The P.E.I. Rocket almost blew a four-goal third period lead Thursday at the Civic Centre, but held on for a 7-5 victory over the Drummondville Voltigeurs in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
The Rocket entered the third up 6-2 but gave up three goals and the Voltigeurs were pressing for the equalizer when Rocket captain Josh Currie iced the game with an empty-netter with 22 seconds left. The Rocket was outshot 13-3 in the final frame.
“I think we kind of sat on our lead,” said Louick Marcotte, who scored twice for the Rocket. “It cost us a lot. They came back strong in the third period and they showed us the game wasn’t over.”
The Rocket’s play also led to Antoine Bibeau being replaced by Maxime Lagacé with 9:33 to go in the third. Marcotte said coach Gordie Dwyer made the move to send a message to the team.
“We were sleeping at the beginning of the third period,” Marcotte said. “It wasn’t (Bibeau’s) fault for sure, we just needed a wakeup call.”
Both goalies for the two teams saw action during the contest. Bibeau stopped 21 of 25 shots while Lagacé made seven saves on eight shots.
Louis-Philip Guindon allowed five goals on 24 shots in 35 minutes before being replaced by Domenic Graham, who stopped three of four shots.
Marcotte picked up two goals and an assist while Currie, Ben Duffy and Yan-Pavel Laplante each had a goal and an assist for P.E.I.
Victor Provencher and Matej Beran also scored while Troy Vance, Jimmy Oligny, Alex Micallef, Jack Nevins and Deverick Ottereyes had assists.
Matthew Boudens scored two for the visitors while Olivier Archambault had a goal and two assists. Jeremie Malouin and Jerome Verrier also scoreds.
It was Marcotte’s second two-goal game of the season, but the first one included an empty-netter.
He now has 22 goals on the season. He said it was nice to chip in offensively.
“It was nicer to get the win,” he added. “We needed the two points.”
The Rocket improved to 33-22-2 while the Voltigeurs fall to 31-22-2-2. Two points separate the two teams in the standings.
The Rocket travels to Moncton Saturday to play the Wildcats (35-20-1) at 7 p.m.
The Rocket hosts the league’s last-place team, the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (12-37-3-5), Sunday at 3 p.m.