Islanders drop Weekend Matchup against the Halifax Mooseheads
By: Ryan MacEachern
Both teams came out flying in the first period, with the Islanders looking to get into the win column and the Mooseheads attempting to build off of an impressive performance in their home opener.
The Mooseheads controlled the tempo for most of the first period, out-shooting the Islanders 14-8 eventually opening the scoring on a goal from Raphaêl Lavoie at 11:48.
With the Islanders still reeling from the goal against the Mooseheads capitalized again, taking just over a minute to do so. This time on a pretty passing play from Arnaud Durandeau and Justin Barron finished off by captain Maxime Fortier for his third goal of the season.
The Mooseheads held a two goal lead to open the second period but came out flat and the Islanders capitalized. The Isles took the opportunity to be the first to every loose puck, winning battles along the boards and eventually cutting into the Mooseheads lead with a slapshot delivered by Saku Vesterinen that shot through the traffic and into the net.
The Isles kept up the pressure and were able to light the lamp again in just over a minute later; this time on a Talyor Egan wrister from the point set up by Nikita Alexandrov and Matthew Grouchy.
With the game tied and a hometown crowd behind them, the Islanders were playing some of their best hockey of the season. The Isles defence was looking solid but with a minute remaining in the period a bad bounce led to a Halifax odd man rush and a Connor Moyniham goal.
Both teams were evenly matched in the third with the Isles forcing the issue in the closing moments. Down a goal the Islanders pulled goaltender Matthew Welsh in favor of an extra attacker. The team threw everything they could at former Islander goalie Mann-Dixon but were unable to push one passed him as the buzzer sounded.
The Islander lost by a score of 3-2 and fall to 0-2 on the season, with both loses coming against goaltenders who were on their roster last season.
Following the loss, the Isles hit the road for a trip that will see the team make stops in Saint John and Moncton before stopping in Halifax for a re-match with the Mooseheads.