Wild plays first regular-season home game in New Brunswick/P.E.I. Major Midget Hockey League
KENSINGTON – The New Brunswick/P.E.I. Major Midget Hockey League will officially began its tenure in Kensington on Saturday night.
The Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild will host the Saint John Vitos in their regular-season home opener, which is scheduled for a 7:30 start at Community Gardens. The Wild is the former Cornwall Thunder franchise.
“It’s definitely an exciting time to get things rolling, especially the first (home) game for the Kensington Wild franchise,” said Wild head coach Mark Carragher. “I know the boys are all excited to get things going on Saturday.”
The Wild opened the regular season with a 6-2 road loss to the Moncton Flyers on Saturday, Sept. 21. The Vitos, meanwhile, outscored the Charlottetown Islanders 10-9 in their regular-season opener on Friday, Sept. 20, and were scheduled to host the Miramichi Rivermen on Friday night.
“They (Vitos) have come along way the last few years,” said Carragher. “They had a very strong team last year, and I know they returned a lot of their players from last year, so we are expecting a good battle here Saturday.”
For fans that have not had the opportunity to watch major midget hockey before, what can they expect to see?
“It’s great hockey,” answered Carragher. “This is basically the next step for a lot of kids to major junior or junior A.
“We have players from all over the Island, and a lot of players from up west. It’s a good calibre of hockey, kids are hungry to get to the next level and it’s definitely exciting for sure.”
Strong Prince County flavour
The Wild roster features 14 players from Prince County, including five players from Kensington – forwards Campbell Gallant, Dillon Wall, Kyle Pinksen and Riley Gallant, along with defenceman Bailey Webster.
“I expect to see a hard-working team,” said Carragher. “We have a lot of young talent here, a lot of kids who are going to get to the next level.
“We are definitely going to be a team that is exciting to watch, full of character, full of hard work and hopefully bring the fans lots of excitement.”
In goal, returnee Bradley Shea and Cameron Visser will share the workload.
“They are both 16-year-olds and Cameron played Mid-Isle (last year),” said Carragher. “We’re expecting big things out of both of them.”
Returnees Webster and Parker Ronahan of Charlottetown are expected to lead the blue-line unit, noted Carragher.
“We have a lot of young kids, Jesse Annear, Lucas Beaulieu, Jesse Jay and Evan Millman from up west,” continued Carragher. “We definitely have an exciting defensive core.”
Up front, Carragher is looking for a balanced attack.
“We have a lot of depth up front, and it’s going to be a scoring by committee type of team,” said Carragher.
Carragher announced at Wednesday night’s practice that Abel Arsenault of Wellington has been selected as team captain. Ronahan, Webster and forward Sam Jay of Freetown will serve as assistant captains.
“Abel is the type of kid who will do anything for you,” said Carragher in explaining the captain’s selection. “He’s (Arsenault) a hard-working kid, he’s a great leader, he’ll do anything for the team and just goes out there and works hard.
“It’s great hockey. This is basically the next step for a lot of kids to major junior or junior A. We have players from all over the Island, and a lot of players from up west. It’s a good calibre of hockey, kids are hungry to get to the next level and it’s definitely exciting for sure.” Kensington Wild head coach Mark Carragher
“That’s all we ask from everyone.”
Farms Wild roster:
1. Cameron Visser, Crapaud
33. Bradley Shea, St. Louis
2. Evan Millman, Alberton
3. Lucas Beaulieu, Borden-Carleton
4. Bailey Webster, Kensington
5. Jesse Jay, South Freetown
6. Jesse Annear, Montague
7. Parker Ronahan, Charlottetown
9. Colton Chiasson, St. Louis
10. Austin Taylor, Summerside
11. Max Morrison, Launching
12. Campbell Gallant, Kensington
14. Dillon Wall, Kensington
16. Sam Jay, Freetown
17. Spencer Sherren, South Winsloe
18. Kyle Pinksen, Kensington
19. Abel Arsenault, Wellington
21. Michael Evoy, Sherwood
22. Cole Hackett, Tignish
25. Riley Gallant, Kensington
Manager – Ivan Gallant
Head coach – Mark Carragher
Assistant coaches – Matt Fortier and Kyle Dunn
Trainer/equipment manager – Dave (Gonzo) Bernard