© Jason Malloy/The Guardian
Charlottetown Islanders defenceman Dexter Weber, centre, tries to get in the shooting lane on Moncton Wildcats defenceman Adam Holwell.
Welsh peppered with 50 shots in regulation, overtime
The Moncton Wildcats spoiled the Charlottetown Islanders party Wednesday night at the Eastlink Centre.
Conor Garland tied the score 3-3 with 2:42 left in the third and Kelly Klima iced the shootout victory with a goal, as the Wildcats won 4-3 on a night where Daniel Sprong, Samuel Blais and Guillaume Beaudry played their first game on home ice this season for the Islanders in front of a crowd of 3,535.
But the star of the show was 16-year-old goalie Matthew Welsh, who stopped 47 shots in regulation and overtime. It included 23 saves in the third period when the Isles were outshot 24-2.
But getting only the one point stung after the game.
"It sucks," Welsh said. "We would have liked to close it out."
Welsh said he was fortunate his teammates were able to clear a lot of the rebounds in front of him during the contest.
"Welsh played a hell of a game, but if you give a team 50 shots they're going to put one in eventually and we have to do better than that," Sprong said. "We have to be better as a team."
Will Smith scored a shorthanded goal midway through the first period.
Charlottetown head coach Jim Hulton said he thought his team was nervous in the opening frame, but got things going in the second.
Filip Rydstrom scored four minutes in and Oliver Cooper potted a rebound three minutes later.
Cameron Asked tied it with 6:29 left in the frame, but Sprong sniped on a breakaway with 43 seconds remaining to give the home side the lead heading to the intermission.
Hulton said his team played on its heels in the third.
"We coughed up the puck at the wrong time to the wrong people," he said. "We have to put it in the rearview mirror."
The Wildcats improved to 26-10-4-0 while Charlottetown is to 14-19-2-2.
"We really haven't had any practice time as a club (since the Christmas break), so to get three out of four points available in the two games is good," Hulton said.
The Islanders play the Sea Dogs at Saint John, N.B., tonight at 7 p.m.
Guillame Briand-Briere could get the start tonight in the Islanders crease, but Hulton said the final decision would come today.
Captain Quinn O'Brien did not play late in the third period with an upper-body injury that will require an X-ray. Alex McQuaid took a shot off the skate in Wednesday's practice and was on crutches at Wednesday's game.
A look at Wednesday's Quebec Major Junior Hockey League game between the host Charlottetown Islanders and the Moncton Wildcats.
Charlottetown - 3
Moncton - 4 (SO)
Charlottetown - Filip Rydstrom, Oliver Cooper and Daniel Sprong.
Moncton - Will Smith, Cameron Askew and Conor Garland.
Charlottetown - Daniel Sprong, Jonathan Duchesne, Mitchell Balmas, Bradley Kennedy, Samuel Blais and Matthew Welsh.
Moncton - Manuel Wiederer 2, Stephen Johnson, Conor Garland and Adam Holwell.
Charlottetown - Matthew Welsh, 47 saves on 50 shots.
Moncton - Blade Mann-Dixon, 15 saves on 18 shots.
Charlottetown – Samuel Blais, stopped; Daniel Sprong, goal.
Moncton – Cameron Askew, Conor Garland and Kelly Klima, goals.
Charlottetown - 0-for-5.
Moncton - 0-for-4.
Attendance - 3,535.
50/50 - $2,670.
1. Matthew Welsh, Charlottetown.
2. Daniel Sprong, Charlottetown.
3. Stephen Johnson, Moncton.