Islanders striving for a solid 60

Jason Malloy
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Charlottetown has been very good at moments, but struggled at other times

The Charlottetown Islanders are trying to eliminate wild swings of momentum heading into the stretch drive.

The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Islanders have witnessed leads disappear quickly in recent weeks.

It includes a 7-6 win Friday against the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles where the Isles led 5-1 with 19 minutes to play, only to trail 6-5 nine minutes later.

There's been a 5-4 overtime win with the Saint John Sea Dogs and an 8-7 overtime loss to the Sea Dogs.

The Islanders (23-23-5-2) travel to the Port City tonight to play the Sea Dogs (32-14-4-0) at 7 p.m.

"The last couple games against Saint John, we've had real good moments and we've had moments we've gone off the tracks," head coach Jim Hulton said Tuesday. "We have to continue to strive to play a consistent, solid 60 minutes."

The coaching staff is looking for answers, said Hulton,including his own bench management, to see if there is a solution to help address the issue. The coaching staff has reviewed game tapes, but there's no smoking gun.

"Safe to say there's no real easy answers, but I think we have to keep searching for it," Hulton said. "It hasn't been as simple as pinpointing it down to one or two things."

Sometimes it's discipline, other times it's sitting back while the team has tried to complete risky plays at other moments.

The team, which has 15 games remaining in the regular season, wants to build on its past experience to become battle-tested for the post-season.

"Everything we do here, we're trying to gauge it to being playoff ready," Hulton said.

NOTES... Mason McDonald gets the start tonight... Captain Oliver Cooper remains on a line with Daniel Sprong and Filip Chlapik. Hulton said he liked what Cooper brought to the unit, giving them a big body to cycle the puck down low. Moving Mitchell Balmas onto the Filip Rydstrom-Bradley Kennedy line also provided increased speed to the unit... Defenceman Dexter Weber made his return to the Isles blue-line on Friday after dealing with an upper-body injury. Luc Deschenes missed both of last weekend's games after colliding with a teammate in a pre-game skate Friday in Sydney, N.S. The defenceman is day-to-day with an upper body injury. He skated on Tuesday and is questionable for tonight.

Organizations: Islanders, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, Saint John Sydney

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