathurst) 13 for 21 on faceoffs
3. Mitchell Balmas (Cape Breton) 1 assist, 7 shots
Scratches For Cape Breton: Declan Smith (upper body injury), Antoine Crête-Belzile (upper body injury), Adam McCormick (illness), Derek Gentile (illness)
Scratches For Acadie-Bathurst: Charles-André Cypihot (injury), Oliver Turan (injury), Mathieu Samson (injury),Tyriq Outen (injury), Kristin Kovacik
Cape Breton Power Play: 0/1
Acadie-Bathurst Power Play: 0/2
Final Shots On Goal: 38-16 in favour of Cape Breton