The Gatineau Olympiques took a page from the Screaming Eagles book and rallied to win game five and stay alive in their opening best of seven first round series against Cape Breton. Just like Cape Breton rallied in games one and two, Gatineau crawled out of a two goal hole and posted a 5-3 victory in game five.
For the first time in the series, Cape Breton would find the first goal of the game in regulation. Drake Batherson converted on the power play for his fifth marker of the playoffs, scoring on an angle at 3:32 to put the vistors ahead. The lead would then double when Eagles forward Peyton Hoyt would take a hit to make a play.
Hoyt was the recipient of a crushing body check from Zach MacEwen in the netural zone, but the aftermath saw Giovanni Fiore take the puck up the right wing. Olivier LeBlanc would give Fiore a passing option, and with a decoy Fire wired the puck over the shoulder of Tristan Bérubé to expand the lead at 9:32. But less than a minute later, Gatineau’s Jeffrey Durocher would put the home side on the board and the teams went to the break with Cape Breton ahead 2-1.
It looked as though the middle period would end scoreless, continuing a trend as each of the first four games had at least one scoreless period. The Eagles penalty kill was doing their part, allowing little opportunity with Yannik Bertrand in the penalty box for a hit on Yakov Trenin. But while the Olympiques couldn’t generate anything in the first half of the power play, Trenin would soar down the left wing and zap it by Kyle Jessiman to tie the game heading into the third period.
Olympiques captain Marc-Olivier Crevier-Morin, who was in the penalty box when Batherson scored the opening goal, would take another penalty for a cross check at the end of the middle stanza. With a fresh sheet of ice to work with to open period three the Cape Breton man advantage went to work, and once again Batherson made Crevier-Morin pay for his sin. Bérubé thought he had the puck covered but it had snuck behind him and Batherson jammed in his league leading sixth playoff goal.
While special teams gave the Eagles the lead, it would also be the undoing of the visitors, as penalty trouble saw Cape Breton take three straight minors. Holding the lead with less than four minutes to play but with Ross MacDougall in the box for hooking, the Eagles saw their lead disappear when MacEwen wired the puck through traffic to tie the game at 16:05.
Just forty seconds later the breaks would go the way of the home side, with a puck bouncing off an Eagle defender and out to Shawn Boudrias in the slot. The Gatineau forward fired it over Jessiman and the Olympiques had their first lead of the game with just 3:15 remaining.
With 1:36 left Eagles coach Marc-André Dumont would elect to pull Jessiman in favour of an extra attacker. But the Eagles could not find the tying goal, and with just one second remaining, Alexandre Landreville would hit the open cage to secure the win for the team. Cape Breton now leads the series 3-2.
Bérubé took the win, stopping 37 of 40 shots in the contest. Jessiman took the loss after turing aside 21 of 25 shots.
Albert Bridge native Logan O’Neil saw his first action of the series for Cape Breton, in his first career playoff game. O’Neil did not register any hits or shots and was even on the plus/minus ledger.
The series will now head back to Sydney, with game six and if necessary game seven taking place on Monday and Tuesday respectively. Tickets for Monday’s game can be purchased at Centre 200 box office, by calling 902-564-2200 or online at https://tickets.capebreton.ca/Online/default.asp
Scratches For Cape Breton: Olivier Bourret, Sacha Roy
Scratches For Gatineau: Ryan O’Bonsawin, Eric Eschweiler, Mathieu Bellemarre (injury)
Final Shots On Goal: 40-26 in favour of Cape Breton
Cape Breton Power Play: 2/2
Gatineau Power Play: 2/7