Fifteen and done.
It was an incredible run, but the Charlottetown Islanders’ 15-game winning streak came to an end at the hands of the Halifax Mooseheads on Wednesday night. Alexis Gravel was lights out for the Mooseheads with 42 saves, while Elliot Desnoyers kicked in a goal and two assists as the Moose handed the Isles a 5-2 defeat.
“It’s tough to lose after a 15-game winning streak, but we have to turn the page and look ahead to tomorrow,” said forward Patrick Guay, who had an assist in the loss. “We need to play consistently at five-on-five, on the PK, with a powerplay. Be sharp, be ready every shift; we know if we can do that, we have a pretty good chance.”
Charlottetown found themselves in a very unfamiliar position after 20 minutes of play – down by three goals. The Mooseheads generated good opportunities and were able to capitalize early; Justin Barron would kick things off with a shot from the point that got past a screened Goobie, giving the Mooseheads captain his seventh goal on the year.
Bobby Orr would score just minutes later to extend the lead before Elliot Desnoyers would pick up his third point of the night after picking up assists on the first two goals; on a powerplay, the Philadelphia Flyers draft pick would get a pass from behind the net and make no mistake on the one-timer. Despite a flurry of shots by the Islanders, the home team remained down three after the end of the first.
Much has been made of Charlottetown’s penalty woes, but on this night it was Halifax who consistently put themselves behind the eight-ball with penalties. A stream of penalties in the second period finally helped the Isles get on the board. The league’s top team with the man advantage would go to work and Oscar Plandowski would capitalize; the 17-year-old would get a great pass from Patrick Guay and he’d snap a hard wrist shot top shelf on Gravel for his fourth goal on the year.
Another powerplay yielded more results and the Isles inched closer before the end of the period and it was courtesy of the team’s top goal-scorer. Cédric Desruisseaux would corral a bouncing puck in the slot and go upstairs. For the man they call Ced Money, that was his 38th goal of the season and eighth on the powerplay.
Unfortunately, that’s as close as they’d come. The Isles would continue to throw everything they had at Alexis Gravel but the overage netminder would come through with yet another big performance at the Eastlink Centre. The Moose would add two late goals and would wrap this up in spite of seven injuries and a suspension to one of their top players.
Desruisseaux’s goal extended his point streak to 20 games; he’s now just one game away from tying Filip Chlapik’s franchise-high point streak. William Trudeau, Thomas Casey, and Brett Budgell would all pick up single assists.
The finals of this mini-series takes place Friday night when the Islanders and Mooseheads meet in Halifax at 7:00pm. Watch along on Eastlink’s Friday Night Hockey or listen to Fair Isle Ford Isles Radio on YouTube!