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Isles Don’t Let The Cats’ Claw Back Returning Home In Style

Your Charlottetown Islanders finally returned home this evening to make their November debut against Maritime rivals the Moncton Wildcats. The Isles previously played at home on October 30th also against the Wildcats which saw Moncton prevail 4-3 in overtime. With the Islanders coming off a successful road trip in which they collected four out of five wins that also featured taking four of those points during their first Quebec stint of the year. Now, the Islanders were looking to send fans home with a happier ending on this student night than the first meeting between these two.

It was a fast-paced opening frame at the Eastlink Centre which was to be expected after the last time these two foes faced off. It was at 7:11 into the period when the visiting Wildcats struck the scoreboard first. Brooklyn Kalmikov was able to sneak through the Islanders defense and get just enough time to put some power on the puck and drive it five-hole on Jacob Goobie. Assists on the game-opening tally went to Charles-Antoine Pilote and Etienne Morin.

Shots favored Moncton 11-9 heading into the second period.

Jim Hulton had this to say about his message to the team going into the second period. “We just wanted to play a little bit faster, we were back on our heels a little bit in the first. We wanted to be fast with the puck and our feet to make a big push in the second.”

Jim Hulton must have lit a fire under his team the size of PEI during the intermission because boy did they come out absolutely firing on all cylinders. To begin the mayhem it was Patrick LeBlanc jumping on a rebound exactly four minutes into the frame to send it past Couture and get the Isles back in this one early. Assisting on LeBlanc’s third of the season were Ben Boyd and William Trudeau. Just 47 seconds later Patty Guay used the eyes in the back of his head to throw a pass cross-ice to Jakub Brabenc where he absolutely launched one top cheese on Couture for his sixth of the year. Patrick Guay and Lukas Cormier were credited with the helpers. Next on the list, it was Xavier Simoneau knocking a puck down right in the middle of the ice before sniping one over the blocker shoulder of the Wildcats netminder. Simoneau’s eighth of the year went unassisted.

That’s half of the Islanders second-period tallies now on to the rest. Scoring the Isles fourth goal of the game and his ninth of the season was Lukas Cormier. Budgell held the puck on a 3-on-1 before saucing it over a diving Wildcats defenseman to Cormier where he sent it top corner blocker side on Couture. The captain and Xavier Simoneau picked up the helpers. Following the nice assist, it was Budgell digging away at a loose puck in the crease while Moncton scrambled killing a 5-on-3 to bury it home. Helping hands on Budgell’s tenth of the year were Ben Boyd and Patrick Guay. Finally, it was Noah Laaouan getting his second of the season when he fired one past Couture to put the Isles ahead 6-1. Moncton was able to add one late-period tally when Etienne Morin was able to get the best of Goobie to send us into the break with only a four-goal lead instead of five!

“The powerplay created the momentum for us, we cashed in right as the guy got back on the ice. We got back to our straight lines, pucks on net and people going to the net and our skill just took over. We had some really nice skilled plays with Patty Guay’s nice pass to Brabenec and that Budgell pass to Cormier. Once we started to play faster and combined with our skill we started to take things over.” Head coach Jim Hulton commented on his team’s second-period domination. 

Shots going into the final 20 minutes favored the Isles 25-24.

It was the Wildcats coming out of the gates early with a score in the final frame when a Vincent Labelle shot redirected off an Islanders stick in close that eventually squeaked through Goobie’s five-hole. Assisting on the Labelle goal were Brooklyn Kalmikov and Samuel Desgroseilliers. The Islanders weren’t going home however without that four-goal spread as Drew Elliott cleaned up his own rebound in the crease for his seventh of the season. Assisting on the Isles final goal of the game were Xavier Simoneau and Lukas Cormier. 

Isles fans were given the ending they desired this time around as the Islanders capped the win at 7-3. Final shots on goal were in the Isles favor 37-35.

Three Stars of the Game:

  1. Jakub Brabenec(CHA)- One goal and one assist.
  2. Lukas Cormier(CHA)- One goal and two assists.
  3. Etienne Morin(MON)- One goal and one assist.

Jim had this to say on finally being back in front of the home crowd. “It’s nice to be home, you’re always worried about the first one at home after a long stretch on the road but it’s nice to get this one under our belt. We know we’re going to have to play with a little more structure Saturday against Bathurst, but happy to start out on the right foot.”

The Islanders are back in action Saturday night when the Acadie-Bathurst Titan come to town for a 7:30 pm puck drop. Tickets are available at the Eastlink Centre Box Office in person (Monday to Friday 11 am to 5 pm) as well as before game time, online, or by phone at 902.629.6625. Make sure to get your tickets early and come on out to help your boys in black and harvest gold protect the bridge.

GO Isles GO!

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