SYDNEY- Thomas Casey started and finished the scoring as the Charlottetown Islanders topped the Screaming Eagles 4-3 in a marathon shootout at Centre 200.
It was a tentative opening 20 minutes, with the first big chance going to the home team when Ryan Francis rang the puck off the post. But it was Charlottetown that would leave the period with the lead as Casey tipped a shot off the boards with under six minutes remaining.
Casey had another quality scoring chance, ringing the puck off the iron early in the second period (the first of three posts hit in the period.) Not long after he found himself on a two on one with Daniel Hardie, who would fire the puck wide. The better opportunities in the first half of the second stanza would go the way of the Islanders, but the Screaming Eagles would turn the game around in the second half of the period.
There were also fireworks as Cape Breton’s Kyle Havlena would drop the gloves with Charlottetown’s Liam Peyton. Perhaps the fight sparked the home side as less than a minute later it would be a tie game.
Just past the halfway mark of regulation, Brooklyn Kalmikov would set the play up, pickpocketing Hunter Drew and sending in Phélix Martineau alone. The Cape Breton captain would slip the puck through the legs of Dakota Lund-Cornish and score his 30th goal of the season. Less than a minute after the goal, the period would see its second fight as the Eagles’ Declan Smith and Islanders’ Cameron Askew would tussle. It was not the last time either would hit the scoresheet on the night.
Before period’s end, a nifty display of stickhandling by Peyton Hoyt put the Eagles ahead 2-1. After creating some space for himself he flipped it over Lund-Cornish for his third goal of the weekend.
Prior to the nine minute mark of the third period the Islanders would find a tying goal that was met with a quick Eagles response. Taylor Egan flipped a shot through traffic as Charlottetown found its first power play goal in the two game set. Less than a minute later, Declan Smith would tip a shot from the blueline and the home team had the lead again in the final ten minutes.
Askew would tie the game at the 15:19 mark for the Islanders. In the final minutes a few more chances were exchanged with both teams calling timeouts following icing calls against them. Neither would break in regulation and for the second straight night the rival sides headed to overtime, where an extra five minutes of game time would solve nothing.
The shooters on both teams would have no more success in the shootout than they did in overtime. In total, ten shooters from each team attempted and failed to score. It was the fourth time in QMJHL history the first twenty shooters failed to score and the first time it has happened since September 20th, 2009, when Moncton defeated Cape Breton in a game where the first 21 shooters were turned away.
On this night the 21st skater to shoot would be Casey, and he would find a way to beat Jessiman. Leon Gawanke was sent out in a must score situation but was denied by Lund-Cornish as the Islanders skated away with the victory.
Lund-Cornish stopped 22 of 25 shots in the victory. Jessiman turned aside 28 of 31 shots in the loss.
Cape Breton plays their final road game of the regular season, and the last regular season game in the history of the Moncton Coliseum on Wednesday night as they travel to take on the Wildcats. Puck drop is 7 PM, and you can catch all the action starting with the pre-game show with Patrick McNeil at 6:30 on 1270 AM CJCB or online at http://www.cjcbradio.com.
DAIRY QUEEN THREE STARS OF THE GAME
1. Peyton Hoyt (Cape Breton) 1 goal, 5 shots
2. Kyle Jessiman (Cape Breton) 28 saves on 31 shots
3. Taylor Egan (Charlottetown) 1 goal, 1 assist
Scratches For Cape Breton: Jordan Ty Fournier (suspension), Tyler Hylland (upper body injury), Kyle McGrath
Scratches For Charlottetown: Noah Massie, Sullivan Sparkes
Final Shots On Goal: 31-25 in favour of Charlottetown
Cape Breton Power Play: 0/4
Charlottetown Power Play: 1/3