In what was expected to be a down year for the team, the Islanders now find themselves on the precipice of returning to the third round of the QMJHL playoffs for the second straight year.
After taking the first two games in Halifax the Islanders returned home on Tuesday night for Game 3 in front of a near capacity crowd at the EastLink Centre in Charlottetown.
The Islanders found themselves down early in the game, as with just under four minutes remaining in the opening period, 16-year-old Xavier Parent deflected a Jocktan Chainey point shot past Matthew Welsh on the powerplay, giving the Mooseheads an early lead.
Halifax would strike again on the power play just a minutes later, following a slashing call to Hardie, Connor Moynihan deflected another Chainey shot past Welsh to give the Moosheads an early two goal lead.
The Islanders would cut into the deficit before the end of the period with just 11 second remaining Nikita Alexandrov continued his impressive post-season play, deflecting a Saku Vesterinen shot past a screened Blade Mann-Dixon to give the Islanders a power play goal of their own.
Charlottetown would add another early in the second period with a great individual effort from Brett Budgell netting the 16-year-old his third goal of the playoffs, tying the game at 2-2.
The Islanders would not look back from there, as they would strike for two more goals before the end of the period with P.O. Joseph blasting the eventual game-winner past a screened Mann-Dixon to give the Islanders their first lead of the night.
Cameron Askew would add the Islanders fourth goal of the game in the closing seconds of the period, picking up a pass from Olivier Desjardins before driving to the Halifax net and banking a wraparound shot off of Mann-Dixon to give the Islanders a two goal lead.
The Islanders would put the game away in the closing minutes of the third with Hardie more than making up for his penalty trouble, finishing off a perfect Keith Getson pass to seal the win for the Islanders.
Following the win Islanders head coach and general manager Jim Hulton applauded the character of his players throughout this playoff run.
“We’ve been really resilient, and I think tonight is another example of that,” Hulton said. “There’s been moments in this series where the momentum has swung each way but we’ve done a good job of sticking with it and not letting the tides of momentum change too much.”
With the 5-2 win the Islanders now take a 3-0 series lead with Game 4 set for Wednesday night at the EastLink Centre at 7PM.
You can get your tickets by contacting the EastLink Centre Box Office at 902-629-6625 or by going online here: