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Squires Is The OT Hero As Eagles Top Cataractes

NOTES FROM THE GAME
– Cam Squires second goal of the night is the winner in the final minute of overtime as the Eagles topped Shawinigan 6-5 Saturday at Centre 200. It was a back and forth encounter in which neither team ever held a two goal lead.

– Tomas Lavoie & Samuel Johnson each collected a goal and an assist for the Eagles. Jacob Newcombe & Charles Boutin also scored in the win, while Zach Biggar chipped in three assists.

– Former Eagle goaltenders Rémi Delafontaine & Gio DiMattia made their returns to Centre 200 after moving to the Shawinigan Cataractes. Delafontaine took the loss in nets, stopping 27 of 33 shots while Cape Breton’s Nicolas Ruccia grabbed the win, stopping 19 of 24.

Much like the Friday night game against Moncton, goals came early as it was 3-2 before the end of the opening frame. Johnson started the party for the home side, cashing in on a rebound from an Olivier Houde shot.

Then the Cataractes would make hay with the man advantage. First Lorenzo Canonica tied the game in a six on five with a delayed penalty against the Eagles. The next time, Shawinigan actually went to the power play, and converted when Félix Lacerte ripped a shot through traffic.

The Eagles countered with two goals of their own before the first horn, generating offense from the blueline. First it was Newcombe getting a piece of a Thurston point shot to beat Delafontaine, and then with 68 seconds left in the first frame, Tomas Lavoie powered a heavy blast by the Shawinigan goalkeeper.

The scoring slowed but didn’t stop in the second period, as  Éli Baillargeon scored the first of his QMJHL career to knot the score at 3. Then special teams factored into two goals- on the same sequence, Thurston was given a minor penalty for checking from behind while Shawinigan’s Lou-Félix Denis was given a match penalty for high sticking.  Following the two minutes of four on four, Cataractes forward Alexis Bonefon deked around Ruccia, putting the puck off the post, where it subsequently bounced off the back of Ruccia’s skate and in the net for a short handed goal. However, the Eagles cashed in on the balance of the power play as Boutin lit the lamp to even the game again.

It was 4-4 heading into the third period, with Shawinigan on the power play as Squires was in the box. The Eagles were able to kill the minor off, and on his ensuing shift coming out of the penalty box, Squires wired the puck into the top corner to give the Eagles the lead. But as was the case all night, no team could hold a lead and Bonefon’s second of the game knotted the score. There was no scoring in the final eight minutes of the third period and the game headed to overtime.

Despite ten goals in regulation, the teams each registered just a single shot each in the first four minutes of the overtime period. But Squires was determined to give his team the edge, this time for good, and this time ripped the puck lower on the ice to vault the Eagles to victory.

The Eagles will now hit the road for a Maritime road trip, beginning Saturday, January 28th against the Halifax Mooseheads. Puck drop is 7 PM . The game will be broadcast on Eastlink Television, and is also available for purchase online at https://bit.ly/3XQfzMb. You can also hear all the action beginning with the pre-game show with Patrick McNeil at 6:30 PM on 1270 AM CJCB or online at www.cjcbradio.com

THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1. Zach Biggar (Cape Breton) 3 assists
2. Alexis Bonefon (Shawinigan) 2 goals
3. Tomas Lavoie (Cape Breton) 1 goal, 1 assist, 5 hits

Scratches For Cape Breton: Owen Arnold, Julien Hébert

Scratches For Shawinigan: Alexis Beaulac (injury), Antoine Coulombe (injury), Evan Courtois, Kody Dupuis

Final Shots On Goal: 33-24 in favour of Cape Breton

Cape Breton Power Play: 2/7

Shawinigan Power Play: 1/3

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