Four players recognized by major midget league
Although four Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild players were pleased to receive New Brunswick/P.E.I. Major Midget Hockey League individual awards, their main priority is focusing on team success
“It’s an honour, but it’s not the award we want as a team,” said goaltender Chad Arsenault, who was named a first-team all-star. “We want to win in the playoffs, and hopefully Atlantics.”
The Wild will host the Charlottetown Blk Carriers Pride in Game 1 of the best-of-seven provincial championship series at Credit Union Centre in Kensington on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. With the Pride hosting this year’s Atlantic championship tournament, both Island teams are guaranteed berths in the regional tournament.
“I don’t know if I really expected it,” said forward Colby MacArthur, a second-team all-star. “Obviously, the awards are nice, but hopefully we’ll get the big ones at the end of the year.”
Third-year veteran and assistant captain Zac Arsenault, a draft pick of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Charlottetown Islanders, was named the Luc Bourdon Award winner as top defenceman. It’s the second year in a row a Kensington player has won this award after Clark Webster received the 2017-18 honour.
“It was nice to get the award, but I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” said the 17-year-old Arsenault, who was also selected a first-team all-star.
The Montague native, who is expected to miss at least the first two games of the provincial final series with an injury, registered 32 points, including 13 goals, in 31 games.
“We lean on Zac heavily, and he’s an offensive defenceman who can play defensively as well,” said Wild assistant coach Duane Richards. “He’s come a long way since he started with us three years ago. He’s a real good kid, on and off the ice.”
Most sportsmanlike player
Rookie defenceman Zach Biggar of Portage was named the most sportsmanlike player and a second-team all-star.
“It was pretty cool being a rookie and getting an award like that,” said Biggar, who turns 16 on Friday. “I’ve played with Zac most of the year, and he helped me a lot. Overall, it’s been a pretty good season.”
Biggar recorded 28 points, including four goals, in 31 games with the Wild. He was assessed just 10 penalty minutes.
“The sky is the limit for Zach,” said Richards, who noted Biggar is attracting lots of interest from QMJHL teams. “He comes to the rink ready to go and plays hard.
‘Overall, Zach is a great kid, he wants to get to that next level and he’s doing everything he can to get there.”
The 17-year-old MacArthur, who is from Summerside, led the Wild in scoring with 56 points, including 21 goals, in 29 games after starting the season with the Summerside Western Capitals’ junior A team.
“It was really great for us to get Colby back,” said Richards, a former hard-nosed forward with the Caps in the early 1990s. “Colby has a phenomenal touch for offensive flair.
“Colby leads us offensively, and as he goes, we kind of go offensively. I can’t say enough about Colby as well.”
League-best save percentage
Arsenault’s statistics between the pipes include a league-best .922 save percentage, and he tied for the league lead with three shutouts. The St-Raphael native posted a 13-4-1 record and 2.43 goals-against average.
“No one works any harder, and there’s no better quality guy than Chad,” said Richards. “He’s an all-around athlete, which I think pays off for him in the net because he’s a smaller stature goalie, but again a top-notch kid. He’s definitely one of the leaders in the room.”
After backing up Caleb Coyle in last year’s five-game series win against Charlottetown, Arsenault will get the nod in Game 1.
“It’s going to be exciting,” said Arsenault, 17. “You just want to play it like any other game during the year.”