Gadoury’s hat trick carries Mooseheads to victory over Islanders, 3-0 series lead

Andrew Rankin
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CHARLOTTETOWN - Philippe Gadoury doesn’t give off the slightest hint of bravado or supreme confidence one might expect from a player of his seeming talent.

Nikolaj Ehlers of the Halifax Mooseheads and David Henley of the Charlottetown Islanders upend each other along the boards during QMJHL action in Charlottetown in Game three of their semi final series. Andrew Ryan of the Mooseheads scops up the loose puck.

After his clutch performance on Tuesday night he looked like a young man a little embarrassed by being forced to reflect on what was a memorable evening.

The 20-year-old forward was in playoff mode, scoring a hat trick, including the game-winner in the Halifax Mooseheads 4-1 victory over the Charlottetown Islanders before a subdued audience of 2,124 at the Eastlink Centre.

“Anybody would feel good after scoring three goals,” said Gadoury, who leads his team in post season scoring with five goals, and has 25 goals in 22 games with the Herd. “I’m always trying to focus on the future, and not the past. I have to work hard everyday, try to stay calm and focus shift by shift.”

Now, the Mooseheads prepare for Game 4 on Wednesday in Charlottetown with a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Playing out much the same as the previous two contests, the relentless Islanders, led by the solid goaltending of Halifax’s Mason McDonald, hung with the Herd for a couple of periods.

But yet again, talent ultimately prevailed over hard work and the Mooseheads, who outshot the Islanders 42-17, laid down the hammer in the final frame, breaking a 1-1 tie with three unanswered goals.

“We started out the game a little slow, but we got better and better in the second,” said Gadoury. “In the dressing room we just talked about continuing in the second, and if we kept playing like we did in the third, we would be OK.”

Mooseheads defenceman MacKenzie Weegar, who has five assists in the series, played a more defensive game on this evening, shadowing the Islanders 16-year-old sniper Daniel Sprong. Besides his first period goal, the Dutch forward struggled to find his rhythm.

“We were breaking their will,” said Weegar. “You get 50 shots on net eventually some gotta go in.”

On the other end, the Islanders were searching for positives.

“It’s frustrating,” said Islanders forward Zach Beaton. “We always try our best to work our hardest. We’re battling every night. I don’t think that’s going to stop regardless where the series is.

“We’re going to come back tomorrow prepared, and we’ll battle some more.”

Jonathan Drouin scored the other goal for the Herd.

Mooseheads co-captain Darcy Ashley was knocked out of the game in the first period with an upper body injury. He’s listed as day-to-day and won’t be in Wednesday’s lineup.

Organizations: Islanders, Eastlink Centre, Game 4

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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