As someone said to me earlier, today might be the most anticipated day in Eagles' hockey in a long time. Fans, players, and management alike are all quite eager to find out what exactly the final edition of our hockey club is going to look like, and I'm sure most have now grown tired of rumours and speculation and are interested only in learning the facts. We have to wait just a few more hours. Will that big trade with Moncton go down, in any form? Will we make a trade nobody saw coming? Will there be no trades at all? STAY TUNED.
In their last game before the trade period, Saturday night at the Moncton Coliseum, the Screaming Eagles rebounded from their loss in Halifax with a gutsy 6-5 overtime win over the Moncton Wildcats. This was a back-and-forth game in which the lead changed hands a number of times, and things weren't looking good for Cape Breton when they trailed 5-4 late in the third period, but former Wildcat Oskars Bartluis managed to burn his former team with both the tying goal and the game winner in overtime to give the Eagles a much-needed victory after their upsetting loss the night before. Bartulis's overtime winner was a bit of a lucky one. His shot looked to be going over the net, but Moncton defenceman Nick Emanuele stuck a hand out to try and glove it down and ended up gloving it into his own net.
James Sheppard continued to be absolutely scorching hot for the Eagles, as he notched a hat trick in this game, his third hat trick of the season. He now has an absolutely unbelievable 11 goals in his last five hockey games. As well, a lot of credit has to go to Scott Brannon and Chris Culligan. Despite most likely playing with trade rumours on their minds (both have been frequent subjects of rumours), Brannon ended up notching three assists, and Culligan scored a goal and helped out on another. Dave Davenport earned the win in goal, improving his record to 8-2 in his role as #1 in the absence of Ondrej Pavelec.
The Eagles go into the trade period with a record of 28-13-2 for 58 points, tied for 2nd overall in the division and in the league, but seven points behind the league-leading Lewiston MAINEiacs. The Eagles sit at 1st overall in goals scored, and 2nd overall in Goals Against Average. Their powerplay ranks 2nd in the league, while their penalty kill is tied for 4th. All of these figures suggest a team that is contending for a league title, and today we will find out just how much (or how little) the Eagles improve their chances, and just how much the team gives up (or doesn't) to get a deal done.
As already said, today is one of the biggest days in years for the Eagles and their fans. In the event of any Eagle trades today, they will be announced on here immediately after they become official.