This time the Eagles ended up on the wrong end of a 3-2 score in a loss to rival Charlottetown Islanders. It was the second meeting of the season for the two sides, and the Isles avenged a 3-2 overtime defeat earlier in the fall at Centre 200
The scoring began in the first period with a broken play in the Eagles zone as the puck ended up on the back of the Cape Breton net before it was in it. After it was freed from behind the goal, Charlottetown rookie Justin GillGill found himself in front and put the puck by William Grimard to open the scoring.
Before period’s end, both teams would exchange goals on the man advantage. The Eagles tied the game when Ivan Ivan scored from a sharp angle. Charlottetown goaltender Matt Welsh was down on the ice, having felt he was interfered with, but it was a check from an Islanders player that indirectly grounded the visiting goalkeeper and the game was tied.
Charlottetown’s go ahead power play goal came from a break of their own. Brett Budgell received a pass off the boards and wired the puck towards the Eagles goal. The puck bounced off the stick of Jarrett Baker, then off his glove, and by William Grimard. The visitors left the first period with a 2-1 lead.
There would be no shortage of talking points in the second period, but just the one goal. Having been injured opening night, Mathias Laferrière was making his return to the Eagles lineup and would hit the scoresheet in a big way. On a two on one with Félix Lafrance, Laferrière passed the puck, but Lafrance was denied by Welsh. However the rebound sat at the side of the goal and Laferrière put it over the goal line to tie the game.
The second period would feature some rough stuff as well. Likely taking exception to a first period hit on Keiran Gallant, Charlottetown’s Cole Edwards dropped the gloves with Cape Breton’s Liam Kidney. Though no major blows were landed Kidney would hit most of the shots.
The middle frame also saw the Islanders lose Nikita Alexandrov to an apparent lower body injury. After having trouble skating off the ice on his own, the Islanders forward would return for one shift but for no more.
It was a tie game heading into the third period, and with both teams having scored a power play goal already, special teams would once again play a big factor. Much to the dismay of himself and the Centre 200 fans, Shawn Boudrias was whistled for slashing at 12:48 in the third period and Charlottetown had a critical power play.
Things went from bad to worse for the Eagles as, in an attempt to clear the puck, Baker would fire the puck all the way down the ice but over the glass for a delay of game penalty. Charlottetown had a 1:34 5 on 3 advantage to work with.
Charlottetown would not need the full time. A shot by Gaetan Jobin through traffic put the visiting side ahead 3-2 with under six minutes to go. The Islanders couldn’t score on the second portion of the power play but it was now the Eagles needing a tying goal.
There would be a major opportunity to tie the game in the final three minutes. Brooklyn Kalmikov jetted up the left wing, with no space between him and the goaltender. After he was taken down he would be awarded a penalty shot. Unfortunately for the Eagles forward, he was denied by Welsh.
With 70 seconds to play, the Eagles pulled William Grimard for an extra attacker. There was no tying goal to be found however, and Charlottetown skated away with a 3-2 victory.
Prior to the Eagles game the Eagles honoured defenseman Adam McCormick, who was playing his 200th game with the team.
Sydney Rush goaltender Jack Cashen served as Eagles backup as Kevin Mandolese continues to rehab from a lower body injury.
The Eagles are back on home ice tomorrow afternoon as the Drummondville Voltigeurs make their only appearance of the season at Centre 200. Puck drop is at 4 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. Mathias Laferrière (Cape Breton) 1 goal, 6 shots
2. Matthew Welsh (Charlottetown) 35 saves on 37 shots
3. Adam McCormick (Cape Breton) 2 shots, 2 hits
Scratches For Cape Breton: Kevin Mandolese (lower body injury), Matthew Lint, Jeremy Langlois (World Under 17s), Cole Fraser (upper body injury)
Scratches For Charlottetown: Lukas Cormier (lower body injury), Oscar Plandowski (World Under 17s), Thomas Casey (injury), Cédric Desruisseaux (upper body injury), Jacob Goodie (World Under 17s), Xavier Bernard (injury)
Final Shots On Goal: 37-26 in favour of Cape Breton
Cape Breton Power Play: 1/4
Charlottetown Power Play: 2/5