Pint-sized Whitecaps midfielder Cristian Techera back buzzing early in 2017
VANCOUVER — Cristian Techera had already scored in a game earlier this month when he made a crucial play that went largely unnoticed.
Charlottetown can score in bunches while Blainville-Boisbriand more of a defensive-minded team
Filip Chlapik, right, tries to spin away from defenceman Tyler MacArthur during Wednesday’s practice. Chalpik is tied with Daniel Sprong for the team lead with 14 points in eight games.
©Jason Malloy/The Guardian
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The Charlottetown Islanders and Blainville-Boisbriand Armada were among the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League best franchises during the regular season.
The Islanders finished with the second most wins while the Armada was tied for third. Now they will play each other with a spot in the league final on the line starting Friday in Charlottetown.
“It promises to be a terrific series with almost contrasting styles,” Islanders head coach Jim Hulton said. “We’re more built on offence and go-go-go and they’re more of a conservative, trap-type, defensive team.”
The Islanders led the league with 303 goals while allowing 214. The Armada allowed a league-low 171 goals while scoring 224. Blainville-Boisbriand sports the second-best power play (30 per cent) in the playoffs while the Islanders are No. 2 in the penalty kill (93 per cent).
“One of the big factors that’s going to play into the series is the four corners and the two net fronts,” Hulton said. “Both teams do a pretty good job of eliminating anything to the top in the defensive zone. We’re hoping that's where the grind mentality, that has to win you playoff games, comes to fruition with the third and fourth lines.”
The Islanders had Dillon Boucher skating with Keith Getson and Pascal Aquin at Wednesday’s practice while Matthew Grouchy was with Will Bower and Gregor MacLeod.
“I liked Dillon on that line,” Hulton said, noting it was put together in the second round after suspensions forced the coaching staff’s hands. “It’s a big, rugged, physical line.”
Chris Chaddock was skating with Kameron Kielly and Filip Chlapik with Adam Marsh having two games remaining in his three-game suspension.
Centre Francois Beauchemin will be back after serving his two-game suspension against Cape Breton.
“I’m excited,” the pivot said. “It’s time to play for me. I’m ready. I had a lot of rest, so it’ll be fun to play against Blainville.”
Hulton is never married to the lines and can put them through “the blender” if he is looking to shake things up.
The Islanders defeated the Armada 3-0 on Feb. 24 and March 4.
“I thought we really elevated our game in both times we played them,” Hulton said. “I thought we skated extremely well in those two games, but one of their big guns, (Alexandre) Alain, was out for both of those games.”
Alain is the older brother of Marc-Olivier Alain, the defenceman the Islanders drafted in the first round in June and traded to Gatineau in December.
A look at the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League semifinal between the Charlottetown Islanders and Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. All times are Atlantic.
Friday – Blainville-Boisbriand at Charlottetown, 7 p.m.
Saturday – Blainville-Boisbriand at Charlottetown, 7 p.m.
Tuesday – Charlottetown at Blainville-Boisbriand, 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday – Charlottetown at Blainville-Boisbriand, 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 29* – Blainville-Boisbriand at Charlottetown, 4 p.m.
Sunday, April 30* – Charlottetown at Blainville-Boisbriand, 5 p.m.
Tuesday, May 2* – Blainville-Boisbriand at Charlottetown, 7 p.m.
* If necessary