They were beaten, injured, and playing with just five defenders.
Despite all of that, the Charlottetown Islanders found a way to win.
Drew Johnston, Xavier Fortin, and Zac Beauregard each recorded multi-point games, Matthew Welsh made 24 saves, and the Isles defeated the Acadie-Bathurst Titan 3-2 Saturday night.
“Our depleted, young roster battled hard tonight and got rewarded with an important road win,” said Isles head coach Jim Hulton. “We stuck with the game plan, played tight defensively, and found a way to succeed.”
The Isles were facing a number of injuries including two late scratches to Xavier Bernard and Thomas Casey, each dealing with upper-body injuries. They joined Liam Peyton (thumb) and Lukas Cormier (ankle) on the injured list for this game.
Immediately out of the gate the Isles looked like a different team than the one that took the ice the night before, playing that relentless style of hockey that fans have grown accustomed to on the ice. The style of play would pay dividends; Zac Beauregard would capitalize on a 2-on-1 break, banging in a rebound off of Titan starter Felix-Anthony Ethier for his second of the season and a 1-0 Isles lead midway through the first period.
The Titan would tie it up late in the first period thanks to their captain. Shaun Element would streak down the right wing and fire a good shot at Matthew Welsh, but follow his own rebound and tuck it up high to tie the team lead with his sixth goal of the season.
Despite the relentless onslaught by Charlottetown, the Titan would take the lead in the second thanks to Logan Chisholm. The 18 year-old forward would receive a great pass from Alexis Dube down low and pot the puck on a wide-open cage, giving Chisholm his third goal of the season.
Cedric Desruisseaux would respond for the Islanders with his first goal in eight games. The 19 year-old winger used his trademark speed to blow past a Titan defender before making a hard cut to the goal and sliding the puck past Ethier. For Desruisseaux, that would be his third goal of the season.
Xavier Fortin would break the deadlock in the third period, battling hard to get to the net before going five-hole on Ethier for his third of the season as well.
That goal would stand up as the game-winner, as the Isles would shut it down from there to secure the victory and snap their short two-game losing streak.
Prior to the game, Hulton stressed the importance of depth scoring. The past few games the team hadn’t seen much scoring beyond their top powerplay unit. Fortunately that wasn’t the case tonight, with three different scorers recording their third-or-less goals.
The Islanders will return home for a short break due to the CIBC Canada-Russia Series, one that features Nikita Alexandrov playing for Team Russia. Their home game is Thursday night when they take on the Drummondville Voltigeurs and 16 year-old Souris native Jack Campbell. Tickets are still available at the Eastlink Centre box office, by phone at 902-629-6625, or online at https://boxoffice.eastlinkcentrepei.com.