The P.E.I. Rocket plays the first of three straight games with a one of the league’s worst teams tonight in Sydney, N.S.
But the Rocket (25-20-2) is not taking the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (10-30-3-5) lightly, said coach Gordie Dwyer.
“It’s not a take advantage situation,” he said. “The game is going to be played on the ice and it’s going to be a battle for 60 minutes.”
Cape Breton is 1-8-0-1 in its last 10 games. The Eagles are coming off a 4-1 loss to Quebec on Thursday, but the score was 2-1 heading to the third period.
The Eagles snapped a 10-game losing streak Tuesday with a 2-1 victory over the Saint John Sea Dogs.
Cape Breton is without William Carrier due to a lower body injury. He leads the team in goals, assists and points.
P.E.I. has won two of three games against Cape Breton this season and will play the Eagles five times during the next six weeks.
The Rocket will host the Eagles Thursday and Friday, but Dwyer wants his players concentrating on tonight’s game.
“I know it should create some rivalry with this hockey team,” he said. “We’ll worry about next weekend next weekend, but we want to go there and make sure we get off to a good start.”
The Rocket is healthy but will be missing the services of defenceman Jimmy Oligny, who is serving the second of a three-game suspension, and winger Louick Marcotte, who is serving the final game of his two-game suspension.
Yan-Pavel Laplante is still out of game action but has been participating in contact practices. The 17-year-old centre injured his shoulder in August at the Ivan Hlinka under-18 tournament.
“Everything is going according to plan,” Dwyer said, noting his return is still scheduled for early February. “Everything has been going well.”
Antoine Bibeau gets the call tonight in the Rocket’s crease.