Regular season kicks off on Wednesday night
CHARLOTTETOWN – The five-team Island Junior Hockey League gets its 2013-14 campaign started here on Wednesday night.
The Montague Total Assets Fitness Maniacs will visit the Sherwood A&S Scrap Metal Falcons at 8 p.m. Fans are asked to note that the game will be played at Simmons Sport Centre due to a scheduling conflict with the Falcons' Cody Banks Arena.
The Maniacs were hot in the pre-season offensively, including a 10-3 win over the Falcons on Sept. 23.
The Falcons will have most of their big guns from last season back again, including scoring leader Craig Dougan as well as Brady Cook, Matt McQuaid and Josh Kirkpatrick.
The Maniacs will host the Holland College Hurricanes in their home opener in Montague on Friday. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
The Hurricanes will rely on newcomer Jonathan Boutin in goal to carry most of the load this season. Boutin, a native of Dartmouth, N.S., and a first-year firefighting student, has had experience in the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) as well as in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League as a member of the P.E.I. Rocket organization.
Defensively, the 'Canes will have returning defencemen Curtis Hall, Eric Locke and Will Connolly, as well as rookies Logan Welsh, Peter Giggie and Branson Groom, in the lineup.
Forwards Blake Ozon and Jonny Richards return to lead the team up front alongside rookies Alex Seyforth and Nick MacDonald, who look to add an impact right away.
Saturday, the Arsenault's Fish Mart Red Wings will get their season started in Charlottetown at Simmons Sport Centre against the Hurricanes at 8:15 p.m.
The Red Wings lost some key players to graduation last season, but have league-scoring champion Jeremy Balderston back, and will be led once again in goal by Chris Gallant.
The first week will wrap up at Community Gardens in Kensington on Sunday, with the defending league and Don Johnson Memorial Cup-champion Kensington Moase Plumbing and Heating Vipers hosting the Falcons at 7 p.m.
The Vipers will once again be a favourite to win it all, with several key players returning and a mix of good new pickups.
The 32-game regular season will conclude on Feb. 21.
The league champion will represent P.E.I. at the 2014 Don Johnson Memorial Cup in Port Hawkesbury, N.S.