WIN ON HOME ICE
Cape Breton posts 4-2 victory in home return after rough road trip
Screaming Eagles double Islanders 4-2 at Centre 200.
The Cape Breton Screaming Eagles really missed that home cooking.
After a tough road trip through Quebec that saw the club drop three out of four games, the Eagles rebounded with a solid 4-2 win over the visiting Charlottetown Islanders at Centre 200 on Wednesday night.
The win, which puts the team (5-4-0-0) above .500 on the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season, was a true team effort, said Eagles general manager and head coach Marc-André Dumont.
“I think it was a solid 60-minute effort. We used all four lines all game long and I felt we built our game as we went forward,” he said. “I think everybody was able to contribute tonight. That’s what we want — we want for every player to contribute.”
After a scoreless first period, left-winger Tyler Hylland broke the ice. With the Eagles short-handed, he was awarded a penalty shot, putting the puck past Islanders netminder Matthew Welsh for his first goal of the campaign. Minutes later, Peyton Hoyt scored his second of the season to put Cape Breton
up 2-0 until Keith Getson struck just five seconds into a Charlottetown power play, beating
Kyle Jessiman to close the gap to one.
The Eagles restored the two-goal edge during a fiveminute power play. With Charlottetown’s Sullivan Sparkes serving the major for kneeing Eagles’ rookie defenceman Noah Laaouan, Mathias Laferrière buried the rebound on Adam McCormick’s one-timer for the eventual game-winner, sending the home team to the dressing room up 3-1.
It was a back-and-forth final fame until Adam Marsh’s beautiful stretch pass sprung Getson on a breakaway and
he bested Jessiman for his fifth goal of the year. With Welsh on the bench in favour of the extra attacker, Declan Smith potted the insurance marker for the Eagles in the dying moments to make it a 4-2 final.
Laferrière, who was coming off a three-point night in Drummondville on Sunday, now has six points in nine games this season — his first full one in the QMJHL — and appears to be showing why he was a key part of the deal that sent former Eagles star Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.
“It’s a way better league than midget so it takes time for me to get used to it. Last year I didn’t have a whole year but this year I have a whole year to get used it and slowly but surely I’m getting more confident every game,” said the 17-year-old Montreal native, who packed 15 pounds of muscle onto his 6-1 frame during the offseason.
“Obviously from last year I feel stronger, a little bit faster, but I will just keep working throughout the year so I can get faster and stronger throughout the season too.”
Dumont said Laferrière is getting better every day.
“Laffy is a very talented young hockey player. I’m glad to see him be successful offensively — that’s great for his confidence. And we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg with him — there’s so much below the surface right now in terms of potential. It’s his job to convert that potential into performance with time.”
The Eagles will remain at home on Friday when they host the Halifax Mooseheads (4-2-20) on Friday for the first time in the regular season. Game time is 7 p.m. They then head to Halifax on Saturday for the second game of the home-and-home series.
Peyton Hoyt of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles fends off a pair of Charlottetown Islanders defenders as he breaks to the net during Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action at Centre 200 on Wednesday night. Hoyt would later score as the Eagles won 4-2.