Friday, April 6, 2007

A virtually flawless performance; Eagles take Game One 3-0 before sold-out crowd

You couldn't really ask for a more successful playoff game.

The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles came out in front of a packed house that had high expectations of the team and was expecting results, and boy did they deliver in Game One of their second round series against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

Cape Breton dominated the game almost start-to-finish, holding the high-flying Titan to only a handful of decent scoring chances, and hemming them up in their zone for much of the final two periods. The Eagles also showed excellent discipline, taking just two penalties over the entire course of the hockey game.

The boys got on the scoreboard with a powerplay goal that featured some phenomenal passing, with the play finished off with one of Cam Fergus's patented lasers to the top shelf, glove side. That gave them a 1-0 lead after one. In the second, Chris Culligan was behind the Titan net and caught goaltender Antoine Tardif looking the wrong way. He then feathered a pass out front in the opposite direction to where Scott Brannon was waiting to tap it in for a 2-0 lead. The game's final goal came as a result of some great work by the third line. Brad Gallant did an excellent job forcing a turnover, and then he and Jo Laberge tic-tac-toed it to Brendon MacDonald for his first career QMJHL playoff goal. Brannon's goal was also his first in the Q playoffs.

But the biggest "first" achieved on the night was the shutout. Ondrej Pavelec, and the excellent overall team defense, combined for the first playoff shutout in team history. As well, this is the first time Cape Breton has ever won the first game of a series against Bathurst............. and the first time they have ever led a playoff series against Bathurst, period.

All four lines were excellent and did their jobs fully. The Fergus line provided flash and dash and created tons of scoring chances, including a powerplay goal. The Sheppard line was possibly the best of the night, shutting down the Beauregard/Perreault line and contributing a tally of their own. The Laberge/MacDonald/Gallant line outplayed Bathurst's young third line, and scored a goal. Finally, the JC Gauthier/Quesnel/MacNeil line kept the Titan pinned inside their blueline on many a shift.

All six defencemen were rocks, including lots of big hits from Beau Prokopetz and Luc Bourdon, and goaltender Pavelec made the saves when called upon.

Almost as close as you can get to a perfect performance, and it all came in front of a very enthusiastic and appreciative sold-out crowd.

That's what playoff hockey is all about, and the boys will try to do it all again tomorrow night!

How sweet it would be to head to Bathurst up two games to none; GO EAGLES GO!


RinkRat said...

Last nights game was excellent. The
Eagles had no signs of being off for 9 days. They took control of the game very early and never looked back!
Both goalies played very well. If not for the play of Tardif, the Eagles would have buried the Titan with a lot more goals.
I'm very confident that the Eagles have the Titan's number after watching last nights game.Bergeron was yapping all night at the Eagles trying to get them off their game,
especially Brad Gallent.
Stick to playing hockey boys and you will roll over this team the same way you rolled over the Fogdevils!!!
My only concern is, where was Robert Slaney? Is he sick or injured? He was practicing with the team on Wednesday.Any info out there?


tommy said...

great game, i wasn't able to attend, but watched it on Eastlink

Overall, they played a solid 60 min, except for a few defensive issues in the 3rd where Pavalec had to come up big, and a few nice 2nd effort defensive plays by some players to negate a couple of turnovers that could have been costly.

Aside from that, they played the typical in-your-face Eagles hockey, aggressive forechecking, and creating turnovers in the opponents end, superb!

Impressive is all I can say

Eagle Fan Forever said...

Excelent Game No doudt about it

RinkRat said...

After watching James Sheppard for the last 3 years,I know how good of a player he is,but he still has me leaving C200 in awe shaking my head.
He is like a man amongst boys on the ice.His puck protection is already far superior than any of the other players I have seen the last 2 years!
I truly believe that Mathieu Perreault's MVP league trophy should belong to James Sheppard!!!!
The QMJHL can put what ever name they wish on that trophy, but the fans of the Eagles know that Sheppard is the "TRUE" league MVP!!
Well boys,I really,really don't want to ever see Thomas Beauregard or Charles Bergeron ever again so please finish off these guys in Bathurst!!