Stretch drive: Charlottetown has six remaining regular season games

Jason Malloy
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Kameron Kielly

The Charlottetown Islanders are chasing points as they try to improve their standing heading into the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs.

The Isles host the Moncton Wildcats tonight at 7 p.m. and the Saint John Sea Dogs Sunday at 3 p.m.

"There's some possible playoff matchups and rivals, too, so we want to set the tone and, obviously, everyone wants to be rolling heading into the playoffs," assistant captain Kameron Kielly said before Friday's practice. "It's about playing the right way and kind of clicking at the right time."

Charlottetown defeated the Wildcats 1-0 on Feb. 21 in Moncton. Kielly said it was a playoff atmosphere and he expects a similar feel tonight with six games remaining before the post-season.

"It's not hard to get up for those ones — playing Moncton," Kielly said. "We're not the best of friends, but it will be fun."

One of the keys to beating Moncton is slowing down right-winger Conor Garland, who leads the league with 116 points (34 goals and 82 assists) in 55 games.

"You have to try to limit his chances and his looks," Isles head coach Jim Hulton said. "One of the keys to that is obviously stay out of the box. He's deadly with the extra man, like any of the top-end offensive guys."

Goalie Mason McDonald is expected to start both games this weekend.

The Islanders are healthy and Hulton said he shuffled the lines a bit during the Quebec road trip. The bench boss said he isn't married to specific units and the juggling could continue.

Hulton said he liked the way the team played during the road trip, despite winning one of the three games.

Kielly said the players know the playoffs are near.

"You can feel the excitement around the room," he said. "I think we're all looking forward to it and believe we can do something special."

Remaining games

A look at the Charlottetown Islanders remaining games

Tonight

7 p.m. - Moncton at Charlottetown.

Sunday

3 p.m. - Saint John at Charlottetown.

March 11

7:30 p.m. - Charlottetown at Saint John.

March 12

4 p.m. - Charlottetown at Halifax.

March 18

7 p.m. - Acadie-Bathurst at Charlottetown.

March 19

4 p.m. - Halifax at Charlottetown.

Organizations: Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Halifax, Islanders

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Moncton, Saint John Quebec

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