New faces gave the Charlottetown Islanders a much-needed lift and boosted the squad to a 4-1 win over the Moncton Wildcats on Sunday in Charlottetown.
Newbies Mason McDonald, who stopped 21 shots in the Islanders net, and Matthew Cusson, who connected on the eventual game-winning goal, did their part to start the Isles off with a victory in the new year. Daniel Sprong, Alexandre Goulet and Spenser Cobbold had the other Charlottetown scores in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League contest.
Moncton’s Christopher Caissy spoiled McDonald’s shutout bid late in the third period of his first start in the Charlottetown net, but McDonald, a Halifax, N.S., wasn’t concerned.
“Not at all. No big deal. Glad to get the win,” said McDonald, 17, who upped his record to 4-7-0-1.
McDonald, a former Acadie-Bathurst draft pick, came over to Charlottetown from the Titan after the Islander sent goalie Antoine Bibeau to Val-d’Or.
Cusson arrived on P.E.I. from Blainville-Boisbriand in a swap that sent Matt Bursey to the Armada, and the forward paid dividends with a first-period score that gave Charlottetown a 2-0 lead at intermission.
It was Cusson’s first goal this season (he’d missed three months with an eye injury) and one of two Islanders goals reviewed but awarded in the game.
“It happened all too fast. The puck flew in the air and I whacked at it. It bounced in. The bounces went my way,” said Cusson, 18, a Dorval, Que., native. “I don't have all the skill in the world. I have to keep it simple. That’s what I did (Sunday).”
Along with the Bibeau and Bursey deals, the Islanders sent winger Matej Beran to Sherbrooke for Samual Jutras, who wasn’t in Sunday’s lineup, traded forward Yan-Pavel Laplante and d-man Julien Leduc to Victoriaville for two first-round and a fourth-round picks, swapped Deverick Ottereyes with Gatineau for defenceman Vincent Roy (he had a plus-one plus-minus ratio on Sunday), and picked up Liam Alcalde from Halifax for a late-round pick in 2014.
Moncton’s new goalie Jason Rioux, 16, acquired from Shawinigan, was stellar, stopping 43-of-47 shots and keeping the Wildcats within striking distance in his first game with his new team. Charlottetown went to 16-20-1-4 while Moncton fell to 22-18-0-2. Next up, the Islander host the Halifax Mooseheads (25-15-0-1) on Wednesday. Game time is 7 p.m. at Eastlink Centre.
The trade deadline ends Tuesday.
A look at Sunday’s QMJHL game at Eastlink Centre:
The Outcome - Charlottetown 4 Moncton 1
The Goalscorers - Moncton: Christopher Caissy (11); Charlottetown: Daniel Sprong (18), Alexandre Goulet (18), Spenser Cobbold (5), Matthew Cusson (1).
The Assists - Moncton: JC Campagne (19); Charlottetown: Ryan Graves (9), Zach Beaton (1), Nathan Yetman (1), Anthony Cortese (15).
The Goalies - Moncton: Jason Rioux, 43-of-47, loss (0-1); Charlottetown: Mason McDonald, 21-of-22, win (4-7-0-1).
Attendance - 2,318 (announced).
By The Numbers
Shots By Period - Moncton: 9-7-6, 22; Charlottetown: 14-17-16, 47.
Penalty Minutes - Moncton: 24; Charlottetown: 16.
Power Play - Moncton: 0-for-3; Charlottetown: 0-for-8.
Hits - Moncton: 8; Charlottetown: 13.
50-50 Draw - $1,343.
A look at the Charlottetown Islanders next five games.
Halifax at Charlottetown, 7 p.m.
Shawinigan at Charlottetown, 7 p.m.
Acadie-Bathurst at Charlottetown, 3 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 17
Charlottetown at Saint John, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 19
Charlottetown at Cape Breton, 2 p.m.