© Nigel Armstrong - The Guardian
Guillaume Rioux-Legault, left of the Charlottetown Islanders moves in to debate the finer points of crosschecking with Anthony Gingras of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan during second period action Friday at the Eastlink Centre. Gingras has just been called for cross-checking moments before
The Charlottetown Islanders will finish in one of the bottom two playoff spots after losing 3-1 Friday to the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action.
The Titan (22-39-4-2) clinched 14th place with the win while tonight’s outcomes will determine if Charlottetown (20-39-3-5) is 15 or 16.
“No matter what we’re going to be playing a good team,” centre Craig MacLauchlan said after Friday’s game. “We’re ready for the playoffs. We know what we’re going to have to do.”
Charlottetown could face Baie-Comeau, Rimouski or Halifax.
On Friday, Titan goalie Jacob Brennan and his counterpart Eric Brassard traded saves all night before a sellout crowd. League officials deemed 18 of each clubs’ 37 shots were dangerous.
“The goalies were playing unreal,” MacLauchlan said. “You’re just hoping for something to trickle in.”
Three of the goals came on the power play while the other was on a breakaway late in the third period when the Titan’s Gabriel Gosselin sprung Simon Fortier.
“We had a good start, (but) we didn’t finish the way we wanted to,” said Charlottetown defenceman Anthony Cortese.
The Titan led 1-0 after the first period on a power-play goal by former P.E.I. Rocket defenceman Mark Trickett. The Baddeck, N.S., native, was traded to Victoriaville last season for Troy Vance.
Acadie-Bathurst’s Raphael Lafontaine and Charlottetown’s Daniel Sprong traded power-play markers in the second period.
Every time the Islanders mounted a quality scoring chance, Brennan turned it aside. Brassard kept his team in the game as him teammates searched for the equalizer.
“Every night him and (Mason McDonald) just stand on their head for us,” MacLauchlan said. “It’s unbelievable to have two great goaltenders.”
The Islanders (20-39-3-5) conclude the regular season tonight at 7 p.m. when the Saint John Sea Dogs (19-43-2-3) come to town. They lost 7-2 in Halifax on Friday for their sixth straight loss.
“It’s huge to grab momentum going into the playoffs,” MacLauchlan said.
Cortese added it’s important to quickly turn the page from Friday’s loss and come out of the chute hard tonight.
Shawinigan beat Victoriaville 4-2 on Friday to pull ahead of the Islanders by a point. They are on the road tonight to play the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada at 8 p.m. ADT.
While all 3,718 tickets were sold for Friday’s game there was an estimated 3,300 fans in the stands.
Titan – 3
Islanders – 1
Titan – Mark Trickett, Raphael Lafontaine and Simon Fortier.
Islanders – Daniel Sprong.
Titan – Alexandre Gosselin, Scott Oke, Anthony Gingras, Guillaume Brisebois and Gabriel Gosselin.
Islanders – Troy Vance, Anthony Cortese.
Titan – Jacob Brennan, 36 saves.
Islanders – Eric Brassard, 34 saves.
Titan – 2-for-5.
Islanders – 1-for-6.
-Attendance – Sellout 3,718 (announced).
-50/50 – $3,240.
-Standing O – P.E.I. Easter Seals 2014 campaign ambassador Brett Robinson participated in the ceremonial faceoff. Friday’s puck toss was in support of the campaign.
-Moment of silence – Players, team officials and fans stood silently before the game to honour Terry Trafford. Michigan police found the OHLer’s body earlier this week. He had been missing for a week.