The Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild is approaching an oddity in the schedule with an open mind.
The Wild is playing seven New Brunswick/P.E.I. Major Midget Hockey League games in a row on the road and 49 days between home games.
With the postponement of last Saturday’s home game against the Northern Moose due to bridge restrictions, the Wild is not scheduled to play at Credit Union Centre until Dec. 21. Kensington’s last home game was Nov. 2 and the seven road games do not include four played at the Monctonian AAA Challenge tournament two weeks ago.
“It doesn't affect us that much,” said Wild forward Sam MacNeill, referring to the long stretch between home games. “We have gotten kind of used to it.”
Wild defenceman Matt McQuaid agreed with MacNeill.
“I don’t think it’s going to bother us too much as long as we keep playing games and get on the ice,” added McQuaid.
The Wild travels to Cape Breton this weekend for a pair of interlocking games with the Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League. The Wild faces the Cape Breton West Islanders on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and faces the Sydney Rush on Sunday at noon.
“We want to stay focused, know our priorities, do well over there and hopefully come back with two wins,” said McQuaid.
The Wild lost to Cape Breton West 4-2 in the round robin of the Monctonian on Nov. 16.
“It’s always good to see some new competition,” said Wild assistant coach Ryan Power. “We had an opportunity to see Cape Breton West in the Monctonian and they got the upper hand on us and saw a little bit of the Sydney Rush team playing in that tournament as well.”
Kensington has quietly won five league games in a row and sits in second place at 10-4-2 (won-lost-overtime losses). Cape Breton West is 4-14-0 and Sydney is 4-14-1.
The Wild split two home games against Nova Scotia teams in late October – losing 6-3 to Valley and defeating South Shore 6-3.
Power said games against Nova Scotia teams feature a similar style as the New Brunswick/P.E.I. league, but he did note there is one area to watch out for.
“Nova Scotia seems to have bigger teams and they seem to play a little bit more of a structured game and that can be a challenge sometimes if we are not willing to play in that structure as well,” said Power.
Power noted teams can benefit from long road trips.
“It’s certainly an opportunity for team building, get together as a group and learn some more about each other and have some fun on the road,” said Power. “It’s always great to play on your home ice in your home barn and you get used to your routine, but getting on the road like this helps in the long run.”
The players are also looking forward to the trip.
“It’s a good group of guys,” said MacNeill, 17. “The boys all get along well and it should be fun.”