Islanders look to finish QMJHL regular season strong

Jason Malloy
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Charlottetown Islanders listen to coach Gordie Dwyer during Thursday’s practice.

Charlottetown hosts Acadie-Bathurst Friday, Saint John Saturday

Being in the playoffs does not satisfy the Charlottetown Islanders.

The team clinched a playoff spot Wednesday night when the Saint John Sea Dogs lost to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

The Isles have two games remaining in the regular season, tonight against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan and Saturday with the Sea Dogs. Both games are 7 p.m. starts at the Eastlink Centre.

“They’re pretty huge” games, right-winger Robert Pelletier said before Thursday’s practice. “I know we found out that we were in the playoffs last night, but it does not stop there one bit.”

The Islanders (20-38-3-5) and Titan (21-39-4-2) are tied with 48 points and battling for the 14th of 16 playoff spots.

“We obviously want to get that win against them,” said Pelletier, who was traded by the Titan to Charlottetown at the trade deadline. “It’s going to be a huge game for us. We’re all . . . pumped up and ready to go.”

Coach Gordie Dwyer said his team is looking forward to competing in the playoffs, but its focus is finishing strong.

“There’s still some unfinished business,” he said. “We’ve been in this playoff push for the last couple of weeks and the guys have responded well and played hard.”

Both teams struggled for a month starting in mid-January. The Titan was winless in 13 games while the Islanders were winless in 12.

Dwyer said it took a while for the new players, acquired during the trade period, to find their way and the team had to adjust its systems to the new makeup of the team.

“We had to change a lot of how we had to play to be successful,” Dwyer said.

He credited the players for continuing to work hard and pointed to players like Pelletier, left-winger Julien Avon and defenceman David Henley as a few who have found their roles and are making consistent contributions for the squad.

“We’ve really come a long way. As a team we’ve stuck together and we’ve really grown as a family,” Pelletier said. “We’re jelling at the perfect time.”

Dwyer said the Titan had some veteran firepower in guys like Matthew Boudreau, Scott Oke, Alexandros Soumakis and Raphael Lafontaine and a veteran netminder in Jacob Brennan.

Centre Nathan Yetman said it is important to finish strong and take the confidence into the playoffs. While he said they are both attainable victories, they will be “hard-fought games.”

Yetman and defenceman Kevin Laliberte are the longest serving members of the Islanders franchise. Yetman said he is pleased with how the team has played and excited about the present and the future.

“We’ve been definitely playing playoff hockey,” he said, noting the franchise is heading in the right direction. “I’m happy I can be part of it.”

Shawinigan, Saint John and Sherbrooke are battling for the final playoff spot.

 

 

A look at tonight’s QMJHL game between the Charlottetown Islanders at the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

When – 7 p.m.

Where – Eastlink Centre

Records

Titan – 21-39-4-2.

Islanders – 20-38-3-5.

Head-to-head meetings

Nov. 7

Islanders 5 Titan 3

Nov. 10

Titan 5 Islanders 2

Dec. 4

Islanders 2 Titan 3

Dec. 28

Titan 0 Islanders 4

Dec. 29

Islanders 0 Titan 4

Jan. 12

Titan 2 Islanders 1

March 1

Islanders 2 Titan 3 SO

March 4

Titan 1 Islanders 3

Top scorers

Titan

Player    GP    G    A    Pts.

M. Boudreau    56    15    29    44

S. Oke    66    17    22    39

A. Soumakis    61    18    19    37

R. Lafontaine    51    13    17    30

C. Boivin    64    12    17    29

G. Brisebois    59    3    15    18

Islanders

D. Sprong    65    28    38    66

A. Goulet    64    26    20    46

A. Cortese    66    8    23    31

S. Cobbold    50    14    16    30

K. Kielly    64    10    20    30

T. Vance    57    8    20    28

Goalies

Titan

Player    GP    GAA    S%

J. Brennan    53    3.48    .894

M. Sullivan    11    4.08    .900

Islanders

M. McDonald    28    3.50    .898

E. Brassard    31    3.57    .900

 

Following are the winners of the Charlottetown Islanders’ annual fan choice awards

Red Shores Volunteer of the Year – George Lidstone.

Fair Isle Ford Most Dedicated Employee – Andrew (Spider) MacNeil.

Morton Dew Rookie of the Year (voted by the fans) – Daniel Sprong.

Moore Well Drilling Offensive Player of the Year (voted by the fans) – Daniel Sprong.

E-Accounting Defensive Player of the Year (voted by the fans) – Craig MacLauchlan.

Ocean 100 Most Dedicated Player (voted by the fans) – Nathan Yetman.

UPEI Scholastic Player of the Year – Craig MacLauchlan.

Mayor’s Choice for Community Involvement – Mike DiPaolo.

Dunne Consulting Hardest Worker (voted by the fans) – Spenser Cobbold.

Eastlink Fan Favourite (voted by the fans) – Kameron Kielly.

Maritime Electric Perseverance Award – Alexandre Goulet.

The MooseLight Most Valueable Player – Daniel Sprong.

 

 

Organizations: Islanders

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Saint John, Shawinigan

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