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Getson is Charlottetown Islanders ironman


Bridgewater, N.S., native enjoying his fifth season with QMJHL club

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Keith Getson answers the bell every time the Charlottetown Islanders play.

He hasn’t missed a contest since Dec. 17, 2016, in Saint John, N.B., when an upper-body injury sidelined him. He played his 135th consecutive contest Friday in Saint John and is the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League squad’s ironman.

“It means a lot to me because I am fortunate to stay away from injury,” the 20-year-old Bridgewater, N.S., native said Friday while noting he was not aware of the streak’s length. “It’s not one of those things that you think of all the time. You just kind of get prepared every day and get ready to go and play for your team. Obviously, there’s been a lot of bumps and bruises along the way, but I love getting dressed up and playing for my team every day.”

It is even more remarkable when considering the way Getson plays. He doesn’t shy away from the physical side of the game and is willing to lay down in front of an opposing players blast in order to block a shot.

“I love to get into the dirty areas, and that’s my game,” the assistant captain said. “I can’t shy away from that stuff. I have to be in those areas to be good. At the same time, I have to be smart, too.”

Associate coach Guy Girouard’s office is right next to trainer Kevin Elliott’s office at the Eastlink Centre.

“He’s never in there,” Girouard said. “And it’s almost like he feels bad if he has to go in there and ask for even a Band-Aid. He’s just that kind of kid.”

The consecutive game streak would stretch even further back, but he was handed a six-game suspension for a check from behind in the Islanders final playoff game with Shawinigan in April 2016. He also has suited up for 53 straight playoff games since he entered the league as a rookie.

Getson is a complete player. He scores goals, defends against other team’s top players, plays on both special team units and has won 57 per cent of his 631 faceoffs this season to be among the league leaders.

“He has become the go-to guy for any situation, whether we need a goal or we’re up a goal and trying to defend a lead or kill a big penalty,” said Girouard. “He’ll throw his body in front of a shot. He’ll do whatever it takes to get the points for the team. He’s just the ultimate Islander player.”

His value to the organization is immense. It includes what he does on the ice but also his leadership in the dressing room and willingness to help out in the community. Girouard said he hasn’t heard Getson say no when asked to represent the team at a function.

“I’m not sure it’s in his vocabulary,” he said.

Getson is in his fifth and final season of junior hockey. He was drafted by the Islanders and has played his entire career here.

He said the first couple of months of this season went by slow, but it has picked up rapidly heading towards 2019.

“November absolutely flew by,” he said. “It’s been a quick month-and-a-half here. I don't really want it to go by fast, but I know it’s going to.”

The Islanders play their final game before the Christmas break today at 7 p.m. in Halifax.

“I always get up for that game,” Getson said. “There’s always a bunch of friends and family there cheering me on, supporting me.”

Getson knows the trade period opens on Sunday and teams could look to add him, but he said he will concentrate on his play and let the business side of the sport take care of itself.

“At the end of the day, there’s going to be rumours,” he said. “You just kind of got to push them to the side and just worry about the games and let the business side take care of itself.”

Getson would be a hot commodity if he becomes available during the trade period. He’s got playoff experience, is a team leader and can fill a variety of roles.

Entering the trade period, the Islanders are open to either add or move a player, if the deal is right for the franchise. Girouard said there has been interest in his team’s veteran pivot.

The team’s staff, including head coach and general manager Jim Hulton – who is in British Columbia with Team Canada preparing for the world junior tournament – will have a conference call this weekend to prepare for what presents itself during the start of the trade period.

Girouard said Friday there were no deals close to being finalized.

“It’s not something that we’re going to rush into. These our big decisions,” Girouard said. “We want to make sure we’re looking after the present as well as the future of the organization.”


Records

A look at where Keith Getson sat in the Charlottetown Islanders, Montreal/P.E.I. Rocket franchise history books before Friday’s contest:

Regular season

Games

Third – 284. Pierre-Andre Bureau leads the franchise with 346, and Ben Duffy (334) is second.

Goals

20th – 56. Duffy leads with 139.

Game-winning goals

20th – 7. Duffy and David Laliberte lead the way with 18.

Shorthanded goals

Tied for eighth – 5. Josh Currie leads the way with 14.

Game-winning goals on the road

Tied for first – 3.

Assists

20th – 78. Duffy leads the way with 202.

Points

Tied for 21st – 134. Duffy leads with 341.


Playoffs

Games

First – 53. Pierre-Olivier Joseph is second with 43.

Goals

Third – 15. Sprong leads with 24.

Overtime goals

Tied for first – 1.

Game-winning goals

First – 6. Kameron Kielly is second with five.

Assists

22nd – 8. Sprong leads with 27.

Points

Sixth – 23. Sprong leads with 51.

Goals in one playoff

First – 10 in 2017-18. Cory Urquhart and Sprong are tied for second with nine.


Career statistics

Season           GP       G         A         Pts.

2014-15           63        1          9          10

2015-16           61        6          6          12

2016-17           61        17        17        34

2017-18           68        20        29        49

2018-19           31        12        17        29

Did you know? Getson’s 360 faceoff wins were fourth in the league before Friday’s games.

Associate coach and assistant general manager Guy Girouard said: “When you think of Keith Getson, you think of the identity of the Charlottetown Islanders. He’s been here his whole career. He’s been a workhorse – not always in the spotlight with the way he plays – but very much appreciated in the coaches’ office and within the four walls of the dressing room.”

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