Wild sweeps Islanders to punch ticket to Atlantic championship

Jason Simmonds newsroom@journalpioneer.com
Published on March 6, 2016

The Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild is headed to The Rock.

The Wild defeated the Charlottetown Robins Donuts Islanders 7-2 on Sunday afternoon to sweep the best-of-seven provincial major midget hockey championship series, and earn P.E.I.'s berth in the Atlantic major midget hockey championship tournament in St. John's, N.L., from March 31 to April 3.

"Winning a provincial championship is always fun, and is always going to be a great memory," said Wild defenceman Chris McQuaid, who was named the series MVP after recording four goals and three assists in the four games. "It is just a good bunch of guys to do it with."

The Wild, winners of 10 straight games, finished the regular season atop the New Brunswick/P.E.I. Major Midget Hockey League standings at 23-10-2.

"You hear stories all the time about teams being special, and we have that in this group right now," said Wild head coach Kyle Dunn. "Our guys love to come to the rink, compete and stick up for each other. 

"There's not one individual, and we got balance from all 20 guys. As a coach, I'm proud of this team."

The turning point of Game 4 at MacLauchlan Arena came just past the halfway mark of the second period. With the score tied 2-2, the Wild went on a 5-on-3 power play and scored twice 21 seconds apart for a 4-2 lead.

"Our power play struggled all series, but our guys didn't get frustrated and stuck with it," said Dunn.

McQuaid (2-2), Frank Fortin (2), Kyle Pinksen (1-2), Riley Gallant and Jack DesRoches scored for the Wild. Brodie MacArthur (3), T.J. Shea (3), Isaac Knox and Brendan Shea added assists.

Eddie Jenkins and Connor McGregor answered for the Islanders. 

The teams were tied 1-1 after one period, and Kensington led 4-2 after 40 minutes.

"A lot of credit goes to Kensington, a real solid team," said Islanders head coach Ryan Ramsay. "We knew going in we were the underdogs. 

"Looking back at Game 1 (a 2-1 Kensington win), it was probably our best game of the series. If that would have been a different outcome obviously the series may have turned a different way. 

"Credit to our guys for sticking with it and battling to the end. I'm really proud of our group."

After giving up just 14 shots in Game 3 on Saturday, the Wild limited the Islanders to just 11 against Luke Oliver in the series-clincher while peppering Islanders goaltender Cam Duffy with 57 shots. 

"The forwards helped the D throughout the series, and everybody was helping each other out," said third-year defenceman Lucas Beaulieu, 18. "It was a team effort."

Scores

Provincial major midget championship series:

Game 1: Charlottetown 1 at Kensington 2.

Game 2: Kensington 9 at Charlottetown 2.

Game 3: Charlottetown 0 at Kensington 5.

Game 4: Kensington 7 at Charlottetown 2.