Last Thursday, the Charlottetown Islanders wrapped up their final Student Night of the season. An evening where students from UPEI or Holland College could enjoy a game for just $5 and beer for the same amount. With the reduced pricing, the event drew a youthful crowd and Thursday scheduling deterred many over 25.
The Charlottetown Islanders sported special RCMP jerseys to mark the 150th anniversary of the RCMP institution in Canada and PEI, and the 50th anniversary of women serving in the force.
The Charlottetown Islanders found themselves on the back foot early on as the Victoriaville Tigres asserted their dominance, scoring a goal just four minutes into the first period. Despite an opportunity during a power play, the Islanders were unable to equalize. The first period ended with the Tigres leading 1-0.
The second period started with action on both sides of the ice. An attempted two-on-one by the Islanders bounced off the side of the net, resulting in a two-on-one opportunity for the Tigres to bury the puck in the net. With the score at 2-0, the Islanders found themselves in an increasingly difficult position.
Matters worsened as the Tigres added two more goals in quick succession, expanding their lead to a formidable 4-0.
In response to the escalating situation, the Islanders substituted goalie Bickle for Ozols after the fourth goal. The remainder of the second period saw both teams squaring off in power plays and penalty kills, but neither was successful in altering the score. However, with just 11 seconds remaining, the Tigres capitalized on a power play to score their fifth goal, ending the second period with a commanding 5-0 lead. Charlottetown Islanders and Victoriaville Tigreson on ice, Thursday, Jan. 11. Photo by Devon Thistle.
The third period was the make-or-break period for the Islanders. It was clear on the faces of both the managers of the team and the crowd on the sidelines, that they were expecting to see a period of pure performance and speed. The attendance had dwindled substantially between the second and third periods, as many saw the remainder of the game as a lost cause. Many decided to leave the arena before they would be caught in the traffic at the end of the game.
But the Islanders were undaunted. With renewed resolve and a fresh goalie in their crease, they were set to dig deep and turn the tide.
The Tigres’ first and second-period shutout was shattered within the first three minutes of the third period. Cole Huckins of the Islanders managed to outmaneuver the Victoriaville goalie, finding the back of the net for the Islanders’ first goal of the night. This breathed new life into the Islanders, sparking a surge of motivation that was clearly reflected in their play. They dominated the Tigres’ zone, relentlessly attacking and shooting with fierce precision. Eight minutes from time, Simon Hughes of the Islanders drove home another goal, narrowing the deficit to 5-2. A comeback seemed within reach.
However, the Tigres shifted to a defensive strategy, aiming to run down the clock. Their efforts yielded another goal with three minutes remaining, widening the gap to 6-2. A subsequent goal by the Tigres was disallowed after a review, offering the Islanders a glimmer of hope. With just a minute left, Islanders’ Michaud scored, slicing the lead to 6-3. But time was not on their side. The final whistle blew, leaving the Islanders three goals shy of a draw and four short of victory.
By: Devon Thistle