Islanders drop Thursday night matchup with Halifax
The Islanders rolled into the Halifax on Thursday night for a matchup with the Maritime Division leading Mooseheads.
The Isles went with starter Matthew Welsh between the pipes, with Alexis Gravel getting the start for the Mooseheads at the opposite end of the ice.
The Mooseheads offence came out ready to play, jumping out to a early lead in this one.
Just over seven minutes into the opening period, Mooseheads defencemen Patrick Kyte joined the rush before picking up a pass from Arnaud Durandeau and beating Welsh to open the games scoring.
Just over four minutes later, with Keith Getson in the penalty box, the Mooseheads added to their lead on the strength of Connor Moynihan’s 14th goal of the season.
Halifax was not done there, adding to their lead late in the first period on a goal from the QMJHL’s 2nd leading scorer Filip Zadina, his 26th of the season.
As the teams entered the first intermission the Mooseheads led 3-0, out shooting the Isles 11-7.
The Isles were down big but came out of the dressing room ready to play in the second period. Just over four minutes into the period newcomer Brett Budgell found the puck on his stick at the side of the net before knocking a shot past Gravel to cut into the Halifax lead.
The Isles were not done there as two minutes later, following a Benoit-Olivier Groulx tripping penalty, Islanders captain P.O. Joseph found the puck on his stick and blasted his 7th goal of the season past the Halifax netminder, cutting the deficit to just one.
The Isles kept up the pressure and just over three minutes later the score was tied.
At 9:41 of the second period Bugell pickup up a pass from Derek Gentile at centre ice before chipping it past a defender and firing a bullet over the glove of Gravel for the beautiful goal.
With the score now tied it was Halifax’s turn to go on the attack.
Five minutes after the Isles tied the game at 3-3, Mooseheads forward Raphael Lavoie found himself in alone on a breakaway, beating Welsh with a quick shot off the post.
As the period near an end it looked as though the Mooseheads would take their one goal lead into the intermission but with 31 second remaining, Zadina wired his second goal of the game past Welsh bumping the lead to 5-3.
In the third period the Isles put up a fight, outshooting the Mooseheads 12-8, but were ultimately unable to beat Gravel.
The Moosehead put the game away in the closing seconds on an empty net goal from Arnaud Durandeau.
The Isles would go on to drop the game 6-3, despite a couple of outstanding performances from newcomers Brett Budgell and Derek Gentile.
Budgell walked away from Halifax with two goals and three points, with linemate Derek Gentile finishing with 3 assists!
These two teams are back in action tomorrow night at the EastLink Centre in Charlottetown in the second game of a home-and-home series. You can get tickets for Friday’s action by contacting the EastLink Centre box office at 902-629-6625 or by simply going online here.