In all-P.E.I. clash against Charlottetown
KENSINGTON – The Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild got off to a fast start and never looked back on Saturday night.
Max Morrison scored his first of three goals 1:13 into the game, and the Wild never trailed en route to a 7-1 victory over the Charlottetown Islanders in a New Brunswick/P.E.I. Major Midget Hockey League contest. It marked the Wild’s third win in their last five games.
“Our boys played well,” assessed Wild head coach Mark Carragher. “They (Islanders) were down a few bodies tonight (Saturday), but we’ve been playing very well lately as a group. We worked hard and we got rewarded for our hard work.”
The win improved the Wild record to 7-11-1 (won-lost-overtime losses). Charlottetown fell to 4-14-2.
Before an estimated 300 fans at Community Gardens, the Wild built period leads of 2-0 and 4-0. The Wild also had two goals disallowed in the second period – one was kicked in and the net was dislodged on the other goal.
Goals off the sticks of affiliated player Chasse Gallant (1-1), Spencer Sherren, Abel Arsenault and Austin Taylor supported Morrison’s hat trick. Parker Ronahan (2), Sam Jay (2), Cole Hackett, Evan Millman, Colton Chiasson and Dillon Wall were credited with assists.
“As we say to our group, we are going to be successful if we have 20 guys going, and all guys in the lineup went hard tonight,” said Carragher. “We can rely on them all, they were all playing well and it’s nice to get contributions from every one of them.”
Tyler Doucette, assisted by Jonathan Arsenault and Dylan Wheatley, netted the lone goal for the Islanders.
Overall, the Wild outshot the Islanders 40-21, including 14-5 and 15-9 advantages in the first two periods.
Cameron Visser picked up the goaltending win, and Darryl MacCallum took the loss.
Keys to win
When asked what were keys to the Wild’s strong performance, Carragher commented: “We were physical, we were hard on the forecheck, we worked the cycle and took the puck to the net. Those things led to our success.”
Morrison was also asked that same question, and his reply was: “The physical play early in the game, getting right after them and sending a message early and getting them on their heels pretty quick. Then just keeping the pressure on them shift after shift, and never letting up.”
“Our boys played well. They (Islanders) were down a few bodies tonight (Saturday), but we’ve been playing very well lately as a group. We worked hard and we got rewarded for our hard work.” Wild head coach Mark Carragher
Morrison completed his hat trick with goals at 1:06 and 15:32 of the third period.
“Things were going my way tonight, and it’s nice to get that monkey off my back,” said Morrison, who increased his regular-season goal total to six in 17 games. “Hopefully, I can keep that going throughout the year.”
Carragher said although Morrison struggled offensively early in the season, he has been playing very well lately.
“He (Morrison) is a skilled player, and it was a matter of time for him to put the puck in the net,” said Carragher. “For him to get three tonight is great.”
Back in action
The Wild returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 21, when the Saint John Vitos visit the Gardens for a 7:30 p.m. start.
Kensington then visits the Islanders at MacLauchlan Arena on Sunday, Dec. 22, in the first of a home-and-home series. Game time is 1:45 p.m. The Islanders will make the return trip to Kensington for a Boxing Day game at 7:30 p.m.