Published on September 14, 2013
Matthew Bursey, #63, centre, of the Charlottetown Islanders buzzes around the front of the Halifax Mooseheads’ net during first period action Friday at the newly-named Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown.
Guardian photo by Nigel Armstrong
Published on September 13, 2013
The newly named Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown is packed tonight for the home opener of the Charlottetown Islanders. Speaking to the crowd via the new jumbo screens is dentist Brad Campbell, a member of the team's ownership group.
There was hype, hoopla and drama and that was before the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League game at the newly named Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown, which the Islanders won 5-2 over the Halifax Mooseheads.
The buzz generated by the Isles, once the P.E.I. Rocket but now under new ownership, and the team’s new uniforms, new name and hopefully new attitude kept the squad on course for its first victory of the 2013-14 season.
Fittingly, Charlottetown native Kameron Kielly netted the winning goal, a power-play marker in the third period off feeds from Matej Beran and Daniel Sprong, that broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Islanders the win.
“It happened so fast, in the blink of an eye. So excited to get that one and help the team,’’ said Kielly of his first goal with Charlottetown. “I was holding the stick a little tight in the first period. Pretty nervous.’’
Halifax, the defending Memorial Cup champs, started the scoring on a rebound goal from Dany Moynihan, who tucked a shot past Isles goalie Daryl MacCallum.
Both teams were without several players gone to injury or NHL camps.
Halifax played without Brooklyn native Darcy Ashley (injured), Hunter River’s Brent Andrews and MacKenzie Weegar while Charlottetown skated without goalies Antoine Bibeau and Eric Brassard, defencemen Ryan Graves and Troy Vance, and forward Yan Pavel Laplante.
Isles overager Matej Beran tied the game 1-1 late in the second frame. Kielly and Sprong provided assists.
In the third, Isles forward Jack Nevins wired a short-side blast by Herd goalie Kevin Darveau at 2:50 for a 2-1 lead which brought the large crowd of over 3,600 announced alive.
That ended seven minutes later when Halifax’s Andrew Ryan notched his first of the season off a scramble in front of MacCallum and made things 2-2.
But while on the power play, a right-side rush by the rookie Sprong past the Herd defence and then a pass to Beran, who slipped the puck to Kielly in the Halifax crease, ended the Herd’s night.
Charlottetown scored two more goals, both by freshman forward Alexandre Goulet and including a power-play marker, iced the game and dropped Halifax to 0-2 on the season.
“Not blaming the refs, but there were a lot of power-play goals. (We were) not sticking to our game plan and came flying apart,’’ said Moynihan, who assisted on Halifax’s second goal. “Just a bad game. Certainly not the game we’re capable of playing.’’
Isles head coach Gordie Dwyer said the win wasn’t perfect and there’s a lot of work to do, but the team showed improvement as the contest progressed.
“There were some (mistakes) and some sloppy play, but as the game went on we started winning some battles and took advantage of our opportunities,’’ Dwyer said.
MacCallum (1-0) stopped 26 shots in the win while Darveau (0-2) faced 45 shots in the loss. Halifax was 0-for-3 with the extra man. Charlottetown went 2-for-8 on the power play.
The Islanders host the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles tonight, at 7 p.m., at the Eastlink Centre.
A look at Friday’s QMJHL game at the Eastlink Centre:
- The Outcome - Charlottetown 5 Halifax 2
- The Goalscorers - Halifax: Dany Moynihan (1), Andrew Ryan (1); Charlottetown: Alexandre Goulet 2 (2), Kameron Kielly (1), Jack Nevins (1), Matej Beran (1).
- The Assists - Halifax: Jessie Lussier (1), Nikolaj Ehlers (1), Austyn Hardie (1), Dany Moynihan (1); Charlottetown: Kevin Laliberté 2 (2), Daniel Sprong 2 (2), Jack Nevins 2 (2), Alexis Pépin 2 (2), Kameron Kielly (1), Matej Beran (1).
- The Goalies - Halifax: Kevin Darveau, 40-of-45, loss (0-2); Charlottetown: Daryl MacCallum, 26-of-28, win (1-0).
- Attendance - 3,611 announced.
- Next Up - Charlottetown (1-0) hosts the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (0-1) today. Game time is 7 p.m. at the Eastlink Centre.
- Shots By Period - Halifax: 9-7-12, 28; Charlottetown: 10-15-20, 45.
- Penalty Minutes - Halifax: 16; Charlottetown: 6.
- Power Play - Halifax: 0-for-3; Charlottetown: 2-for-8, 25 per cent.
- Hits - Halifax: 16; Charlottetown: 24.
- Hit Posts - Halifax: 2; Charlottetown: 3.
- 50-50 Draw - Over $3,000.