Friday, February 9, 2007

Eagles open important road trip in Shawinigan tonight

Tonight, the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles start off an important three-game February road trip with a 9:00 PM ADT start from the Jacques Plante Arena, against the host Shawinigan Cataractes. It will be the first meeting of the season between the Eagles and the Cataractes; Shawinigan is the only team remaining that the Eagles have yet to play.

Shawinigan is a rebuilding club that sits in ninth place in the ten-team "Telus Division" with a 21-29-2-3 record for 47 points. They have been especially cold as of late, with five losses in a row and a 3-7-0 record in their last ten hockey games. They also have trouble scoring goals; their total of 180 goals is third-worst in the league. Despite all of this, the Cataractes cannot be taken for granted. Look no further than last Friday night's loss to Rimouski as evidence that nothing is ever a guarantee, even if the odds are stacked strongly in your favour. Their five losses in a row, and especially their four straight losses on home ice, could make the Cats really hungry for a win tonight. As well, playing a Cape Breton team that is perceived as a "top team" might give them a bit of a "nothing to lose" mentality, and teams that are playing with that mentality can be very dangerous. The Eagles are for sure the favourite tonight, but they will have to be on their toes, especially since the Arena Jacques Plante can be an intimidating building to play in.

No word yet on a starting goaltender for Cape Breton, but Kevin Malletto should be between the pipes for Shawinigan. Tonight's game is the Cataractes' third in three nights, and former Eagle Marc-Andre Perron got the start in each of the previous two.

INJURY REPORT for Cape Breton:

- Luc Bourdon (ankle) practiced yesterday in Riviere-Du-Loup and reportedly made it through the practice pretty well. He is listed as "probable" (but not definite) for tonight's game.

- Cam Fergus (back) also practiced yesterday, but didn't make it through the practice. He will definitely not be back in the lineup tonight, and will likely be given a little bit more time off than originally anticipated to ensure a full recovery. I'd guess that he may sit out this entire road trip.

- Dean Ouellet, after a premature return on Tuesday against Moncton, also felt pretty good in practice yesterday and while he's not quite back to 100% yet, he will play tonight in Shawinigan.

- Jonathan Laberge has returned to the Eagles after taking a few days off to return home and attend his grandfather's funeral. He'll be in the lineup tonight.

- Scott Brannon (concussion) is still a couple of weeks away from recovery, and did not even make the road trip.

So in summary, Laberge will definitely be added to the lineup that defeated Moncton on Tuesday night, and Bourdon has a pretty decent chance of being added back to it as well. Fergus and Brannon remain out of the lineup.

The Eagles continue the road trip Saturday night in Victoriaville, and finish it off Sunday with a very important meeting in Lewiston with the first place MAINEiacs.


The voting for the 10th anniversary all-time Screaming Eagles team will start soon! Fans will be asked to choose the top goaltenders, defencemen, forwards, and of course enforcers, from ten years of Screaming Eagles hockey. More details on the exact starting date for voting, and on the voting process itself, will become available once they are known, but the balloting should begin sooner rather than later.


Anonymous said...

Excellent game! The Eagles really worked hard for this one. Malletto could have been one of the stars. As expected, Shawinigan came out skating hard. They wanted the win, but unlike the Rimouski game, the Eagles wanted it more. This is the attitude that they will have to bring to every game from here on in. Great effort guys!
On another note, it was really nice having Cam Fergus behind the mike for the game. His comments and input on the plays were very good, and he sounded great. Nice job Cam, but we would rather see you on the ice!
So now it's on to Victoriaville. Let's go Eagles - keep up the good work, and let's get another two points!

Anonymous said...

While I'm thinking of it - and I'm probably going to make myself late by taking the time here- in regards to our Eagles-promoting deejay on CJCB, the name is Kyle Moore. I remembered it quite a while ago, but I always forget to come in here and give him the two-thumbs-up for his work. He's on during the weekends, so gets to give the reports on all our weekend games. I've even heard his name mentionned as taking over the mike during intermissions at the home games. I'd like to go on record here giving him the credit he deserves. He's a great radio personality, and a great sports fan! Kudos to Kyle!