The Long and Short of It: The Cape Breton Eagles Recent Success

This season has to be different. This season has to be full of hope. This season has to be one to build on.

The Cape Breton Eagles and their hockey crazed fans wanted this season to be all of those things and let’s face it, a few short weeks ago it didn’t look promising. Nevertheless, Jon Goyens squad have surprised a lot of skeptics and have reeled off five straight victories under incredible scrutiny and adversity.

If something could have gone wrong it has for the young and talented Cape Breton Eagles.

The young and talented Eagles or the banged up and hurt Cape Breton Eagles.

Injuries are a part of the game, it absolutely sucks, but that’s the way it is especially when your organization has high hopes to turn things around, but you can guarantee that no one and I mean no one around the league cares one bit about their opponents injuries.

Sylvain Couturier, Goyens and the entire coaching staff and support staff of the Eagles deserve a lot of credit for the team’s resurgence.

The long and short of their recent success of course centres around the Oliver Satny trade, the conviction and focus to play as a group no matter what, but also the play of one Conor Shortall.

Satny has been brilliant giving the team a chance to compete and win every time he’s between the pipes. His addition will push and provide Nicolas Ruccia more time to grow.

It’s a win win proposition between the pipes for the Eagles moving forward. You can’t control injuries, especially on your backend and that’s where young talented teams usually get hit the most and the soonest.

Enter Conor Shortall.

By some accounts Shortall didn’t have the greatest training camp and with changes all around some people in the hockey world questioned the defencman’s role and place on the team heading into the season.

No one is questioning his role or place on the team now, he’s been spectacular for the Eagles filling a massive void in all areas especially in a leadership department.

To say the Eagles have been decimated by injuries would be an understatement, but as one QMJHL executive told me once, “with injuries and adversity comes opportunity.”

Shortall has taken advantage of his increased role on the team and has really taken off. The 19 year old veteran clearly has a lot to play for and one can never overlook the pressure that “19’s” face on any team especially rebuilding ones.

Don’t get me wrong there’s been some amazing stories coming out of all the injuries and adversity the Eagles have faced so far this season. They have had new arrivals like Trevor Thurston step in and contribute right away. Their young talent continue to grind it out. Julien Hebert has been a spark plug up front, and Xavier Daigle has been amazing on the backend as well.

The Cape Breton Eagles are the epitome of a team, which is a perfect way to start building a winning culture.

The Cape Breton Eagles are quickly discovering a new identity, one of which is being a team that’s tough to play against. A group with nothing to lose and every thing to gain is a desperate and dangerous team. A team that out works their opponents every shift is a team that is trending in an amazing direction.

This season has to be different. This season has to be full of hope. This season has to be one to build on. It’s been all of that and more for the Eagles so far.

Of course there will be some long nights ahead, and it’s a long season, but there is hope and a shit ton of veteran and new talent that are really stepping up for “team” success and you know what, that’s what it’s all about!

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