Islanders facing big challenge tonight

Jason Malloy
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Charlottetown plays Armada on Sportsnet



The Charlottetown Islanders play the second-ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League tonight on national TV.

The Islanders (14-17-1-4) have a road game with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (23-5-4-3) at 8 p.m. Atlantic on Sportsnet.

"We know we're going to have to be at our best," Islanders coach Gordie Dwyer said Thursday. "It's a big game for us."

Playing the league's top team coupled with the TV coverage has added excitement for the team. It is also a homecoming for a number of Montreal-area players, including Alexis Pépin, Daniel Sprong, Anthony Cortese, Guillaume Rioux-Legault and Eric Brassard.

Antoine Bibeau gets the start for the Islanders. The game will also see the return to the lineup of rookie Alexandre Goulet, who has missed the past two games due to an upper body injury.

"He's been a real bright spot in our lineup this year," Dwyer said. "To have him back in the lineup before (these) two big games on the weekend it's a huge plus for us."

The Islanders final game before the Christmas break is Saturday in Shawinigan. Remaining focused on the task at hand is key for the young squad.

"With the holidays and the trade period opening (Sunday) there's a lot of different distractions," Dwyer said. "I think it's important to park those distractions as much as possible and really focus in on the preparation for the games and your performance."

Islanders rookie Marco Sedlar remains in the German national junior team camp.

Schedule

Tonight

Charlottetown at Blainville-Boisbriand, 8 p.m.

Saturday

Charlottetown at Shawinigan, 5 p.m.

Dec. 28

Acadie-Bathurst at Charlottetown, 7 p.m.

Dec. 29

Charlottetown at Acadie-Bathurst, 3 p.m.

Jan. 3

Charlottetown at Halifax, 7 p.m.

Organizations: Islanders, Canadian Hockey League, Halifax

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Shawinigan, Montreal Blainville Boisbriand

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