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Time to respond for Islanders


Charlottetown looking to apply lessons learned Saturday tonight in rematch with Sea Dogs

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

On paper, it’s a mismatch.

The Charlottetown Islanders (29-17-3-3) have more wins than the Saint John Sea Dogs (12-37-2-2) have points.

But the young Sea Dogs have also come from behind to defeat the Islanders in two of their last three meetings.

They meet tonight at 7 p.m. at Eastlink Centre in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action.

Veteran Daniel Hardie said the team is looking to bounce back after a 6-5 loss Saturday in Saint John, N.B.

“We know what we have to do and we know we have to be better,” he said. “I think we look a little bit too much into the record and the standings. . . Maybe we just think we’re going to have it easy.”

Now they have the chance to apply the lessons learned from Saturday’s outing.

“We didn't play the game the right way in any way, shape or form, really, from the drop of the puck,” head coach Jim Hulton said. “When you cheat, and want to go on offence, you leave yourself exposed on defence and that’s exactly what we did.”

Lukas Cormier prepares to fire a shot towards the goal during Tuesday's Charlottetown Islanders practice.
Lukas Cormier prepares to fire a shot towards the goal during Tuesday's Charlottetown Islanders practice.

The team was coming off a pair of losses to two of the league’s top teams when they played structured games. It didn't continue Saturday.

“Unfortunately, sometimes you need a spanking like we got there,” Hulton said. “It’s a stark realization for the group. It doesn't matter who we play. We have to play the same way, day in and day out.”

It becomes even more crucial to play well in their own zone with the news centre Nikita Alexandrov, who is second on the team with 51 points in 50 games, will miss the next two games with an upper-body injury. The Islanders will also be without rookie Drew Johnston for the next two weeks after he fell awkwardly Saturday. His thumb is in a splint after he sustained ligament issue.

The Islanders have recalled Sullivan Sparkes for games tonight and Thursday from the Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals. He played for the Isles last season.

Charlottetown is also considering calling up Moncton major midget forward Patrick LeBlanc for Saturday’s game in Halifax and Monday in Moncton. The major midget league doesn’t have any games due to the Canada Games in Red Deer, Alta.

Goalie Matthew Welsh gets the start tonight.

Head-to-head

A look at the season series between the Charlottetown Islanders and the Saint John Sea Dogs.

Sept. 26

Saint John 0 at Charlottetown 4

Oct. 14

Saint John 5 at Charlottetown 6 SO

Oct. 26

Saint John 3 at Charlottetown 4

Oct. 28

Charlottetown 10 at Saint John 4

Dec. 14

Charlottetown 4 at Saint John 6

Dec. 31

Charlottetown 4 at Saint John 1

Feb. 9

Charlottetown 5 at Saint John 6 OT

Look ahead

A look at the Charlottetown Islanders upcoming games.

Tonight

7 p.m. – Saint John at Charlottetown.

Thursday

7 p.m. – Gatineau at Charlottetown.

Saturday

4:30 p.m. – Charlottetown at Halifax.

Monday

2 p.m. – Charlottetown at Moncton.

Thursday, Feb. 21

7 p.m. – Charlottetown at Acadie-Bathurst.

Saturday, Feb. 23

7 p.m. – Blainville-Boisbriand at Charlottetown.

Sunday, Feb. 24

3 p.m. – Saint John at Charlottetown.

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