It’s not often that a team plays a tight, well-executed game of hockey and comes up on the losing end of it. For the Charlottetown Islanders, however, that’s exactly what happened tonight, as they lost on the road to the Halifax Mooseheads 4-1.
“Tonight’s loss was a frustrating one for our group because, despite the result, we played an excellent road game.” said Islanders head coach Jim Hulton. “We struggled to create second chances in tight but otherwise played a very detailed, smart game in all areas.”
The Mooseheads would get on the board early in the first period thanks to Raphael Lavoie. The big forward being projected as a lottery pick in the upcoming NHL Draft picked up the puck off the faceoff and directed a pass on net towards Antoine Morand. The puck would deflect off a stick and past starter Matthew Welsh for Lavoie’s 24th goal of the season.
Less than a minute later, rookie Samuel Dube would score his first career QMJHL goal to put the Mooseheads ahead by two approaching the midway point of the first. Fortunately for Charlottetown, Nikita Alexandrov would respond shortly thereafter. Noah Laaouan would direct a shot towards the net from the point that Alexandrov would get a stick on, displaying great hand-eye coordination to deflect the puck past Alexis Gravel for his 25th of the season and sixth straight game with a point.
Joel Bishop would extend the lead for the Mooseheads in the second period, streaking in off the wing on a partial breakaway and outwaiting Welsh before roofing a wrist shot. For Bishop, that would be his eighth goal of the season, a career high for the St. John’s, Newfoundland native to put his Mooseheads up 3-1.
The game would get a little chippier in the third period, with the two teams often exchanging words after the whistle. Jared McIsaac would get tied up with Daniel Hardie going in to the corner, sending Hardie in to the boards hard. Thomas Casey would stick up for his teammate and get in to a spirited tilt with McIsaac, trying to spark his team to push forward and get the game knotted up in the process.
Unfortunately, the Mooseheads would put the game on ice late in the third thanks to an empty net goal from Bishop, and Halifax sealed their fourth straight victory.
“There are plenty of positive elements to build on as we look ahead to Friday.” added Hulton on his team’s play tonight.
The Islanders are back on the ice at home on Friday when they take on the high-powered Drummondville Voltigeurs. Join us that night as we honour our former captain Pierre-Olivier Joseph in his final regular season game at the Eastlink Centre. Tickets are available at the Eastlink Centre box office, by phone at 902-629-6625, or online at https://boxoffice.eastlinkcentrepei.com.