Islanders are ‘playoff ready'

Jason Malloy
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Charlottetown Islanders left-winger Filip Rydstrom provides the screen in front of Acadie-Bathurst Titan goalie Tanner Somers as Titan defenceman Mark Trickett watches a shot come directly at him.

Charlottetown goes into post-season on seven-game winning streak

There were times during the first half of the season Oliver Cooper thought his junior career would end without another post-season game.

“Going home at Christmas we were out of a playoff spot and things didn’t seem to be changing,” Cooper said. “It was definitely tough.”

The Islanders were 13-19-2-1 at the break.

Fast-forward three months and the Islanders have gone 22-7-3-1 to finish ninth in the 18-team Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

They will play the Rimouski Oceanic in the first round of the playoffs starting Friday in Rimouski, Que.

“It’s definitely exciting. It’s definitely a different atmosphere in that dressing room since Christmas,” Cooper said. “It’s fun to be apart of.”

The Islanders are one of the league’s hottest teams heading into the playoffs, having won seven straight contests.

“Everybody knows in our room we’re playoff ready,” said sophomore forward Keith Getson.

He scored twice in Saturday’s finale, a 5-2 win over Halifax, to give him six goals on the season.

Head coach Jim Hulton said Getson is such a team-first player the whole squad was excited for him. The coach gave him some shifts late in the game with the Islanders top offensive players in order to try and get him the hat trick.

“True to form he doesn't care,” Hulton said. “He’s sitting on two goals and what’s he do, he dives in front of a shot rather than try and cheat. That sums up what Gettsy is all about and hopefully what our team is all about.”

Hulton likes the way the team has played to close out the regular season.

“These last seven have all been tight-checking, low-scoring games and that’s what playoff hockey is all about,” he said. “The good part is we’ve got comfortable in these types of games.”

The team has also shown the ability to score five-on-five compared to earlier in the second half where it relied more on its power play to generate offence. The offence has also been spread around, making it harder for teams to concentrate on shutting down one line.

“Confidence is at a high right now,” said goalie Mason McDonald. “I think we have the team to win a championship.”

Hulton said McDonald has been as sharp as he’s seen him of late. McDonald said in the first half of the season he thought about his statistics and making the national junior team. Now it’s all about stopping the puck.

“Just playing hockey in the second half has been a lot easier.”

The Islanders first-round series will be a 2-2-1-1-1 format. If the two teams are 800 kilometres apart the format changes to 2-3-2 based on the league’s rules.


Playoff schedule (all times Atlantic)

Game 1 


8:30 p.m. - Charlottetown at Rimouski.

Game 2


5 p.m. - Charlottetown at Rimouski.

Game 3

Tuesday, March 29

7 p.m. - Rimouski at Charlottetown.

Game 4

Wednesday, March 30

7 p.m. - Rimouski at Charlottetown.

Game 5*

Friday, April 1

8:30 - Charlottetown at Rimouski.

Game 6*

Sunday, April 3

7 p.m - Rimouski at Charlottetown.

Game 7*

Tuesday, April 5

8:30 p.m. - Charlottetown at Rimouski

* If necessary

Organizations: Islanders, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Rimouski, Que, Halifax

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