Islanders defeat Oceanic 3-1

Jason Malloy
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Bradley Kennedy had a goal and an assist Saturday as the Charlottetown Islanders defeated the Rimouski Oceanic 3-1.

It came less than 24 hours after losing 7-5 to Gatineau.

“That was a big win,” Kennedy said. “We need to start stringing a couple wins to get our team (heading) in the right direction.”

His goal made it 2-0 with five minutes to play in the first period in front of 3,292 fans at the Eastlink Centre.

“It definitely feels good to get an early lead,” he said. “It kind of takes the pressure off you a little bit, but you still have to keep your foot on the pedal."

Mitchell Balmas and Jake Coughler also scored at the Eastlink Centre. Filip Rydstrom had two assists while singles went to Daniel Sprong, Shawn Boudrias and Nicolas Leblond.

Tyler Boland ended Matthew Welsh's shutout bid with a power-play goal with 7:11 left in the third. Dylan Montcalm and Antoine Dufort-Plante had assists.

Welsh made 26 saves for the win while Alexandre Lagace stopped 22 shots in the loss. Charlottetown held period leads of 2-0 and 3-0.

During the final shift of the game Sprong and Andrew Picco got tangled up. Sprong wouldn't say what started it, only saying it's part of hockey.

Sprong expects he will see teams take liberties with him as the season progresses.

"I think teams are going to try to get under my skin,” he said. “It’s my job to stay calm and don’t do anything stupid.”

He was appreciative of his his fellow Islanders, including Guillaume Beaudry and Oliver Cooper, for helping out.

“My teammates really stepped up,” he said. “I’m going to do the same for them. We’re a team here.”

Charlottetown improved to 16-21-3-2 while Rimouski is 24-13-3-1. Charlottetown plays Jan. 15 at the Saint John Sea Dogs in the first of three games in as many nights against division opponents.

Sprong said it will be good to have a week of practice to prepare. The team has added many new faces, including Sprong, since the Christmas break.

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