Islanders visit Wild at Community Gardens
KENSINGTON – It will be an all-P.E.I. battle here at Community Gardens on Saturday night.
© Jason Simmonds/Journal Pioneer
The Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild head coach Mark Carragher explains a drill during Wednesday night’s practice at Community Gardens.
The Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild will host the Charlottetown Islanders in a New Brunswick/P.E.I. Major Midget Hockey League game. The opening faceoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
It will mark the first regular-season game between the two rivals in Kensington, and the Wild has also announced that all minor hockey players from any association wearing their team jersey will be granted free admission.
“It’s always a good rivalry between the two Island teams,” said Wild head coach Mark Carragher before Wednesday night’s practice at the Gardens. “The kids all know each other, so I’m sure they get up a little more for the Island games.”
Both P.E.I. teams are looking to get on a roll after a slow start to the regular season. The Wild goes into weekend play at 2-6-0 (won-lost-overtime losses) while the Islanders are at 1-6-1.
The Wild pulled out a 4-3 road win over the Islanders in the lone regular-season meeting between the teams on Oct. 11.
“Based on the first game things were pretty even,” said Carragher. “I expect it to be a pretty even battle.”
Off to Miramichi
However, before the Wild can begin focusing on the Islanders, they have to worry about the first-place Miramichi Rivermen (7-0-1). The Wild will face the Rivermen for the third time this season on Friday night.
“It’s always a good rivalry between the two Island teams. The kids all know each other, so I’m sure they get up a little more for the Island games.” Wild head coach Mark Carragher
“They (Rivermen) are a little bit of a surprise to start the year off,” said Carragher. “They have been getting good goaltending, and they are getting some timely scoring.
“They are a team we feel we can definitely beat, and hope to get it done on Friday night.”
The Wild has played the Rivermen tough in their first two outings. Miramichi prevailed 2-1 in Kensington on Oct. 5, and then had to rally from a 3-1 deficit after 40 minutes to pull out a 4-3 home-ice decision on Oct. 12.
The Wild played a pair of lopsided games last weekend, losing 9-1 on the road to the Saint John Vitos on Friday night, and bouncing back to trim the Fredericton Canadiens 7-2 at home Saturday evening.
“It was a great sign (to rebound on Saturday),” said Carragher. “We were down five guys and had a rough one on Friday night with injuries.
“We came back and played real solid on Saturday. It’s a great testament to our kids the way they battled back.”