It was utter dominance at the Eastlink Centre from the Charlottetown Islanders, but it was far from the story of the game.
Tensions between two teams that have played one another 18 times this season finally boiled over. Eight fighting majors were assessed between the two teams as the Islanders defeated the Halifax Mooseheads 8-1 on Tuesday night.
“As a team we came out pretty strong and everybody wanted to win,” said Patrick Guay on the victory, scoring his 100th career QMJHL point in the process. “We wanted to make a statement because we never know if we’ll be playing them in the playoffs or not. We just want to be ready and focus on that over the next few games.”
It didn’t take much time at all for Guay to nab his 100th career point; just a minute and 18 seconds, to be exact. On an odd-man rush Patrick Leblanc would drop a puck for Bailey Peach, who would slide the puck cross-ice and right on to the tape of Guay. He’d make no mistake for his 12th goal on the season.
The highlight reel goals continued in the first with Lukas Cormier. The Vegas Golden Knights prospect would receive a great pass from Keiran Gallant alone in the high slot and put his hard shot to work, blowing one past Mooseheads starter Alexis Gravel a 2-0 lead.
Thomas Casey added to his impressive powerplay goal total in that period and the offensive onslaught continued in the second period. Just minutes into the second stanza an errant pass would end up on Oscar Plandowski’s stick and he’d whip a shot on goal. The surprise shot would handcuff Gravel and blow right past him, giving Plandowski his fifth goal on the season.
Ben Boyd would get on the board as well with a great tip on net in front, the fifth goal in the game and his fifth on the season. It was as if Charlottetown could do nothing wrong as the team threw everything they had at the depleted Mooseheads roster, who were without leading scorer Elliot Desnoyers for the second straight game.
A few more goals were scored by the Islanders in the third period but it was far from the story of the game. An intense battle between Zac Beauregard, Justin Barron, and Alexis Gravel boiled over on a powerplay midway through the final frame when Gravel speared Beauregard in the groin. Beauregard would retaliate with a cross-check to the goalie and everything broke down. Gloves and sticks were thrown everywhere as the referees tried to sort out the chaos.
“When a guy gets jumped by two or three guys, you need to jump in and defend him, and that’s what we did,” said Guay on the melee. “It was high emotions but we have to defend our teammate.”
After the dust settled, the two teams finished out the the game and the Mooseheads retreated home. Six Islanders finished with multi-point games including Keiran Gallant, who picked up two assists and Brett Budgell who had a three-point night. Cédric Desruisseaux kept his point streak alive with an assist while Jacob Goobie made 13 saves for the victory.
The Nova Scotia action doesn’t stop as the Islanders head to the Bluenose province Friday for back-to-back matchups against the Cape Breton Eagles and the Halifax Mooseheads. You can follow along for both games by watching Eastlink Community TV Channel 10/610, or by listening to Fair Isle Ford Isles Radio! You can listen to Saturday night’s game in Halifax with George Matthews and Cory Arsenault on Ocean 100’s Saturday Night Hockey!