The Islanders played hard, but couldn’t fend off the Screaming Eagles on the road.
The Isles came into Wednesday night’s game full of confidence, coming off what may have been their best performance of the season against the first place Quebec Remparts. The Isles offence came alive late in that matchup and the team hoped it would carry over to Wednesday.
The game started off slow, but after early power play chances for each team in the opening minutes of the period, the game did not take long to pick up.
Both teams had their chances but starting goalies Matthew Welsh and Kyle Jessiman stopped every shot they faced in the period and the game entered the first intermission scoreless.
Minutes into the second period Cape Breton forward Tyler Hylland was sent on a breakaway before being hooked from behind by Islanders defencemen Noah Massie.
Hylland was awarded a penalty shot.
As Hylland worked his way towards Welsh he made a move to the back-hand, squeezing the puck just underneath the outstretched pad of Welsh for the first goal of the game.
Less than two minutes later Peyton Hoyt added to Cape Breton’s lead.
With the Isles trailing by two goals, the power play unit took to the ice. Six seconds into the man advantage forward Keith Getson got the Islanders on the board, beating Jessiman with a quick shot off the draw.
With the Islanders still riding the wave of momentum following their goal, forward Sullivan Sparkes received a 5-minute major and game misconduct for kneeing.
Just over three minutes into the power play Screaming Eagles forward Mathias Laferrière was able to fire one past Welsh, increasing his team’s lead.
After 40 minutes of action, the Isles trailed 3-1.
Both teams stood tall defensively for much of the third period, but as the period was winding down Getson snapped his second goal of the game past Jessiman, cutting the lead to one goal.
With just over two minutes remaining in the period, the Isles pulled Welsh in favour of an extra attacker. Seconds later, after several scoring chances and a failed rush up the ice, the puck found its way on to the stick of Cape Breton forward Declan Smith who slide the puck into the open net to seal the victory.
Despite the loss, Head Coach Jim Hulton liked what he saw from his team.
“Our offensive struggles continued tonight but it was yet another good effort of our club,” Hulton said. “Our structure and defensive play continue to be impressive.”
Up next for the Islanders is the ‘Battle Of The Gulf’, a rivalry match-up with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
The teams are set to faceoff on back-to-back nights with Friday’s game taking place in Bathurst and Saturday’s game at the EastLink Centre in Charlottetown. Puck Drop is scheduled for 7pm.