Hockey Islanders look to end streak tonight in N.B.

Jason Malloy
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The Charlottetown Islanders look to halt their five-game losing streak tonight in northern New Brunswick.

The Islanders (13-13-1-3) play the Acadie-Bathurst Titan (12-15-1-1) at 7 p.m. The Islanders are 0-4-0-1 in their last five games.

“There’s some frustration going on here and I think that’s a good thing,” captain Jack Nevins said before Tuesday’s practice. “If we were OK with losing then there’d be trouble. . . We just have to use that frustration and go out and start winning games.”

The Islanders started the season with five straight wins and were 10-2-0-1, but the wins have been few and far between during the last six weeks.

“We were having fun playing hockey and we were hungry,” defenceman Troy Vance said. “I think we need to get back to that and everybody wanting to score goals and play tough in the D zone.”

The Islanders’ longest drought of the season was a 0-5-0-1 string from Oct. 23 to Nov. 3. It ended with a 5-3 victory in Bathurst. The Titan won the last meeting 5-3 on Nov. 10 to split the season series so far and is

6-4 in its last 10 games this season.

Islanders centre Craig MacLauchlan said the team has to focus on small details to end the losing skid.

“It just seems we can’t catch a bounce,” he said. “It’s all going to come together here soon and we’ll be back on track.”

Coach Gordie Dwyer said there are times during a season when teams face adversity.

“It’s natural, I think, to squeeze the stick a little bit more and to tense up a little bit more when you’re looking for wins as opposed to when you’re on a winning streak,” he said. “As a group, we have to keep the environment positive and keep working hard to improve in those areas that we feel we have to improve on.”

A win tonight would help the Islanders’ psyche.

“If we get one, we get rolling and the mindset would change big time. That’s what we’re pushing for here Wednesday,” Nevins said.

Eric Brassard gets the call for the Islanders tonight in goal.

Alexis Pépin remains out of the lineup with a shoulder injury.

Organizations: Islanders

Geographic location: New Brunswick.The Islanders, Bathurst

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