The QMJHL’s regular season comes to an end today. All 18 teams are in action, and the puck will first drop in Bathurst where the Screaming Eagles visit the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. While the Titan are eliminated from playoff contention, the Eagles are still fighting for the final home ice position in the QMJHL’s Eastern Conference.
Before this afternoon’s game, the Eagles hold a record of 39-22-6 with a road record of 19-12-2. Bathurst has a record of 8-53-6 with a home record of 1-28-4. The Titan will look to win tonight to avoid having sole possession of the QMJHL’s record for fewest home wins of all time- currently 2, held by the 1976-77 Shawinigan Dynamos.
Today’s game is game two of a two game set. After a pretty even first period last night, the Eagles dominated the Titan in the final 40 minutes to race to a 5-1 victory. Shaun Miller paced the attack for the Eagles with a goal and two assists.
With the Titan eliminated from playoff contention, today’s game will certainly be the final QMJHL game for 20 year olds Jesse Sutton and Mark Grametbauer. Sutton, a forward acquired from Quebec during the regular season, leads the Titan in scoring with 46 points in 65 games. Goaltender Grametbauer has preformed admirably under a heavy workload, facing the second most shots in the league over 50 games and still posting an 890 save percentage on the league’s worst team. He stole the show on November 3rd at Centre, stopping 53 of 55 shots in a win over the Eagles- the lone victory Bathurst has against Cape Breton this year. In total the Eagles have won six of seven meetings, including all three in New Brunswick.
Coming into today’s game Cape Breton is fifth in the Eastern Conference, and hoping to move up to fourth to earn home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Heading into today, Charlottetown, Cape Breton, Chicoutimi, and Moncton can all finish anywhere from fourth to seventh for the Screaming Eagles. Moncton hosts Saint John at 4 PM, Charlottetown will visit Halifax at 4:30, and Chicoutimi visits Quebec at 5 PM. Below are a list of playoff possibilities for the Screaming Eagles:
– The Eagles will finish fourth if A) Eagles win and Charlottetown loses, or B) Eagles lose in overtime/shootout AND Charlottetown loses in regulation AND both Moncton & Chicoutimi lose.
– The Eagles will finish fifth if A) Eagles win AND Charlottetown also wins, B) Eagles lose in overtime/shootout AND Charlottetown earns at least a point AND Moncton & Chicoutimi both lose C) Eagles lose in overtime/shootout AND Charlottetown loses in regulation AND only one of Moncton OR Chicoutimi wins, D) Eagles lose in regulation AND both Moncton & Chicoutimi also lose in regulation. If the Eagles finish fourth or fifth, they will play one of Charlottetown, Moncton, or Chicoutimi in the first round of the playoffs.
– The Eagles will finish sixth if A) Eagles lose in overtime/shootout AND Charlottetown earns at least one point AND only one of Moncton or Chicoutimi wins, B) Eagles lose in overtime/shootout AND Charlottetown loses in regulation AND both Moncton & Chicoutimi win, C) Eagles lose in regulation AND only one of Moncton or Chicoutimi earns a point. If the Eagles finish sixth, they will play Rimouski in the playoffs.
– The Eagles will finish seventh if A) the Eagles lose in overtime/shootout AND Charlottetown earns at least one point AND Moncton & Chicoutimi both win, b) the Eagles lose in regulation and both Moncton & Chicoutimi earn at least one point. If the Eagles finish seventh, they will play either Halifax or Baie-Comeau in the playoffs.
Today’s game goes at 3:00 PM, and you can catch all the action beginning with the pre-game show at 2:30 with Patrick McNeil on 1270 CJCB (or online at cjcbradio.com). Go Eagles Go!