Desruisseaux the Hero Once Again as Isles Down Titan in OT
Cedric Desruisseaux is growing quite the penchant for dramatics.
The 19-year-old forward was key for the Charlottetown Islanders this weekend, scoring the overtime winner in back-to-back games against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, including today's game-winner as the Isles defeated the Titan 2-1 in front of an electric Eastlink Centre crowd.
"It's great, I get to use my speed," said Desruisseaux on his success in the extra period, where he's now scored three straight overtime winning goals for the Isles. "I'm a fast player, and with 3-on-3 there is a lot of space to use, so I just try to take advantage of it."
The Isles did everything they could to not be playing in overtime in this game, but they were met once again by a spectacular performance between the pipes. Titan rookie netminder Felix-Anthony Ethier was forced to stand on his head at times, making a spectacular 54 saves in the process.
The Titan rewarded Ethier's efforts by taking the lead while shorthanded. Late in the first period, Mathieu Desgagnes made the Isles pay once again, taking advantage of a giveaway in the offensive zone and burying it on Welsh for his third goal in two games this weekend against the Isles.
Charlottetown continued to push hard in the second period and their efforts were eventually rewarded. Brendon Clavelle would launch a long pass from behind the Isles goal-line right on to the tape of Nikita Alexandrov. The forward would shake off a defender before poking the puck over Ethier's shoulder and in to the net. For Alexandrov, that would be his 20th goal on the season.
The Isles would keep the pressure up throughout the third period, continuously testing Ethier as the rookie continued to search for his first career victory. Charlottetown's hardest efforts would come in that third frame, firing 22 shots on goal in the final 20 minutes as part of a re-focus on generating shots.
"We've had problems scoring a lot of goals lately, so during the week we tried hard to build on that and find ways to score more," said Desruisseaux on the added shot totals. "It's slowly starting to come; last few games we were shooting about 20 shots, while this weekend it was over 50. If we keep that up our luck will turn around."
The puck did bounce in Desruisseaux's favour once again in overtime. The diminutive forward would take a pass from Nikita Alexandrov and use the open space to drive hard to the net. He'd fire a backhand through a screen that beat a moving Ethier underneath his pads, giving Desruisseaux his 10th goal on the season and 6th game-winner.
Matthew Welsh didn't have too many shots on goal, but came up big when called upon, making 18 saves for his 122nd career victory. He's now just one victory away from tying Olivier Roy and Philippe Cadorette for fifth all-time in victories by a goalie. As well, he's just 50 minutes away from setting the QMJHL record for most minutes by a goaltender.
The Islanders are back on home ice Friday night when we take on the Cape Breton Eagles in our first-ever Player's Night! Keep an eye on our social media over the next few days as we unveil our limited-edition jerseys featuring the players' nicknames. Tickets are still available at the Eastlink Centre box office, by phone at 902-629-6625, or online at https://boxoffice.eastlinkcentrepei.com!
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Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Stories from February 23, 2020
- Desruisseaux the Hero Once Again as Isles Down Titan in OT - Charlottetown Islanders
- Bouthillier, Roy & Burns Top Stars in 3-2 Win over Huskies - Saint John Sea Dogs
- Islanders Home-and-Home with Bathurst Makes It's Way to Charlottetown - Charlottetown Islanders
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