There was a sense of deja vu in Bathurst on Saturday night as the Titan topped the Screaming Eagles 6-3 for a second straight night. And for the second time in as many nights, Dawson Thede would seal the deal with an empty netter.
One change from Friday night would see Cape Breton score the opening goal. At the 9:17 mark Ryan Francis would convert a short pass from Drake Batherson to put the Eagles ahead 1-0. But the home team would tie things up before the break, as German Rubtsov would set up Jordan Maher on the doorstep and the clubs were tied at the intermission. Opportunities were limited on each side of the ice, as Bathurst outshot Cape Breton 8-6.
Things would pick up in the second period, and the power play featured prominently. It began as Samuel L’Italien put the home team ahead on the man advantage at the 3:25 mark. Jeffrey Viel would add to the lead less than a minute later, putting it by Kyle Jessiman after being left alone in front of the goal.
Next it would be the Screaming Eagles lighting the lamp on the power play, taking nearly the full two minutes but finding success when Phélix Martineau snapped a shot by Joseph Murdaca who was making his QMJHL debut. The Eagles would score again on the power play, but not before Antoine Morand would collect a puck that bounced off Jessiman to give Bathurst a 4-2 lead. Ross MacDougall’s power play goal would be a shot fired through traffic to make it 4-3 after forty minutes.
Chances would be limited again in the final period, with the Titan outshooting the Eagles 8-5, and it would be more than halfway through the period when the next breakthrough came, as Bathurst’s top line would come through again. Rubtsov finished a three way passing play and made it a 5-3 game.
Late in the period Cape Breton would get a big opportunity as Bathurst was caught with too many men on the ice in the final four minutes. Marc-André Dumont would elect to lift Jessiman for an extra attacker and a 6 on 4 advantage. The Eagles could get no closer, though, and when the power play ended but the net was still empty, Thede would conclude the scoring on the night.
Murdaca picked up the victory, stopping 18 of 21 shots. Jessiman allowed five goals on 29 shots in taking the loss.
It’s back to the road for the Screaming Eagles on Wednesday as they visit the Charlottetown Islanders. Puck drop is 7 PM, and you can catch all the action starting with the pre-game show with Patrick McNeil at 6:30 on 1270 AM CJCB or online at http://www.cjcbradio.com.
THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1. Antoine Morand (Bathurst) 1 goal, 2 assists, +3
2. German Rubtsov (Bathurst) 1 goal, 1 assist, +2
3. Jordan Maher (Bathurst) 1 goal, 1 assist, +2
Scratches For Cape Breton: Kyle McGrath (broken collarbone), Noah Laaouan (Under 17s), Brooklyn Kalmikov
Scratches For Bathurst: Olivier Desroches, Louis-Philip Fortin (injury), Dominik Tmej, Nicholas Pryce, Marc-André LeCouffe
Final Shots On Goal: 30-21 in favour of Bathurst
Cape Breton Power Play: 2/4
Bathurst Power Play: 1/3