© Guardian Photo By Jason Malloy
Charlottetown Islanders forward Josh Shatford and his teammates skate during the warm up of Monday’s practice.
The Charlottetown Islanders believe they can still win the first-round series with the Halifax Mooseheads.
The Islanders host the defending Memorial Cup champs tonight and Wednesday after losing the first two games of the best-of-seven series in Halifax. Game time is 7 p.m. at Eastlink Centre.
“You’re never in trouble until you lose at home,” Zach Beaton said before Monday’s practice. “We’re not in trouble yet, I don’t think. We keep battling and hopefully get two (wins) here at home and see how it goes from there.”
The left-winger from Stratford said there is plenty of fight and pride left inside the dressing room.
“We’re a team that’s not going to give up until the final buzzer,” he said.
The Islanders have been outscored 13-4 with the Mooseheads scoring eight power-play goals.
Islanders defenceman Troy Vance said the team needed to stick to its system.
“Not much needs to change,” he said.
“Penalties have definitely hurt us in the last couple (of games), but if we stay out of the box, I think the score will show that the game is a lot closer that it seems.”
Coach Gordie Dwyer said there were many positives to take out of the first two games, but the Islanders have to be more disciplined while continuing to play physical and aggressive.
“I like the fact we’re ready to battle, we’re ready to compete and we’re ready to stand up for each other,” he said. “We’re looking forward to getting back to home ice and make a series out of it.”
Dwyer said there are some players dealing with injuries and they would be game-time decisions. The Islanders have added Thomas Stavert and Malik Johnson from the Summerside Western Capitals.
Dwyer wouldn’t divulge who his starting goalie would be for tonight’s game. Halifax’s Brandon Vuic will serve a one-game suspension tonight.