Islanders stay hot, beating the Sea Dogs at home
The Islanders have pushed their win streak to three in a row with a 3-2 victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs on Thursday night.
The Islanders came into the game riding high, coming off back-to-back victories against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, and were looking to carry that kind of effort over to Thursday.
The Islanders opened the scoring 15:53 into the first period on Cayse Ton’s first goal of the season, beating goaltender Alex D’Orio over the blocker.
The teams traded chances for the remainder of the period, but at the end of 20 minutes of action the Islanders held the led, 1-0.
The Islanders came out ready to go in the second, but it was the Sea Dogs who struck first in the period.
Just as a Joe Veleno penalty had ended, the puck found its way to centre ice sending Veleno in on a partial break away. The Sea Dogs captain faked a shot before sliding the puck across to line-mate Cedric Paré for the tap in goal.
Less than a minute later the Islanders found themselves on the man-advantage.
The Islanders cycled the puck well for much off the power play, eventually leading to defencemen Taylor Egan finding the stick of Pascal Aquin, who finished the play off for his first goal of the season.
The Isles took lead, 2-1 but it was short lived.
Minutes later, Sea Dogs defencemen Nathan Larose worked his way into the Islanders zone and wired a shot over the blocker of Islanders goaltender Matthew Welsh.
The score was tied at 2-2 and the Islanders kept pushing.
Exactly a minute after the Saint John goal, forward Matthew Grouchy scored his second goal of the season after receiving a perfect pass from Islanders captain P.O. Joseph.
As the third period rolled around both teams battled hard, but it was the Islanders defence that stood tall. The unit was able to shut down almost all Sea Dogs chances in the closing minutes.
With the win the Islanders leap-frog the Sea Dogs in the standings, jumping into the playoff picture in the QMJHL.
The Islander have now won three in a row and are looking to make it four on Saturday as they face-off against the Shawinigan Cataractes. Puck drop is at 7pm.
With their short win streak still rolling Islanders Head Coach Jim Hulton likes what he’s seeing from his players.
“I really liked are game tonight, there was a lot of structure to it and I think we got better a game rolled along.”
The Islanders have been playing some of their best hockey of the season as of late and Hulton feels confidence has a played a big role in that.
“It’s nice to get on a roll,” he said “Confidence is an amazing thing in junior hockey.”