It took nearly 50 shots to do it, but the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles finally beat Nicola Riopel and the Moncton Wildcats at home.
Chris Culligan scored in the sixth round of the shootout as the Screaming Eagles downed the Wildcats 3-2 in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action Wednesday night.
Both teams went goalless through the first five rounds - a fitting extension of a classic goaltending battle waged in regulation and overtime by the Wildcats' Riopel and Cape Breton netminder Olivier Roy. The two combined to make 77 saves in the first 65 minutes, and another 11 in the shootout.
Culligan's goal ended Cape Breton's struggles against their Maritime rivals in their own arena. Moncton had won the previous two meetings in Sydney, N.S., this season, outscoring the Screaming Eagles by an 8-1 margin.
Cape Breton's answer: peppering Riopel with shots from the start. The Screaming Eagles (24-11-1-1) fired 16 first-period shots on Riopel - the QMJHL's defensive player of the month in both October and November - and finished with 43 in regulation and overtime en route to their fourth straight win.
In Wednesday's other QMJHL game, it was: Quebec 2 P.E.I. 0.
At Sydney, Riopel was perfect through two periods, but Cape Breton broke the scoreless deadlock on a Nicolas Chouinard power-play goal 34 seconds into the third. Scott Brannon tied it on a Moncton man advantage at 5:36, and Chouinard restored the Screaming Eagles' lead on a power play 55 seconds later.
Randy Cameron forced extra time for Moncton (25-3-2-3) with 5:01 left in the third. The shootout loss left the Wildcats one point behind the idle Drummondville Voltigeurs and Shawinigan Cataractes atop the QMJHL standings.
Roy turned aside 35 shots to earn the victory.
Remparts 2 Rocket 0
At Quebec, Charles Lavigne turned aside 26 shots in the Remparts' win over P.E.I.
Dmitry Kugryshev and Sebastien Trudeau scored for Quebec (25-8-0-2).
Evan Mosher made 42 saves as the Rocket (12-17-3-5) dropped their third in a row.