Islanders fall to the Sea Dogs at Harbour Station
Charlottetown’s push for home-ice advantage in the QMJHL playoffs suffered a slight setback on Wednesday night as the team squared off with the lowly Sea Dogs.
The Isles got off on the right foot, with Derek Gentile setting up Nikita Alexandrov who beat Saint John starter Alex D’Orio just 37 seconds into the opening period to give the Isles an early lead.
The lead would not hold up though as with just over five minutes remaining in the first period Saint John leading scorer Ostap Safin got his stick on a bouncing puck, firing a shot past Matthew Welsh to tie the game at 1-1.
Just over seven minutes into the second period the Isles grabbed their second lead of the game with Taylor Egan blasting a shot from the point which took a bounce off of a Sea Dogs defender before being knocked into the net by D’Orio.
The lead was short lived though as just four minutes later, following a Cameron Askew roughing penalty, Safin stuck again for the Sea Dogs, picking up a loose puck in front of the Isles net before snapping a shot past Welsh low to the stick side.
Saint John would go on to add two more goals before the end of the period, with rookie Luke Wilson and defencemen Alexis Girard picking up their 3rd and 6th goals of the season respectively.
Rolling into the third period the Isles were outshooting their opponents 32 to 16 but still trailed 4-2.
The Isles were aggressive on offence in the final regulation period, even when they were short-handed.
After already grabbing one great short-handed scoring chance, following the Pascal Aquin instigator penalty, the Isle burst up ice again. Sullivan Sparkes carried the puck over the Saint John blueline before finding the stick of Derek Gentile who wired his 20th goal of the season over the glove of D’Orio to cut into the Sea Dogs lead.
Unfortunately for the Islanders that is as close as they would come, as even with the net empty with over four minutes remaining in the period and a late power play chance the team was unable to solve D’Orio and get back into the game.
The loss delivered a sharp blow to the Isles playoff aspirations but the team looks to get back on track on Friday and Saturday in Cape Breton for a pair of matchups with the Screaming Eagles.
Ryan MacEachern will have the call of those games and you can follow every second of the action live with Fair Isle Ford Isles Radio starting at 7PM.