For the second consecutive season, fans in Sydney will be heading to Centre 200 to see second round playoff action. Following a pair of hard fought games in PEI, the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles return home for game 3 of their series against the Charlottetown Islanders. The Eagles are hoping that home ice is the tonic to get them back into the series.
This season Cape Breton was strong on home ice, posting a record of 21-9-4 in the regular season. The Eagles won three of four home games in the first round against Gatineau, with all victories coming in overtime. Charlottetown played 21-11-2 away from the Eastlink Centre in 2016-17. The two teams played four games at Centre 200, with the Screaming Eagles winning three of four meetings- each club needing overtime for one of those wins.
Cape Breton will look to finish stronger on Tuesday night, as in games one and two the Eagles and Islanders were tied heading info the final twenty minutes, but would see Charlottetown emerge victorious. Special teams has been a big key in the series thus far as well, with the Islanders going 3 for 11 on the man advantage while the Screaming Eagles haven’t scored on eight power plays in the series- and eighteen power plays dating back to the Gatineau series.
Giovanni Fiore led the QMJHL in goals scored this year with 52 and he has scored in both games of this series as well. For Charlottetown, Filip Chlapik (three points in game one) and Daniel Sprong (two goals in game two) have starred on their respective lines. But the Islanders offense will take a hit as star overager François Beauchemin has been suspended for two games following a charge on Marcus Tesink in game one.
Marc-André Dumont has not elected a starting goaltender for his Eagles squad, as Kevin Mandolese and Kyle Jessiman split the starts in the opening weekend of the series. For Charlottetown, Mark Grametbauer was handcuffed on Fiore’s shot in game two but otherwise starred throughout the night and the entire playoffs thus far with a 934 save percentage.
Tonight’s game three goes at 7 pm at Centre 200.