QMJHL team to hold training in Pownal
© Guardian photo by Charles Reid
Matt Bursey stands next to the new Charlottetown Islanders jersey at the team’s 2013 training camp, which opened Monday in Pownal.
Training camp is as much about the new players making the team as the returning players keeping their spots.
Both have aspirations for the new season, albeit slightly different ones.
Matt Bursey of the Charlottetown Islanders has been on both sides.
This year, the 19-year-old right-winger craves a larger role on the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League club.
“I want to be a leader this year, make a difference, step up, and be a key player and a good two-way guy,” the Saint John, N.B., native said Monday as the Islanders’ camp got underway.
The team begins practice today in Pownal, site of the camp.
The Islanders home ice in the Charlottetown Civic Centre won’t be available until September.
Sixty players (35 forwards, 18 defencemen and seven goalies) are on the camp's invite list.
On-ice practices start today at 9 a.m. for Team White, the goalie practice goes at 10:30 a.m., followed by Team Blue practice at 11:20 a.m.
First scrimmage is at 5:30 p.m.
Some returnees like Alexis Pépin, Troy Vance and Matej Beran will arrive later at camp.
Pépin is fresh off a gold- medal win with the Team Canada under-18 squad at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament and is expected later this week.
Vance, a fifth-round pick of the Dallas Stars in 2011, is with the Stars and won't be available for the start of camp, while a visa for Beran, a Czech Republic native, has been delayed because of the strike by Canadian foreign service workers. Beran is expected next week.
For Islanders head coach Gordie Dwyer, it’s his third camp as bench boss and none get old.
“Good to see all the new kids here and for that matter the guys returning. Get them all here and excited to prove they belong. That’s a good thing," said Dwyer, who has several training camps under his belt as a player and coach.
“You have this day circled (on your calendar). You gear up all summer long . . . for training camp. You want to make an impression. It’s an exciting time."
Bursey, a trade pickup from Shawinigan in 2011, has 12 goals and 30 points in 96 games with Charlottetown and has few other goals in mind, too, namely points, although he doesn't have a total in mind this season.
The former Maritime junior A player had a 15-goal season in 2010-11 with the Miramichi Timberwolves.
“A couple of years back I used to be a scorer, but you adjust to a new role. I think I still have a little offensive touch. I hope to get it back.”
The Islanders’ first pre-season game is Friday versus the Wildcats in Moncton.
Game time is 7 p.m.
The Islanders’ first pre-season home game is Saturday against the Wildcats in Pownal.
Game time is 2 p.m.