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Charlottetown Islanders to continue playing Halifax, Cape Breton as QMJHL season continues

Halifax Mooseheads forward Elliot Desnoyers, left, and Charlottetown Islanders defenceman Braeden Virtue battle for the puck Wednesday during Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action in Charlottetown.
Halifax Mooseheads forward Elliot Desnoyers, left, and Charlottetown Islanders defenceman Braeden Virtue battle for the puck Wednesday during Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action in Charlottetown. - Jason Malloy
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

The Charlottetown Islanders will continue to play Nova Scotia’s two Quebec Major Junior Hockey League teams for the time being.

With New Brunswick’s teams still not permitted to play due to COVID-19, the league released more games Tuesday between the Isles, Halifax Mooseheads and Cape Breton Eagles that takes them to mid-March.

The league, which has been building a schedule every two weeks and releasing it, did note the schedule is subject to change depending on the New Brunswick situation. New Brunswick reported no new cases on Tuesday, but still has 75 active cases with 66 of those in the Edmundston area in the northern part of the province. The league’s three New Brunswick teams (Moncton, Saint John and Acadie-Bathurst) are currently only permitted to practise.

“We’re just trying to build schedules that make sense and to give our players and teams the most games possible,” league spokesman Maxime Blouin said Tuesday. “The solution is this one right now, but it might be a different one in two weeks.”


New games


A look at the games added to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League schedule on Tuesday.
March 3 – Cape Breton at Charlottetown, 7 p.m.
March 4 – Halifax at Charlottetown, 7 p.m.
March 6 – Halifax at Cape Breton, 7 p.m.
March 7 – Charlottetown at Cape Breton, 4 p.m.
March 9 – Charlottetown at Halifax, 7 p.m.
March 11 – Cape Breton at Halifax, 7 p.m.
March 13 – Charlottetown at Cape Breton, 7 p.m.
March 14 – Charlottetown at Halifax, 4 p.m.


The league announced a 60-game regular season schedule in mid-August with games taking place within one of three six-team divisions. It resulted in each team playing the other division rivals 12 times each in a balanced schedule.

Charlottetown Islanders winger Brendan McCarthy, left, pots a rebound Saturday against the Cape Breton Eagles in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play at the Eastlink Centre. - Jason Malloy
Charlottetown Islanders winger Brendan McCarthy, left, pots a rebound Saturday against the Cape Breton Eagles in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League play at the Eastlink Centre. - Jason Malloy

 

Charlottetown, Halifax and Cape Breton have played each other exclusively since Jan. 29. Charlottetown has already played Halifax 10 times and Cape Breton eight times while it has only met Acadie-Bathurst once. The Isles now have four games on the schedule with both of Nova Scotia’s squads, resulting in more than 12 games with the Herd.

Halifax has played 27 games while Charlottetown and Cape Breton each have 24 in the books. Moncton has only played 13 while the other two New Brunswick squads sit at 15.


Head-to-head

A look at the Charlottetown Islanders’ record against the other Maritimes Division teams.

Halifax –8-2-0-0

Cape Breton – 6-2-0-0

Moncton – 3-0-0-0

Saint John – 2-0-0-0

Acadie-Bathurst – 1-0-0-0


The regular season normally wraps up in mid-March with the post-season starting the following week. No date for the end of the regular season has been released.

The league hasn’t announced any changes to its modified playoff format, which would see the first three rounds take place inside the division. The three division winners would then play a double round-robin tournament with the top two teams advancing to the final series.

The league champ normally advances to the Memorial Cup. No announcement has been made on if the tournament will take place this year. Originally, it was scheduled to occur in either Sault Ste. Marie or Oshawa, Ont., beginning June 17.

The Ontario Hockey League had to push back its 40-game season, which was to begin on Feb. 4, but hasn’t announced a new target date. The Western Hockey League’s Alberta-based teams are scheduled to begin their 24-game season on Friday. It will be a staggered start depending on the province.

Jason Malloy is The Guardian's sports editor. He can be reached by email at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at @SportsGuardian.

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