'So many things need to improve' for major junior Islanders

Charles
Charles Reid
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Brooklyn, P.E.I.’s Darcy Ashley of the Halifax Mooseheads trips up Alexandre Goulet of the Charlottetown Islanders during QMJHL action at the Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown Sunday. The Mooseheads won 4-1.

The power play was the star of the show in the Halifax Mooseheads 4-1 win over the Charlottetown Islanders as four of the game’s five goals were courtesy of the extra man.

Charlottetown forward Matej Beran and Halifax’s Timo Meier exchanged first-period power play goals Sunday at the Eastlink Centre and it remained a 1-1 game until Andrew Ryan in the second period and rookie Nikolaj Ehlers in the third frame connected on two more PP goals for a 3-1 Herd lead.

Brooklyn native Darcy Ashley, who received a vicious hit from behind from Isles centre Craig MacLauchlan in the third period, rounded out the scoring with an empty net goal and sent Charlottetown to its eighth straight defeat and a 13-16-1-3 record in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

“There were moments of good stuff out there, but not near enough to win a hockey game. So many things that need to improve. (Bottom line) is we got to get the job done,’’ said Troy Vance, Isles captain, on his team’s effort. “You try to minimize penalties, but that got away from us a little bit tonight. They have a lot of skilled guys that can finish and that’s what they did tonight.’’

Halifax, minus leading scorer Jonathan Drouin who’s out indefinitely with a concussion (see story, B3), ups its record to a league-leading 23-10-0-1 and are tied with Blainville-Boisbriand with 47 points. The Herd has seven wins in its last 10 games.

Halifax went 3-for-6 on the power pay while Charlottetown was 1-of-4 with the extra skater.

Ehlers goal gave him 20 on the year and he leads the rookie scoring list with 47 points. Charlottetown rook Daniel Sprong had an assist on Beran’s goal and has 35 points, 12 points behind Ehlers.

As for Ashley’s head after MacLauchlan drove him into the boards, the 20-year-old he said he’s OK, helped by the resulting Ehlers power-play goal that made the score 3-1.

“It’s fine. They work hard, and are well-coached . . . and you can’t come in here expecting a win,’’ said Ashley, who also had two assists. “We have a lot of speed as a group and when we get down low they have to grab to stop us.’’

Isles goalie Antoine Bibeau (7-10-1-3) stopped 38-of-41 shots in the loss while Halifax Zachary Fucale kicked aside 22-of-23 shots in the win and went to 19-7-0-1.

The Islanders host the Moncton Wildcats on Wednesday. Game time is 7 p.m. at Eastlink Centre.

League Notes - The Islanders moved its March 1 home game against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan to Feb. 14 to make room for Jack Frost Festival activities at Eastlink Centre.

Instant Replay

A look at Friday’s QMJHL game at Eastlink Centre:

- The Outcome - Halifax 4 Charlottetown 1

- The Goalscorers - Halifax: Timo Meier (11), Nikolaj Ehlers (20), Andrew Ryan (15), Darcy Ashley (14); Charlottetown: Matej Beran (9).

- The Assists - Halifax: Darcy Ashley 2 (27), Nikolaj Ehlers 2 (27), MacKenzie Weegar (19), Timo Meier (6), Luca Ciampini (14); Charlottetown: Daniel Sprong (20), Anthony Cortese (9).

- The Goalies - Halifax: Zachary Fucale, 22-of-23, win (19-7-0-1); Charlottetown:  Antoine Bibeau, 38-of-41, loss (7-10-1-3).

- Attendance - 2,352 announced.

- Next Up - Charlottetown (13-16-1-3) hosts Moncton (15-17-0-2) on Wednesday. Game time is 7 p.m. at Eastlink Centre.

————

By The Numbers

- Shots By Period - Halifax: 14-12-15, 41; Charlottetown: 8-8-7, 23.

- Penalty Minutes - Halifax: 14; Charlottetown: 18.

- Power Play - Halifax: 3-for-6, 50 per cent; Charlottetown: 1-for-4, 25 per cent.

- Hits - Halifax: 9; Charlottetown: 8.

- 50-50 Draw - Over $1,393.

Organizations: Eastlink Centre., Islanders, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Instant Replay By The Numbers

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Halifax, Brooklyn Moncton

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