Patrick McGrath scored the winner 2:28 into the first period and the P.E.I. Rocket thumped the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles 8-0 Thursday.
“It’s good every now and then to bang one in for the guys,” said McGrath. “Obviously, I don’t do it that often.”
The goal was the Rocket enforcer’s first point in 58 games during two seasons in Charlottetown. His last goal came a year ago with the Summerside Western Capitals in junior A.
McGrath’s latest goal came following a shoot in and Erik Robichaud going hard to net.
“I saw (the puck) there in the slot and just laid into it,” said McGrath, a 19-year-old Shavertown, PA resident. “Everybody loved it on the bench. All the boys were standing up and applauding me for it. That was really nice of them to do that.”
The Rocket added three goals in the last five minutes of the first to take a commanding 4-0 lead and never looked back.
Anotine Bibeau recorded the shut out as the Rocket out shot the Eagles 51-20.
Rocket defenceman Alex Micallef drilled Nick Marois at the P.E.I. blue-line late in the third period. Jonathan Oligny came to his teammate’s defence, but Micallef wouldn’t drop the gloves. It was similar to an incident in the last game between the two teams Saturday in Sydney, N.S.
“I had to turn him down, just to be disciplined,” Micallef said.
McGrath, who leads the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 26 major penalties, obliged Oligny.
“Mic is one of our better defencemen, so I stepped up and asked Jonathan to settle it,” McGrath explained.
McGrath’s teammates said they were pleased to see him find another column in the score sheet.
“We were trying to get him the Gordie Howe hat trick,” Micallef said.
“Hopefully,” Micallef said.
The Rocket improved to 27-20-2 while the Screaming Eagles drop to 10-32-3-5. The two teams play Friday at 7 p.m.
“I expect them to be flying, banging, playing hard,” said Victor Provencher, who had a goal and three assists. “Nobody wants to lose 8-0. They’re going to come hard, for sure.”
Everybody loved it on the bench. All the boys were standing up and applauding me for it. That was really nice of them to do that. - Patrick McGrath, Rocket right-winger
P.E.I. Rocket – 8
Cape Breton – 0
P.E.I. Rocket – Louick Marcotte, Victor Provencher, Anthony Cortese, Patrick McGrath, Ben Duffy, Nathan Yetman, Deverick Ottereyes and Alexis Pépin
P.E.I. Rocket – Provencher (3), Erik Robichaud (2), Marcotte, Cortese, Alex Micallef, Yetman, Ottereyes, Pépin and Matthew Bursey.
P.E.I. Rocket – Antoine Bibeau, 20 saves.
Cape Breton – Alex Bureau, 43 saves on 51 shots
Attendance – 2089 (announced).
1. Victor Provencher
2. Nathan Yetman
3. Patrick McGrath
Up next: The Rocket host Cape Breton Friday at 7 p.m.