The Christmas season lies just ahead for the Charlottetown Islanders. Before they can start dreaming about candy canes and presents though, a tall task lies in front of them as they play the Halifax Mooseheads tonight at the Scotiabank Centre in the final game of the first half of the season.
The Islanders (20-9-2-1) are coming off of a defeat at the hands of the Saint John Sea Dogs by a score of 6-4. That was just the team’s fourth regulation loss since the beginning of November. Hunter Drew had three assists in the loss, while Dakota Lund-Cornish made 31 saves.
Daniel Hardie added his 21st goal of the season in the loss. He still sits sixth among all QMJHL players in the goals category. With those three assists, Drew now sits 12th among all QMJHL defenders with 20 points in 25 games.
Captain Pierre-Olivier Joseph will not make the cross-country trip to Halifax for tonight’s game. He was released from Team Canada’s World Junior Selection Camp last night. He’ll return home for the Christmas break instead.
Halifax (23-7-1-1) meanwhile defeated the Moncton Wildcats by a score of 2-0 last night. Alexis Gravel made 33 saves for the shutout, while Benoit-Olivier Groulx scored the game-winner last night. With the victory, Halifax pulls in to a tie with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar for first overall in the Eastern Conference standings, but Halifax has a game in hand on the Drakkar.
Overage forward Samuel Asselin scored his 23rd goal last night, keeping him in fourth among all QMJHL players in that category.
The big story from last night’s Mooseheads game was forward Raphael Lavoie. After being the cut from Team Canada’s World Junior Selection camp Thursday night, he made it back to Halifax just in time for the team’s game last night, and will also be in the lineup tonight. Defenseman Jared McIsaac however, will not be; he was one of the defenders selected to represent Canada at this year’s World Junior Championship.
Don’t forget that tonight’s game can be heard live on Ocean 100’s Saturday Night Hockey. George Matthews and Cory Arsenault will have the call, as always!