Islanders comeback falls just short against undefeated Quebec Remparts
Heading into Saturday night’s match-up with the QMJHL’s top-ranked team, the Isles offence was struggling, failing to score a goal in their two previous outings. To make things worse, Remparts goaltender Dereck Beribeau rolled into Charlottetown allowing only 5 goals in his first 5 starts of the season.
After losing 4-0 to the Saint John Sea Dogs the night before the Islanders came out flying on Saturday. The Isles were physical from the outset and after Quebec forward Matthew Boucher was called for holding, the Islanders power-play looked to capitalize.
Just over 10 seconds into the man-advantage Saku Vesterinen and P.O Joseph found the stick of Adam Marsh who beat Beribeau to open the scoring.
The lead would not hold up though, as Quebec forward Derek Gentile answered back a minute later.
At the end of the first period, the game was tied 1-1 with the Isles outshooting their opponents 13-4.
The Remparts were able to take their first lead of the game on a Jeremy Laframboise shot through traffic at the 2:10 mark of the period.
After recently acquired forward Sullivan Sparkes received double-minor for roughing, the Remparts went to the power play. Defenceman Benjamin Gagne was able to capitalized on the man-advantage extending his team’s lead to 3-1.
Quebec wasn’t done there. Just over three minutes later, forward Jesse Sutton took advantage of the open ice during a 4-on-4, beating goaltender Matthew Welsh.
The Isles found themselves down by three, but continued to play hard.
After a great defencive play by Saku Vesterinen the Isles went the other way. The puck eventually found its way to the stick of Keith Getson who snapped shot
over the glove side of Beribeau, cutting into the lead.
Quebec were able to answer back three minutes later on a Matthew Boucher shot, but the Isles refused
to go down without a fight.
After a Remparts penalty for high sticking, Adam Marsh was able to score his second power play goal of the game, this time on a great individual effort from the slot.
The Isles weren’t done there.
After receiving another man-advantage with just under 20 seconds remaining in the period, the Isles capitalized again. This time on Samuel Meisenheimer shot off of a scramble in front of Beribeau.
The Isles were dictating the game and entered the second intermission with momentum on their side.
After a tight checking start to the third period the Isles found themselves with another man-advantage and were looking to tie the game.
The Islanders were able to even up the score after Keith Getson finished off a pretty passing play from Joseph and Vesterinen.
As the game rolled into overtime the hometown crowd were loud and proud, b
ut after a back and forth extra period the Remparts were able to grab the victory.
With 12.6 seconds remaining in overtime, Quebec defencmen Benjamin Gagne scored his second goal of the game, defecting a shot passed Welsh.
The Isles offence, which seemed be missing for much of the early part of the season, exploded against the league’s top team for 5 goals and Head Coach Jim Hulton was impressed with his team’s performance.
“There was no quit, we got down 4-1 to a very good hockey team and we stuck with our systems, we stuck with our work ethic and those are the things that have to be our trademarks.”
Hulton feels like there is still a lot of room to grow for his group and Saturday’s game was a big step forward for the team.
“There was a lot more positives than negatives tonight,” Hulton said. “I was proud of the way the guys responded.”