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Budgell Leads by Example as Isles Double-Up Eagles

February 27, 2021 - Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) - Charlottetown Islanders News Release

If the Charlottetown Islanders' top line was hot before this game, they're inferno now.

Brett Budgell took his turn in the spotlight tonight by picking up two goals and two assists. Thomas Casey added two goals and an assist, including the game winner, as the Isles defeated the Cape Breton Eagles 6-3 on the road in Sydney this afternoon.

"We came out very strong in the first period today and that forced Cape Breton to chase the game," said Isles head coach Jim Hulton on the win. "We had a lull in the second but our leadership and poise was very strong, allowing us to persevere. We played a smart, solid game in all areas."

The scoring started early and came from an unlikely source. One game after Brendan McCarthy showed up as an unsung hero, Ben Boyd kicked off the scoring just seconds in to the game, streaking down the wing and dancing around an Eagles defender before beating Eagles starter William Grimard for just his second goal of the season and energizing the Isles bench from the outset.

Budgell would follow that up with the start of his big night. He'd receive a nice pass from Casey, take a step in to the slot, and make no mistake on Grimard for his eighth goal of the season.

Patrick Leblanc would add a tally of his own before Cape Breton began their comeback. At the tail end of an Isles powerplay, Liam Kidney would streak down the wing and fire a quick wrist shot that handcuffs Isles starter Colten Ellis, giving Kidney his twelfth goal of the season.

The Isles allowed the Eagles to claw back in to the game in the second period thanks to a pair of penalty calls midway through the period. With Charlottetown on a 5-on-3 disadvantage, Eagles forward Dawson Stairs would receive a pass on the right wing and one-time it past Ellis to continue his hot play with his new team, his 13th point in 10 games with the Eagles since coming over via trade with the Saint John Sea Dogs.

Nathan Larose would tie the game but Casey would stop the comeback before the end of the second. With just over a minute remaining in the period, Budgell would fire a shot from the point that Casey, the Charlottetown native, would get a stick on. The puck would get past Grimard to give the Isles the lead.

From there, Charlottetown would hold it down in the third. The league's top team would push the pace and limit the Eagles to just four shots in the final frame. They'd also take advantage of some Eagles penalty trouble, as Casey and Budgell would each add powerplay markers to put the game out of reach.

Colten Ellis wasn't tested often, facing just 14 shots en route to his league-leading 16th victory of the year. Cedric Desruisseaux added two assists while Lukas Cormier, Patrick Guay, Bailey Peach, Brendan McCarthy, William Trudeau, and Sean Stewart each added single assists. Stewart's point was his first as a Charlottetown Islander.

Following today's circuit breaker announcement from PEI's Chief Public Health Office, we will have an official statement regarding scheduled upcoming regular season games as soon as we have one. Thank you to all fans who tuned in to today's game. Stay safe!

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Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Stories from February 27, 2021

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