Islanders defeat Sea Dogs in regular-season finale

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The Charlottetown Islanders completed the regular season with a 6-2 win over the Saint John Sea Dogs Saturday at the Eastlink Centre.

The Islanders win means a first-round matchup with the Halifax Mooseheads beginning Friday in Halifax.

“We know we have a lot of work ahead of us,” said 20-year-old defenceman Troy Vance. “We’re going to give them all we’ve got and right now that’s all we’re focused on.”

The Islanders finished the season 21-39-3-5 while the Sea Dogs finished out of the playoffs at 19-44-2-3.

“It’s pretty emotional for me right now,” said Jason Cameron, a 21-year-old Clyde River native, who played his final junior game Saturday. “It’s good to be home though, to play in front of friends and family.”

The game proved to be a night of firsts as Josh Shatford scored his first goal in his first game with the Islanders. Zach Beaton scored his first two goals of his QMJHL career and defenceman Luc Deschenes scored his first since being acquired in January.

“That was amazing. There’s no other feeling like it,” Shatford said. “Second shift of your first game and you score a goal, there’s nothing like it.”

Moments later he was treated to a face full of shaving cream by his new teammates.

The 17-year-old Hubbards, N.S., native received the call Friday at 10:30 p.m. and was in Charlottetown at 1 p.m. Family were part of the sold-out game.

“That makes it so much better,” he said. “They’re so supportive no matter what happens in my hockey career.”

Beaton had not scored in 44 games this season or 15 last year with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

“Coming out of this game, not scoring a goal all season would have sucked,” the six-foot-three, 180-pound left-winger admitted.

“(I had) a big smile on my face when I seen that first one go on. When I seen the second one go in I was just kind of laughing at myself, like ‘what are the chances.’”

Rookie David Henley added his third of the season while freshman Daniel Sprong netted his 30th.

Alexandre Goulet had two assists while singles went to Robert Pelletier, Mike DiPaolo, Anthony Cortese, Bradley Kennedy and Kameron Kielly.

Summerside’s Spencer Smallman replied with both of Saint John’s goals. Nathan Noel had two assists while Thomas Chabot and Noah Zilbert had singles.

Mason McDonald stopped 35 shots for the victory while Antoine Landry made 31 saves

Charlottetown held period leads of 3-1 and 5-1.

First-year Sea Dogs defenceman Alexander McQuaid said it was a tough loss.

“We wanted to win that game,” said the Meadow Bank native. “Losing games like that is never easy.”

He said the Islanders quick goals gave them the momentum.

“We tried to get back in, but just weren’t able to do it.”

He said it was sad to see the season come to a close.

“You spend so much time with these guys over seven, eight months they become like your brothers and your family, so I’m disappointed to see it end.”

Organizations: Islanders, Eastlink Centre

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Shawinigan, Saint John

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