CHARLOTTETOWN – The P.E.I. Midget AAA Hockey League playoffs will be in full swing this week.
P.E.I. Midget AAA Hockey League
Three best-of-five quarter-final series either have or are slated to get underway, with Game 1 between the fourth-place Summerside Hemphill GM Capitals and fifth-place Charlottetown Abbies going at Eastlink Arena in Summerside on Wednesday. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:40 p.m.
"We've had a season where we have faced and dealt with adversity," says Abbies coach Ryan Ramsay. "We will rely on a strong defensive game from the net out, and look for our special teams to win games and series.
“We are playing our best hockey of the year right now, and look forward to making a run at an Island championship."
The Capitals come in to the playoffs after a busy schedule of make-up games in which they played six games in the last eight days of the regular season. A tie in their final game of the season earned them home-ice advantage in the first round.
The Caps will count on league scoring champion Chasse Gallant to lead the way for the team offensively. Gallant had 55 points, including 32 goals, in 29 games.
This is shaping up to be an evenly-matched series as both teams completed the regular season with 25 points. The Caps, however, held the tiebreaker for home-ice advantage.
Summerside had a record of 10-15-5 (won-lost-tied) while the Abbies were 9-14-7.
Three of the five head-to-head meetings between the two teams ended in ties, with the Capitals winning the other two.
Other quarter-final series
The two other quarter-final series feature the No. 2-seeded Mid-Isle Matrix (21-8-1) taking on the seventh-place Pownal Red Devils (8-18-4), and the sixth-place Kings County Kings (8-15-7) looking to upset the Sherwood Falcons, who finished in third place at 10-13-7.
The Red Devils and Matrix were scheduled to play Game 1 in Cornwall on Tuesday, and the Falcons will host the series opener against the Kings at the Cody Banks Arena on Thursday at 8:20 p.m.
The regular-season-champion Western Regals have earned a first-round bye after going 21-4-5.
The Regals have secured a berth in the Atlantic minor midget AAA hockey championship tournament in Alberton from March 27 to 30 as the host team, but will be looking to enter as provincial champions.