The QMJHL’s 50th anniversary tour comes to Centre 200 tonight on the backend of a home and home and a pivotal matchup in the Eastern Conference standings as the Screaming Eagles host the Moncton Wildcats.
It’s a return matchup from Wednesday night’s contest, which saw the Eagles rally from down 3-0 before a late goal gave the Wildcats the victory. Despite the game being less than 48 hours ago, the logjam in the Eastern Conference is as such the standings have changed substantially since that meeting. Wednesday’s matchup was a battle for 3rd in the East, while tonight’s game would be a 3 vs. 6 matchup in the Eastern playoff tree.
Moncton is third in the Conference with a record of 26-14-5 (13-6-3 on the road). Cape Breton is tied for fifth at 26-15-3, with a home record of 13-7-1. The “gap” between third and sixth in the conference is just two points, and the Eagles hold a game in hand on the Wildcats. This season the Eagles have won three of five meetings, splitting the two at Centre 200 (winning in a shootout back on December 28th).
Jakob Pelletier opened the scoring on Wednesday night, and was first star in the Wildcats victory. Another key cog in Moncton’s victory was netminder Francis Leclerc stopped 28 of 31 shots. For the Eagles, Brooklyn Kalmikov scored twice and Ryan Francis added two assists.
Both teams may be missing on the leadership front this evening, as a result of a mid-game scrap between captains Declan Smith of Cape Breton and Jonathan Aspirot of Moncton. The two men wearing the “C” both left the Wednesday’s game with injury and Aspirot did not make the trip to Sydney.
Tonight’s game will be part of the continuing 50th QMJHL anniversary tour, and will include a conversation with QMJHL commissioner Giles Courteau, Screaming Eagles majority owner Irwin Simon, and Screaming Eagles president Gerard Shaw, who was named team governor earlier this week. The conversation will begin at 5:30 in the main concourse and is free for anyone with a ticket to tonight’s game.
As part of the 50th anniversary tour, the President’s Cup and Memorial Cup will be both at Centre 200. This evening’s game goes at 7 PM. 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 Go Eagles Go!