KENSINGTON — The Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild has moved to within one win of the P.E.I. major midget hockey championship.
The Wild scored four unanswered third-period goals to double the Charlottetown Mark’s Work Wearhouse Islanders 6-3 on Monday night, and take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
“That’s a character win,” said Wild head coach Mark Carragher. “We fell down early and then fell down 3-2 in the third (period) and battled back. The guys stuck with it.”
A win in Game 6 at MacLauchlan Arena on Wednesday night will give the Wild P.E.I.’s berth in the Atlantic major midget hockey championship in New Glasgow, N.S., from April 3 to 6. Meanwhile, the Islanders will be looking to force a deciding Game 7 back in Kensington on Saturday evening.
Before a near capacity crowd at Community Gardens, the teams were tied 1-1 after one period and 2-2 following 40 minutes.
Alex Hambly finished off a two-on-one at 6:13 of the third period to give the Islanders their second lead of the night, 3-2.
However, the Wild came right back as Colton Chiasson tied the game at 7:48.
“If you get the puck on Colton’s stick, he is usually going to put it in,” said Carragher. “He (Chiasson) made no mistake there, and it was a big goal.”
Cole Hackett scored what proved to be the game-winning goal less than two minutes later at 9:18. Hackett and his linemates, Max Morrison and Kyle Pinksen, were finally rewarded for some outstanding work down low after the Wild had been applying heavy pressure.
“The puck came to my stick and I was in the high slot,” explained Hackett. “I saw the open lane, took a shot and it hit the back of the net.
“It was the best feeling I have had this year so far.”
Morrison (16:16) and Spencer Sherren (19:41), with an empty-net goal, added late insurance goals.
“We finally got a few bounces in the third period on our stick, and we buried our chances,” said Carragher.
Hackett, who is from Tignish, credited Wild captain Abel Arsenault of Abram-Village with keeping everyone focused when the Islanders took the third-period lead.
“Our captain was a huge part of it,” said Hackett. “He (Arsenault) is really good at getting us going and getting us fired up.”
The Islanders opened the scoring on a power play at 15:03 of the first period as Jonathan Arsenault tipped in a point shot. The Wild tied the game with 17 seconds to go before the first intermission as Sam Jay snapped the puck over the right shoulder of Islanders goaltender Sam Walsh.
The Wild took their first lead of the game at 5:05 of the second period. Campbell Gallant showed great patience as he made no mistake roofing a rebound over Walsh, who was down and out on the play. That goal came with three seconds remaining in a Wild power play.
The Islanders answered back with a power-play goal by Sebastien Cormier, who fired a hard low shot from the left point through the legs of Wild goaltender Cameron Visser.
Pinksen finished with three assists to lead the
Wild in points while other helpers went to Gallant, Jay, Sherren, Hackett, Arsenault, Bailey Webster and Jesse Annear.
“We battled hard and when we were down we never stopped,” said Pinksen, who is from Kensington. “We worked hard no matter what, and we wanted it.”
Cody McPhee (2), Arsenault, Johnathon Larter and Jordan McCabe assisted for Charlottetown.
Overall, the Wild outshot the Islanders 50-36.
Referee Jackson Doughart called four minors and one checking-from-behind game misconduct against the Islanders. The Wild picked up five minors.