The Cape Breton Eagles season came to an end on Friday night with a 3-2 defeat at Centre 200 to the Charlottetown Islanders. It was announced earlier on Friday afternoon that due to the delay in the opening of the Atlantic bubble and the additional amount of games that had already been played, this weekend would mark the final QMJHL action in 2020-21 for the Eagles and Halifax Mooseheads.
There were no goals in the opening period, but the scorekeeper was busy as the teams combined for 38 minutes (not including three ten minute misconducts.). Two of the misconducts were earned in a spirited scrap between the Eagles’ Mark Rumsey and the Islanders’ Sean Stewart. (Zach Welsh was given a ten later in the period for unsportsmanlike conduct.)
Despite all the power play time, the best opportunity of the opening period may have come short handed when Cape Breton’s Émile Hegarty-Aubin was denied on a breakaway by Colten Ellis. Hegarty-Aubin would factor into the game’s first goal though- but on the power play.
The Eagles saw a 5 on 4 power play become a 5 on 3 at the very end of the opening period when Noah Laaouan was sent off the ice. In the opening minute of the second period, Dawson Stairs wired a shot off the post and Hegarty-Aubin was there for the rebound and the Eagles took the first lead of the game.
The lead didn’t last long, as before the three minute mark Ben Boyd elected to keep on a two on one and ripped a shot over the returning William Grimard to knot the game at one. The Eagles would have an opportunity to regain the lead when Braeden Virtue was issued a five minute major and a game misconduct for interference.
However, in the first minute of the major, Jérémy Langlois was given two minutes for slashing. Charlottetown took advantage of the four on four and open ice, scoring twice 25 seconds apart. Thomas Casey gave the Islanders the lead when he converted on a feed from Cédric Desruisseaux, and then William Trudeau put one through Grimard’s legs to make it 3-1. Another Eagles minor penalty would kill the bulk of the Charlottetown major, and the period finished with a 3-1 score.
There wasn’t much in the way of quality scoring opportunity in the bulk of the third period for either side. In the final minutes of regulation, Eagles coach Jake Grimes elected to pull Grimard for an extra attacker. The Eagles held the puck in the Charlottetown zone for a full minute, applying pressure. The reward came as Liam Kidney pulled the Eagles within a goal with 40 seconds to play.
Grimard was put back in goal, and got to the bench again in the final 20 seconds for an extra attacker once more. This time the Eagles were unable to find the back of the net and Charlottetown held on for a 3-2 win.
Colten Ellis picked up in the win for Charlottetown, stopping 21 of 23 shots. Grimard took the loss, stopping 33 of 36 shots in his return from injury, having not played since March 20th.
The end of the season the marks the end of the QMJHL careers of the three Eagle 20 year olds- Defensemen Nathan Larose & Jarrett Baker along with forward Félix Paré. (Larose unfortunately missed the game with an upper body injury.). The Eagles organization would like to wish all three players the best of the luck in their post-QMJHL careers both off and on the ice.
Stay tuned to Cape Breton Eagles social media for all news regarding the team in the off-season. The Eagles would like to thank all of the great fans for their support during this very unique time period. Go Eagles Go!
THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1. Jarrett Baker (Cape Breton) 1 hit
2. Félix Paré (Cape Breton) 2 assists
3. Cédric Desruisseaux (Charlottetown) 1 assist, 7 shots
Scratches For Cape Breton: Nathan Larose (upper body injury), Jacob Santerre
Scratches For Charlottetown: Patrick Guay (suspension), Bailey Peach (suspension), Oscar Plandowski (suspension)
Final Shots On Goal: 36-23 in favour of Charlottetown
Cape Breton Power Play: 1/6
Charlottetown Power Play: 0/8