FINAL: Charlottetown 2, Saint John 3
After blowing a 4-1 third period lead in a shootout win on Tuesday and a 4-0 lead in an overtime loss on Monday, the Sea Dogs bent a bit but didn’t break in a 3-2 victory over the Charlottetown Islanders. Saint John entered the third up 3-1 and, despite giving up a goal and being outshot 15-9, hung on for the regulation time victory.
Mathieu Joseph, Spencer Smallman and Matt Murphy scored for Saint John while Marc-Antoine Turcotte made 36 saves in the victory. Daniel Sprong and Mitchell Balmas replied for Charlottetown while Guillaume Briand-Briere made 26 stops in the loss.
Just a minute into the game, Joseph skated around the Charlottetown defence and beat Briand-Briere with a low wrist shot to make it 1-0 Saint John. Then at 5:16, Smallman beat the Isles netminder top corner on the blocker side to double the Sea Dogs’ lead.
With eight minutes left in the first, Joseph sent a great pass to Matthew Highmore in front but Briand-Briere made a nice pad stop off the deflected shot. A minute late, Balmas beat Turcotte but not the post.
Charlottetown got on the board at 15:15 when Sprong grabbed the puck along the side boards, skated into the slot and fired a hard wrist shot through the legs of Turcotte and making it a 2-1 contest.
In the second, Charlottetown was applying the offensive zone pressure early and even hit a crossbar a few minutes in. Later on it was Saint John getting chances – and then Turcotte had to make a few good saves as Charlottetown turned it on.
At 14:02, Joe Veleno drew a slashing and roughing penalty out of Luc Deschenes, giving Saint John a four-minute power play. On the man advantage at 16:24, a point shot from Murphy beat Briand-Briere to give Saint John a 3-1 lead.
Charlottetown got within one at 6:35 of the third. After the Sea Dogs failed to grab the puck, Balmas grabbed it and fired a shot top corner past Turcotte to make it a 3-2 game.
The Isles applied some serious pressure in the final minutes of the game. With 41.7 seconds remaining, Murphy took a high sticking penalty to give Charlottetown a six-on-four advantage to end the game. Despite maintaining puck possession, the Islanders could not convert to tie it up.