Isles lose first of the season 6-2 in a physical battle with Moncton
Matthew Butler scored his first of his QMJHL career and the Isles put up 38 shots but Moncton prevailed in the end.
It was a defensive battle early with only one registered shot on goal in the first five minutes of the game.
Simon Hughes helped the defense blocking a shot, keeping it from getting through to Carter Bickle.
The Isles brought the puck the other way as Kearsey pump faked the Wildcats defender, giving himself space to walk in and shoot, but Moncton goaltender Jacob Steinman shut the door.
The Wildcats then started testing the Isles defense even more but Bickle turned away everything he faced to that point with a little help from the post.
Momentum shifted though as Ondrej Maruna muscled the puck to the corner in the offensive end and Alexis Michaud fed it back-door to a wide open Matthew Butler who buried his first career QMJHL goal to give the Isles a 1-0 lead.
Soon after, the Wildcats went on the powerplay and 2023 first overall pick, Caleb Desnoyers scored his first goal in the Q, knotting the game up at one goal apiece.
After the first period, the Isles led in shots 10-6.
The Isles were awarded a powerplay early in the second period and Giovanni Morneau shot it hard over Steinman for his first of the season to give Charlottetown back the lead.
“It feels great that the first one is out of the way, but we just move on to the next ones,” Morneau said.
It was a physical second period as Ross Campbell laid a hard hit on a Wildcats player Parker Lounsbury.
Moncton started gaining momentum but Carter Bickle made a number of highlight reel saves to keep the Isles ahead.
Though, they would find a way through as former Islander, Oscar Plandowski snuck a shot through Bickle to tie the game at two.
The Wildcats continued to apply pressure and Julius Sumpf scored off of a broken play in front of the net to give Moncton their first lead of the game.
Not long after, they would double up on their lead as it looked like the shot by Sebastian Glas was going wide, but it just got through Bickle’s five-hole.
Charlottetown went on the powerplay in the final minutes of the frame but couldn’t convert despite multiple chances.
Moncton led 4-2 going into the second intermission.
The Wildcats opened the third flying into the offensive end but the Islanders defense took care of it.
The Isles started pressuring Moncton in their own end and Michael Horth had a great opportunity in front of the net but Steinman shut the door with a sprawling play.
Despite the relentless pressure from the Isles, Moncton came back the other way and a quick shot by Miles Mueller put them up 5-2.
Then a scramble in front of the net led to the puck deflecting off of Simon Duguay’s skate to give the WIldcats a 6-2 lead.
Moncton would carry the lead right to the final whistle, as Steinman collected his third win in just as many games.
Head coach Jim Hulton didn’t think the game was indicative of a 6-2 score.
“I didn’t think it was a 6-2 kind of game, I think we had some really good looks,” he said. “We had momentary lapses and that’s what good teams do, they take advantage of those.”
Hulton knows what the Isles need to do better going into the back end of a back-to-back for the second weekend in a row.
“I thought they broke us down at times uncustomarily,” he said. “We have to do better off the puck.”
The Isles return to the Eastlink Centre tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. to take on the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. Purchase tickets by calling the box office by calling 902-629-6625 or purchase online here.