Wild returns to Gardens with series tied 2-2
KENSINGTON – Despite two straight losses, the message remains the same for the Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild.
© Jason Simmonds/Journal Pioneer
Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild defenceman Parker Ronahan in action during Game 3 of the best-of-seven P.E.I. major midget hockey championship series against the Charlottetown Islanders. The teams meet in Game 5 at Community Gardens in Kensington on Monday night.
The Wild and Charlottetown Mark’s Work Wearhouse Islanders enter Game 5 of the best-of-seven P.E.I. major midget hockey championship series on Monday night tied 2-2. A full house is expected at Community Gardens in Kensington, with the opening faceoff set for 7:30 p.m.
“It’s just sticking with it,” said Wild head coach Mark Carragher. “We are going to stay positive, we are going to focus on the things we have focused on all year.
“We just don’t want to force it, just let it happen. If we play our style of game good things will happen. That will be our message the rest of the way.”
The first four games have been a roller-coaster ride for the Wild. After winning the first two games 9-2 and 7-4, it appeared Kensington was in control heading home for Game 3. However, the Islanders bounced back with a 6-3 win, and then evened the series with a 3-1 victory in Game 4.
“It’s a best-of-three now,” said Carragher. “It’s the highs and lows of playoffs, and we have home-ice advantage for the best-of-three, and that’s the way we are going to look at it.”
Despite scoring only four goals in the last two games, the Wild outshot the Islanders 94-75. Overall, in the first four games, the Wild holds a 194-127 shots-on-goal advantage.
“You have to give their goalie (Sam Walsh) credit, he is playing well,” said Carragher. “He is seeing a lot of shots, and we definitely have to get to the dirty areas a little bit more to bang in some dirty ones.
“It’s just sticking with it. We are going to stay positive, we are going to focus on the things we have focused on all year. We just don’t want to force it, just let it happen. If we play our style of game good things will happen. That will be our message the rest of the way.” Wild head coach Mark Carragher
“If we keep playing well the breaks will eventually go our way. We just have to stick with it, and some of those will go in.”
Carragher said Game 4 could have taken on a different look had the Wild been able to capitalize on some chances.
“We were pressing early, had a lot of chances and just couldn’t finish,” said Carragher. “They (Islanders) scored the first goal again, and we just didn’t capitalize on our chances is what it came down to.
“We had 43 shots on net and only scored one goal. If we bury a few of those, it’s a different game.”
Overall, what is Carragher’s assessment of the Wild’s play in the first four games?
“We have been a little bit up and down,” answered the son of former Summerside Western Capitals head coach Ron Carragher. “I would like to see some more consistency, but overall we have played hard.
“If we keep playing hard good things will eventually happen. We are fighting a little bit to put the puck in the net, but I think that is going to come.”
After the teams played the four games in six days, Carragher welcomed three full off days between Games 4 and 5.
“It’s nice to get a practice in just to touch base on a few things and get back to the basics, just kind of regroup,” said Carragher. “We’ll be ready for Monday.”