Friday night’s match-up with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada served as the first game of the Islanders three game Quebec road-trip and things didn’t quite go as planned.
The Islanders stayed with the hot hand in net, turning to Matt Welsh between the pipes. As for the Armada, they stared backup goalie Emile Samson.
After a first period that saw neither team able to take control, the teams rolled into the first intermission with the game scoreless and the Armada leading in shots, 12-6.
If the Islanders could have a ‘Mulligan’ this season, they would have used it in the second period on Friday night.
At 10:41 of the second period, with a Hunter Drew roughing penalty set to expire, Armada leading scorer Alex Barré-Boulet fired a shot on Islanders Welsh, beating him just over the glove, for his 19th goal of the season.
With the momentum on their side the Armada kept up the pressure and less than 4 minutes later the QMJHL’s top ranked power play stuck again on the man-advantage.
After what seemed to be a harmless dump-in hit a defender’s stick in front, Blainville’s Joel Teasdale got a stick on the loose puck beating Welsh to double his team’s lead.
Just over three minutes later the Isles found themselves in more penalty trouble, with Gregor MacLeod going off for cross-checking and Brendon Clavelle receiving a double-minor for high sticking.
With two Islanders in the box, the Armada were able to take advantage, scoring twice with Alexandre Alain getting credit for the first and Barré-Boulet for the second.
After 40 minutes of action the Isles trailed 4-0, being outshot 30-16.
The Isles had Dakota-Lund Cornish in net to start the third period but he didn’t fare much better, as minutes into the period the Armada scored again, with Alain getting his second of the game.
Blainville-Boisbriand would make it 6-0 on a goal from Kyle Havlena as the final buzzer neared..
In the final minutes the Isles refused to quit, resulting in a Matthew Grouchy goal with 50 seconds remaining, breaking Samson’s shutout.
That was all the offence the Isles could muster though, going on to fall 6-1 in the first game of their Quebec road-trip.
The Isles need to have a short memory and prepare for tomorrow’s game, said Head Coach Jim Hulton.
“Tonight was a rough outing for our group. We encountered penalty trouble in the second period and the Armada took advantage on the power play.
“[It’s] time to reset and focus on tomorrow’s game in Quebec.”