Back-and-forth game yields defeat for Charlottetown
It certainly wasn’t the start that the Charlottetown Islanders wanted to their final road trip prior to Christmas. The Isles were handed a 6-4 loss to the last-place Saint John Sea Dogs, their ninth loss on the season.
The Islanders got on the board midway through the first period. Nikita Alexandrov would get his 14th goal of the season when his cross-ice pass deflected off a Sea Dog defender and past Sea Dogs starter Alex D’Orio.
Saint John looked to have tied the game up shortly thereafter. Nicholas Deakin-Poot batted a puck out of mid-air past Dakota Lund-Cornish for what appeared to be his fifth goal of the season; however, after a lengthy review by the officials, it was determined that Deakin-Poot’s stick was above the crossbar and called a high-stick.
Charlottetown would capitalize on the ensuing faceoff; Hunter Drew would lob a puck in to the offensive zone and Derek Gentile would use his speed to beat the defender to the puck. He’d snap a wrister from in tight that would beat D’Orio in tight, giving the Sydney, Nova Scotia native his seventh goal of the season.
The pendulum of momentum swung in favour of the Sea Dogs as the second period got underway. As the Islanders sent a stream of players to the penalty box throughout the period, Saint John would take advantage; Maxim Cakjovic would score his seventh goal of the season early in the second on the powerplay, his fourth point in his past three games.
William Poirier would add his sixth of the season midway through the second to tie the game up, but that wouldn’t be the final goal of the period. Daniel Hardie would get a stick on a Hunter Drew shot and deflect the puck past D’Orio for his team-leading 21st of the season. The Isles would take a 3-2 lead in to the third period.
The third yielded fast-paced back-and-forth action from the outset of the period. Both goaltenders were forced to stand on their heads to keep their respective teams in to the game. Eventually the Sea Dogs would get the game tied up; Robbie Burt would find a puck at the side of the net and tuck it just above Lund-Cornish for his 12th goal of the season.
Kevin Gursoy would give the Islanders the lead over his former team with 13 minutes left to play in the period with his sixth of the season, but Maxim Cajkovic would tie the game up once again just two minutes later.
Saint John would finally pull ahead for the first time in the game with just over five minutes left to play. Will Villeneuve would find Deakin-Poot in the slot and he’d make no mistake this time, scoring his fifth of the season and giving Saint John their fifth goal of the game.
That’s all that was needed for Saint John. Poirier added the empty-netter and took their fifth victory in front of their home crowd.
Brady Burns would finish the game with three assists for Saint John, while Charlie DesRoches, Villeneuve, Cajkovic, Deakin-Poot, and Poirier all had multi-point games. For Charlottetown, Hunter Drew added a 3 assist game of his own, while Nikita Alexandrov finished with a goal and an assist.
Alex D’Orio made 34 saves in the victory, while Dakota Lund-Cornish put up 31 saves in defeat.
The Islanders wrap up the first half of the season tomorrow night when they pay a visit to the Halifax Mooseheads. Cory Arsenault and George Matthews will have the call once again on Ocean 100’s Saturday Night Hockey!