Maniacs look to send series back to Kensington
KENSINGTON – The Kensington Moase Plumbing and Heating Vipers can win the franchise’s fifth consecutive Island Junior Hockey League championship on Saturday.
© Jason Simmonds/Journal Pioneer
Kensington Moase Plumbing and Heating Vipers forward Kyle Doucette, who scored two third-period goals in a 9-4 win in Game 3 at Community Gardens on Tuesday night, looks to make a pass while being defended against by Montague Maniacs defenceman Matt Cox.
The Vipers will take a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven final series against the Montague Maniacs into Game 4 at the Cavendish Farms Wellness Centre in Montague. The opening faceoff is set for 7:45 p.m. A Montague win will force Game 5 back in Kensington on Sunday at 7 p.m.
“I’ve said this before, it’s not a best-of-five,” said Vipers head coach Wade Waddell. “I would expect they (Maniacs) are going to come out with their best game of the series.
“They lost a game in overtime (against Kensington), and that one could have gone either way. Even the last game, I know the score was 9-4, but it was 4-4 with just over 10 minutes left.
“A break here or there, and this series could be back on again. We are going to be prepared.”
The Vipers, who swept the Arsenault’s Fish Mart Western Red Wings in the semifinals, have yet to lose a post-season game. Waddell admitted the Vipers are motivated to run the table.
“We’ve had some luck over the past few years, and we’ve had a lot of our core group together, and they know what it takes (to win),” said Waddell. “Sure, we’d like to wrap it up Saturday, and it would be a nice feather in our cap to win the series in four (games).
“But I’m not going to start crowing in the hen house here, the series is not over.”
“We’ve had some luck over the past few years, and we’ve had a lot of our core group together, and they know what it takes (to win). Sure, we’d like to wrap it up Saturday, and it would be a nice feather in our cap to win the series in four (games). But I’m not going to start crowing in the hen house here, the series is not over.” Vipers head coach Wade Waddell
The one thing the Vipers have proven year after year is they’re capable of winning big games on the road.
“There’s no question about that,” said Waddell. “I like playing in Montague, and for my money it probably has the nicest sheet of ice on Prince Edward Island.
“We are a quick team and we are very comfortable playing on the road in most buildings for sure, but Montague especially. It might be a touch wider than we are used to in Kensington, and for whatever reason we’ve played some really good games down there.
“Three years ago, we won a Don Johnson (Memorial) Cup down there, and we’ve won a lot of big games down in Montague.”
Nonetheless, Waddell admits it’s hard for the Vipers not to think about winning five straight.
“(Journal Pioneer sports columnist) Joe MacIntyre had a piece in back in November that we have a chance to match a record that dates back to the ‘70s,” said Waddell. “It’s nice to be part of history, and I’m not going to lie – it’s a motivating factor to get five in a row.”