© Guardian photo by Nigel Armstrong
Kevin Laliberte of the Charlottetown Islanders moves the puck up the ice during Friday night’s Quebec Major Junior Hockey League game against the Saint John Sea Dogs at the Eastlink Centre.
IIn a battle of teams mired in losing streaks, the Charlottetown Islanders did their duty and halted their skid with a 2-1 win over the Saint John Sea Dogs on Friday at the Eastlink Centre.
Captain Jack Nevins slid the sword into the Isles’ nine-game losing run in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with a game-winning, power-play goal at 18:35 of the third period.
Isles forward Alexis Pépin tied the game 1-1 five minutes earlier in the third. That after the Dogs led 1-0 on Oliver Cooper’s goal three minutes into the first period and were riding goalie Sebastien Auger’s stellar work into the final frame with hopes of ending its four-game slide.
Both Isles goals came off rebounds the Dogs defence couldn't clear in time.
For Nevins, the blaring music in the Charlottetown dressing locker said it all.
“Yeah for sure, it usually has been crickets around here for the last month or so,” said Nevins. “I was the net man on the power play, (got a rebound) and was lucky enough to pick the puck over his hand. (Auger’s) one of the best goaltenders in the league.”
Charlottetown got the elusive 14th win it has been searching for since mid-November and upped its record to 14-16-1-4.
The Sea Dogs, meanwhile, dropped to 7-23-0-3, good for the second-worst record in the league.
Eric Brassard picked up the win by stopping 25 shots and upped his record to 6-6.
Auger faced 47 shots and fell to 5-18-0-3.
Kameron Kielly, his face covered in the traditional shaving cream birthday pie, said it didn’t matter to him which team the Isles beat to kill the streak.
“I don’t think so. Saint John has beaten us before. I couldn’t be happier to turn the ship around,” said Kielly, who turned 17 on Friday. “Hopefully, we can start a streak of our own in the other direction.”
Next up, the Islanders travel to Sydney, N.S., Sunday to face the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.
Game time is 2 p.m.
Game At A Glance
u The Outcome - Charlottetown 2 Saint John 1.
u The Goalscorers -Saint John: Oliver Cooper (11); Charlottetown: Alexis Pépin (7), Jack Nevins (13).
u The Assists - Saint John: Stephen Anderson (11), Matthew Highmore (14); Charlottetown: Daniel Sprong (22), Ryan Graves (6), Troy Vance (10), Julien Leduc (12).
u The Goalies - Saint John: Sébastien Auger, 45-of-47, loss (5-18-0-3); Charlottetown: Eric Brassard, 25-of-26, win (6-6).
u Shots By Period - Saint John: 9-14-35, 26; Charlottetown: 12-15-20, 47.
u Penalty Minutes - Saint John: 17; Charlottetown: 11.
u Power Play - Saint John: 0-for-3; Charlottetown: 1-for-64, 17 per cent.
u Hits - Saint John: 15; Charlottetown: 19.
u Hit Posts - Saint John: 1; Charlottetown: 3.
u 50-50 Draw - $1,358.
u Attendance - 2,201.
u Next Up - Charlottetown (14-16-1-4) travels to Cape Breton on Sunday to face the Screaming Eagles (18-12-0-3). Game time is 2 p.m.