CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – As the Charlottetown Islanders prepared to head back on the ice for the third period Wednesday with the season hanging in the balance, a fitting Trews song came on the Eastlink Centre playlist.
“Not Ready To Go” rang through the building and the Isles, trailing the Blainville-Boisbriand Aramda 2-1 in the game and 2-1 in the best-of-seven series, played like it.
“We’ve been a resilient group all year,” said veteran Keith Getson. “We’ve come back from a lot of deficits this year . . . it was just another one tonight.”
It didn't look good for the home side early in the third.
Thomas Ethier added what looked like an insurance goal two minutes in to give the top-ranked Armada a 3-1 lead.
“It seemed like we were dead in the water there – you could sense it in the building,” Islanders head coach Jim Hulton said. “We’ve seen this before, we just needed a spark at the right time, and fortunately we got one.”
That spark came from Derek Gentile tipping an Olivier Desjardins shot after narrowly missing a backdoor play seconds earlier. Sullivan Sparkes tied it 47 seconds later when his shot found the back of the net through a sea of traffic midway through the period.
The game went to overtime for a second straight night at the Eastlink Centre and the longest-serving member of the team, Keith Getson, won it five minutes into the extra frame.
“It didn't really matter who scored the goal. I would have been just as happy to win the game,” Getson said.
It wouldn’t have been possible without a save by Matthew Welsh earlier in OT on Alexander Katerinakis. Welsh was down but managed to keep the puck out as Katerinakis appeared to have Welsh beaten at the side of the net.
“It was like a Dominik Hasek-like save,” Hulton said. “I said that to the kids, but I don't think they know who Dominik Hasek is — they’re too young.”
After Getson scored, the building was as loud as many seasoned hockey reporters can remember. The assistant captain from Bridgewater, N.S., was mobbed in the corner by ecstatic teammates looking to celebrate evening the series.
“That save was ridiculous,” Getson said. “I remember in the huddle after I scored that goal Welshy came down to me and hugged me. I was like, ‘Man, you’re the only reason that this could have happened’.”
Armada head coach Joel Bouchard said when his team breaks down, the puck is going in now for the Islanders.
“These are two hard teams . . . and the puck is bouncing for them a little bit,” he said. “They deserve it because they work.”
He said his team is creating chances, it just needs to finish better.
“We have to bear down and stay with it.”
Bouchard did mention some infractions not being called as the game went later and later, including a hook on star Alex Barre-Boulet. He said he understood the concept of why nothing was called.
Hulton wasn’t having any of it.
“The last thing in the world Joel Bouchard or anyone on that team should be bitching about is calls. Do the aggregate of the series,” he said, noting he had a video montage available.
A look at the statistics from Wednesday’s Quebec Major Junior Hockey League game between the host Charlottetown Islanders and the visiting Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.
Armada – 3 OT
Islanders – 4
Armada – Drake Batherson, Alexandre Alain and Thomas Ethier.
Islanders – Brett Budgell, Derek Gentile, Sullivan Sparkes and Keith Getson.
Armada – Antoine Crete-Belzile, Alex Barre-Boulet, Drake Batherson and Anthony Poulin.
Islanders – Cam Askew, Nikita Alexandrov, Oliviver Desjardins, Daniel Hardie, Saku Vesterinen, Pascal Aquin and Derek Gentile.
Armada – Emile Samson, 22 saves on 26 shots.
Islanders – Matthew Welsh, 34 saves on 37 shots.
Armada – 1-for-3.
Islanders – 0-for-1.
50/50 – $4,170
Attendance – 3,157.