The Cape Breton Eagles won’t have to wait long to try to get payback on the Halifax Mooseheads as the teams tangle tonight at the Scotiabank Centre.
Last night it was the Mooseheads emerging victorious, 4-1 in Sydney. Tonight marks the 15th time this season the teams have played and the road team has a distinct advantage, with the each team only having won once at home. Halifax leads the season series 8-6, with the Eagles winning two of three meetings that have gone to overtime.
With last night’s victory Halifax moved ahead of Moncton on winning percentage for fourth in the Maritime Division while the Eagles are currently in sixth. Cape Breton is holding a record 12-21-1 (7-9-0 on the road) while Halifax is 12-15-7 (4-9-1 at home). Earlier this week it was announced that the Maritime Division playoffs will begin with a one game playoff between the sixth and fifth place teams, with the winner advancing to face the fourth place team in another one game playoff.
It was a busy night last night for the Eagles defensive quartet of Jarrett Baker, FJ Buteau, Zach Welsh, and Jacob Squires. With the Eagles already down to five defensemen, Nathan Larose was scratched just prior to game time and it’s likely all four blueliners played in excess of 25 minutes in Wednesday’s game. Rookie net minder Nicolas Ruccia is expected to get both starts, having allowed four goals on 29 shots in the first half of the doubleheader.
The Eagles are expected to have affiliate blueliners in the lineup to give their top four some relief tonight, but it’s not expected any of the three injured blueliners (Larose, Logan Kelly-Murphy, Jérémy Langlois will be back.). Recalled forward Kian Bell and backup net minder Noah Harvey will remain with the club for tonight.
The Eagles were able to hold off Halifax’s big pair of Zachary L’Heureux and Elliot Desnoyers but the Mooseheads proved they have depth in scoring as ten other players hit the scoresheet. Zack Jones and Liam Peyton helped to pace the attack with two assists each.
The lone Cape Breton goal last night came on the man advantage, breaking a long drought on the power play with the team’s first power play marker in four games. Halifax will look to be more disciplined this evening after giving the Eagles six power plays last night, including multiple 5 on 3s.
Tonight’s game goes at 7 PM and will be broadcast on Eastlink Television. You can also hear all the action beginning with the pre-game show with Patrick McNeil at 6:30 PM on 1270 AM CJCB or online at www.cjcbradio.com