Some times, even high-quality goaltending performances don’t yield two points.
That’s what happened to the Charlottetown Islanders. Jacob Goobie made 25 saves, including a number of big-time saves, but it wasn’t enough. Cole Huckins would score in the extra frame, giving the Acadie-Bathurst Titan a 3-2 overtime victory over the Islanders.
While the Titan own the worst record in the league, one of their strengths is the powerplay. Firing at a 20% success rate, Bathurst sat in the top half of the league coming in to this game.
Early on, it would be the Isles though exploiting the Titan’s special teams.
After blocking a shot at the point, Brett Budgell would fight through the clutching of Yan Aucoin, streak in on Tristan Berube, and go five-hole to score his eighth goal of the season and first shorthanded goal on the year.
The Titan powerplay wouldn’t sit idly by though, and would capitalize in the second period. Logan Chisholm would find a rebound in front of Goobie and would find a hole short-side on the rookie netminder, giving the 18-year-old forward his fifth goal on the season.
Keiran Gallant would restore the one-goal lead late in the second period with his first career QMJHL goal. The Covehead, PEI native, alongwith linemates Liam Peyton and Justin Gill, has been playing excellent hockey as of late and finally gets rewarded for it, finishing off a toe drag and shot that beats Berube cleanly to give the Isles a 2-1 lead heading in to the third period.
For Gallant, the goal fulfills the long-time dream of a boy who grew up watching major junior hockey at the Eastlink Centre.
“It’s been a dream of mine ever since I watched my first PEI Rocket game,” said Gallant on his first goal. “At the same time it just a goal; it’s not about the individual points, but the points that our team gets. That being said, it’s a huge accomplishment and I’m happy to have done it with the boys we have. I wouldn’t want it with anyone else.”
The Titan would come on strong though late in the third period, and they’d be rewarded for their efforts. Shaun Element would tie the game late with a backhander that handcuffs Goobie, beating him just under the arm for his seventh goal in his past seven games.
As the overtime period opened up, the pendulum of momentum swung in favour of Charlottetown. They’d fire a number of high-quality shots on Berube, but the over-age netminder stood tall and showcased his veteran prowess.
Unfortunately for Charlottetown, it only takes one shot in overtime to take the extra point, and that’s what happened. Titan rookie Cole Huckins would streak in to the Islanders zone, make a nice move, and beat Goobie cleanly for his fifth goal of the season and the game-winner, sending the Titan faithful home happy.
Isles head coach Jim Hulton once again enjoyed his team’s efforts, but pointed to Charlottetown’s latest glaring concern as the downfall in this game.
“We played another solid road game but our offensive struggles continue to hurt us,” said Hulton following the game. “I thought we were diligent and committed to the puck, which gave us the opportunity to win the game.”
There’s no rest for the Islanders as they’ll face a tall task tomorrow afternoon when they take on the Moncton Wildcats at home. Tickets for the afternoon affair are available online at https://boxoffice.eastlinkcentrepei.com. Don’t forget it’s Family Day! 4 tickets are $40; stick around after the game for a Family Skate and autograph session with your favourite Islanders!