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Isles Bounce Back, Ellis Matches QMJHL Record in Dominant 6-0 Victory.

February 5, 2021 - Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) - Charlottetown Islanders News Release

What a difference a couple of nights makes.

Just 48 hours after the team's most disappointing loss of the season, the Charlottetown Islanders bounced back in a big way Friday night against the Halifax Mooseheads. Four players finished with multi-point games while Colten Ellis shut the door for his third shutout of the season as the Islanders defeated the Mooseheads 6-0.

"We're really proud of the guys and the way they bounced back; we had full confidence that they would," said Islanders head coach Jim Hulton on the victory. "We had energy and emotion in our game and that was evident right from the drop of the puck,"

That energy and emotion was felt from the outset as Sean Stewart and former Islander Liam Peyton dropped the gloves just seconds in to the game. The spirited tilt seemed to spark the Islanders and they took advantage not long after; just over a minute in, Keiran Gallant would pounce on a rebound in front of Mooseheads starter Alexis Gravel and bury it for his second consecutive game with a goal and a 1-0 Isles lead.

The goal was just the beginning of an outstanding night for Gallant and his linemates, Drew Elliott and Zac Beauregard. The trio combined for five points, with Elliott and Beauregard each picking up a pair of helpers. They've played strong hockey since the start of 2021 and it's not gone unnoticed.

"Their line set the tone and I thought they were dominant all night," said Hulton. "They're scoring the gritty types of goals that we want to be able to score. Those are playoff-type goals; if you want to be successful you have to get in to the mud and those guys are particularly adept at it. I'm happy to see them get rewarded."

The animosity between the two teams continued to heat up and eventually turned bad for the Mooseheads. Colorado Avalanche prospect Justin Barron would receive a five-minute major and a game misconduct for a hit to the head of Noah Laaouan, removing the Halifax captain from the game.

The chippy play and continuous trips to the penalty box finally caught up to Halifax late in the second period. After Thomas Casey made it 2-0, Cedric Desruisseaux got on the board with the man advantage, receiving a great pass from Brett Budgell and one-timing it past Gravel for his league-leading 20th goal and 32nd point on the season.

Things would open up in the third as William Trudeau got in on the scoring. The defender would score his fifth goal of the season from a tight angle, finding the smallest gap in Gravel's armour and going upstairs. It was the first of two goals in the period for Trudeau, putting the icing on the cake for Colten Ellis's 14th career shutout, moving him in to a tie for sixth in QMJHL history in that category.

Ellis also tied a QMJHL record for most consecutive victories to start a season with 12. While a significant record, it was one that the St. Louis Blues prospect wasn't aware he was on the cusp of matching, and one that he attributes as much to his teammates.

"Having the same kind of focus and mindset going in to each game is something that's been working for us," said Ellis on his preparation heading in to tonight. "I've said it a hundred times before and I'll say it again, everyone has been buying in and playing their role. That's why we've had this success."

Zachary L'Heureux took a match penalty late in the game after cross-checking Desruisseaux in the head. It was the culmination of three straight games between the two teams as the rivalry further intensifies.

"When you're playing the same team as much as we have been, it's bound to get chippy," said Ellis on the physical play. "We're really trying to stick to our guns and sticking to what works, trying to keep our cool. At the same time, we all know that everyone has each other's back."

"We're going to get a lot of this with the schedule; we've played each other three times within a week," added Hulton. "It's like a mini playoff series. We're seeing it in the NHL and how it's cranking the intensity through the roof. There's a natural rivalry between the two teams."

Thomas Casey led the way with a goal and two assists while Oscar Plandowski also picked up two assists. Patrick Leblanc netted the other goal and Patrick Guay picked up an assist on Trudeau's first goal, his first point as a Charlottetown Islander.

There's no rest for the Islanders as they'll get right back on the horse to battle the Cape Breton Eagles on Saturday night. You'll be able to catch that game on Eastlink Channel 610 or listen to the call with George Matthews and Cory Arsenault on Ocean 100's Saturday Night Hockey!

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Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Stories from February 5, 2021

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