SAINT JOHN, N.B. – The Charlottetown Islanders started well Wednesday in Saint John, N.B., but couldn’t finish the job.
They scored on the first shift but lost 5-3 to the Sea Dogs, who started the day in the basement of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League standings.
“We lacked killer instinct tonight,” Islanders head coach Jim Hulton said.
After scoring early, the Islanders had a couple of power-play chances, but couldn’t capitalize. They took a 2-1 lead only to take a “senseless” penalty, Hulton said, and give the Sea Dogs a chance to get back in the game, which the home side took advantage of.
“We seem to always give momentum away,” Hulton said.
Alex D’Orio made 41 saves for the victory while Matthew Welsh allowed five goals on 24 shots.
“D’Orio was the first star of the game, but it still shouldn't have mattered. We scored three goals. With this team that should be enough,” Hulton said. “We play a peewee team and we give up five, we’re going to lose.”
Ostap Safin scored twice to pace the Sea Dogs attack while Alexis Girard had a goal and an assist and Anthony Boucher had two helpers. Luke Wilson and Aiden MacIntosh also scored. Kevin Gursoy, William Poirier, Robbie Burt and Cole Reginato also each had an assist.
Derek Gentile scored a shorthanded goal and added an assist for the Islanders while Nikita Alexandrov and Taylor Egan also found the back of the net. Brendon Clavelle, Sullivan Sparkes and Cam Askew had assists.
The game was tied 1-1 after the first period while the Sea Dogs led 4-2 heading to the third.
The Islanders were 0-for-6 on the power play while the Sea Dogs went 2-for-7 with the extra attacker.
“Special teams hurt us tonight,” Hulton said. “The power play continues to be a sore point, has been all season.”
Now, he said, it is giving up chances at the opposite end of the rink and that’s not a good sign at this point in the season.
Saint John improved to 14-38-9-2 and leapfrogged Shawinigan into 17th place in the 18-team league. The Islanders, which fall to 34-23-6-0, headed back to Charlottetown after the game and will leave today for Sydney, N.S., where they have games Friday and Saturday with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.