The Charlottetown Islanders came undone during their favourite period.
Typically known for their strong play in the second period, the Isles gave up four goals in the middle stanza, ultimately leading to a 6-2 defeat to the Memorial Cup host Halifax Mooseheads in their final game before the Christmas break.
Halifax got on the board in the first period thanks to Arnaud Durandeau. Joel Bishop would slide a nice backhanded pass to the New York Islanders prospect on a 2-on-1 rush who would bury it over Matthew Welsh to give the Moose a 1-0 lead.
The first period was filled with physicality on both sides. The two teams would try to gain dominance by not just throwing their weight around, but their fists; Zac Beauregard and Kyle Petten would drop the gloves with less than five minutes remaining in the period. Minutes later after a big hit on Lukas Cormier, Colin Van Den Hurk and Kevin Gursoy would get in to it with Walter Flower and Benoit-Olivier Groulx. It was an exciting end to the 1st period.
The Mooseheads would take complete control in the 2nd period. Halifax would pour it on almost immediately starting the period; Jake Ryczek would extend the lead with a shot that deflects off of Noah Massie’s stick and past Welsh for his fifth of the season.
Walter Flower would make the score 3-0 just 45 seconds later before Jordan Maher got involved in the goal-scoring action. The big forward from Newfoundland would add his fourth of the year 6 minutes in to the first, before scoring again for his fifth of the season before the period ended, giving Halifax a big 5-0 lead over the Isles before the end of the period.
The Islanders would try their best to battle back in the third. Daniel Hardie would add his 22nd goal of the season early in the third, while Keith Getson would score on the powerplay for his fourth goal in six December games. Unfortunately for the Islanders, that’s as close as they would come. Samuel Asselin would add his team-leading 24th goal of the season and the Mooseheads would skate in to the holidays with another two points in the standings.
Alexis Gravel made 30 saves in the victory for Halifax, while Matthew Welsh made 33 saves for Charlottetown.
Despite the loss, associate coach Guy Girouard was quick to applaud the larger body of work his team has put together in the first half of the season.
“We’re proud of the boys for a 20-win first half.” said Girouard. “Time to go home, enjoy some time with family and friends, and recharge the batteries.”
The Islanders aren’t back in action until after Christmas, when they’ll play the Mooseheads again on Friday, December 28th, live from the Eastlink Centre at 7:30pm. Tickets are available at the Eastlink Centre box office, by phone at 902-629-6625, or online at https://boxoffice.eastlinkcentrepei.com. Bring the whole family that night; use promo code 4for40 to get 4 tickets for $40 that night!