CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild is halfway home.
They also know it means nothing if they don’t complete the task in the Prince Edward Island major midget championship series with the Charlottetown Bulk Carriers Pride.
“From what you seen last year, I mean we were down 3-1 (and came back to win), so it’s not even close to being over,” Wild head coach Kyle Dunn said following Sunday night’s 6-2 victory at MacLauchlan Arena. “We take it, and enjoy it until midnight tonight, and then we’re right back to practice tomorrow.”
The Wild leads the best-of-seven series 2-0 with Game 3 slated for Saturday in Kensington.
“It’s huge for us,” Wild veteran Evan Gallant said of the victory. “Usually, we’ve had some pretty bad luck in this rink, but the boys were able to push through and (after) 60 minutes played we got a win.”
The Wild led 2-0 until Pride defenceman Ed MacNeill scored with 26.6 seconds left in the first period.
Gallant said it was important not to dwell on giving up the goal late in the first period.
“It’s a 2-1 game at that point, you just have to focus on the positives and not get too low or get too high,” he said. “It’s a long series.”
The home side carried the momentum into the start of the second before Gallant scored the winner 1:38 into the frame and added an insurance goal shorthanded at 14:12 to make it 4-1.
“There were a couple (times) there tonight, (where) we were playing well, we’re hemming them in and then a quick strike,” Pride head coach Luke Beck said. “They have good players that can find the back of the net and they did that tonight.”
Gallant’s first goal came off what he described as a lucky bounce.
“Coach has been nagging me to shoot more, so I just kind of took my shot and I guess he didn't see it,” Gallant said.
The shorthanded goal came after a Zac Arsenault hit in the neutral zone sprung Gallant and Marc Richard on an odd-man rush.
“It was huge for us,” Gallant said of the defenceman’s hit. “Banging bodies is what's going to help us win the series.”
Pride forward Nicholas Reeves scored with 57 seconds to play in the second period to make it 4-2 heading to the third, but it was as close as the Pride would get.
They pressed at times, but were unable to beat Wild goalie Caleb Coyle.
Beck said he liked how his team responded from Game 1 and, while disappointed with the outcome of Game 2, the message for his team after the game was to turn the page and get ready for Game 3.
“We’re not going to be able to tie the series up in one game, but . . . we’re not going to lay down, we’re not going to quit, we’re going to take the week to prepare,” he said. “We still believe in our group. They’ve shown resiliency all year.”
A look at Sunday’s Game 2 of the Prince Edward Island Major Midget Hockey Series between the Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild and the Charlottetown Bulk Carriers Pride at MacLauchlan Arena.
Wild – 6.
Pride – 2.
Wild – Colby MacArthur, Marc Richard, Evan Gallant 2, Frank Fortin and Chandler Wood.
Pride – Ed McNeill and Nicholas Reeves.
Wild – Ryan Richards 3, Zac Arsenault 2, Chase Gaudette, Dixon MacLeod, Carter Cahill, Chandler Wood, Marc Richard and Evan Gallant.
Pride – Connor McGregor 2 and Kennedy Gallant.
Wild – Caleb Coyle, 31 saves on 33 shots.
Pride – Ben Parent, 17 saves on 23 shots.
Attendance – 571.
Pride head coach Luke Beck said: “I thought our guys showed pretty good resilience in coming back from, obviously, a very tough defeat in Game 1. I thought we did a lot of things better tonight.”
Wild head coach Kyle Dunn said: “We know we have a long way to go and they’re not going to give us anything. We have to earn it and we have to be ready to go on Saturday.