The Cape Breton Eagles picked up their first victory of the 2020 QMJHL pre-season by a 7-4 score in Moncton on Sunday afternoon.
Shawn Element opened the scoring for the visitors early on, deking around Nicholas Sheehan and putting a backhand by the Moncton netminder. But before the halfway mark of the first frame, Moncton would take the lead. Mathis Cloutier scored on the game’s first power play from the side of the goal, and Jacob Hudson finished a pass from Jordan Spence to put the Wildcats ahead.
There was some rough stuff in the opening period, with the Eagles’ Logan Kelly-Murphy dropping the gloves with Hudson. Kelly-Murphy was given two minutes for charging as well while Hudson was assessed the instigator penalty.
Before period’s end, the Eagles would knot the score. François-James Buteau rung a shot off the post and Davis Cooper pushed home the rebound, sending the teams to the first break tied at two.
Red lights were blaring with great frequency in the early part of the second period- with four goals being scored in a span of less than two minutes before the five minute mark. Special teams would prove to be a key factor.
The Eagles earned an early power play, and while the Wildcats were able to kill it off they couldn’t clear the zone, and Cooper notched his second of the goal of the game. Then it was the Eagles turn to go to the penalty kill, but the offense didn’t stop- Element scored on his second breakaway of the day to push the Cape Breton lead to 4-2. Moncton did score on the power play though, with Yoan Loshing firing one home from the slot. The early barrage of goals concluded when Element came through on yet another breakaway- scoring a hat trick before the game’s halfway point.
The two clubs would trade goals again before period’s end. Connor Richard put the Wildcats within one, pushing the puck over the line in a goal mouth scramble. The Eagles countered with their first power play goal of the pre-season as Félix Lafrance tipped a point shot from Jarrett Baker.
There was a goaltending change prior to the third period, as Dakota Lund-Cornish came in in relief of Nicholas Sheehan in the Moncton net. Neither goaltender was beaten, but there was an insurance marker registered as Connor Trenholm hit the empty net to make the final score 7-4.
William Grimard picked up the win for the Eagles, stopping 42 of 46 shots. Sheehan took the loss, allowing six goals on 20 shots while Lund-Cornish stopped all nine in relief.
The Eagles will finish the pre-season with a pair of games against the Saint John Sea Dogs on Friday, September 18th (7 PM) and Saturday the 19th (1 PM).
Tickets can be purchased at the Centre 200 box office from Monday-Friday, 11AM to 4PM, and Saturday from 9AM to 11AM. Full details regarding ticket purchases and Covid-19 protocols for these games can be found on capebretoneagles.com. Both games will also be streamed live on the Cape Breton Eagles YouTube channel with Patrick McNeil providing the play by play.
Final Shots On Goal: 46-30 in favour of Moncton
Cape Breton Power Play: 1/4
Moncton Power Play: 2/4