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Charlottetown Islanders look to close out series with Remparts tonight in Quebec City

The Charlottetown Islanders hosted the Quebec Remparts for Game 4 of their Quebec Major Junior Hockey League first-round playoff series Friday at the Eastlink Centre.
The Charlottetown Islanders hosted the Quebec Remparts for Game 4 of their Quebec Major Junior Hockey League first-round playoff series Friday at the Eastlink Centre.

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The Charlottetown Islanders know they have two cracks at advancing to the second round of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs, but they prefer to finish the job tonight.

The Isles head into Game 6 in Quebec City knowing they can eliminate the Remparts with a victory. They also realize a loss tonight and the Remparts will have momentum going into a deciding game at the 18,000-seat Videotron Centre on Tuesday night.

“We expect Game 6 to probably be the most intense one of the series,” Charlottetown head coach Jim Hulton said. “They’re going to be playing for their lives and we want to push them off the cliff, and that generally brings out the best” in both teams.

Keith Getson, the Isles assistant captain and longest-serving member of the squad, said they are going to stick to the game plan and hope to come out with a win.

“We can’t really predict what’s going to happen, but we’re going to play as hard as we can and hopefully we’ll come out with some results we want,” he said. “We’ll do all that we can to take it with six games, but if it takes us seven, it takes us seven.”

Remparts forward Gregor MacLeod said while they are behind in the series they are heading home where they went 21-9-1-3 during the regular season.

“It’s perfect for us, and we’re going to be ready for it,” he said.

Both he and Matthew Grouchy said they enjoyed getting back to Charlottetown where their major junior careers started. They were traded to Quebec City on Jan. 2 in the deal that brought Derek Gentile to Charlottetown and enabled the Isles to acquire Cam Askew from Shawinigan. MacLeod had family in the stands from Nova Scotia during the series in Charlottetown.

The series was expected to be tight when the matchup was determined at the end of the regular season. The two teams finished eighth and ninth in the league standings and are built around strong play in their own zone.

“It’s living up to all the billing,” Hulton said after Saturday’s win. “Both goaltenders have been fabulous. I thought both guys were unreal today.”

Grouchy said his team has to carryover the way it played in the final half of the third period of Game 5 into tonight’s Game 6.

“I think we have to be more physical,” he said. “I think we have to get bodies in front of (Islanders goalie Matthew) Welsh. He’s seeing everything right now. When he sees everything, he stops everything.”

Both Getson and captain Pierre-Olivier Joseph took big hits in the third period as the Remparts ratcheted up the physical play while pressing for the equalizer. The Islanders are healthy and will have the full lineup available for tonight’s key contest.

Getson acknowledged guys are playing with bumps and bruises, “but at the end, whatever it takes to get a win,” he said.

While pleased to win the final two games in Charlottetown, Hulton said there were some discipline and puck management issues that crept into the game Friday and were evident again on Saturday.

“We’re going to have to be a lot better in both departments on the road if we want to get that elusive final win,” the bench boss said.

He pointed to whichever team can remain focused during the game as the team that will likely have the best shot at winning tonight.

“The one thing with kids is when adrenaline gets too high, focus goes out the window and that's when you run into some of these errors,” he said.


Leaders

A look at the Quebec Remparts and Charlottetown Islanders leaders through the first five games of their playoff series.

Goals

Quebec

Jesse Sutton 3

Matthew Boucher 2

Seven tied with 1

Charlottetown

Keith Getson 5

Pascal Aquin 2

Brett Budgell 2

Assists

Quebec

Matthew Grouchy 4

Pascal Laberge 3

Seven tied with 1

Charlottetown

Daniel Hardie 5

Hunter Drew 4

Nikita Alexandrov 3

Brendon Clavelle 3

Points

Quebec

Matthew Grouchy 5

Pascal Laberge 4

Jesse Sutton 3

Matthew Boucher 3

Charlottetown

Keith Getson 5

Daniel Hardie 5

Four tied with 4

Penalty minutes

Quebec

Matthew Boucher 8

Gregor MacLeod 8

Pascal Laberge 6

Charlottetown

Hunter Drew 10

Pierre-Olivier Joseph 10

Cam Askew 8

Brett Budgell 8

Shots

Quebec

Matthew Boucher 25

Pascal Laberge 14

Benjamin Gagne 12

Charlottetown

Hunter Drew 24

Daniel Hardie 16

Keith Getson 13

Faceoff percentage (minimum 25 attempts)

Quebec

Philipp Kurashev 70 (42-for-60)

Jesse Sutton 64.1 (25-for-39)

Matthew Boucher 53.1 (52-for-98)

Charlottetown

Keith Getson 56.7 (59-for-104)

Thomas Casey 53.8 (14-for-26)

Cam Askew 48.9 (23-for-47)

Goalies

                        GP   W   L    GAA    SAV%

Quebec

Antoine Samuel 5    2    3     2.44    .917

Charlottetown

Matthew Welsh 5    3    2     2.23    .923

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