The CHL Saturday Showcase on Sportsnet in Canada was simulcast on the NHL Network here in the US and it featured a Devils’ prospect and was just a really good game to boot. It featured Xavier Bernard (the aforementioned Devils prospect) and the Charlottetown Islanders against the Halifax Mooseheads from the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax.
It was the final day of the QMJHL season and Halifax had already clinched up the Maritimes Division title. They were looking to gain control of the Eastern Conference and home ice throughout the conference portion of the playoffs at least. Charlottetown was looking to play spoiler and secure their seeding in the playoffs as well. In the end, the Mooseheads clinched first place in the East even in a shootout loss due to other circumstances and the Islanders, with their win, sealed up fourth place for the playoffs.
The Mooseheads jumped out to the early first period lead when Keith Getson scored at 1:54 and Justin Barron scored at 4-on-4 at 7:30. Things stayed this way until the second period when Charlottetown’s Hunter Drew scored at 5:36 of the second and Nikita Alexandrov scored at 16:02 of the same frame. Going into the second intermission, the game was suddenly tied up at two and things were getting dramatic.
Following an overtime period that saw no scoring, we were off to a shootout. Islanders’ goalie Matthew Welsh turned aside all three Halifax shooters while the Mooseheads’ Alexis Gravel let in only one, a shot by Daniel Hardie in the first round. With that, Charlottetown was your winner, 3-2.
Welsh made 31 saves on 33 Halifax shots while Gravel stopped 32 of 34 Islander shots against.
As for Bernard, his stat line read that he was a minus-1 plus/minus, had one shot on goal (and no dangerous scoring chances) as well as four hits. He also had four penalty minutes – a roughing minor in the first period and a matching roughing minor in the third period along with Halifax’s Joel Bishop. The third period minor along with a Lukas Cormier hooking penalty had actually put the Mooseheads on the power play heading into the OT period. No harm, no foul though as Halifax obviously did not score and Charlottetown eventually won the game.
Overall, it was an exciting game and we will try to get as much coverage up of the various CHL playoff series involving Devils prospects as we can in the coming weeks.