CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The Charlottetown Islanders will look to get the early jump on the Acadie-Bathurst Titan tonight in Bathurst, N.B.
It will be the Islanders first game in eight days while the Titan played Friday night in Rimouski, Que. Charlottetown entered the weekend 13-7-1-0 while the Titan were 4-16-0-1.
“The start is very key for us to make sure we come out and establish our game right off the hop,” Isles head coach Jim Hulton said Friday.
The team took three days off after its last game on Nov. 9. Associate coach Guy Girouard and assistant coach Brad MacKenzie ran practices as Hulton, captain Pierre-Olivier Joseph and goalie Matthew Welsh were away with Team QMJHL to compete in the CIBC Canada Russia Series.
“The reports from Guy and Brad were that we had real good energy this week,” Hulton said Friday from the Monctonian. “We’re hoping to see a lot of energy out of our game tomorrow night.”
The defending Memorial Cup champion Titan made a coaching change earlier this week as Mario Durocher replaced Bryan Lizotte, who left the team for family reasons.
“You always have to be a little wary when there’s been a change made,” Hulton said. “It’s usually an instant burst of energy and enthusiasm.”
Charlottetown was expecting to start Welsh tonight for a healthy Islanders squad.
Team QMJHL dropped both games to the Russians, 5-1 in Sherbrooke, Que., on Tuesday and 3-2 in overtime Thursday in Drummondville, Que.
Welsh made 12 saves on 17 shots in the first game while Joseph had the team’s lone goal. Summerside’s Noah Dobson, the Titan captain, scored Team QMJHL’s second goal in Thursday’s loss.