Islanders spend Thanksgiving weekend at home
Following a Maritime road trip that saw them claim just two of a possible six points, the Charlottetown Islanders will spend this weekend at home with two games at the Eastlink Centre.
On Friday October 6, the Saint John Sea Dogs make their first visit to Charlottetown this season. The Islanders beat the Sea Dogs by a score of 2-1 last week. Adam Marsh and Keith Getson netted goals for the Islanders while Joe Veleno notched the only tally for the Sea Dogs.
Rookie goaltender Dakota Lund-Cornish will make his first start for the Islanders on Friday. According to coach Jim Hulton, the team was easing Lund-Cornish into the league rather than giving him a baptism by fire. Matt Welsh has been outstanding for the team so far, with a save percentage of .926. Among goalies who’ve started at least three games, that’s good for ninth in the league.
The Sea Dogs are coming off of their second win in a row, defeating the high-powered Acadie-Bathurst Titan 3-1 on Wednesday. Alex D’Orio stopped 34 of 35 shots, while Ostap Safin scored his first QMJHL goal.
Playing his first game for the Sea Dogs will be former Guelph Storm forward Nick Deakin-Poot. The big 18 year-old has played the past two seasons with the Storm and racked up 15 points in 52 games last season. NHL Central Scouting actually had the six-foot-four centre ranked #213 amongst North American skaters ahead of last season’s NHL Entry Draft.
On Saturday the Islanders play their first non-Maritime team this season, as the Quebec Remparts make their way to town. The Remparts are led by centre Phillipp Kurashev and goalie Dereck Baribeau. Kurashev, a Swiss centre eligible for the upcoming entry draft, has two goals and six points through four games. Baribeau has been absolutely lights-out in nets, as the Minnesota Wild signee boasts a save percentage of .965 and hasn’t allowed more than one goal in a game yet this season.
The biggest challenge the Islanders will face this weekend is putting pucks in the net. The team hasn’t mustered many goals this season, but that’s not for lack of trying. The Islanders have fired 135 pucks on net this season. On average, that’s almost 27 per game, good enough for fourth in the entire league. They’ll look to shake this dry spell this weekend against two formidable goaltenders in Baribeau and D’Orio.