By Ally Harris
Oct. 27, 2014
The Charlottetown Islanders snapped a three-game skid with a 4-1 victory in the first of back-to-back games against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Oct. 17.
The Islanders scored two goals within a minute in the second period to go up 3-0, including the game winner by Bradley Kennedy.
It was a big win for the team after a tough stretch, Kennedy said.
“We haven’t been playing that great lately and tonight was one of our better games all year, so it felt good.”
Mason McDonald made 25 saves in the Islanders net playing against his former team. He was drafted by the Titan in 2012 and played for them before being traded to the Islanders last season.
It’s nice to pick up a win against his old team, he said.
“It’s good to get back in the win column and to do it against my former team feels good.”
It was the third meeting between the two teams this season, with Charlottetown winning all three.
“We just take it to them when we play them. We play a full 60 minutes, we shoot the puck, we hit. We’ve been solid against them this year and that’s been a key to our success,” said McDonald.
Captain Ryan MacKinnon said the Islanders seem to have had the Titan’s number this year.
“They’re a pretty good, skilled hockey team, but right now they’re going through a few struggles.
“We worked really hard this week and obviously it’s not fun losing so to come back home and get that win was pretty great.”
MacKinnon opened the scoring in the first period with a power play marker at the 11:17 mark. The Islanders have a 16.2 per cent conversion rate on the power play this year.
“I got a free lane at the point so I took a shot and (it) was fortunate enough to go in.”
Filip Chlapik and Spenser Cobbold earned assists on the opening goal. Cobbold is third on the team with 11 points, all assists.
The Islanders built on their lead in the second period with a goal from Kennedy 8:44 in. Kennedy’s wraparound attempt was stopped by Titan goaltender Jacob Brennan, but he was able to put home his own rebound to give his team a 2-0 lead.
“I was kind of left alone and the defence was behind me so I beat him around the net and slammed it in,” he said.
Less than a minute later, the Islanders were on the board again thanks to an Oliver Cooper one-timer off a feed from Chlapik at 9:39.
The Islanders looked firmly in control of the game in the third period after Alexandre Goulet put the team up 4-0. He carried the puck up the ice from the defensive zone while on the penalty kill and ripped a shot into the Titan net.
But just 19 seconds later, with Chlapik still in the box for boarding, the Titan fought back to put one on the board and break McDonald’s shutout. Aaron Kerr got the goal for the Titan 6:17 into the period.
Things turned ugly as the game wound down, with the trailing Titan looking to send a message for the next game. A brawl in the final 20 seconds of the game saw five players sent straight to the dressing room, including Kennedy, Kameron Kielly and Julien Avon for Charlottetown.
McDonald said the end of the game would make the next one interesting.
“It’ll make for a rough game. The rivalry between us two is heating up.”
Kennedy expects the next game to be much of the same.
“We both want to win, so it’s just gonna happen.”
With the win, the Islanders sit third in the Maritimes Division with 14 points. They are just two points behind Moncton and Saint John, who are tied for first.