Islanders comeback to beat Acadie-Bathurst on rivalry weekend
The Charlottetown Islanders have taken game one of the Battle of the Gulf against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
It was Dakota Lund-Cornish’s second start for the Isles, with Titan starter Reilly Pickard taking to the net for his ninth game on the season.
The Titan came into the on a two-game win streak, but it was the Isles who got on the board first.
Eight minutes into the opening period Isles forward Samuel Mesienheimer scored his second goal of the season on a shot from the slot. Adam Marsh and P.O. Joseph grabbed assists on the play and the Islanders went into the first intermission up 1-0.
With two Islanders in the box just over a minute into the second period, Acadie-Bathurst Titan forward Adam Howell capitalized, sliding home a rebound off the pads of Dakota Lund-Cornish.
Minutes later, with seconds remaining in 4-on-4 action, Titan forward Justin Ducharme scored his sixth goal of the season, giving his team the lead.
Acadie-Bathurst were in control for most of the second period outshooting the Isles 22-4 in the frame.
As the third period rolled around the Isles refused to go away.
Just over seven minutes into the period Charlottetown’s newest Islander, Sullivan Sparkes, scored his first goal of the season, following up a P.O. Joseph point shot and knocking in the rebound.
The Titan answered back minutes later.
Left-winger Jeffrey Truchon-Viel found open space to the left of Lund-Cornish and, after a rebound off of a Noah Dobson point shot, slide home a loose puck.
But the resilient Islanders would not go away.
With less than eight minutes remaining in the third period, Matthew Grouchy was able to get his stick on a loose puck in front of Pickard, tying the game.
Momentum was on their side and the Islanders kept pushing.
With the score tied at three, forward Samuel Meisenheimer showed great skill, beating two Titan defenders along the boards before making a move to the middle of the ice and beating Pickard over the shoulder with the back-hand.
Acadie-Bathurst would pull their goalie in favour of an extra attacker in the closing seconds but it was not enough and the Islanders took game one of the Battle of the Gulf on the road.
The Islanders were out-shot 49-24 in the game with goaltender Dakota Lund-Cornish making 46 saves, on route to his first career QMJHL victory.
Head Coach and General manager Jim Hulton liked the character his team showed throughout the game.
“We faced a lot of adversity with injuries, which resulted in a make-shift line-up,” he said “As a staff we are thrilled to see our character, resilience and effort rewarded.”
Both teams will face-off again on Saturday, with puck-drop scheduled for 7pm at the EastLink Centre in Charlottetown.