P.E.I. Junior C Hockey League opens playoffs tonight

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The Razzy’s junior C hockey playoffs get underway tonight with all three best-of-five quarter-final series in action.

The second-place Down East Auto Parts Sabres host the seventh-place Sherwood Falcons at 8:30 p.m.

The Sabres went 3-5 in January but enter the playoffs on a three-game winning streak and have defeated the Falcons in all four regular season meetings.

Sherwood is a new team with a lot of 1995-born players and has struggled with injuries this season.

At 7:30 p.m. in Tignish, the third-seeded Tignish Perry's Construction Aces will begin defence of their Island championship against the rival North River Island Excavators Flames, who are ranked sixth.

The Aces have struggled with numbers during the season due to injuries and work commitments, but are always at their best in the playoffs. They will be led offensively by Riley Shea, who finished second in the league with 50 points. 

The Flames top scorer, Cameron MacMurdo, is having his best season and goaltender Taylor Doyle has been known to steal games when the team is not performing at its best.

At Slemon Park, two expansion teams will meet in what is likely to be a

long series. The fifth-place Souris Hawks will visit the fourth-place Summerside Source for Sports Capitals at 8:25 p.m.

Souris came out of the gate strong, with six straight wins to start the season, and will be looking to return to that form in the playoffs. Forward Darcy Nicholson will be counted on to get the offence going again in the playoffs. 

The Capitals struggled out of the gate but finished the season. The strong goaltending of Catlin Sonier will be key to their success in the post-season.

The regular season champs, the South Side MacDonald's Excavation/

EF MacPhee Lynx (23-2-3), earned a first-round bye. The Lynx have the league’s top scorer, Rob Miller, and the league’s leading goalie, John Miller.

The eventual Island champion will represent P.E.I. at the Maritime-Hockey North Junior C Championships in Liverpool, N.S., March 26 to 30.

The full playoff schedule is available at PEIJuniorC.com.

Organizations: Down East Auto Parts Sabres, Summerside Source for Sports Capitals

Geographic location: P.E.I., Tignish, Slemon Park Liverpool

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