April 6, 2017 - Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) - Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
CHARLOTTETOWN- The Screaming Eagles opened the scoring, but the Charlottetown Islanders struck the first blow in the first ever post-season battle of islands between rival clubs. Charlottetown skated to a 4-1 victory in game one at the Eastlink Centre.
Cape Breton weathered an early storm that saw two power plays for the home team, creating a brief five on three. The Islanders appeared to score on the man advantage but the goal was called back due to incidental goaltender interference. Charlottetown would later see another potential goal waved off as it was ruled the whistle was blown before the puck crossed the goal line.
Following the close calls the Eagles would take advantage as Giovanni Fiore opened the scoring at the 7:41 mark, converting a Drake Batherson feed from behind the net. The goal came at the 7:41 mark. Despite not earning any power plays in the opening twenty minutes and being outshot 21-6, the visitors led 1-0 at the break.
It wouldn't last long after play resumed, however. Just 1:24 into the middle stanza Daniel Sprong was hit with a breakaway pass and put the puck over Kevin Mandolese to tie the game at one. Mandolese was making just his second playoff appearance, after starting game two against Gatineau. He would turn aside the other 11 shots fired by Charlottetown in the period.
Before the second siren there was some controversy as with 5:10 remaining former Screaming Eagle Dillon Boucher would plaster Ross MacDougall with a massive hit in the corner. Initially there was no call on the play but as MacDougall struggled to his feet, a charging major was called against Boucher, to the dismay of the Eastlink Centre crowd. The Eagles blueliner would not make any appearances on the following five minute major, which Cape Breton would fail to score on. Vasily Glotov took the place of MacDougall on the point on the top power play unit. MacDougall would return in the third period.
After an early goal in the second period, it would only be about twice as long for the Islanders to score to open the final period. Filip Chlapik approached the Cape Breton goal and lost the puck in a battle with Massimo Carozza, but Kameron Keilly found the puck in front of the net, deked around Mandolese and gave the home team its first lead of the series.
Halfway through the middle period, Phélix Martineau was sent off for hooking and it would lead to a most fortunate bounce for the home team. Carl Neill wired a shot that would hit the high part of the end glass, bounce off Mandolese's back, and fall into the Cape Breton goal. The power play marker put the Islanders ahead 3-1.
With just under three minutes remaining Marc-André Dumont would elect to pull Mandolese in favour of an extra attacker. Depsite the extra skater the Eagles could not find a goal, and Chlapik would hit the empty net to record his third point of the evening and seal the deal in a 4-1 series opening win for Charlottetown.
Mark Grametbauer stopped 20 of 21 shots in the win, while Mandolese turned aside 38 of 41 shots in addition to the empty netter in taking the loss.
Both clubs will now have an off day as game two of the series goes Saturday night at a special start time of 7:30 PM, and you can catch all the action on 1270 AM CJCB or online at http://www.cjcbradio.com.
Three stars: 1. Filip Chlapik (Charlottetown) 1 goal, 2 assist, +2, 5 shots 2. Kameron Keilly (Charlottetown) game winning goal, +2 3. Kevin Mandolese (Cape Breton) 38 saves on 41 shots
Scratches For Cape Breton: Olivier Bourret, Marcus Tesink
Scratches For Charlottetown: Hunter Drew, Sam King, Jean-Sébastien Taillefer, Chris Chaddock
Final Shots On Goal: 42-21 in favour of Charlottetown
Cape Breton Power Play: 0/2
Charlottetown Power Play: 1/5