Tuesday, April 24, 2007

CULLI! CULLI! CULLI! CULLI!

The "unsung hero" local boy is unsung no more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chris Culligan made Eagle history in a plethora of ways tonight, by scoring the game winner in Game 3 of this league semifinal series vs Val d'or in overtime ON A PENALTY SHOT.

For those of you who aren't quite aware how rare an occurrence that is, I'd say it ranks up there as pretty much the Halley's Comet of hockey......... a playoff overtime winner on a penalty shot. ESPECIALLY as far into the postseason as the third round.

Utter delirium ensued in the C200 crowd, with many speculating that the crowd reaction for the goal was the most emotional ever seen since the Screaming Eagles came to town. This blogger remembers a couple of goals in the 2002 Halifax series that at least give it a run for its money, but no matter - it was definitely a moment that will live on for a long, long time......... especially if the Eagles go on to win the series.

The "made for Hollywood" overtime winner saved the Eagles from what could have been a crushing defeat, as they had blown leads of 3-0 and 4-3 earlier in the game.

In the two games in Val d'or, Culligan had just one assist while James Sheppard was held pointless. They needed to come up big tonight, and did they ever respond. James scored a goal and an assist, while Chris had two goals and two assists including the potentially-legendary overtime winner.

What's weird about this is that Cape Breton fans didn't see a single game go to overtime all season or playoffs at C200 leading up to tonight. As well, only one Eagle game all season went into a penalty shot shootout. It was in Moncton. Wanna guess who scored the penalty winner for Cape Breton in that game? ;) One Chris Culligan, of course!

With that, Cape Breton takes a 2-1 lead in this ultra-tight semifinal series with Val d'or, with Game 4 going tomorrow night from C200. That is also historically significant in that a 2nd win in the 3rd round of the playoffs means that this year's Eagles have now officially gone farther in the postseason than any Eagle team has ever gone before. The 2002 Eagles lost the third round 4-1 in games.

Not much time to savour this win, right back to the rink for another HUGE game tomorrow. We let these guys back into this series once when they won Game 2 in Val d'or.............. we don't want to let them back in it a second time.

There could be pages and pages written on tonight's game, as it was one of the most exciting and action-packed Eagles games ever, but for now I'll just leave it all at that. Not much time to savour this win, as it's right back to the rink tomorrow night for another HUGE game. We let these guys back into the series once when they won Game 2 in Val d'or........... we don't want to let them back in it a second time. Be ready to bring the intensity just as loud and proud tomorrow night as you did this past night, Eagles fans. C200 was HOPPIN for Game 3, and the Eagle fanbase should be proud of a job very well done!

Finally, in terms of the raw collection of talent assembled on the ice, it may have been the highest calibre of hockey we've ever seen in a Cape Breton Screaming Eagles hockey game. These are two serious QMJHL heavyweights, both dotted with future NHLers, going toe-to-toe. It's a huge treat to watch, and anyone who wasn't at Game 3 owes it to themselves to get down to C200 tomorrow and Friday nights to see this stuff.

Despite tonight's deliriously gratifying win, we all know that the Eagles are capable of a better 60-minute performance. Let's hope we see that tomorrow night as the team strives to put a stranglehold on this series and go ahead three games to one.

See you at the rink!

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

to say the least pavelec is an absolute star in the making. ya had to be there to appreciate how good this guy really is. a lapse by the boys when they were up 3-0.val dor didn't give up at all they played like a team that was destined for a victory.but don't forget about cully.he sent the hometown crowd in absolute pandamoniom with the goal on the penalty shot.fans were in to the game the whole night.and what can you say about jeremy duschene with all of that still fresh in his mind what a gutsy performance by a true competitor.enough said i will be looking forward to another victory on home ice wed. night.GO EAGLES GO CHEERING FOR YA ALL THE WAY. GOOD JOB.

tommy said...

Alot of defensive breakdowns, but they pulled through, hopefully they can be more solid tonight, they will need to be.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Eagles, thank you Culligan, thank you God!
When the penalty shot was called, many thoughts went through my head: most importantly is that Culligan is being put under tremendous pressure. I was worried for him. Thankfully, he got the job done. Those that know me are well aware of the high regard that I have for this young man. I have sung his praise since his first training camp! Well done Culli!
It was mentioned in an earlier post that the officiating could stand improvement. Of that, there is no doubt! My first impression of Letang is that he is a cry-baby, a suck of major proportions. The back talk and the body language are deplorable. Why the officials put up with this is beyond me. This guy thinks that he is the best thing that ever happened to hockey! I think with a little special attention, that bozo would crack.
We were getting careless, at times, last night boys. I get very intense watching our Eagles. I found myself on at least two occasions having to take a time out. Speaking of time out, I think that Pascal should have called one after Val d’Or scored their second goal. We have to do more to help Pav out as well. There are far too many chances being allowed for no good reason.
You guys are capable of playing far better hockey than this. Let’s refocus and play 60 minutes of in your face Eagles hockey. That having been said, I am very grateful for the commitment and never say die attitude that you showed last night.
The fans were wonderful last night. They were loud and encouraging. Like the Eagles, they didn’t quit either!
A dream is noting short of a mirage, unless you are willing to pay the price to get to the oasis!
Go Eagles Go!

MC said...

I listed to it. was Cool Eagles won go cris cull you should be prod of yourself go eagles go win for us.

LOU said...

Great hockey game!!!!I was on the edge of my seat bigtime.Is it only me or does Val dor think its ok to punch guys in the face or put gloves in your face after the whistle.That was pretty embarissin the way CHRIS LETANG acted at the end of that game.I hope the eagles steamroll them the next two games!!!

ralph said...

To the anonymous reader who thanked God for the outcome...

Not to sound anti-religious, but I'm tired of hearing athletes and now fans who thank God for anything related to sports. I'm pretty sure he doesn't have a favorite and is picking one team or boxer or player to succeed above all others. The outcome of any given event is determined by skill, athleticism, physics, determination, heart, desire, and more luck than you can imagine.

That being said, what a fantastic series to watch. Go Eagles

Anonymous said...

what a player WOOO WE LOVE CULLI haha people do not give this kid enough oportunities to show what hes got and well he proved himself to us these past 2 games.

tommy said...

It is normal in hockey to try and intimidate or use the tactics that Valdour is using after the whistles and what not to get a team off it's game plan. The game, although requiring incredible skill and talent, is still a mental game, especially for the goaltenders. I don't have a problem with the rough stuff, I just don't like the cheap shots or dirty stuff. So the face washing and shoving that Valdour is stooping to I don't have an issue with. It just means that they are desperate, but the Eagles aren't falling in to their game plan, so I'm not worried. It just means more PP's for us, which is a really good thing.

Anonymous said...

Well I like the comments I am hearing here. Culli is awsome and has been. I just started taking eagle games in last year as I just moved to CB. I thought right away that Chris is a great player who never takes a shift off. He works hard and when you think he is beatin' he recovers. Tremendous forechecker and rushes back to help out the D. I sure hope that an NHL team gives this kid a chance. Way to go Chris and way to go eagles. Win tonight boys let's not go back to Valdor. Wish you luck as I can not be there tonight for family reasons but know I am cheering for you guys.

GO EAGLES GO!!!!!!!

tommy said...

I have to say I'm pretty disappointed in the effort by the Eagles tonight. The hardest game to win is game 4, and with that, the Eagles should have come out flying. Instead they came out timid, too defensive, basically they tried to play it safe.

The intensity wasn't there from the get go. Aside from a few players, the boys just didn't seem to be skating the way they have been.

The PK was way too passive, instead of their usual aggressive and challenge the shooter style.

Every PP they had there was not one Eagles player in front of the net. The goalies at this level are going to stop shots from the point 99% of the time if they can see it all the way. Case in point, the winning goal had 2 valdour players in front of Pavy.

I know Duschene is a good goaltender, but most of the saves he had to make this evening were shot right into his chest.

I think the team was guilty of looking ahead and took this game for granted. They had a chance to put this away, and now Valdour has the momentum and confidence going back to their home rink.

I really hope they can regroup on the road and put this away the next game. To be up 3-1 in the 2nd last round of the playoffs and then to lose the series, would be just as much a disaster as the one everyone remembers from a few yrs back.

Put this one behind and look to game 6, and finish these guys off, please!

Anonymous said...

OK , I have been known to complain about officials in the past, it's something i've become accustomed to in the Q, but, if there is a high stick and it draws blood -4MINS .....no arguing.Well , what the hell happened tonight when bourdon left a gob of blood in his own end on the ice.??be it overtime or not its 4 mins.
Anyway another exciting game . we just have to win 1 of 2 in val d'or now.
And on another very serious matter, when a game of this magnitude occurs and it;s a sell out. we will get a few 1 time game attendee's. It should be known that the 3000 or so dedicated fan base we have would never/ i repeat / never throw a bottle or beverage on the ice.It's embarrasing , and U know who u are , i witnessed it 1 seat behind me throwing a full bottle of pop at marchand after the game.We are a well organized and respected organization and its people like u who give us a bad name.I am a dedicated fan and would be willing to appologize myself for the few losers who showed up tonight.I just hope all those in this category dont show up fpr the next series against lewiston. GO EAGLES GO!!!!!!MC

CB Eagle Fan said...

Well, for the first time in a very long time, I left Centre 200 feeling totally disgusted! Oh, it had nothing to do with the play of any of the Eagles, or the play of any of the Foreurs, or even with the outcome of the game. It had to do with the deplorable display of those people in the crowd who thought they should show their disappointment by throwing all manner of debris onto the ice surface at the end of the game. These two teams played a hard-fought game, which was very entertaining and nerve-wracking. The fans had nothing to complain about, except for the officiating again. Although the outcome was definitely not what any of us wanted, there was absolutely no need of the loud boo-ing and jeers for the Val D'Or team. And to throw things at the team members.... disgusting! And to make matters worse, it was broadcast everywhere via Eastlink! Wow - doesn't that put Cape Breton in a good light!! I hope that everyone that threw things onto the ice last night can look themselves in the mirror this morning and feel bad for what they had done in the heat of the moment. If it were children, we could think that they didn't really know any better. But, for the most part, these were adults! So, in closing, I would like to say that the only unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that could have been called last night would have to go to a portion of the Eagle fanbase!
That being said, onto Val D'Or, where the Eagles have already won. They can get another there. GO EAGLES GO!

Anonymous said...

First off, has Inside the Nest gone AWOL? The silence is deafening! At least comments are being printed.
I, to, have to post comment on the jerks who through bottles etc. on the ice after Val d’Or won. That was totally reprehensible behavior. There is no way that represents the dedicated fan base of the Eagles.
To Ralph, if more people thanked God for all the gifts that we receive this world would be a better place. If God was in the hearts and minds of more people, there wouldn’t be so much crap going on. One more thing, I will thank God whenever I feel like it and don’t expect me to seek your permission either!
As to the game, it was a huge disappointment. The Eagles played a strong first period. Who got into their uniforms after the first intermission is the million dollar question. The second and third periods were not Eagles hockey. Where did the boys go? We had a full house, a very boisterous crowd that didn’t quit but unfortunately a team that decided to go some where else! I’m very disappointed and mad as hell!
So now you’re in Val d’Or and you’re on your own! You could have won it here before your fans (that just sounds right) but now you must win in hostile territory. If the officials were so blatantly anti Eagle (I suppose Bourdon had some red dye in his mouth) here at home, what’s it going to be like in Val d’Or?
There is an old saying: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” We, your fateful fans, expect you to be tough and we expect you to get going!
You guys pull up your socks and play 60 minutes of in your face Eagles hockey. No more vacations until this play-off season is over. Whatever FDTV stands for, do you think maybe you lost sight of it Friday night? Refocus and get the job done!
We can’t be with you physically in Val d’Or but we will be there for you in our hearts and in our minds.
Remember, 60 minutes of unrelenting, in your face Eagles hockey!
Go Eagles Go

CB Eagle Fan said...

I agree, to a point, with the previous anonymous writer who said that the regular fan base would not throw bottles and other debris. However, there are some fans who are at every game, that, although I didn't see them, I feel are certainly capable of this behaviour. They are the ones that run down the steps to pound on the penalty box, or lean over the glass and yell at the opposing players sitting out their time. They are the ones that sit there yelling obscenities at the players and officials. But these fans are few and far between (I hope). Most of us are as you said... and would never think of doing such a thing. And as far as apologizing for the actions of others... yes, I did! I wanted to get Kris Letang's autograph after the game (he's the enemy this year, but next year he will probably be a Penguin!). As he was signing the picture I had, I apologized to him for what had happened. He quietly said that it was okay, that it's hockey and they are used to it. A gentleman behind me said, no, that's not hockey! and I totally agree with him.

CB Eagle Fan said...

I was one of a good number of fans who made the trip out to the airport to see the Eagles off on their return to Val D'Or. I'm glad to report that the boys seemed relaxed and confident. They spent about 1/2 hour chatting with the fans, signing autographs and posing for pictures. When they left to go through security, it was to much applause and chanting of GO EAGLES GO! and FHTV!, high fives, and hugs. It was nice to see so many fans out, and I'm sure the boys appreciated it. Apparently, about a dozen fans headed out for Val D'Or on Saturday, and were planning to meet the team when their plane landed. Having that bit of fan base from home should give them a little extra boost. At this end, I'm sure we will all be cheering into our radios and TVs. GO EAGLES GO!

Anonymous said...

WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE UNLESS WE GET SOME SECONDARY SCORING. SHEP,CULLI, AND SLANEY ARE THE ONLY LINE DOING DAMAGE. FERGUS LINE IS NOT PRODUCING AND WITHOUT OULETTE ON THAT LINE THEY ARE HORRENDOUS IN THEIR OWN END. WE HAVE A BIG PROBLEM GOING TO VALD'OR WITH ONE LINE. BY THE WAY WHY DOES FERGUS TAKE THE WHOLE 2 MINUTES OF THE PP. HE IS TIRED AFTER THE FIRST MINUTE.
GAME 5 TURNING POINT SHEPPARD AND FERGUS TAKE 4 ON 3 PP. WHERE IS CULLI AND SHEPPARD . THEY HAVE PRODUCE AND HAVE GELLED LIKE BREAD AND BUTTER. GO EAGLES

ralph said...

For the poster who thought I was saying people shouldn't thank god for anything, maybe you missed my point. I agree with everything you said in your post referencing mine. If more people had bigger hearts and thanked god, the world would be a better place.

My point was simply that no matter how much you thank god, it does not determine the outcome of your success in a sporting event. I find it laughable to hear boxers thanking the lord during a post fight interview for giving him the abilities to knock another man unconscious. And I find it just as silly to thank god because your team won. He had nothing to do with it.

Putting this to rest, the Eagles better get their act together or this years team will mostly be remembered as the team that blew a 3-1 series lead in the semi-finals in an otherwise amazing season. The season that matters though, is the 2nd one.