CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The Victoriaville Tigres started early and didn’t let up Friday at the Eastlink Centre.
They walked into Charlottetown, two days after blasting Halifax 8-2, and skated away with a 9-0 shellacking of the Islanders in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action.
Vitalii Abramov scored a lacrosse-style goal 1:03 into the contest and Mathieu Sevigny made it 2-0 as some fans were still filing into the rink 3:21 into the contest.
“We lost it on the first shift,” head coach Jim Hulton said. “We gave up the highlight reel goal to Abramov, took a penalty on the next shift and, before you know it, it’s 2-0 and we're chasing and they’re too good of a team to chase and then are game feel apart.”
Maxime Comtois, who played for Canada at the world junior championship, made it 3-0 midway through the opening period.
The Islanders played better in the second, but – again – the power play was unable to capitalize.
“I liked the way we battled back and created some momentum off the cycle and started to play our game and had a golden opportunity, but it seemed like it was one of those nights,” Hulton said.
With a 5-on-3 for 54 seconds, Charlottetown had a chance to get back in the game. Instead, a shot didn’t get through to the net and the Tigres sprung Simon Lafrance on a breakaway coming out of the penalty box. He beat Matthew Welsh five-hole and the rout was on.
Ivan Kosorenkov cashed in on a 2-on-1 less than two minutes later and head coach Jim Hulton pulled Welsh in favour of Dakota Lund-Cornish.
It didn't get much better as both netminders were left hung out to dry on multiple odd-man rushes as a skilled, fast and big Tigres club took it to the Isles.
“They should have sued us for non-support,” Hulton said, referring to his goalies. “We were horrible away from the puck.”
The team knew that was a recipe for disaster yet started the game that way.
“We weren’t ready for when the puck dropped,” captain Pierre-Olivier (P.O.) Joseph said. “We tried to gain some momentum, but every time, we did we were taking some bad penalties or doing some bad plays. We just need to erase that one and leave it behind.”
That essentially was the message after the game – burn the tape and move on.
“You can make this a big deal or you can just make it a speedbump and move on and that’s what we’re hoping to do,” the bench boss said. “It’s all going to be dictated by our bounce-back performance on Sunday.”
The Islanders host the Moncton Wildcats Sunday at 3 p.m. There is a possibility of a couple of suspensions from Friday’s game.
A recap of Friday’s Quebec Major Junior Hockey League contest between the Charlottetown Islanders the Victoriaville Tigres.
Victoriaville – 9.
Charlottetown – 0.
Victoriaville – Ivan Kosorenkov 4, Vitalii Abramov, Simon Lafrance, Vincent Lanoue, Mathieu Sevigny and Maxime Comtois.
Victoriaville – Maxime Comtois 4, Chase Harwell 2, Dominic Cormier 2, Felix Lauzon 2, Simon Lafrance 2, Vitalii Abramov 2, Andrew Smith, Jerome Gravel, Jeremie Beaudin and Vincent Lanoue.
Victoriaville – Etienne Montpetit, 31 saves on 31 shots.
Charlottetown – Matthew Welsh, 23 saves on 28 shots in 30:32; Dakota Lund-Cornish, 14 saves on 18 shots.
Victoriaville – 3-for-6.
Charlottetown – 0-for-5.
Victoriaville – 45.
Charlottetown – 24.