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Welsh plays strong, but Isles still drop second in a row

The Charlottetown Islanders put forth a solid effort Thursday night in Moncton against the Wildcats. Unfortunately, the Wildcats would prove too much to handle. Jakob Pelletier would record a goal and an assist, Olivier Rodrigue would make 30 saves, and the Wildcats would take a 3-2 victory, handing the Isles their third loss in four games.

Moncton would draw first blood in the game thanks to Pelletier. The Calgary Flames first-round pick would emerge from a mad scramble in front of Matthew Welsh with the puck and would just sneak it past the fallen netminder.┬áPelletier’s 12th of the season would give the Cats a 1-0 lead.

The lead wouldn’t last long thanks to Thomas Casey. The returning forward would get in front of a shot in the defensive zone and turn on the jets, breaking in alone and making a beautiful move to deke Olivier Rodrigue and slide it in, giving Casey his sixth goal of the season.

Justin Gill would score a beauty of a goal for his second career tally just minutes before the end of the first. Corralling a loose puck in the corner, The 16-year-old would work his way to the high slot, displaying great patience before firing a shot past a screened Rodrigue. Gill’s goal would give the Isles the one-goal lead heading in to the second period.

Moncton would re-gain the lead before the end of the second period, scoring twice in a two-minute span late in the second period. Zachary L’Heureux would tie the game thanks to a wraparound goal before Mika Cyr would gain the lead, banging in a goal on the powerplay that barely found it’s way over Welsh.

From there the Wildcats would lock things down in the third period, limiting the Isles to just nine shots, largely to the outside. Their stellar defensive play would keep the Isles off the scoresheet and secure the victory for the home team.

Matthew Welsh turned in yet another solid performance, making 32 saves in defeat. Overall, head coach Jim Hulton was satisfied with his team’s performance.

“Despite the loss, I was pleased with our structure and effort tonight,” said Hulton. “We had a few tough bounces go against us, but we battled until the end.”

The Isles will play Saturday night in Bathurst against the Titan before returning home Sunday afternoon to battle the Wildcats once again. Tickets are available at the Eastlink Centre box office, by phone at 902-629-6625, or online at https://boxoffice.eastlinkcentrepei.com. Sunday is Family Day! 4 tickets are just $40, there will be a Family Fun Zone in the Trade Centre pre-game, with a Family Skate with the Islanders following the game!

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