Charlottetown Islanders forward Samuel Meisenheimer wasted little time in seeing teddy bears launched onto the Eastlink Centre ice in Friday’s 6-1 win over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.
The right-winger scored 1:06 into the first period and initiated the annual Teddy Bear Toss after the Isles’ first goal. The stuffed animals, collected for distribution to kids across the Island, were barely warm before fans hurled the toys celebrating the Isles 1-0 lead.
Meisenheimer repeated the act (minus the teddy bears) 1:10 into the second period and gave the Isles a 3-1 edge in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League game.
Hunter Drew had already potted the eventual game-winning goal in the first frame about five minutes after Eagles captain Phelix Martineau tied it 1-1, which to Meisenheimer was an example of how the team played.
“All the lines were on (Friday). Nobody took a shift off,” said Meisenheimer of the surprising Islanders which is now one of six QMJHL squads with 20 wins. “This team has kind of taken on the role of underdog. Not many people would have expected us to be in his position.”
Charlottetown (20-11-1) moved to eighth overall and remain in third in the Maritimes Division. Cape Breton fell to 15-15-2-1. It was Charlottetown’s second win in five games against the Eagles.
Thomas Casey scored 1:03 after Meisenheimer’s second goal for a 4-1 edge. Then while killing a penalty Pascal Aquin chipped a puck past a Eagle defender, broke away and beat Eagles goalie Kevin Mandolese for his 13th goal and first shorthand goal of the year and a 5-1 lead.
Olivier Desjardins chipped in the sixth goal four minutes into the fourth and that was that.
For Martineau, it was just one of those nights the team will have to erase before it takes on the Mooseheads on Saturday in Halifax, N.S.
“It was a tough night for us. We didn’t have a good defensive zone set-up and unfortunately we have to work on that,” said Martineau. “After midnight we have to forget about this one and work on (Saturday). We know what we did bad so we have work on that.”
Isles goalie Matthew Welsh (18-9) stopped 15-of-16 shots for the win and tied Ryan Mior and Mason McDonald for the franchise lead in wins with 54.
Mandolese saw 41 shots and dropped to 6-8.
The Islanders face the Sea Dogs on Saturday in Saint John, N.B., to finish the first half of the season. Game time is 7 p.m.
The season resumes after the Christmas break on Thursday, Dec. 28. The trade period starts Monday, Dec. 17.
A look at Friday’s Quebec Major Junior Hockey League game at the Eastlink Centre.
The Outcome - Charlottetown 6 Cape Breton 1
The Goalscorers - Cape Breton: Phelix Martineau (16); Charlottetown: Samuel Meisenheimer 2 (7), Hunter Drew (4), Thomas Casey (4), Pascal Aquin (13), Olivier Desjardins (3).
The Assists - Cape Breton: Tyler Hylland (11), Olivier Bourett (8); Charlottetown: Noah Massie 2 (4), Gregor MacLeod 2 (8), Hunter Drew (14), Samuel Meisenheimer (14), Cayse Ton (1), Marcel Berube (4).
The Goalies - Cape Breton: Kevin Mandolese, 35-of-41, loss (6-8); Charlottetown: Matthew Welsh, 15-of-16, win (18-9).
Attendance - 2,611 announced.
By The Numbers
Shots By Period - Cape Breton: 3-9-4, 16; Charlottetown: 18-13-10, 41.
Penalty Minutes - Cape Breton: 12; Charlottetown: 12.
Power Play - Cape Breton: 1-for-5, 20 per cent; Charlottetown: 0-for-5.
50-50 - $1,747.50.