© Jason Malloy/The Guardian
Charlottetown Islanders centre Filip Rydstrom flips the puck past goalie Matthew Welsh while falling during Thursday's practice.
Jim Hulton wants his players to narrow their focus.
The Charlottetown Islanders play their final game before the Christmas break tonight at 7 p.m. at the Eastlink Centre against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
"It's only human nature that everybody is looking forward to a Christmas break. Whether you've had a great first half or a so-so first half, everybody wants to get home to their family," Hulton said. "We just have to keep our focus for 60 minutes and end on a good note."
Captain Quinn O'Brien said everybody is looking forward to time with the friends and family.
"But at the same time there's still work to be done," he said.
The other issue at play is the pending trade window, which opens in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League on Saturday and closes on Jan. 6.
Hulton said part of learning at the major junior level is being able to park distraction.
"Lets not worry about what's going to happen tomorrow, what happened yesterday, just worry about today," he said.
O'Brien was the Islanders key addition last season when he was acquired from Rouyn-Noranda for 16-year-old Anthony Wojcik.
After two-and-a-half seasons with the Huskies, O'Brien is in his first full year with the Isles. He said it has been an up-and-down year.
"I haven't necessarily played offensively the way I had hoped," he said.
The Islanders didn't acquire O'Brien with the idea he'd fill the net. They were looking for a hard-working, big body forward, who could provide leadership to a young team.
"Quinn is everything we thought he would be when we acquired him," general manager Grant Sonier said.
The Islanders are hoping to build on last weekend's games. While they only earned two of a possible six points, Hulton was pleased with the team's play.
"The things we can control - our effort, our energy, our work ethic - has been much, much improved, I think, in the last five or six games," he said.
The Islanders (13-18-2-1) play a Titan (12-19-2-1) team that defeated them 2-1 on Sunday as Charlottetown completed its first three game in three night stretch.
"It's been a tight battle all season with this team with a lot of close games," Hulton said. "It's developed into a fun little rivalry."
Goalie Matthew Welsh gets the start tonight with Daniel Vautour backing him up. Keith Getson remains out of the lineup for personal reasons while centre Filip Chlapik and goalie Mason McDonald are at the Czech Republi and Canadian world junior camps.
Head to head
A look at the season matchup between the Charlottetown Islanders and the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
Charlottetown 2 at Acadie-Bathurst 6
Acadie-Bathurst 3 at Charlottetown 4 OT
Charlottetown 3 at Acadie-Bathurst 2
Acadie-Bathurst 3 at Charlottetown 2
Charlottetown 1 at Acadie-Bathurst 2
Acadie-Bathurst at Charlottetown, 7 p.m.