It was an historic night at the Eastlink Centre as the Charlottetown Islanders opened their third-round series of the QMJHL playoffs against the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.
This was the first ever third round game the franchise has ever played in. And the 3200+ fans at the Eastlink Centre were not disappointed.
The Islanders scored two second period power play goals and added an empty net goal in the third period to win 3-0.
In three meetings against the Armada this season, the Islanders, with Mark Grametbauer in nets, have blanked the Armada by the score 3-0. The others were on Feb. 24 and March 4.
Grametbauer was drafted by the Armada in 2014 and played half a season there. After shutting the Armada out for a third straight time, Grametbauer talked about how he and his teammates weathered the pressure by the Armada in the first period.
“They came out really strong. They just come off seven games so we might have expected them to be a little tired but they had that momentum from the three straight wins (last series). As well, we had almost a week and a half off so I think it is always hard to step back on the ice and get game ready but our guys in the second and third came through and were ready to go.”
The Islanders outshot the Armada in the second period and scored twice on their way to a 3-0 win. After shutting the Armada out for the third time this season, Grametbauer talked about the feeling of beating his former team again.
“When you play your former team you want to do as good as you can and try to prove them wrong but it’s definitely surprising to have three shutouts against the team you used to play for. The whole team played great today and definitely it is a good confidence booster.”
After the game, Islanders head coach and general manager said the Islanders did a good job of protecting the key area of the ice in front of their own net.
“We made it so they didn’t have a ton of Grade-A looks and that’s a credit to our defenceman and I thought it was a good investment away from the puck from our players which is enormous this time of year.”
After the game, the Armada coach Joel Bouchard downplayed the fact that his team has yet to score on the Islanders in three meetings.
“Well it doesn’t really matter because it is behind us. I didn’t think we did a good job around the net. We need to be much better than that. The game overall was pretty good to me. It wasn’t great and I think the guys are pretty frustrated right now because they know we are better than that.”
Hometown boy Kameron Kielly opened the scoring just 1:13 into the second period after a scoreless first period. His sixth of the playoffs was a breakaway goal on the power play and was assisted by Daniel Sprong.
Alex Dostie added another power play goal after a scramble in front of Armada goalie Samuel Montembault at 6:15 of the second period. Daniel Sprong and Kameron Kielly had the assists.
It stayed 2-0 until the 17:58 mark of the third period, when Dillon Boucher put one into the empty net. Filip Chlapik and Pierre-Olivier Joseph assisted.
The Armada led the shots on goal after 60 minutes 37-29.
The Islanders were without Adam Marsh, who was serving game two of a three game suspension. Pascal Aquin was ejected from the game at 10:19 of the first period for boarding.
The depth of the Islanders came through once again, Hulton said.
“We’ve had some similar situations where we’ve had to put our lines into a blender. We still had most our pairings together so we didn’t lose the Chlapik-Kielly, Dostie-Sprong combinations. Bower played up a bit during the Beauchemin suspension and we have a luxury of guys to use and because we haven’t had set lines the entire season, guys are used to playing with other people.”
Game two is Saturday night at the Eastlink Centre at 7:00 pm.
Written by Darcy Cudmore