Islanders win first game of Quebec road-trip
The Islanders rolled into Victoriaville on Friday night for a match-up with the struggling Tigres.
Confidence was still riding high for the Isles, despite coming off a loss to Halifax on Sunday.
Isles turned to Matthew Welsh in goal to kick things off for the team on this three-game Quebec road-trip.
The Islanders opened the scoring in this one, with forward Sam King wiring a shot over the right shoulder of Victoriaville starter Tristan Côté-Cazenave 14:38 into the first period.
The lead was short though, as just two minutes later Tigres defencemen Jérôme Gravel fired a shot from the left-end boards that found its way over the shoulder of Welsh, tying the game.
The team played a tough and physical period the rest of the way, but after 20 minutes of action the score was tied at 1-1.
Just past the halfway mark of the second period, Isles leading scorer Adam Marsh received a great pass from line-mate Samuel Meisenheimer before firing his fifth goal of the season past Côté-Cazenave.
Both team traded chances in the second period but entered the intermission with the Islanders leading 2-1.
Less than a minute into the third period the Isles added to their lead.
On what seemed to be a harmless play, defencemen Hunter Drew threw the puck on net from the boards, where it was deflected by forward Sullivan Sparkes for his fourth goal of the season.
The Tigres refused to back down though and eight minutes later, with Meisenheimer in the box for High-Sticking, Victoriaville’s Jérémie Beaudin capitalized, beating Welsh to cut the Isles lead to 3-2.
The Islanders answered back five minutes later, with Marsh finishing off a terrific passing play from Meisenheimer and Sparkes to score his second of the night.
But the Tigres answered back in the closing minutes.
With one-second remaining on a Pascal Aquin penalty, Tigres forward Mathieu Sévigny one-timed a shot passed Welsh, cutting into the Isles lead.
The Tirges, who pulled their goalie with over three minutes remaining in the third period, swarmed the Islanders net but Welsh stood tall, shutting the door on multiple Victoriaville chances in the final minute.
The Isles would put the game out of reach with just under a minute remaining on a great individual effort from Matthew Grouchy, who banked the puck down the ice and into the empty net to seal the Islanders victory.
The Islanders have two more games left on this Quebec road-trip, but head coach Jim Hulton likes what he saw from his team on Friday night.
“Tonight was a great way to start our road-trip. We had timely performances from Matthew Welsh, Adam Marsh and Samuel Meisenheimer and we found a way to grind out a big win.”
Up next for the Isles is a meeting with the Sherbrooke Phoenix tomorrow night at 5 pm.
Darcy Cudmore will have the call in that one and you can listen along live with Isles radio here: