Islanders close out season on winning note

In the final game of their QMJHL careers Pascal Aquin, Olivier Desjardins, and Cameron Askew certainly made the most of their opportunities.

The trio combined for three goals and five points as the Charlottetown Islanders won their final game of the regular season, 5-2, against the Moncton Wildcats.

Derek Gentile and Hunter Drew also added tallies for the Islanders, while Alexander Khovanov and James Phelan scored for the Wildcats.

The Islanders weathered some early penalty trouble in the first and battled to a 1-0 lead late in the first. Hunter Drew corralled a loose puck at the top of the right circle and walked to the middle of the zone before rifling a shot past Mark Grametbauer for his eighth of the season.

The Wildcats tied it up midway through the second. Summerside native Jeremy McKenna beat out the icing and banked a pass out front to a waiting Khovanov, who buried it blocker side on Welsh for his ninth of the season.

Charlottetown regained the lead in the final minute of the period, as Derek Gentile finished of a beautiful give-and-go with Aquin for his 23rd of the year.

The scoring didn’t stop as the third period opened up. With the Wildcats on the penalty kill, Taylor Egan fired a cross-ice slap pass to Aquin, who easily tapped in his 23rd of the year.

James Phelan brought the score to 3-2 before Cameron Askew restored the two-goal lead on a highlight-reel goal. Askew outwaited the Wildcats defender, outwaited Grametbauer, before tucking the puck in from nearly behind the net.

For Askew, that was his 100th goal of his QMJHL career in his final regular season game.

Aquin netted the empty netter with just under two minutes left in the game, securing goaltender Matthew Welsh’s franchise single-season record 31st win on the season.

Welsh made 24 saves in the victory, while Grametbauer made 27 saves.

The Islanders records didn’t stop there. Head coach Jim Hulton earned his 117th win as Islanders head coach, which moves him into first overall in franchise history.

“It was a nice way to wrap up the regular season,” said Hulton. “It was a good solid 60 minute effort.”

Hulton was quick to point to his three overage veterans as key cogs in the victory. “It was a fitting tribute to our three graduating players, and all had great contributions in this game.”

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