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Islanders close, but no cigar

Charlottetown Islanders left-winger Pascal Aquin fights off the stick check from Halifax Moosheads centre Otto Somppi Wednesday during Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action at Eastlink Centre.
Charlottetown Islanders left-winger Pascal Aquin fights off the stick check from Halifax Moosheads centre Otto Somppi Wednesday during Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action at Eastlink Centre. - Jason Malloy

Charlottetown can’t hold a two-goal lead and drop overtime loss to Halifax on Wednesday in Charlottetown

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - The Charlottetown Islanders snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Halifax Mooseheads on Wednesday in Charlottetown.

Down 2-0 five minutes into the second period, the Mooseheads chipped away at the lead the Quebec Major Junior Hockey game cutting it to 2-1 nine minutes later then tying it 2-2 almost 15 minutes through the third. Both scores came from Otto Somppi. 

In the 3-on-3 OT, the Herd’s Raphael Lavoie ended things at 1:09 with a low wrister past goalie Matthew Welsh and for the second time this season came back at the Eastlink Centre to beat the Isles in the extra frame.

“I was just skating around and came out to the middle and saw everyone was covered so I just shot the puck on net. Not sure how it went in, but I’m happy with the fact it did,” said Lavoie, adding the Mooseheads weren’t fazed by the two-goal deficit. “No, statistics show we can score a lot of goals. We stay calm on the bench, we know we can come back.”

The Isles picked up a point so it’s sitting ninth overall at 31-21-5 and with 67 points. That’s good for third in the Maritimes Division, 16 points behind division-leading Halifax.

The Mooseheads went to 38-13-6-1, good for second overall behind Blainville-Boisbriand.

After a scoreless first frame, Charlottetown got the 2-0 edge with goals by Daniel Hardie and Nikita Alexandrov and looked solid defensively.

But Somppi broke through with a goal off a scramble in front of Welsh, then sniped another in the third and sent it the extra frame.

Isles forward Pascal Aquin said the game hinged on those two goals by Somppi.

“Defensively, we broke down on those two goals. With the talent they have, you can’t have that kind of breakdown,” said Aquin, named the game’s third star. “It just shows we can compete with one of the best teams in the league. It’s still one point. It sucks to lose that way, but we have to bounce back against Saint John.”

Isles assists went to Hunter Drew, Brett Budgell, Aquin and Saku Vesterinen. Justin Barron and Jocktan Chainey each had two assist for Halifax, while Arnaud Durandeau chipped in a single helper.

Welsh (27-18) took the loss, while Alexis Gravel (16-13) earned the win.

The Isles play Thursday in Saint John, N.B., in the first game of a two-game hame-and-home set with the Sea Dogs. Game time is 7 p.m. Game 2 is Sunday in Charlottetown. Start time is 3 p.m. at the Link.

Instant Replay

A look at Wednesday’s Quebec Major Junior Hockey League game at the Eastlink Centre.

The Outcome

Halifax 3 Charlottetown 2 OT 

The Goalscorers

Halifax - Otto Somppi 2 (25), Raphael Lavoie (26). 

Charlottetown - Daniel Hardie (21), Nikita Alexandrov (9).  

The Assists

Halifax-  Justin Barron 2 (14), Jocktan Chainey 2 (29), Arnaud Durandeau (29).

Charlottetown - Hunter Drew (26), Brett Budgell (9), Pascal Aquin (13), Saku Vesterinen (25).

The Goalies

Halifax - Alexis Gravel, 27-of-29, win (16-13).

Charlottetown - Matthew Welsh, 32-of-35, loss (27-18).

Attendance - 2,337 announced.

Next Up

The Islanders (31-21-5) face the Sea Dogs (13-33-9-2) on Thursday in Saint John N.B. Game time is 7 p.m.

By The Numbers

Shots By Period

Halifax- 10-13-13-1, 37.

Charlottetown - 7-13-8-1, 29.

Penalty Minutes

Halifax - 11.

Charlottetown - 8.

Power Play

Halifax - 0-3.

Charlottetown - 0-3.

Hits

Halifax - 6.

Charlottetown - 8.  

Hit Posts

Halifax - 1.

Charlottetown - 1. 

Broken Sticks

Halifax - 0.

Charlottetown - 1.

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