Islanders bounce back with a win over Saint John
The Islanders wrap up the home portion of their preseason with a 4-3 win over the Saint John Sea Dogs at UPEI’s MacLauchlan Arena Sunday afternoon.
Micheal Horth scored his first of the preseason in the third period, but played assertively from the start as he was the driving force on the first goal of the game.
Horth drove the net hard and set it up for Lucas Romeo who scored his second in as many games after batting the puck out of mid-air.
The intensity continued for the Islanders as 20-year-old Cole Huckins had some chances, but were all turned away by Sea Dogs goaltender, Patrick Leaver, who kept it at a one-goal lead for the Isles.
Although facing pressure, Isles starter, Niko Boudreau, looked good keeping the Sea Dogs offence scoreless through the first period.
Boudreau continued his strong play into the second period as the Sea Dogs had sustained pressure early into the frame, but a Saint John powerplay was enough to crack him. Noah Reinhart would tie the game on the man advantage.
Marcus Kearsey was quick to respond with two shots of his own, but Leaver stayed strong and kept the game tied.
With 6:21 left in the period, Boudreau stopped a penalty shot attempt by Chad Bellemare.
The save proved to be a momentum shift in favour of the Isles as import draftee, Ondrej Maruna, used his strength to force the puck past Leaver for his first goal of the preseason to take back the lead.
Less than two minutes later, the Isles doubled their lead as Anton Topilnyckyj buried his first of the preseason to send Charlottetown into the intermission with a 3-1 lead.
The Sea Dogs wasted no time getting back on the board as captain, Peter Reynolds, scored early in the third to bring the game back within one.
The Islanders responded with sustained pressure on Saint John and they were eventually rewarded as Horth snuck his first of the preseason five-hole on Leaver, restoring the two-goal lead.
Saint John wouldn’t go away though as Jacob Beaulieu beat Boudreau 15 seconds later to once again bring it back within one.
The Islanders were rewarded with a powerplay and Boudreau ended up shutting the door for the rest of the game, giving them their third win of the preseason. In the win, Boudreau stopped 25 of 28 shots.
Head Coach Jim Hulton was pleased with the 42-shot effort today at UPEI.
“Like all exhibition games there’s pockets of good and a little bit of bad but way more good than bad and overall I’m just happy we got the win,” he said.
Hulton was also impressed with defenceman Anton Topilnyckyj’s performance.
“Topilnyckyj was a force all camp and I think he continued with that tonight”, he said. “He’s got more confidence and belief in himself and I believe he’s been a force from start to finish tonight.”
Micheal Horth was also impressed with the team’s effort.
“I think we had a good forecheck and we were good at finishing our hits so overall a great game for us.”
The Isles are back in action for the last time in the preseason at TD Station in Saint John on Friday, Sep. 15.