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Eagles Rally for Exhibition Win against Saint John

September 18, 2020 - Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) - Cape Breton Eagles News Release

SYDNEY - Ryan Francis was twice the hero as the Cape Breton Eagles rallied for a 3-2 shootout victory in a pre-season thriller at Centre 200 on Friday night.

The game didn't start the way the home side wanted, as there would be no Eagle goals until the third period. Saint John opened the scoring prior to the three minute mark, cashing in on the first power play of the night for either side. Peter Reynolds slammed home a one timer from Josh Lawrence. Before period's end, William Villeneuve ripped a heavy shot from the blueline by William Grimard and it was 2-0 Saint John.

The second period offered a fast paced style of play with plenty of chances, but neither team was able to light the lamp. The second stanza saw Saint John outshoot Cape Breton 17-14 as Grimard and Noah Patenaude stole the show.

The Eagles breakthrough came at the 6:17 mark of the third period when rookie defenseman François-James Buteau took a shot from the blueline that redirected off Jérémie Poirier's stick and in. But the Eagles still trailed in the dying seconds of the third period.

Ryan Francis had the puck on his stick in the final seconds, and showing patience despite the clock ticking down, pulled the puck back and then wired one over Patenaude with just four seconds remaining.

Overtime would settle nothing- there would be just two shots, although one produced a spectacular save by William Grimard on Brady Burns. The game would require a shootout.

Round one of the shootout belonged to the Eagles, as Joshua Roy was denied and Félix Lafrance beat Patenaude. Round two was the reverse, as Jérémie Poirier equalized the score and Shawn Element could not give the Eagles the lead again.

It was all in the hands of Francis again after Burns shot wide on his attempt. Once again the Eagles star forward got the best of Patenaude, much to the delight of the Eagles fans in attendance and giving the home side a 3-2 shootout victory.

Grimard picked up the win, stopping 33 of 35 shots, in addition to two of three in the shootout. Patenaude took the loss, stopping 25 of 27 and one of three in the shootout.

The Eagles will play their final pre-season game tomorrow afternoon at 1 PM against the Sea Dogs. Tickets can be purchased at the Centre 200 box office from 9AM to 11AM. Full details regarding ticket purchases and Covid-19 protocols for these games can be found on Both games will also be streamed live on the Cape Breton Eagles YouTube channel with Patrick McNeil providing the play by play.

Final Shots On Goal: 35-27 in favour of Cape Breton

Cape Breton Power Play: 0/3

Saint John Power Play: 1/2

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