Eagles Doubled by Islanders at Centre 200
SYDNEY - It was a game of three goal swings as the Cape Breton Eagles fell 6-3 to the Charlottetown Islanders on Saturday afternoon at Centre 200.
It was a start that certainly favoured the visitors as Ben Boyd dangled through traffic to score on the game's first shot just 25 seconds in. Before the nine minute mark, Brett Budgell put a shot over William Grimard's shoulder, and Patrick LeBlanc finished a 3 on 1 to give Charlottetown a 3-0 lead.
Things had the potential to get worse for the Eagles when, after a scrum, they were assessed with the extra penalty. But the minor was killed off and just seconds later Liam Kidney kept the puck on a 2 on 1 and whipped it over Colten Ellis to get the Eagles on the board. It was 3-1 at the first break.
Initially, it didn't look as though the Eagles had been given momentum from the goal as early in the second period Charlottetown appeared to have restored a three goal edge- but the goal was called back due to a high stick. Then the Eagles would put on the rally cap.
Penalty trouble for Charlottetown helped the Eagles get back in the game, as both parts of the Islanders top defense pair were in the box, creating a 5 on 3. With Lukas Cormier and Noah Laaouan unavailable, Dawson Stairs hammered a one timer from inside the right face-off circle to cut the lead to 3-2. While the Isles were able to kill off the second minor, less than five minutes later Nathan Larose scored at even strength to bring the teams to level terms.
Grimard helped keep the score tied at 3 when he turned aside Thomas Casey on a breakaway when the teams were playing four on four. Unfortunately for the Eagles they were unable to finish the period tied. With 91 seconds to play, Thomas Casey redirected a Brett Budgell point shot to give Charlottetown the edge heading into the third.
Casey was at it again early in third, scoring a power play marker off a redirected puck in the opening four minutes of the third frame. Charlottetown held a 5-3 advantage and that would remain the case until an event filled final six minutes.
The sequence began with Mark Rumsey being in the penalty box for delay of game. While short handed, Larose dashed up the left wing to a create a scoring chance and was driven into the net, drawing the ire of the Centre 200 faithful that no penalty had been called. The fans were even less impressed when the Eagles bench was assessed a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Lucas Canning was set to serve the penalty, and Eagles coach Jake Grimes and assistant coach Chris Culligan were ejected from the game. Budgell collected his second goal of the game in the five on three advantage, and that would conclude the night's scoring.
Ellis picked up the win, stopping 11 of 14 shots. Grimard took the loss, allowing six goals on 36 shots. As was the case Friday, the Eagles dressed 17 skaters, with affiliate players Michael McQuaid and Kian Bell remaining in the lineup.
Due to Covid-19 regulations throughout the Maritimes, all upcoming Cape Breton Eagles home and away games have postponed. Stay tuned to capebretoneagles.com and Eagles social media for further updates regarding the 2020-21 QMHL schedule.
THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1. Dawson Stairs (Cape Breton) 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 hits
2. Nathan Larose (Cape Breton) 1 goal, 1 assist, 3 shots
3. Brett Budgell (Charlottetown) 2 goals, 2 assists
Scratches For Cape Breton: Ivan Ivan (border), Mikhail Nizovkin (border), Davis Cooper (upper body injury), Jarrett Baker (upper body injury), Jérémy Langlois (upper body injury), Logan Camp (upper body injury), Zach Welsh (upper body injury)
Scratches For Charlottetown: Ryan Maynard, Braeden Virtue
Final Shots On Goal: 36-14 in favour of Charlottetown
Cape Breton Power Play: 1/3
Charlottetown Power Play: 2/6
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Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Stories from February 27, 2021
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