KENSINGTON – The Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild is looking to open up some breathing room while closing the gap at the same time.
A big four points are at stake as the Wild plays back-to-back games in the New Brunswick/P.E.I. Major Midget Hockey League this weekend.
The Wild sits in second place at 12-5-1 (won-lost-overtime losses), three points ahead of the third-place Saint John Vitos (11-7-0), who visit Community Gardens on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
The Wild, who trails the league-leading Moncton Flyers (14-4-1) by four points, hits the road to face the Fredericton Caps (6-11-0) on Sunday afternoon.
“A couple of big wins this week will be huge,” added Wild forward Colby MacArthur, a 16-year-old Grade 10 student at Three Oaks Senior High School in Summerside.
The Wild, who sports an 8-1 regular-season record on Community Gardens ice, enters weekend play having won three games in a row, and four of their last five.
“We are on a roll right now and have a lot of confidence, but they are a good team also,” said MacArthur. “It’s a big game (against Saint John).”
One statistic that pleases the Wild coaching staff is the team has allowed just two goals in their last four wins.
“We are focusing on our own zone,” said Wild head coach Kyle Dunn. “When we get our chances we are going to put it in, but good teams are going to put the puck in the back of the net, so we have to focus on our D zone and we can’t give them too many opportunities.”
The recently-formed line of MacArthur, Ryan Richards and team-leading scorer Frank Fortin combined for 20 points in last weekend’s victories over the Northern Moose (5-9-3) and Fredericton.
“Those guys are playing with a lot of confidence, and are having fun at practice,” said Dunn. “We are leaning on them heavily, and hopefully they can continue keeping it going.”
MacArthur, who has eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points in 18 regular-season contests after registering seven points in last week’s two games, offered his thoughts on the new line combination: “We have a lot of chemistry. We see the ice well, we cycle well in the corners and we have a lot of confidence right now.”
Dunn said Caleb Coyle will get the start between the pipes against Saint John, and Chad Arsenault is scheduled to play versus Fredericton.
Saturday will be the Wild’s final home game until their annual Boxing Day clash against provincial rival Charlottetown Bulk Carriers Pride (5-10-2) at 7:30 p.m.
In the community
A look at recent community involvement by Kensington Wild:
The Wild will be collecting toys at Saturday’s game for the second week in a row. The toys will be handed over to the Malpeque Bay Credit Union for distribution to those less fortunate at Christmas.
As part of the Wild Gives Back program, where players volunteer with local organizations and charities, team members have been busy recently. For example:
Team members from West Prince recently assisted with a minor hockey practice in Tignish.
A group of players recently worked with the North River Fire Department.
Players are also assisting with Christmas gift-wrapping at the County Fair Mall in aid of the Prince County Hospital.