Giovanni Fiore became just the second player in Screaming Eagles history to hit 50 goals, and the first in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in two years to reach the milestone, as his two point night helped Cape Breton edge Moncton 3-2 on Saturday night.
It was a rematch of Friday night’s game between the two clubs, the Friday encounter being one where the Eagles weathered early penalty trouble to heavily outshoot the Cats and build up a 4-0 lead. This time Cape Breton would outshoot Moncton 17-5, kill off four penalties in the first twenty minutes… but this time couldn’t find the back of the net.
Centre 200 did explode, though, with 1:13 remaining in the opening period when Giovanni FIore blasted a shot from the top of the circle that would beat Matthew Waite. The crowd rose to its feet as it marked Fiore’s 50th of the season- however, the goal would be overturned after a lengthy video review. It was scoreless after one period.
In fact it would be the visitors that would find the first real goal of the game as at the 5:54 mark of the middle stanza Julien Tessier would create a lucky bounce in front of the Cape Breton goal to give the Cats a 1-0 edge. But the lead would not last three minutes as Massimo Carozza would put an unassuming shot low on the ice past Waite to tie the contest.
Eagles fans would get their second chance to stand and applaud though, as with just under five minutes to play in the period Fiore would fire the puck through traffic- there was no tip, there was no review, just the 50th goal of the season for the star Cape Breton forward on a 5 on 3 power play. The Eagles couldn’t score on the second portion of the man advantage but would hold a 2-1 lead at the break.
Moncton would use special teams to knot the score at the 8:23 of the third frame when Anthony Wojcik found the back of the goal. But the home side would pull ahead from an unlikely source- rugged blueliner Sacha Roy found the open space in the left circle and blasted it low along the ice past Waite to put Cape Breton ahead.
Wildcats coach Darren Rumble elected to pull his netminder towards the end of the game, but did not have the opportunity to put six attackers on the ice for long as Cape Breton would soon after gain the Moncton zone. He called his timeout in the final minute and the Cats had some opportunities but couldn’t find the back of the goal and Cape Breton notched a 3-2 victory. With the win the Eagles pulled ahead of idle Chicoutimi for 7th in the QMJHL standings.
Kyle Jessiman picked up the win in goal with 16 saves on 18 shots, while Waite turned aside on 38 of 41 shots.
There is one home game remaining in the regular season for the Screaming Eagles and it’s a special night on the team calendar, the club’s annual Irish Jersey night. Cape Breton will host the Acadie-Bathurst Titan and the Eagles will wearing special green uniforms that will be raffled off in support of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation. Tickets can be purchased at Centre 200 box office, by calling 902-564-2200 or online at https://tickets.capebreton.ca/Online/default.asp