Woodworth proving his worth
Eagles at home tonight against Cataractes
SYDNEY — Just like another former Cape Breton Screaming Eagles defenceman, Stephen Woodworth is looking to prove he’s not just a footnote in a major deal.
In 2003, the Eagles orchestrated a blockbuster deal with the Halifax Mooseheads which sent forwards Stuart MacRae , George Davis and defencemen Steve Villeneuve to the Herd in return for defenceman Patrick Gilbert, forwards Jonathan Labelle and Nathan Veinot, two first-round draft picks and 18-yearold defenceman Adam Pardy. Pardy, although not a principal in the trade, put in two solid seasons in Cape Breton and is now patrolling the blue-line for the Calgary Flames.
The 16-year-old Woodworth was in the same situation. Back in January, he was acquired by the Eagles in a deal for 18-year-old defenceman Eric Gelinas, who was subsequently shipped to the Chicoutimi Sagueneens to acquire Jacob Lagacé.
“I obviously want to prove myself to both the hockey team and the people here in Cape Breton,” said the Middleton native, selected by the Maineiacs in the fourth round, No. 58 overall, in the 2009 draft. “They’re a great hockey organization and if I can contribute and prove it to them that I deserve a spot on this team, I want to do that as best I can.”
The deal did open an opportunity for Woodworth. Along with getting to move closer to home, he got to jump into full-time duty with a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team. He played in five games with the Maineiacs prior to being dealt, but spent most of the season with the Halifax Lions of the Maritime Junior ‘A’ Hockey League.
“When I found out when I was traded, I wasn’t sure I would be coming up with the team this year or tryout next year,” he said. “When they told me that I was going to come up with them this year, I got very excited and looked forward to the opportunity and just want to make the most of it.”
Woodworth and his teammates are looking to build on a big win, Sunday. They doubled the Canadian Hockey League’s No. 1ranked Saint John Sea Dogs by a 42 score to split their weekend series with the team. They’ll challenge the Shawinigan Cataractes tonight at 7 p.m.
The Eagles continue their homestand Friday against the Halifax Mooseheads, another 7 p.m. start. That game will be the annual Cape Breton University night, where CBU students, faculty and staff will be in attendance.
NOTE: Members of the Eagles will be at Boston Pizza, Tuesday, for their annual Celebrity Server event. The players will be taking orders, doing dishes and serving tables from 5-9 p.m., with 10 per cent of all sales to be donated to the IWK Health Centre Foundation.