The P.E.I. Rocket’s special teams were just that Thursday night in defeating the Chicoutimi Sagueneens 6-3 at the Civic Centre.
The Rocket killed seven straight minutes in penalties handed to Victor Provencher late in the first period. They scored two shorthanded goals on the night and added four power-play markers for good measure.
“It’s rare you see a seven-minute power play given, but it was,” said captain Josh Currie, who scored three goals on the night. “We had to kill it off and we did . . . I thought that was the momentum swinger.”
The game was a physical affair with a line brawl occurring at 11:33 of the third period after Gabriel Gagnon ran Rocket goalie Maxime Lagace.
Currie said his teammates on the ice, including some of the younger players, responded and, in the process, sent a message to Chicoutimi and the rest of the league.
“We’re not going to back down,” Currie said. “Don’t come after our goalie, or our top guys. . . .
“I think it’s definitely a message that we’re not going to take shit from anyone.”
The teams combined for 108 penalty minutes in the game.
“I think our PK did very well today,” said winger Louick Marcotte, who hit two posts in the game and was a threat on multiple shifts.
“If we keep playing like that we’re going to win a lot of hockey games, but we have to stay disciplined.”
The Rocket leads the league with 323 penalty minutes this season. Gatineau is second at 321.
Provencher said he was trying to tie his man up along the boards when the Chicoutimi player fell. Provencher said the player cross-checked him in the knee, resulting in him falling into the opponent. He was given a two-minute minor for checking from behind and a match penalty for cross-checking.
Provencher didn’t think his actions were worth the punishment.
“It’s (the referee’s) call, I can’t do nothing about it,” he said. “I just hope not to be suspended for (tonight).”
The 19-year-old winger was pleased his teammates were able to kill the penalty.
“It was incredible. I was pretty happy,” he said.
The penalty came with the Rocket trailing 1-0 at 16:59.
Erik Robichaud tied the game three minutes into the second while killing the penalty. He sniped his third of the season, and second short-handed, with Nathan Yetman driving hard to the net.
Robichaud said the two try to use their speed to create opportunities.
“As soon as we get a chance, we like to jump on it and capitalize,” he said.
It was Kelly Bent’s first game of the season. He was given a fighting major and an instigator penalty.
Defenceman Charles Johnson left the team last week and is playing with the Whitecourt Wolverines junior A team in Alberta.
Chicoutimi was without goaltender Christopher Gibson and Charles Hudon.