Islanders score early and often, defeating the Sea Dogs at home
The Islanders keep the good times rolling, defeating the visiting Saint John Sea Dogs 6-2 in a Sunday afternoon match-up.
Both teams came out rusty following the extended break taken during the Canada Russia Series, but it didn’t take long for the Islanders to snap back into form.
At the 8:40 mark of the opening period, with the Isles on the power play, forward Keith Getson found the puck on his stick at the side of the net and fired a shot past Sea Dogs starter Matthew Williams to open the scoring.
Four minutes later the Isles struck again, this time on a deflection from Gregor MacLeod on a Hunter Drew wrist shot from the blueline.
With just over three minutes remaining in the first period P.O. Joseph and Getson combined to find the stick of Pascal Aquin, who fired his 8th goal of the season past Williams.
After 20 minutes of action the Islanders led, 3-0.
The intensity and physicality picked up in the second period with both team throwing the body around, causing havoc on the ice.
But after a scoreless second period the teams entered the intermission with the Isles 3-0 lead still intact.
Just over a minute into the third period, Samuel Meisenheimer threw a shot on the Saint John net that bounced around in the crease before MacLeod stormed the net and got his stick on it, chipping a shot into the open net for his second goal of the game.
At 4:06 of the third period tempers boiled over, resulting in 77 minutes of penalties being handed out following a dangerous hit on Meisenheimer by Sea forward Robbie Burt.
Both Sam King and Hunter Drew rushed to their teammates defence, with both getting into a shoving match before dropping the gloves.
Drew squared off with Samuel Duchesne with King picking a fight with Saint John’s Cole Reginato. Both tilts were spirited with Drew getting the upper-hand in his scrap, landing several solid punches before throwing Duchesne to the ice.
Just over a minute later, Sea Dogs leading scorer Ostap Safin capitalized on an Islanders turnover, firing a shot past Matt Welsh to cut into the Isles lead.
The Isles would answer right back with a goal of their own though, as Saku Vesterinen hammered a shot from the point beating a screened Williams to extend the Isles lead to 5-1.
With a penalty from the brawl set to expire, Saint John defencemen Alexis Girard took advantage of a bad bounce in the Islanders zone and chipped a shot over a diving Welsh for his team’s second goal of the game.
That is as close as the Sea Dogs would get though, as with five minutes remaining in the third period, Aquin blasted his second of the game past Williams, increasing his team’s lead.
The Islanders would go on to win the game 6-2, extending their winning streak to six games.
Islanders Head Coach Jim Hulton is impressed with his team’s depth of scoring as well as their goaltending.
“It’s a different hero every night for us,” said Hulton. “We knew coming into the season that Welsh had the chance for an MVP type of season and here again tonight he had another top-notch performance.”
Up next for the Islanders is a Friday night match-up against the Halifax Mooseheads. That one takes place at the EastLink Centre on Nov. 24, with puck-drop set for 7pm.