It’s a holiday showdown between two long time rivals today in Halifax as the Cape Breton Eagles visit the Halifax Mooseheads for a Good Friday matchup.
While the two teams share a province, they certainly have not shared a schedule in a recent times. The Eagles have had their last two games postponed out of an abundance of caution after a flu bug ripped through the team. For Halifax, it’s less than a 24 hour turnaround after taking on Charlottetown in a Thursday night game.
Halifax posted a dominant win over an injury riddled Eagles squad on March 25th, the last game Cape Breton played. The Mooseheads followed up that win with a strong showing on PEI, picking up a point in a 3-2 overtime loss to Charlottetown. But last night was a comedown for Halifax, a 6-2 defeat to Charlottetown in which the Mooseheads were outshot 45-15. The Mooseheads can sympathize with the Eagles issues- star forwards Elliot Desnoyers & Senna Peeters along with defenseman Cam Whynot and veteran Kyle Petten missed last night’s contest due to illness, and their status is unknown for today.
Coming into this afternoon the Eagles rank sixth in the Maritime Division with a record of 12-22-1 (7-10) on the road. Halifax is fourth in the Maritime Division with a mark of 13-16-8 (5-10-14 at home). The Mooseheads have won nine of 15 games between the two sides, while the Eagles have won five of seven in Halifax.
The Eagles will still be short handed this afternoon, expected to dress just 16 skaters, but with two returns to the lineup. The presence of Nathan Larose on the backend will be a welcome sight for the Eagles. Despite missing substantial time due to injury, Larose leads QMJHL defensemen with 17 goals- just two shy of the all-time Eagles record in a single season (19 by Jeremy Beaudry in 2013-14). 18 year old forward Logan Camp also is expected to return to the lineup for the first time since February 12th.
Halifax will have a decision to make in goal as last night both Alexis Gravel and Brady James saw game action. This season, Gravel has a record of 3-2 against Cape Breton while James has a 5-2 record against the Eagles. As always, the goaltenders will get substantial help in front from defenseman Justin Barron who scored in last night’s game. The first round draft pick of the Colorado Avalanche has logged significant ice time all season playing alongside Whynot.
Today’s game goes at 4 PM and will be broadcast on Eastlink Television. You can also hear all the action beginning with the pre-game show with Patrick McNeil at 3:30 PM on 1270 AM CJCB or online at www.cjcbradio.com