A first period hat trick from Egor Sokolov was the difference on Saturday night as the Cape Breton Eagles held on for a 5-4 win over the Victoriaville Tigres.
Sokolov wasted no time- just 34 seconds in fact- getting the scoring started for the Eagles. The game wasn’t even five minutes old when Shaun Miller doubled the lead on a wrap around goal.
The rest of the period was all Sokolov’s. 86 seconds after the Miller goal, Sokolov zapped a shot through the legs of Tristan Côté-Cazenave. Before period’s end he converted a feed from Félix Lafrance, who was playing on the top line in place of Shawn Boudrias, and it was 4-0 for the Eagles after the opening period.
The second period would be less eventful, but did feature two goals than less three minutes apart in the final seven minutes. It was teddy bear toss tonight in Victoriaville, and Mikhail Abramov triggered the toss with a wrap around goal to break William Grimard’s shutout. Nathan Larose countered with a power play marker from the top of the left circle before period’s end and it was 5-1 going into the final period.
Abramov ripped another shot past William Grimard in the early stages of the third period which would prove to be very eventful. Just over a minute later, on the man advantage, Conor Frenette converted a nifty backhand feed from Olivier Mathieu to cut the lead to 5-3.
Victoriaville would have multiple other power play chances to bring the game closer in the third period, with the best opportunity coming from Mathieu who was absolutely robbed by Grimard in one of multiple highlight reel saves the Eagles goaltender made in the third period. There was an extensive review but it was ruled no goal.
With a little more than eight minutes to go, Yan-Cédric Gaudreault closed the gap to one with a shot from the left face-off circle. Shortly after the teams would play four on four but the score did not change. The Tigres had a big opportunity to tie the game with Larose in the penalty box but the Eagles killed the penalty off.
With more than a minute remaining, Côté-Cazenave was lifted for an extra attacker. However the Eagles were able to keep the pressure off and he had to return to the net multiple times as the Eagles cleared the zone. In the end Cape Breton was able to hang on for a 5-4 victory.
Grimard stopped 30 of 34 shots in the win while Côté-Cazenave allowed five goals on 25 shots in the loss.
The Eagles will now take the week off before heading back home to Centre 200. Next Saturday the Eagles will host the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. Puck drop is at 7 PM, and tickets can be purchased at the Centre 200 box office, by phone at 902-564-2200 or online at https://tickets.capebreton.ca/Online/default.asp
THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1. Mikhail Abramov (Victoriaville) 2 goals, 1 assist, +1
2. Egor Sokolov (Cape Breton) 3 goals
3. Derek Gentile (Cape Breton) 2 assists, 4 shots
Scratches For Cape Breton: Mathias Laferrière (illness), Adam McCormick (upper body injury), Shawn Boudrias (upper body injury), Kevin Mandolese (lower body injury),
Scratches For Victoriaville: Anthony Poulin (Suspension), Tyler Boivin (mono), Jérôme Gravel (suspension), Egor Serdyuk (lower body injury)
Final Shots On Goal: 34-25 in favour of Victoriaville
Cape Breton Power Play: 1/4
Victoriaville Power Play: 1/6