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Islanders lose pre-season opener in overtime to Moncton


First round of cuts announced after Sunday's contest

CORNWALL, P.E.I. – Nicolas Kingsbury-Fournier scored 25 seconds into overtime to give the Moncton Wildcats a 4-3 victory over the Charlottetown Islanders Sunday at the APM Centre in Cornwall.

Defecenman Jordan Spence, a Cornwall native, had an assist on the game-winning goal for the Wildcats.

It was each team’s first game of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League pre-season.

The Isles responded twice in the third period after allowing the go-ahead goal.

“We just knew we had to fight back and get back in the game,” said Isles defenceman Colin Van Den Hurk. “It just took that one goal and we got rolling.”

Abrams Village native Evan Gallant tied it with eight minutes to play making a power move along the side boards, cutting to the middle and beating goalie Zachary Paradis. Van Den Hurk, a blue-liner from Havelock, Ont., equalized it 2:21 later after taking a drop pass from defenceman Nathan Martel.

“I just saw (some) space, so I just put it to the backhand on the one guy. The other D didn't have a very good gap, so I just took it to him, put it through his legs and, luckily, I got it off and put it under the bar,” Van Den Hurk said. “(I am) just trying to prove myself to the coaching staff that I can play in this league and with this great organization.”

The 19-year-old offensive defenceman has played for the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontairo Hockey League but spent the majority of last season with the junior A Voyageurs in Kingston.

“It's a total different speed (from junior A) and more physical,” he said, “so you always have to keep your head up, move the puck and get your feet moving or you’re going to get run over.”

After a sloppy first period, the action got better in the second period where the teams traded goals. In the third, the pace picked up again with four goals in three minutes.

“There was lots of choppy play, but on the positive side there was a lot of skill shown and a lot of compete,” Islanders head coach Jim Hulton said. “I like the fact we didn't give up, down a couple of times in the third and kept coming. We got better as the game went along.”

Islanders goalie Nolan Boyd made two saves in the final minute to get the game into overtime.

The Islanders are down to about 35 players with forwards Keiran Gallant, Alex Power and Wes Dobbin as well as goalies Tommy Aitken and Aaron Mercer leaving to retain their NCAA eligibility after 48 hours. Nicholas Bourque, Nathan Kelly, Cameron Roberts, Nicholas Reeves, Charles-Olivier Nadeau and Dell Welton were also released Sunday night as the team works to get down to a more manageable number of players in camp.

“The clock is ticking to make an impression,” he said. “There’s not a ton of spots open so people have to jump off the page and earn it on merit.”

He said the returnees didn't take their spots for granted and led the way during Friday’s physical testing and in Saturday’s intra-squad games.


Highlight Reel

A look at Sunday’s Quebec Major Junior Hockey League pre-season game between the Charlottetown Islanders and Moncton Wildcats at the APM Centre in Cornwall.

Outcome

Moncton – 4 OT.

Charlottetown – 3.

Goals

Moncton – Chris Murphy, Francis Langlois, Sam Dow and Nicolas Kingsbury-Fournier.

Charlottetown – Anthony Hamel, Evan Gallant and Colin Van Den Hurk.

Assists

Moncton – Elliot Desnoyers (3), Jaden Mason and Jordan Spence.

Charlottetown – Caleb Rich, Evan Gallant, Zach Thususka and Nicolas Bourque.

Goalies

Moncton – Alec MacDonald, 13 saves on 14 shots in 29:15; Zachary Paradis, 16 saves on 18 shots in 31:10.

Charlottetown – Chad Arsenault, 13 saves on 13 shots in 29:15; Bolan Boyd, eight saves on 12 shots in 31:10.

Power play

Moncton – 0-for-2.

Charlottetown – 0-for-2.


This week’s schedule

A look at this week’s Charlottetown Islanders training camp schedule. Everything is at the APM Centre in Cornwall unless stated.
Today
9 a.m. – On-ice session.
3 p.m. – On-ice session.
Tuesday
9 a.m. – On-ice session (all non-game players).
7 p.m. – Exhibition game at Moncton Wildcats, Superior Propane Centre.
Wednesday
9 a.m. – On-ice session.
3 p.m. – On-ice session.

Thursday
9 a.m. – On-ice session.
Friday – Centre 200, Sydney, N.S.
7 p.m. – Exhibition game at Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, Centre 200.

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