In what was the final preseason game at the APM Centre this training camp, the Charlottetown Islanders gave the home crowd something to cheer about by defeating the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 3-2.
The Islanders jumped out to a 1-0 lead midway through the first period, when Daniel Hardie deflected a Hunter Drew point shot past Screaming Eagles goaltender Daniel Thompson.
The Eagles would bring the game back to even early in the second period, when Egor Sokolov picked off a pass at the Islanders blueline and walked in uncontested on Matthew Welsh. The big Russian backhanded a shot high past Welsh’s blocker to make the score 1-1.
The teams traded chances throughout the duration of the second period and into the third. Midway through the final period, Cape Breton finally broke the deadlock. After Islanders defenseman Connor McCluskey took a roughing penalty, Eagles forward Liam Kidney corralled the puck during a scramble in front of the net. He put the rebound past Welsh to give Cape Breton a 2-1 lead on the powerplay.
As the clock dwindled down, the Islanders turned up the pressure on the forecheck. With just under 3 minutes left in the game, they struck. Sullivan Sparkes finished off a pretty tic-tac-toe play from Keith Getson and Daniel Hardie, one-timing a shot past new Eagles goalie William Grimard to tie the game.
The Islanders would pull ahead for good just 19 seconds later. Following a mad scramble in front of Grimard, Derek Gentile found a loose puck and buried it into a wide open net. The Islanders would hold on to the lead from there and come away with the 3-2 victory.
Shots were 34-33 in favour of Charlottetown. Matthew Welsh stopped 31 of 33 shots for the Islanders. Daniel Hardie finished the game with a goal and an assist.
The Islanders are off for the next two weeks before they return to action September 8th, when they visit the Saint John Sea Dogs at Harbour Station. Their final preseason game goes down on Sunday, September 9th at 3;00pm, when the Screaming Eagles are back on the island for a game at the Evangeline Rec Centre in Abrams Village!