5 in a row: Islanders win again
The Charlottetown Islanders have been one of the hottest teams in the QMJHL over the past three weeks and they kept their winning ways rolling on Thursday night.
The Isles came into Thursday’s game on a hot streak, winners of four in a row, but it was Val-d’Or who opened the scoring in this one.
After chances from Tyler Higgins and Nicholas Quellet in front of Islanders starter Matthew Welsh, Simon Lafrance was able to get his stick on the loose puck and chop one past Welsh.
Lafrance was not done there.
Less than five minutes later Lafrance beat Welsh again, increasing the Foreurs lead to 2-0 as the teams entered the first intermission.
The Islanders came out with a vengeance in the second period.
Gregor MacLeod got it going for the Isles 4:14 into the second period, one-timing a shot past Etienne Montpetit after a nice passing play from Samuel Meisenheimer and Adam Marsh.
The Islanders weren’t done there.
Just over a minute later, on the power play, Islanders captain P.O. Joseph received a pass from Saku Vesterinen and fired a bouncing puck on-goal. After rattling around in the crease the puck crept across the line, cutting into the Foreurs lead.
Just passed the halfway mark of the period, at 13:50, MacLeod beat Montpetit again, this time on the man-advantage coming off assists from Marsh and Joseph.
The game began to get physical with the score tied, and only seven seconds after the Isles goal, forward Marcel Berube dropped the gloves with Val-d’Or’s Zachary Gladu. The tilt was short lived though as Gladu scored a takedown before a punch was thrown.
After 40 minutes of action the score was tied at three, with the Isles outshooting their opponents 13-3 in the period.
Just under 10 minutes into the third period forward Sullivan Sparkes deflected a shot from Olivier Desjardins, beating Montpetit and giving the Isles their first lead of the game.
The Foreurs found themselves on a power play minutes later but were unable to beat Welsh.
Seconds after the penalty expired Joseph found the puck on his stick at the point and wired a shot past Montpetit for his second goal of the game.
Val-d’Or would get one back two minutes later, on a shot from Ivan Kozlov, but that was as close as they would get.
With the Foreurs goalie on the bench, Isles forward Pascal Aquin put the game out of reach, sliding home a backhand shot to seal the win.
With their victory on Thursday night the Islanders improve to 6-6-1-0 on the season, winning their last five games.
Confidence has been key for the Islanders during this win streak said head coach Jim Hulton.
“When you have success it breeds confidence and that fuels you on to better practices and that leads to better game performances.”
The top ranked Rouyn-Noranda Huskies are coming to town on Saturday, just in time for Pink The Rink, and Hulton feels his team is up to the task.
“It comes at a good time for us,” he said. “Our confidence is high right now, and we want to test ourselves against the best on home ice.”
The Isles will be wearing special edition pink jerseys in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Association on Saturday and will host a raffle and silent auction as well.
Puck-drop is set for 3pm, don’t forget to wear your pink.