Hulton liked team's start, but says squad "sagged" after allowing first goal
Louis-Philip Guindon made 24 saves to backstop the Rimouski Oceanic to a 2-1 win over the Charlottetown Islanders Friday in Game 1 of their playoff series.
Game 2 in the best-of-seven Quebec Major Junior Hockey League series goes Saturday at 5 p.m. Atlantic.
“It was a typical playoff game,” Islanders head coach Jim Hulton said. “Not a lot of chances either way and they happened to capitalize on one more than we did.”
He said jitters had the Islanders not handling the puck smoothly in the game, but he is encouraged by the team’s third period.
Rimouski’s Pascal Laberge scored a power-play goal 10:56 into the first period in front of a crowd of 3,133.
“I liked our start,” Hulton said. “I thought we sagged after we gave up the first goal.”
Dylan Montcalm tallied an unassisted shorthanded goal on a breakaway 13:04 into the second to make it 2-0.
Montcalm’s goal came about 90 seconds after Islanders captain Oliver Cooper had a goal called back for a high stick.
“That’s the little momentum switches and adversity that you’re going to have in the playoffs,” Hulton said. “That can’t change our focus.”
Defenceman Alexis Vanier got the Islanders on the board with 1:50 remaining in the game. Daniel Sprong and Filip Chlapik had the assists.
Antoine Dufort-Plante and Simon Bourque had the assists for Rimouski.
Hulton said they had a couple of chances midway through the frame and another with about 15 seconds left, but couldn’t beat Guindon.
Mason McDonald allowed two goals on 34 shots in the Islanders crease but kept the Islanders in it.
Hulton said a win Saturday gives them a split coming home for Games 3 and 4 Tuesday and Wednesday in Charlottetown at 7 p.m.
The faceoffs and hits were pretty well even on Friday while Rimouski went 1-for-4 on the power play and Charlottetown was 0-for-4.