KENSINGTON – It will be a busy start to the Atlantic major midget hockey championship tournament for the Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild in New Glasgow, N.S.
© Jason Simmonds/Journal Pioneer
Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild goaltender Cameron Visser will be unavailable for the Atlantic major midget hockey championship tournament in New Glasgow, N.S., from April 3 to 6. Visser recently broke his arm in a snowmobile accident.
The P.E.I. champions will play two games on opening day, Thursday, April 3. The Wild opens against Nova Scotia at 1 p.m., and then plays the host Pictou County team at 8 p.m.
“The teams that will be there, we’ve seen them or played them all before,” said Wild head coach Mark Carragher. “It’s a matter of going out there and believing we can compete and beat these teams will be the big thing.
“We have two games the first day, so getting off to a good start will be huge. We will be focusing on getting off to a real good start, and focusing on doing the little things that we had success with all year.”
The Wild will face the New Brunswick champion on Friday, April 4, at 5 p.m., and closes out the round robin against Newfoundland and Labrador on Saturday, April 5, at 9 a.m. The third- and fourth-place teams after round-robin play meet in the bronze-medal game at 9 a.m., on Sunday, April 6, and the top two teams clash in the final at 1 p.m.
The Wild will be without goaltender Cameron Visser for the Atlantic championship. Visser, who started five of the six playoffs games and recorded all four wins against Charlottetown, broke his arm in a snowmobile accident shortly after the provincial final.
“It is a big loss,” said Carragher. “It’s an unlucky break for him (Visser).”
Carragher confirmed affiliated goaltender Alex Smith of the P.E.I. Midget AAA Hockey League’s Mid-Isle Matrix will team with Bradley Shea to form the Wild’s goaltending tandem for the Atlantic championship.
The Wild has been idle from game action since clinching the provincial championship series against the Charlottetown Islanders in Game 6 on March 10.
“We have been trying to do some off-ice stuff with them as far as trying to keep their conditioning up and them as sharp as possible,” said Carragher, who added the focus will now shift to “emulate a lot of game-like situations” as the championship draws closer.
Last year, when the Wild franchise was based in Cornwall, the team advanced to the championship game in Moncton, N.B., losing to Nova Scotia’s Valley Wildcats.
“We have a good crew that went last year and got to the final,” said Carragher. “That experience is going to be huge, they know what to expect and the young guys can kind of lean on them a bit.”