Thursday, March 1, 2007

Sheppard Offensive Player of Month/full lineup expected for weekend games/all-time team voting underway

First of all, a nice win on Monday night at C200 over the PEI Rocket. Good teams find a way to win in the face of adversity, and it was a job well done by the Eagles to find a way to win despite a very low overall team energy level due to that flu bug that was still lingering throughout the team.

The key to this win was the play of Ondrej Pavelec, especially in the second period, heading into which the Eagles were leading by a score of 2-1. The visitors dominated the frame, outshooting their hosts to a staggering tune of 19-2. This may have been Pavelec's single finest period, on home ice at least, of the entire season to date. Of their 19 shots, PEI probably had a good 10-12 real quality scoring chances, and I doubt that there are too many other goaltenders in junior hockey who could have gotten us out of that period alive. Pavelec was just sensational, not seeming to mind the onslaught at all, looking like he was quite enjoying himself more than anything. His best stop was likely on a Brett Morrison-to-Marin Latal one-timer, where Ondrej read the play perfectly, and dove across the crease just in time to get a left pad on Latal's blast.

After the Eagles weathered this second period storm, they came up with a much more controlled third period, and Cam Fergus's beautiful goal to make the score 3-1 was the backbreaker. His 46th of the season was a nifty effort where he made several moves in tight before tucking the puck back out in front and in from behind the goal line; a real goal scorer's goal. Fergus is now just one goal away from tying the team record for goals in a season, so the record could conceivably be matched or broken during this coming weekend's two home games.

The game was a good opportunity to see how the Eagles matched up against the hottest team in the league, and they passed the test, albeit by the skin of their teeth. PEI showed that they will be a formidable playoff foe, and that in the event of a second round series between the two teams, the Eagles had better be ready.

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This just in from the Q head office.

The QMJHL Offensive and Defensive Players of the Month for the month of February have been released, and it was a great month for Screaming Eagle players.

James Sheppard has been named QMJHL Offensive Player of the Month for February. He scored 23 points in the ten games he played during the month.

Ondrej Pavelec and JC Sawyer were both runners-up for the Defensive Player of the Month award for February. They were both slightly nudged out by Val d'or's superstar defenceman Kristopher Letang.

To have three players in the running for Player of the Month awards at this time of year, the stretch drive, speaks well for the impact players this year's edition of the Eagles possesses.

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This upcoming weekend is one for fans to look forward to, as two rare Quebec-based teams will visit C200, a nice break from the same old East Division foes. The Shawinigan Cataractes visit on Friday night, and Patrick Roy and his Quebec Remparts are in town on Saturday. Both teams are making their first visits to C200 since November 2005, a good sixteen months ago.

The Shawinigan game is interesting because there is an outside chance that the Cataractes could be the Eagles' first round playoff opponent. The Quebec game is a draw in and of itself, as the Remparts are one of the more entertaining teams in the league, and their coach Roy always draws a crowd thanks to his celebrity alone. There should be a very good crowd on hand at C200 for the Quebec game. It will be nice to see the more wide-open style that the Quebec-based teams generally tend to bring (well maybe not so much Shawinigan, but most likely the Remparts will); many fans agree that a large proportion of the most entertaining games at C200 to date this season have been against the Quebec teams.

As well, as mentioned earlier, team history could be made this weekend, as Cam Fergus is just one goal away from tying, and two away from breaking, Ryan Walsh's record for goals in a season.

The really good news for the Eagles' faithful this weekend, and yet another reason for fans to want to come out to the rink, is that the club expects that they could very well ice a full lineup for the first time in who knows how long. It's being speculated that Oskars Bartulis and Jonathan Laberge could be good to go for the weekend's games, after sitting out the last few each with injuries. It is also hoped that the few days of rest the team is enjoying will be enough to kill that flu bug that has crippled our squad over the past while. The Eagles have been playing for at least the last month with at least one or two key players out of the lineup, so it would be nice to see the team play at full strength for once. The team definitely needs to play a few games with the full squad before heading into the playoffs.

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Finally, do not forget to cut out the ballot in Wednesday's edition of the Cape Breton Post, and cast your votes for the 10th anniversary all-time Cape Breton Screaming Eagles team! Fans are asked to choose two goalies, four defencemen, six forwards, and two tough guys to help make up a first and second all-time Screaming Eagles team for the past ten seasons.

Ballots can be brought to C200 over the two upcoming weekend games, and dropped off in ballot boxes located inside the arena. Have fun voting, and don't forget to use your write-in option if you feel that a deserving player has been left off of the ballot!

9 comments:

RinkRat said...

After just reading the latest edition of "The Hockey News", I'm tired already of hearing about the big return of Derrick Brassard the "Q" league savior!
They make such a huge deal over his return.Last Sundays game on sportsnet was Drummondville V.S Shawinigan. this Sunday it is Drummondville again.
My point is,why is James Sheppard getting snubed like this ! He,along with the eagles,were not mentioned once during the game on Sunday.He wasn't mentioned in the hockey news yet this year that I can recall.We have the second best team in the league this year but all we see or hear of on the sportsnet games or the Hockey News is Drummondville,Gatineau,Rimouski,or the Remparts!!
The East is getting snubed all the time.Does anyone have an answer or an opinion about this? Please write in.

Anonymous said...

Of late there have been comments re the media etc. After Mondays game, I made it home on time to watch the late evening news on ATV.
They did not report our win over PEI. Last night, ATV mentioned that #8 Geoff Walker was choosen as QMJHL offensive player of the week - no mention as to Pavelec being named defensive player of the week. I find this very offensive to our Team, our fans, and Cape Breton! My guess is they cannot stand the success that the Eagles are enjoying. I may just have to boycott ATV if this childish foolishness continues! Smarten-up, ATV!
Lets see if James Sheppard is reported as the offensive player of the month.
By the way, congratulations to both players. What a performance! Cudos to Pavelec and J.C. Sawyer for being named runner ups for defensive players of the month. Awesome! Fabulous! Spectacular!
Good luck on the weekend boys and remember: HAVE FUN; ENJOY YOUR HOCKEY, ENJOY YOUR LIFE!

tommy said...

When CB lost Cape Breton Report, the Island lost it's local news coverage. So it's been gone a long time.

Global and CTV/ATV are based in Hfx and Moncton. (yes Sydney has a building here, but it almost looks like it should be torn down) Moncton has a large french speaking population, and Hfx is Hfx, so all the news is going to be about the Mooseheads and Moncton and other NB teams and the few popular french clubs from Quebec.

If Hfx is playing in CB and CB beats them soundly or there aren't any fights or stick throwing incidents, it won't even make the news. It is even barely mentioned. On the other hand, if the game was close or Hfx beat CB, or there was tons of fights or any kind of neg news worthy incident, it would be all over the news. Just the way it is. Good luck trying to change it.

I do remember a time when Stacey Jones even attended some Eagles games, and reported on the evening news, once upon a time :D

RinkRat said...

When I wrote about James Sheppard and the eagles not getting the respect from the media,I wasn't talking about the local media I was talking about the "national" media.The local news and every hockey fan in Nova Scotia know what a special talent Sheppard is.
But it seems that he isn't getting the respect from the rest of Canada.
I.E "The Hockey News", Sports Net Team Canada, etc.

Hopefully this will change for him when he leads the Eagles all the way to the Memorial Cup!!!!!!!

CB Eagle Fan said...

I totally agree with the comments posted previously, concerning the coverage by ATV. They do tend to overlook any achievements of our CB Screaming Eagles! Halifax gets major coverage, and PEI is next in importance. No doubt, it has a lot to do with the intense rivalry between Hfx and CB, but the fact remains - it is ATV, meaning Atlantic, not HTV (Halifax). One would think that they would do a spot on James Sheppard since he is from their area, but there is never a mention of him. Oh well, they can just try to ignore the obvious for the moment, but when the Eagles are in the running for the Memorial Cup (hopefully), they will probably jump on the bandwagon. At any rate, I tend to not rely on television coverage for any news on the Eagles. With the exception of Eastlink, it just isn't there! The Post and CJCB radio give us the best reports.
Getting away from our game coverage problems, I would like to say "Good Luck" to the Eagles in their games against Shawinigan and Quebec this weekend. I know you can do it boys - you've shown your grit and determination already. There are only 7 more games in the regular season - 4 of them at home- so let's step it up to the highest level possible. Boy, 14 points would be nice, but probably not too realistic. We can hope though, and we will be cheering. GO EAGLES GO!!

Anonymous said...

With regards to ATV's coverage, May I suggest that we have some fun with this. Lets start an e-mail campaign asking them if they know who the CBS Eagles are, If they know who James Sheppard is, if they know where he is from, if they know who Pavelec is, if they know who Cam Fergus is, McIlveen, Culligan, JC Sawyer etc, if they know how active this team is in our communities? Perhaps we should ask them if they know what ATV stands for. Perhaps we should ask them if there are any plans to, as one writer said, change the stations call letters to HTV (HalifaxTV). And by the way, when it comes to Common Wealth Games I feel better roads, schools, health care, senior care etc. are much more important in terms of spending over a billion dollars of scare money. If Halifax wants it, let them do it on their own buck.
Sorry for getting side tracked.
ATV has to be made aware that their coverage of our EAGLES is just not adaquate. We have to stick up for our team!!! Let's get those e-mails going.
I have been a season ticket holder for the Oilers, the Islanders, and now the EAGLES. This is awesome hockey. Our boys will make a strong and loud message on the ice: we are going for the Cup. They will do their part to make this team noticed. Now we, as fan, have to do ours. Lets cheer loud and proud.
GO, EAGLES, Go!

CB Eagle Fan said...

Awesome game last night! The Eagles, to a player, went out and worked a solid game! Pavelec, although he wasn't tested very often, proved that he definitely should have been named the defensive player of the month in the Q (as was mentionned on the pre-game show on CJCB). He played with such confidence and ease! And really, in a game where you aren't overly busy, it is probably harder to stay focussed. But when he was called on, he delivered! The fact that he faced so few shots is a testament to the defense. They also stepped up. I heard a lot of negative comments around about Luc Bourdon, saying that he wasn't delivering what was expected of him, and the usual "we shouldn't have given up Barberio", but I felt that he had a number of very key defensive moves last night. JC Sawyer had another strong outing. Comments I was hearing concerning him usually centered on the fact that he was chasing the points- leaving the blueline and carrying the puck to the net. Well, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that is in any way changing the way he has played all year, and the style that has gotten him where he is. Yes, he goes to the net and takes the shot if it is there. If the shot isn't open to him, he passes to whoever IS in the open. Sounds more like good hockey sense than point-chasing to me.
Our regular players who have been improving steadily over the season, continue to do so - most notably, Robert Slaney and Jason Swit. Cam and Shep are fantastic! But the two I can't help but be amazed by are Beau Prokopetz and JC Gauthier! Prokopetz was a great acquisition! He can deliver the hits like no one else (reminiscent of the previous #24!), yet he can carry the puck to the net as well. And then there is JC! He is just fantastic - he mesmerizes you with his speed and puck handling! He will go into the boards with anyone, and somehow manages to come out the other side with the puck still on his stick! Amazing!
All in all, this team has the goods all around. They can do the job, and hopefully the job will get done. When the Pittsburgh Penguins were on their point streak the phrase coined was "the march of the Penguins". As we head down the back stretch to the Memorial Cup, maybe we can say this is the "flight of the Eagle!".
At any rate, the rest of the season starts with the next game, which is this evening! So let's go boys - knock down the Remparts! GO EAGLES GO!

Anonymous said...

Jst Wondering Does Any One Know What Happened To Paul Mcilveen, he Wasn't In the Line-Up. Thanks

tommy said...

Regarding Paul M, i think i read he was either sick or was nursing an injury, nothing significant i don't believe. Probably be back in the lineup for their nxt game.

Just wanted to say, the game sat was one of the best games I've seen all year. The team played with intensity and emotion, threw hits, had a fight, great goal tending, great goals, what more could you ask for.

Only critical thing i could say, about a 7 min stretch in the 3rd where they lost focus, but that happens when you have a large lead on a team. Hard to keep the intensity up some times.

Great game, packed house, and I would say they won over some more fans that will be returning for the rest of the home games too.