Legault burns former team in Eagles win
Olivier Roy sets new franchise record for victories as Cape Breton downs Shawinigan, 5-3
SYDNEY — It wasn’t the prettiest goal that’s ever been witnessed at Centre 200, but Maxime Legault couldn’t contain the excitement of scoring on his former team.
“ When I was falling down, it just touched my skate,” said Legault, who raised his arms triumphantly after the deciding tally. The play went upstairs for review, but was quickly deemed good to go.
“It was a lucky goal, but I’ll take it. I haven’t scored a lot so far here, so I was really happy to score against Shawinigan.”
Legault’s goal at 14:49 of the second period stood as the winner, as the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles skated to a 5-3 win over the Shawinigan Cataractes, Wednesday, in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play. The win was the second in a row for Cape Breton, after they bumped off the Canadian Hockey League’s No. 1ranked Saint John Sea Dogs, Sunday, at Harbour Station.
“I just wanted to win against those guys,” said Legault, of his former team. “I worked really hard (Wednesday) and it paid off. Offensive stats are always bonuses for me. I think we had a great game, our line, me, Nick (MacNeil) and Jacob (Lagacé).”
MacNeil paced the offence for the Eagles, scoring twice and adding an assist. His empty netter with 16 seconds left in regulation iced the contest for the home side.
Goals from Viktor Hertzberg on the power play and Morgan Ellis, who also recorded two assists, gave Cape Breton a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission. Hertzberg’s tally set the team’s rookie record for goals in a season with 20.
MacNeil and Legault struck in the second, but the visitors hung around with a pair of tallies. Joé Dubé led the Cataractes with two, power-play goals, while Michaël Bournival scored with 38 seconds left in the second to give Shawinigan new life heading into the final stanza.
The third period, however, belonged to Olivier Roy. He was key on the penalty kill with Shawinigan pressing for the equalizer. He deflected 22 shots to improve his record to 26-19 on the season.
The victory was also the 88th of his career, which set a new franchise record for most career wins by a goaltender. That includes the team’s time in Cape Breton, Granby, Verdun and Sorel. He bested the previous benchmark set by Claude Legris, who won 87 games with Sorel from 1972-76.
“If that team will win, it’s because Olivier Roy will stand up — it’s as simple as that,” said Durocher. “ We believe in him and are confident in him and we want him to be sharp in every aspect.
“ When there’s less shots, I know it’s tougher for a goalie, but he did it before.”
Marc-Antoine Gélinas shouldered the loss for the visitors, falling to 28-12 after making 22 stops. Gabriel Girard entered the game following Legault’s goal in the second and stopped all 14 shots in relief.
The Eagles (33-20-2-3, 71 points) continues their homestand Friday when they host the Halifax Mooseheads at 7 p.m. The game is the team’s annual Cape Breton University night, where CBU students, faculty and staff will be in attendance.
NOTE: The Eagles had a number of scratches, but Durocher said they’re all listed as day-to- day and are mostly precautionary. They include Brad Cuzner (upper body), Kalin Paul (illness), Marc Bourgeois (lower body) and JeanSebastien Fournier ( lower body)... 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.
Cape Breton Screaming Eagles captain Nick MacNeil parks himself in front of Shawinigan Cataractes goaltender MarcAntoine Gélinas during Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action Wednesday at Centre 200. MacNeil scored twice in Cape Breton’s 5-3 win.