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Nerves? What nerves? Islanders ready for Game 3

Charlottetown Islanders defenceman and captain Pierre-Olivier Joseph left, smiles as he explains a drill to defensive partner Olivier Desjardins (#8) at Isles practice Monday in Charlottetown. The Isles host the Blainville-Boisbriand Armanda on Tuesday in Game 3 of the teams best-of-seven QMJHL semifinal.
Charlottetown Islanders defenceman and captain Pierre-Olivier Joseph, left, smiles as he explains a drill to defensive partner Olivier Desjardins (#8) at Isles practice Monday in Charlottetown. The Isles host the Blainville-Boisbriand Armanda on Tuesday in Game 3 of the teams best-of-seven QMJHL semifinal. - Charles Reid

Charlottetown players say the team is steady and set as it hosts Blainville-Boisbriand tonight

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Don’t expect the never-nervous Charlottetown Islanders to tighten up in its playoff series against Blainville-Boisbriand.

In fact, the Isles remain loosey-goosey in the face of a 0-2 deficit heading into Game 3 of the team’s Quebec Major Junior Hockey League best-of-seven semifinal against the Armada on Tuesday in Charlottetown.

Game time is 7 p.m. at Eastlink Centre, and while Isles captain Pierre-Olivier Joseph isn’t happy about being outscored 4-1 overall in Blainville-Boisbriand, the defenceman is pleased how the squad played on the road.

“We started Game 1 like we started the season. We knew were a team that wasn’t going to score a lot of goals so we had to be good defensively. And we’ve done that,” said Joseph, who’s tallied a goal, 10 points and a plus-three plus-minus ratio in 13 playoff games so far. “It’s never an OK situation to be down 0-2, but it could be 2-0. We can’t be satisfied for how the two games ended. We’ve been pretty patient (so) we know some things will be in our favour (eventually).”

Charlottetown’s forechecking game against the Armada has been effective limiting the high-flying Blainville-Boisbriand to just four goals in 53 total shots over the two contests. Two of the goals came off the power play the Armada has taken advantage of its chances. 

Not too bad versus a team that was second in goals scored in the regular season (276) and was first (50) coming into the semi against the Isles.

Trouble is the Armada has clamped down, too, and surrendered just the one score (to Derek Gentile in Game 1). Armada goalie Emile Samson owns a playoff-leading 1.73 goals-against average and has allowed just Gentile’s marker on 48 attempts.

There’s not much wiggle room on both side of the ice, but Isles centre Keith Getson is just the opposite of discouraged.

“We’re pissed we’re down 2-0, honestly right now. If people think we’re out of this, that’s good, it fuels our fire. Coming back home, we’re happy now in our building,” said Getson, whose nine playoff goals has him in a four-way tie for second. “We did honestly play two really good road games. Hopefully we’ll get some puck luck and take home the wins.”

A victory puts the Isles right back in the series. Charlottetown has shown a resilience and a steadiness all season and into the playoffs. It won a tough seven-game series against the Quebec Remparts on the road in the first round, then swept the Halifax Mooseheads in four games in the quarter-finals.

And that’s what Joseph is counting on.

“The big word is patience. We’re doing the right little things so the goals will come.”

Game 4 is Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Link.

Tale Of The Tape

A look at the Blainville-Boisbriand Armanda-Charlottetown Islanders best-of-seven QMJHL semifinal series after two games.

Record - Armada leads 2-0.

Scores - Game 1: 4-1; Game 2: 1-0, both games in Blainville-Boisbriand.

Shots

Blainville-Boisbriand - 53.

Charlottetown - 48

Penalty Minutes

Blainville-Boisbriand - 12

Charlottetown - 18

Power Play

Blainville-Boisbriand - 2-for-8, 25 per cent.

Charlottetown - 0-for-5.

Hits

Blainville-Boisbriand - 23

Charlottetown - 19

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