Game 4 takes place Thursday at MacLauchlan Arena
KENSINGTON – The Charlottetown Islanders are right back in the P.E.I. major midget hockey championship series.
The Islanders recorded a 6-3 road win on Wednesday night to cut the Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild lead to 2-1 in the best-of-seven set. The Islanders have an opportunity to even the series on home ice in Game 4 at MacLauchlan Arena on Thursday at 8 p.m.
“We needed this one,” Islanders head coach Jeff MacDonald said after Game 3. “This was our Game 7.
“The boys played really, really well. We got a lot of pucks in deep, rolled our lines the best we could. We are back in the series.”
Before an estimated 400 fans at Community Gardens, the Islanders built period leads of 3-1 and 6-1 while receiving a 45-save performance from goaltender Sam Walsh. Two goals in the first five minutes of the third period gave the Wild hope. MacDonald called a timeout following the Wild’s third goal at 4:36 of the third period, and had a simple message for his players.
“Basically, what we were saying was we got away from what got us to 6-1,” said MacDonald. “We started sitting back a little. We talked about how if I told any of them they would be up three (goals) with 15 minutes left in the game that they would all take it, and start moving forward. We did a pretty good job of responding to that.”
This was our Game 7. The boys played really, really well. We got a lot of pucks in deep, rolled our lines the best we could. We are back in the series. Jeff MacDonald, Islanders head coach
Jonathan Arsenault sparked the Islanders’ attack with two goals and an assist. Shawn Corney (1-1), Nick Currie, Cody McPhee and Nick Bouchey also dented the twine for the Islanders. Johnathon Larter added two assists.
For the Wild, Kyle Pinksen, Sam Jay and Abel Arsenault found the back of the net. Cole Hackett and Michael Evoy picked up assists.
Overall, the Wild outshot the Islanders 48-32, including period advantages of 16-10, 17-13 and 15-9. Wild starting goaltender Cameron Visser gave up five goals on 17 shots, and Bradley Shea stopped 14 of 15 over the final 27 minutes.
Referee Justin DesRoches called nine minors and one checking-from-behind game misconduct against the Islanders. The Wild picked up 11 minors.
The Islanders’ win guarantees there will be a Game 5 back in Kensington on Monday, March 10, at 7:30 p.m. The Wild won the first two games 9-2 and 7-4.
“For the first couple of games we were a little nervous and didn’t know what to expect,” said MacDonald. “As the series goes on guys start getting into it, and the intensity starts coming.
“We were backed into a corner tonight and could not go down 3-0.”