Sunday, January 21, 2007

Eagles rebound on the road with shootout win over Wildcats

It may not have been pretty or convincing, but the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles managed to earn two badly-needed points today at a packed Moncton Coliseum against the very gritty and tough Wildcats courtesy of a 2-1 shootout win.

Regulation time seemed tentative and tight-checking, with the first powerplay unit coming through with Cape Breton's only goal; Dean Ouellet finishing off a pretty passing play to notch his 30th of the season, giving the Eagles their third 30 goal scorer on the year so far. Matt Marquardt scored for Moncton less than a minute later to tie things up. Both teams killed off late penalties, including the Eagles doing a great job of killing off a double minor to Scott Brannon. Goaltenders Nicola Riopel of the Wildcats and Ondrej Pavelec of the Screaming Eagles were solid in goal as the 1-1 stalemate stood throughout regulation time and the five minute overtime period.

On to the shootout, the Eagles' first of the season; hard to believe that it took 48 games for the team to participate in one. James Sheppard, Cam Fergus, and Paul McIlveen, in that order, were selected as the three shooters for Cape Breton. Marc-Andre Labelle, Phil Mangan, and Matt Marquardt were selected for Moncton. Fergus scored on a great deke, and Pavelec stopped Labelle and Mangan, leading to a scenario where Marquardt had to score to keep Moncton alive.

He did, blowing a hard shot by Pavelec, and we went into a sudden death extra session. JC Sawyer was chosen to shoot for the Eagles, and he made it look easy, moving a bit wide to the outside, cutting back in to the inside, and quickly snapping one low blocker side for a 2-1 Eagle lead. However, the Wildcats' Maxime Lincourt scored on his attempt to keep the game alive.

Up next for Cape Breton was Chris Culligan, and he made a great deke to score what would eventually be the game winner. He had gotten in awfully close to goaltender Riopel, and it didn't look like he had any room left to do anything, but he somehow managed to find a hole and roof it in, and it was then up to Matt Eagles to keep the Wildcats alive for a third straight time. This time, however, it was not to be, as Pavelec stayed with him the whole way and ended up forcing him to shoot wide.

With the shootout win, Cape Breton improves to 31-15-2 on the season, for a total of 64 points. They sit one point behind the Wildcats (who earned a point despite the shootout loss) for second place in the division, and seven back of Lewiston for first.

The Eagles still have obviously have a way to go in finding the proper combinations and that right chemistry with the new additions, as evidenced by the fact that they scored just one goal for the second game this weekend, but the way this road trip has gone, the team will just take the two points any way they can get them.

The Eagles are next in action on Tuesday night, when they face the Wildcats once again from the Moncton Coliseum. Game time is at 7:00. With a win, Cape Breton could salvage a split of their four-game road trip, which would look pretty good considering the way it started out.


lou said...

i watched the game on webcast,both teams looked a little timid, i think it was because of the trade between the two teams,bourdon looks very good and prokopetz is steady as well.don't worry folks the chemistry will be there.hopefully tuesday's game will be a little more intense!!!GO EAGLES GO!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Last night's game was impressive. First shootout of the season and I must say it turned out well. Congrats to Cam Fergus, Jc Sawyer and especially Chris Culligan for helping us to a shootout win! I must say that it was interesting to see the Eagles face their former teamate Mark Barberio, he seemed to be playing strong, while not letting the change in teams affect his play. Last but not least I would like to mention that there happened to be a very large amount of spectators at this game, 6257 to be exact. I would really like to see more Eagles Fans coming out to cheer on the boys. They deserve this. I also would like to mention that someone brought up before that we should have a bus to take fans to away games to cheer on the Eagles. I, personally, would like to see this happen. Take Halifax for instance, they have fans with them at many of their games and I must add that they aren't exactly quiet per say. I'm not sure what anyone else thinks about this...Any comments??

tommy said...

I've mentioned this before in previous posts, if you want more fans at the game, you need to promote and market the team.

you can't build attention and a fan base by putting a 5 sec blurp on the local radio stations. the coverage of sports in general on our local radio stations only last about 20 sec and consists of listing scores of the previous night and the Canadian teams in action that evening. Throwing a 2 sec blurp at the end of that which consists of "the eagles are at home tonight against bathurst, game time is 7pm"

I also think the organization has gotten really cheap on the promo aspect since 2004, and they really need to take alook at this going forward and stop trying to expense their way into a profit.

Just my opinion

Anonymous said...

chemistry is still struggling. Boring game.

CB Eagle Fan said...

I listened to all three games (well, watched Friday night's) this past weekend, and although I wasn't happy with the result of the first two, at no point would I call any of them "boring"! Maybe I have more of a love for the game than those who think it should be all fighting. Granted, a good fight does get the blood pumping! However, although the score didn't show it, I thought the Eagles did a great job of puck control in the opposition's end. The new players are becoming part of the unit, and will only get better as time goes on.
I was glad to see JC Sawyer picked for the shootout (the only defenseman, I might add), and even happier that he scored. I have been saying for two years that he is an excellent offensive defenseman. It's nice to hear that the same people who had been throwing negative comments at him all last season (and the first of this season) are now cheering him on! Some people are just a little slower to recognize talent.
In regards to the number of spectators coming out to see the Eagles, I would like to predict a sellout crowd for both games this weekend! (Really not a hard prediction to make for a number of reasons: 1. First chance to see new players in person, 2. It's Lewiston - the Eagles really want to pick up ground on them, and 3. It's Lewiston - all of Chad Denny's supporters (and there are a lot) will be out to cheer him on.
I like to see Chad do well, but..... GO EAGLES GO!
And a final note that I would like to mention. In regards to Tommy's post- I'm not sure which radio station you listen to, but you'll be happy to know that the morning man on CJCB-AM (be darned if I can think of his name as I write this post - it'll come to me in the middle of the night!) is a real Eagles fan, and goes to all the games. The day after a game, he raves about it. If there happens to be another coming up the next night, he encourages people to get out and support the Eagles. He definitely goes above and beyond whoever is on the station you listen too. I'm not sure if all the CJCB announcers do the same (they may be more apt to since they carry the games), but ???? ???? (the name is on the tip of my tongue) certainly promotes the team and the games in the morning!

tommy said...

With regards to CB Eagles fan comment, I'm glad to hear one DJ on one of the local radio stations goes out of his way to promote the team, now just think if they all did it, better yet, just think if the Eagles management spent some coin to market and promote the team like they did the year they were supposed to go all the way, 2004 I think.

Another thing you need to keep in mind, and I am not speaking of me personally, but CB fans for the most part enjoy the rough, hard hitting, scrappy hockey. Yes, the Eagles have a great team with a lot of skill, and for true fans of the game (like myself), that is enough to bring them out to the game. But the majority of fans want the in-your-face hard hitting, won't back down from a challenge style of play.

If you look back at the Eagles teams of old, we had teams with players like Dill (probably one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the league at the time), Hunter (mean and tough as nails), Ettinger (anything for the team), Morency (tough, smart, draw penalties at will, played the crowd), Lessard (probably the best captain ever and loved by all fans), Pacquet (might not be spelled right, but the best body checker in my opinion), Fleury (nuff said), etc... etc...

There are more, but you get the point. All the players above instilled excitement and drama when they were on the team. The current Eagles team is a great skilled team, but they are by no means an exciting team compared to some of the less skilled teams of the past.

I remember a time when there was a time no team that enjoyed coming to play at C200 because they knew they were in for a battle, and they were going to leave, win or lose, battered and bruised.

The only time it seems to get intense these days is when the score is lopsided.

I try to attend every game, I support them as much as possible, and I think the team is great. But I do think they could play with a little more intensity, finish more hits, play with a bit of an edge. I guarantee more fans will be at the games.

Anonymous said...

I also listened/watched the games this weekend, I wouldn't exactally call them boring, I would just call them tight matched games. The victory against moncton on Sunday was a hard played game, and the eagles deffinatly deserved the extra point. As for more fans at games, the last couple have had quite a few spectators, more so then usual, and as far as I know, for the game friday, the tickets are going quite fast, which makes me glad to have my season tickets.

I totally agree with cb eagle fan, Sawyer is one of the most skilled players i've seen, and i've liked him since he came to Cape Breton. I really think its unnecessary to yell negitive comments at him.

So all thats left to say is GO EAGLES GO, and hope they get 2 points tonight in Moncton!

Anonymous said...

Where did all our offence go? Moving McIlveen off the # 1 unit after being the #1 PP in the league did nothing but destroy confidence in him and the whole line he plays on. Bourdon was on the #2 unit last year, I'm sure he could have been ok there for a couple of weeks. the damage that is done now may be irreversible.

Anonymous said...

I'm getting concerned as to what is happening with our Eagles. One win out of 4 sucks! This road trip was intended to build team chemistry (I thought it was just fine before), perhaps it has altered it? I sure hope not.
As to the PP, if it ain't broke, then why try to fix it!
If we don't get two wins this weekend, then the increase in attendance may vaporize. I agree with other posts that there is a serious lack of promoting this team, primarily from management. Management and Center 200 have to do more to promote this our Team. On most nights the upper bowl is mostly empty, why not start giving seats up there away to the various schools in the area, add in a pop and a hot dog along the way and create some excitement!
Don't forget to wear red on Friday to support our troops while making lots of noise to support our boys on the ice!

Anonymous said...

Did you see the new CHL rankings? We are not there any more. New acquisitions to upgrade the team and down we fall. If things don't turn around you will see attendance plummet. This weekend will be a do or die weekend as far as fans are concerned and a bad weekend will certainly rattle the players as well. Need to boost our confidence in a big way.

Robye said...

Things are looking scary for the Screaming Eagles right now, and they're not looking much brighter, going up against the power house Lewiston. What happened? Things were going great, fan attendance was improving, noise level was increasing and now this, one win out of four. CB fans are fickle, if a team is winning, hitting and banging they'll come out and support them. If the trend of the last four games continue attendance will drop off like flies. Let's hope things change for the better this weekend. Go Eagles

Eagle's LOVER said...

Okay, so I think we all know that our road trip wasn't the best - in fact it was far from it. I'm not trying to be a downer or anything, but really... we could ahve played much better games.

As for our new players, and I'm not trying to take anything away from them, but we've been doing worse with our new acquisitions! I honestly believe that giving up Mark Barberio was a mistake. We now have almost 9 players that will be over-agers next year... we gave up a great defenceman that we would ahve had for atleast 3 years, for a guy who we'll only have for the rest of the season! Let's just say that I am extremely supportive of the boys, but I am not happy with the trades at all.

As for attendence, I do agree with Tommy, but I also agree with cb eagle fan. K94 does not advertise for the eagles at all. 1270 on the other hand mentions the Eagles several times throughout the day, and certain radio hosts actually talk about the games either coming up, or the game that was played the night before. The organization has definately been slacking in advertising, but there's nothing more us fans can do other then say good things about the team and encourage others to attend the games. I think that this weekend is definately a make or break weekend, and it will determine just how many fans we will have for the rest of the season. But that's just my opinion.

IT'S ABOUT TIME SOMEONE FINALLY AGREED WITH ME ABOUT JC SAWYER!!! I've been a fan of his ever since he joined the team. He has played incredibly well this season, and I think he's going to be a serious contender for defensive player of the year - yet again. As for all you people that attend the games and holler at him, telling him to get off the ice and what not, you are truly ruining the game for real fans who enjoy watching these yung guys play their best. If you hadn't noticed, JC takes on ALOT of ice time... and that's not including the 2 minute shifts he plays during the PP's or PK's. So, please stop hollering at the boys. If your going to the game, cheer them on. You ruin the game for everyone else. Thank you!:)

Well, I'm looking forward to seeing the eagles play this weekend. All the best to the boys! GO EAGLES GO!

tommy said...

I agree JC has improved immensely in the past 2 seasons. I have always believed him to be a great offensive D but he does seem to have trouble in his own end.

I compare JC of the Eagles to Brisbois of the Habs. Both had offensive skill, great on the PP, great from the red line in to the offensive zone. But... both are known for mental lapses in judgment that seem to happen at the most critical times during a game.

It is for this reason that many fans have grown not to like JC. It's not that he makes mistakes, it's that he makes them when the game is on the line or at key moments. CB fans and Habs fans have a lot in common, if you get on the wrong side, you're there for good.

I also believe many fans hate the fact that no matter how horrible a game JC might have over the past few seasons, he gets just as much ice time or more than any other D on the team during that game. Vincent sends him out time and time again, no matter how much he struggles.

Everyone has a bad game here and there, but i have seen other players who have made mistakes and they were lucky to play another minute.

That being said, I end the way i started, JC has improved considerably these last 2 seasons.

CB Eagle Fan said...

Hey Tommy, of course you're right! People do like the excitement of the hard-hitting, in-your-face games. They get the blood pumping for sure (mind you, some of the more vocal fans could use a little less "blood pumping"). A name you didn't mention, and should be in the same company, is Charlie Fontaine. Who can forget the look that would come on his face when he locked on to target! I'll still say "He's been Charlie-d!" when someone is on the receiving end of a particularly hard hit! We've got the talent now to have a combination of the skill and the toughness. Let's hope the team gets it together quickly - this weekend would be nice!
As far as the past roadtrip is concerned, a lot of people are commenting on how terrible the Eagles played. Yes, three losses out of four games is bad, however, the games were not pushovers for the opposing teams. Games 1 & 2 were basically one-goal games when you take away the empty net goal in each. Game 3 went to the shootout, and Game 4 grudgingly gave up one goal in the 3rd period. These were not terrible games, just terrible results. Luckily, when our offensive core was lacking, and our defense was wavering, Ondrej Pavelec stepped up and regained his performance of last season.
So hopefully, this weekend, the team will come together as a whole and take the Mainiacs 2 for 2. We'll all be out in force cheering the Eagles on, that's for sure.