Island Junior Hockey League Playoffs
The Kensington Moase Plumbing and Heating Vipers will host the Arsenault’s Fish Mart Western Red Wings in Game 1 of the best-of-seven final series at Community Gardens on Friday. The opening faceoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
The Red Wings will host Game 2 at the Evangeline Recreation Centre on Sunday at 7 p.m.
“A big part of this series is going to have a large following, and if people give it a taste in Game 1 they will jump on board the rest of the way,” said Vipers head coach Wade Waddell. “I think it will be one of the best series’ since the old (Charlottetown) Abbies-(Western) Caps’ rivalry 15 or 20 years ago.”
Red Wings head coach D’Arcy Hutchinson, who played in a couple of those Abbies-Caps’ series, acknowledges there is a special buzz in the rink when the Red Wings and Vipers meet.
“For whatever reason you can go to a Charlottetown game or a Sherwood game that we are playing in or Kensington is and they are a little quieter, aside from playoffs,” said Hutchinson. “All year long, when the two teams meet, they are ready to play.
“A big part of this series is going to have a large following, and if people give it a taste in Game 1 they will jump on board the rest of the way. I think it will be one of the best series’ since the old (Charlottetown) Abbies-(Western) Caps’ rivalry 15 or 20 years ago.” - Vipers head coach Wade Waddell
“They are physical, there is contact, there is emotion in the games and neither team wants to lose to each other.”
The Red Wings and Vipers have been developing an intense rivalry over the years.
“It’s been a great rivalry, it’s been good for both teams,” said Waddell. “As far as attendance-wise, it’s been excellent.
“The rivalry has been there for years. They were (originally) a Summerside-based team for years, we had a very good rivalry with them when they were in Tyne Valley and they were in Crapaud for a few years. Now that they’ve moved to Wellington they have taken a huge step forward the last two years with their on-ice product.
“Geography alone, with both of us being Prince County-based teams, it makes it easy to have a rivalry. A lot of the guys know each other and they don’t want to lose to each other. It’s the best rivalry I’ve seen in the IJHL.”