Jacob Goobie was beat on the first shot he faced Saturday night, but it turned out to be the only one the Moncton Wildcats would get by the Charlottetown Islanders’ sophomore goalie.
Goobie stopped 21 shots in a 4-1 victory as the Islanders improved to 2-0 at the Eastlink Centre and 6-1 overall in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League regular season.
“It’s definitely tough letting in the first shot, but you just got to put it behind you and just forget about it,” Goobie said. “After that first shot, I knew we weren’t out of it.
“We weren’t defeated on the bench and I knew the guys had me, so I was ready to go for the next shot.”
Lukas Cormier gave the home side a 1-0 lead five minutes into the game on a power play. As the goal was being announced, Ottawa Senators prospect Philippe Daoust beat Goobie on a two-on-one to tie the game.
It was only Goobie’s second start of the season after losing 6-2 to the Cape Breton Eagles on Oct. 10.
“It was a big step forward for Goob,” Islanders’ head coach Jim Hulton said.
“I thought he really settled down and made some difficult saves as the game went along and looked calm and poised. I think that was the most impressive thing through my eyes – he didn't get rattled.”
The Islanders didn’t let the Daoust goal derail their game plan, stringing a few good shifts together after the goal.
“That’s a sign of maturity in a veteran team,” Hulton said.
Rookie Sam Oliver scored a power-play goal with 2:42 left in the first period that stood up as the winner.
Overage forwards Cédric Desruisseaux and Thomas Casey (empty net) rounded out the scoring with third period goals after Goobie stopped Tampa Bay prospect Gabriel Fortier earlier in the final frame.
Dakota Lund-Cornish, a former Islanders’ netminder, stopped 30 shots for Moncton and was named the game’s third star.
It was a matchup of goalies from Upper Tantallon, N.S., who train together in the off-season.
Moncton loaded up last year for a deep playoff run, but never got the chance to employ its charges in the post-season due to the coronavirus (COVID-19 strain) pandemic. While many key pieces are gone, the team still has some top-end talent in guys like Fortier and Cornwall defenceman Jordan Spence. They’ve also added some talent in the off-season.
“Ritchie Thibeau does a good job over there,” Hulton said of the Wildcats’ director of hockey operations. “They’re going to be a tough out because they’re going to battle, they’re going to compete, and they can skate.”
The Islanders (6-1-0-0) are in second place in the Maritimes Division, but are far from a finished product a month into the season.
“You’re definitely seeing a glimpse of what this team can do,” Goobie said. “I can definitely see us getting a lot, lot better.”
They host Halifax (3-4-1-0) Friday at 7 p.m. and the league-leading Acadie-Bathurst Titan (7-0-0-1) on Saturday at 4 p.m.
A look at Saturday’s Quebec Major Junior Hockey League game between the Charlottetown Islanders and the Moncton Wildcats.
Charlottetown – 4
Moncton – 1
Charlottetown – Lukas Cormier (power play), Sam Oliver (power play), Cédric Desruisseaux and Thomas Casey.
Moncton – Philippe Daoust.
Charlottetown – Noah Laaouan (2), Patrick LeBlanc, Thomas Casey and Lukas Cormier.
Moncton – Jordan Spence.
Charlottetown – Jacob Goobie, 21 saves on 22 shots.
Moncton – Dakota Lund-Cornish, 30 saves on 33 shots.
Charlottetown – 2-for-3.
Moncton – 0-for-3.
Charlottetown – 6-1-0-0.
Moncton – 1-4-0-0.
1. F Cédric Desruisseaux, Charlottetown.
2. D Noah Laaouan, Charlottetown.
3. G Dakota Lund-Cornish, Moncton.
Around the league
St-Rafael native Chad Arsenault made 38 saves, including all 15 shots he faced in the third period, Saturday to lead the Titan to a 5-3 victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs.
He is 5-1 with a 2.27 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage this season. The 18-year-old netminder can play four more games as an affiliate player before the Christmas break. He is an affiliate player because he was acquired after the regular season began.
Defencemen Cole Larkin and Zach Biggar plus forward Bennett MacArthur, all Islanders, also play for the Titan.
Days Corner native Charlie DesRoches, a defenceman, had an assist for Saint John.
The Titan led 2-1 after the first period but went to the final frame trailing 5-3.
Former Islanders' forward Liam Peyton scored a goal as the Halifax Mooseheads thumped the Cape Breton Eagles 10-2 in Sydney, N.S.
The visitors tallied seven times in the third period.
Elliot Desnoyers scored four times in the victory.
Souris native Jack Campbell had an assist for the Eagles. It was the recently turned 17-year-old centre's first point since being acquired in the pre-season from the Drummondville Voltigeurs. Islanders Jacob Squires and Logan Kelly-Murphy are both blue-liners for Cape Breton.
Seven active cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed within the Drummondville Voltigeurs hockey team, the league announced Saturday.
Players and hockey staff have been isolated since Thursday. The mandatory isolation period for players and hockey staff is 14 days. The team’s activities remain suspended indefinitely.