CHARLOTTETOWN – Matthew Grouchy’s goal more than seven minutes into the second period proved to be the winner, as the Charlottetown Islanders defeated the Saint John Sea Dogs, 3-2, Thursday at Eastlink Centre.
Casey Ton and Pascal Aquin also scored for Charlottetown (4-6-1-0), which won its third straight game.
Nathan Larose, who scored his first QMJHL goal for Saint John (3-7-1-0). Cedric Pare also found the net in the Sea Dogs’ fifth consecutive loss.
A scoring summary is available HERE.
The Islanders scored the only goal of the opening period.
It came with under five minutes left when Ton picked up the puck near the middle of the Saint John blueline, raced in on the left side of the slot and ripped a quick wrist shot past the glove of Alex D’Orio for his first QMJHL goal.
Pare tied it nearly two minutes into the second period, moments after Saint John killed off a 5-on-3 power play.
Joe Veleno stepped out of the penalty box and led a 2-on-1 on the right side. The captain fed a cross-ice pass to Pare on the left wing. The Boston Bruins’ prospect snapped it past the blocker of Charlottetown goalie Matthew Welsh.
The home side restored its lead just over a minute later when Aquin, standing at the top of the crease, used his backhand to redirect a pass from Taylor Egan beyond D’Orio’s left leg.
Larose netted his first QMJHL goal past the six-minute mark.
The rookie defender carried the puck on the right wing of the Charlottetown zone and whipped a wrist shot through the legs of the Islanders’ defenceman and past Welsh to make it a 2-2 game.
But Grouchy struck a minute later, stepping from the right wing into the slot and whistling a wrist shot past D’Orio’s glove.
There was no scoring in the third period.
Saint John pulled D’Orio for an extra skater with more than a minute remaining, but could not tie the score.
Welsh earned the win with 26 saves. D’Orio made 21 stops in the loss.
Aquin’s power play goal made him first star while Grouchy’s two points prompted a second-star selection. Charlottetown blueliner Olivier Desjardins snared third star with one shot on goal and three hits in front of 2,252 fans in attendance.
The Sea Dogs’ next game is Saturday, October 21st, at 7 p.m. against the Chicoutimi Sagueneens at Harbour Station. Tickets are available at the Harbour Station Box Office and online.
PORTER RELEASED: The Sea Dogs announced prior to the game goaltender Cody Porter has been released.
The 20-year-old from North Vancouver, British Columbia, played two games with Saint John, posting a 1-1 record with a 2.54 goals-against average, a .919 save percentage and one shutout.
The Sea Dogs wish Cody all the best in his future.