BOISBRIAND, QUE. – Emile Samson stopped all 28 shots he faces to backstop the top-ranked Blainville-Boisbriand Armada to a 1-0 victory Saturday over the Charlottetown Islanders.
The Armada lead the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League best-of-seven semifinal 2-0.
“We played two almost excellent road games and didn't walk away with any results, but we also know those things come full circle, so we’re in a pretty good headspace right now heading home,” Islanders head coach Jim Hulton said.
Games 3 and 4 are in Charlottetown on Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 p.m.
“What I told (the team) is, ‘In my opinion the series will be tied after Wednesday night’. We just keep the same approach and the bounces come your way eventually,” Hulton said. “Now we get to go home for some home cooking and we’re a good team on home ice.”
Alexandre Alain scored the only goal of Saturday’s game five minutes into the second period with captain Pierre-Olivier Joseph serving a hooking penalty.
Alex Barre-Boulet set up the goal from his knees while Pascal Corbeil had the other assists.
Matthew Welsh made 27 saves to keep the Isles in the game.
Hulton said both goalies are putting on clinics.
“Two goaltenders that have been overruled because they aren’t six-foot-two, but both of them have been playing fantastic hockey,” he said. “Welshy was unbelievable in the third when we had to put the push and open it up a little bit.”
The Armada play a disciplined and structured game that limits teams getting many quality scoring chances.
“The structure was just like a pro game. Both teams are so close to the vest,” Hulton said, noting the high number of blocked shots. “It’s difficult to get grade-A chances.”
Islanders defenceman Noah Massie played his first game of the playoffs on Saturday as Taylor Egan is day-to-day with an upper-body injury sustained in Game 1 on Friday night. Egan is questionable for Tuesday.
The Islanders didn’t sustain any injuries on Saturday. The team was heading to the airport after the game to fly back to Charlottetown.
Titan 7, Tigres 3
The Acadie-Bathurst Titan has taken a 2-0 series lead in the other semifinal after defeating the Victoriaville Tigres 7-3 Saturday in northern New Brunswick.
Antoine Morand led the way with four goals while defenceman Olivier Galipeau had three assists.
Samuel L’Ialien, Adam Holwell and captain Jeffrey Truchon-Viel also scored in the win.
Summerside’s Noah Dobson, Ethan Crossman and German Rubtsov each recorded two helpers while Jordan Maher, Liam Murphy and Justin Ducharme added singles.
Vitalii Abramov, Simon Lafrance and Felix Pare scored for Victoriaville with assists going to Jeremie Beaudin, Felix Boivin, Jimmy Huntington and Ivan Kosorenkov.
Evan Fitzpatrick made 31 saves for the win while Etienne Montpetit stopped 41 shots in the loss.
Victoriaville lead 2-1 after the first period but the Titan scored three in the second to take a 4-2 lead to the third.
Acadie-Bathurst was 4-for-6 on the power play while Victoriaville was 0-for-3.
Game 3 is Tuesday in Victoriaville, Que.