Monday, April 2, 2007

My, how the plot has thickened - second round opponent to be determined in "Games 7" Tuesday night

In my previous blog, I noted that of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles' three potential second round playoff opponents (Acadie-Bathurst Titan, Moncton Wildcats, and PEI Rocket), the Wildcats and Rocket were on the brink of elimination, and that therefore Cape Breton's most likely upcoming adversary would be the Bathurst Titan.

My how things have changed since then. This blogger will freely admit that he was maybe a little too quick to count out the Rocket and the Wildcats. At the time, PEI trailed Bathurst 3-1 in games, but they have since come back to tie the series at 3-3, forcing a Game 7 tomorrow (Tuesday) night at the Charlottetown Civic Centre. Moncton also looked like they were on their last legs. They trailed their series 3-2 against the Halifax Mooseheads, and had gotten crushed 5-0 at home in Game 5 of the series. However, Moncton has been surprising QMJHL fans all season, and proved that they had at least one more surprise left in their bag of tricks when they pulled out a 4-3 win at the Halifax Metro Centre in Game 6 to force a seventh game at the Moncton Coliseum tomorrow night.

What all of this means to the Screaming Eagles is that their second round playoff opponent is still very much yet to be determined, and that there is now pretty much an equal chance of it being any of those three possible opponents. Come Friday night, we could be facing Moncton, PEI, or Bathurst, and it will all be decided by the two Game 7's tomorrow night.

I'll try to put it as simply as possible:

- If Moncton defeats Halifax in the 7th game of that series, MONCTON WILL BE OUR OPPONENT. It will not matter what happens between Bathurst and PEI.

- If Halifax defeats Moncton in the 7th game of that series, then our opponent will be THE WINNER OF GAME 7 BETWEEN PEI AND BATHURST.

Fans may be interested to know that Game 7 between Moncton and Halifax is being carried LIVE on Eastlink Television tomorrow night at 7:30 PM from the Moncton Coliseum. Therefore, interested Eagle supporters can tune in and watch the team's second round fate become at least in part (if not fully) determined by the result of that game. The Eastlink broadcast will surely provide many updates on what's going on in Charlottetown, as well.

It's a tangled web we weave, but I for one wouldn't have it any other way. It's exciting when things go down to the wire like this, and furthermore, it's gotta be a good thing for our Eagles that whomever our second round challenger ends up being, they've already been through a gruelling seven-game series, and will hopefully have been worn down a bit.


Speaking of second round playoff matchups, those in the Telus Division are now finalized.

In Round One............

(1) Val d'or swept (8) Chicoutimi 4-0
(7) Baie-Comeau knocked off (2) Victoriaville 4-2
(6) Rouyn-Noranda shocked (3) Gatineau 4-1
(4) Drummondville dispatched (5) Quebec 4-1

That gives us second round pairings of...................

(1) Val d'or vs (7) Baie-Comeau
(4) Drummondville vs (6) Rouyn-Noranda

Look for Val d'or vs Baie-Comeau to be a potentially high-scoring dandy between two teams with absolutely potent offences.

Also note Gatineau's very surprising early exit. This is proof that playoff failure can happen to absolutely anyone, as nobody has a richer playoff history than the fabled Olympiques.

I'll check in after tomorrow night's Game 7s are played out, by which time we'll know our second round opponent and can all start dissecting how the series may go down!

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