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Eagles Clinch Playoff Spot With Win Over Bathurst

NOTES FROM THE GAME
– Combined with a Saint John loss in Halifax, the Cape Breton Eagles clinched a playoff spot with a 3-1 victory over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

– After Bathurst’s Ty Higgins opened the scoring early in the second period, the Eagles countered with a trio of third period goals, the winning goal from Antoine Roy sandwiched by a pair of Cam Squires markers. Conor Shortall chipped in two assists in the win.

– After missing Wednesday’s game in Charlottetown with injury, Eagles defenseman Trevor Thurston returned to the lineup.

– Both goaltenders shone, as Nicolas Ruccia picked up the win with 28 saves on 29 shots while Bathurst’s Joshua Flemming stopped 40 of 42, in addition to an empty net goal.

– With the victory, the Eagles have now won seven consecutive home games.

Despite chances in the opening period, neither team was able to find the scoresheet. The Eagles were unable to score on a power play, and a would be Bathurst goal was waived off due to incidental goaltender interference. A potential Bathurst power play, a would have been high sticking call against Trevor Thurston, was also negated after a review.

Bathurst took the lead early in the second period, though, after a heavy blast from Ty Higgins in the right faceoff circle in the opening minute. The visitors held the lead going into period three.

Squires found the breakthrough early in the final frame. Ivan Ivan appeared to pass the puck to Samuel Johnson, with the puck instead bouncing off of Flemming’s pad. However, Squires was there for the rebound and it was a tie game.  Past the halfway part of the period, Antoine Roy, who scored the overtime winner on Saturday against Charlottetown, played the hero again, wiring a shot into the top corner over Flemming.

Minutes after killing a minor to Markas Samenas, Bathurst elected to lift Flemming for an extra attacker. The play did not pay off as Squires fired a high shot from the other side of centre ice to make it a 3-1 score for the Eagles.

Tomorrow night the Eagles play their final home game of the 2022-23 regular season as they host the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in the rematch!  Puck drop is at 7 PM. The Eagles will honour 20 year olds Ivan Ivan, Samuel Johnson, and Trevor Thurston prior to tomorrow’s game. Tickets can be purchased at https://bit.ly/3JuDtai. They are also available for purchase in person at the Centre 200 box office and by the phone during box office hours at 902-564-2200

THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1. Nicolas Ruccia (Cape Breton) 28 saves on 29 shots, 1 assist
2. Antoine Roy (Cape Breton) game winning goal, +1, 3 hits
3. Joshua Flemming (Acadie-Bathurst) 40 saves on 42 shots

Scratches For Cape Breton: Cameron Henderson, Julien Hébert

Scratches For Acadie-Bathurst: Dylan Andrews (injury, Mason Chitaroni  (injury), Alexandre Lallier  (injury), Blake Pilgrim-Edwards (injury), Jake Uberti (injury)

Final Shots On Goal: 43-29 in favour of Cape Breton

Cape Breton Power Play: 0/4

Acadie-Bathurst Power Play: 0/2

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