O'LEARY – The Irving Oil Bantam AAA League will be back in action Friday night, Dec. 27, as the Western Maroons host the Summerside Capitals at the O'Leary Community Sports Centre at 8 p.m. Western currently holds the league lead by one point posting a 12-1-2 record with their only loss coming at the hands of the Caps who sit at a league record of 10-2-2. This game will prove to be a pivotable one in the top of the league standings.
The Caps are fast, work hard and move the puck really well, says Maroons head coach, Jeff Ellsworth.
"We have had a couple of really tight games so far this winter and I expect the same on Friday night," he said.
With the league at its half-way point, coach Tylan Robinson stresses, "It's not how you start, it's how you finish.
"We put a lot of emphasis on off-ice training and nothing will change on the back half," said Robinson. "We have to continue to work hard or even harder to maintain our team play.
Western will be turning to goaltender Bronson Banks to back stop the Maroons Friday night.
Western will be welcoming back Isaac Callaghan who has been out with an upper body injury for over a month.
"Having a player like Isaac coming back into the lineup is a bonus for us," says Ellsworth. He has had to watch quite a few games over a period of time and we knew he wanted to be out there, so he will be hungry to go tomorrow night."
Western will be busy over the next month as they play seven league games followed by a tourney in Miramichi and the Spud in Charlottetown.
Western coach, TJ Campbell, says, its great to play the extra games it gets the boys in better shape and allows them to get involved with more power plays, penalty kills, situational plays that will better prepare us for the playoffs.
The coaching staff has nothing but praise when talking about the fan support so far this season.
"The Bantam AAA league is the top Bantam league on P.E.I. and fans in the western part of the Island have been supporting us from day one and we the Maroons organization really appreciate it," says Ellsworth. "Thanks to all fans so far, and we look forward to seeing you at the rink in the second half."