UPDATED: Wild stays alive

Coyle stops 33 shots in one-goal win over Pride; Kensington forces Game 6

Published on March 18, 2017

Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild goaltender Caleb Coyle makes one of his 33 saves during Game 5 of the best-of-seven provincial major midget hockey championship series on Saturday night. Wild defenceman Jack DesRoches, 3, and Charlottetown Bulk Carriers Pride forward Kennedy Gallant look to get their stick on the rebound. Wild won the game, played before 650 fans at Community Gardens in Kensington, by a 3-2 score to force a Game 6 in Charlottetown on Thursday at 7 p.m.

© Jason Simmonds/TC Media

KENSINGTON – The Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild is still alive.

The Wild edged the Charlottetown Bulk Carriers Pride 3-2 in a must-win situation on Saturday night to close to within 3-2 in the best-of-seven provincial major midget hockey championship series.
“We have a pretty resilient group, and we are not going to quit on one another,” commented Wild team captain Tayler Read, 18, of Wilmot Valley.
Charlottetown hosts Game 6 at the Bell Aliant Centre on Thursday at 7 p.m.
“We would have been a little naive going into it to think it was going to be a five-game series,” said Pride head coach Luke Beck. “Here we are, it’s going to be a six-game series at least, and it’s been a close series.”
Before 650 fans at Community Gardens, Wild rookie goaltender Caleb Coyle of Summerside stopped 33 of 35 shots in his first start of the series.
“We have two good goaltenders, and both are capable of coming in,” said Wild head coach Kyle Dunn. “A credit to Caleb Coyle, he was thrown to the wolves in an elimination game, and he took that pressure and went with it.”
Dunn, who also adjusted the forward and defensive combinations, emphasized the decision to switch goaltenders was not a reflection of veteran Luke Oliver’s play.
“We needed a spark, and sometimes you go with hunches,” said Dunn. “Caleb played well, and, other than a couple of bad bounces, he looked rock solid.”

After giving up Charlottetown’s second goal – a shot he admits he wasn’t expecting from a sharp angle and lost off the stick – the 16-year-old Coyle bounced right back with two tough saves, and shut the door the rest of the way.
“To get a save in right after giving up a goal like that is great to help you refocus and redial,” said Coyle, who made a game-saving stop on a shot destined for the top corner in the third period.
“It was a 3-on-2 and the pass got across and I just slid over (to his left), put my glove out and hoped for the best,” admitted Coyle, who was 9-6-1 (won-lost-overtime losses) with a 3.07 goals-against average and .900 save percentage in 17 regular-season games.
Ryan Richards (1-1), Clark Webster and Tayler Read scored for Kensington, which led 3-0 just past the midway mark of Period 2. Blake Jamieson and Gage MacWilliams countered for Charlottetown.

Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild defenceman Zac Arsenault just missed on this first-period scoring opportunity against Charlottetown Bulk Carriers Pride goaltender Noah Laybolt. The Wild prevailed 3-2 to cut the Pride’s lead in the best-of-seven provincial major midget championship series to 3-2. Game 6 is in Charlottetown on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Jason Simmonds/TC Media

“They were the better team for the first half of the game, and we were chasing the game from there,” assessed Beck. “We played better as the game went on.”
Read’s power-play goal, “off a broken play,” at 10:41 of Period 2, was the difference.
“I was trying to go back door to Cameron Roberts, it hit their stick and popped over (Pride goaltender Noah) Laybolt’s shoulder,” said Read, who hopes that break may be a sign of things to come. “We feel we’ve been getting bad bounces all series. We knew we had to stick with it, and keep working.”


Recap of Game 5 between Wild and Pride:
Wild 3 Pride 2
Scoring: Wild – Ryan Richards (1-1), Clark Webster, Tayler Read; Pride – Blake Jamieson, Gage MacWilliams.
Assists: Wild – Ethan Beaulieu, Zach Thususka, Evan Gallant; Pride – Drew Bowman, Cale Pierce.
Period scores: 1-0 and 3-2 in favour of the Wild.
Shots on goal: 35-35.
Goaltenders: Wild – Caleb Coyle; Pride – Noah Laybolt.
Penalties: Wild – four minor penalties and one checking-from-behind game misconduct; Pride – three minor penalties.
Power plays: Wild – 1-for-2; Pride – 0-for-3.
Attendance: 650.
Wild head coach Kyle Dunn: “We left it all up to our leadership group all week in practice, and we leaned on those guys heavily. As third-year guys, you didn’t want your last game to be here (on home ice in Game 5). . . It’s one win off the belt, and now we’ll prepare for Game 6.”
Pride head coach Luke Beck: “We came out like a team (Saturday) that thought it was going to be handed to us. They are a good team over there, and we knew they would not give it to us. They were the better team for the first half of the game, and we were chasing the game from there. I thought we played better as the game went on, and hopefully, as a group, we can learn from it, refocus and be back to our regular self on Thursday night.”
Next game: Bell Aliant Centre on UPEI campus in Charlottetown on Thursday at 7 p.m.