A well-rested Cape Breton Eagles club has crossed the Confederation Bridge for a showdown with the QMJHL leading Charlottetown Islanders today. It will be the first game for the Eagles since a loss in Halifax on April 2nd.
Charlottetown holds a record of 31-5-0 heading into today’s contest, playing 15-3-0 on home ice. The Islanders proved they were not invincible this week however, splitting a home and home with Halifax, which snapped a 15 game winning streak. (The Mooseheads were victorious in Charlottetown on Wednesday before the Islanders returned the favour in Halifax on Friday.). The Eagles will look to start fast as this season the Islanders are “just” 5-5-0 when they allow the first goal.
The Eagles are sixth in the Maritime Division (16th in the league) with a record of 12-23-1 (7-11-0 on the road). This season Charlottetown has won 11 of 13 meetings between the two clubs, including of five of six in Charlottetown.
While the Eagles have collected just one win in their last 12 games, the team has used time off to get healthy. Forwards Félix Paré and Matthew MacDonald, along with defensemen Jérémy Langlois and Logan Kelly-Murphy have made the trip to PEI and are all expected to play in this afternoon’s game. The layoff has been longest for Langlois- the 2019 first round draft pick of the Eagles hasn’t played since February 7th. He had nine points in 12 games prior to the injury, with the February 7th contest being his first career three point night.
The Eagles will likely dress 18 skaters without using affiliate players for just the third time in 2021- and the club is 2-0 under such circumstance this year, with wins in both Charlottetown & Halifax in February. However, star defenseman Nathan Larose and defenseman goaltender William Grimard remain unavailable (Truro’s goaltender Frederic Plourde will once again serve as backup.)
For Charlottetown, their offense continues to tear up the league with their top line of Cédric Desruisseaux, Thomas Casey, and Brett Budgell occupying the top three spots in the Q’s scoring race. Moves made to deepen the scoring punch have had the desired effect- Bailey Peach has scored five goals in his last eight games after scoring just once in his first 13 after coming over from Sherbrooke.
Today’s game goes at 3 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 2:30 PM on 1270 AM CJCB or online at www.cjcbradio.com