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What you need to know about COVID-19: August 7, 2020
Keith Getson has played almost 400 games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, but never in the league final.
That changes tonight when he and his Halifax Mooseheads play Game 1 against the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. Game time is 8 p.m. Atlantic.
“It’s definitely surreal now that the plane has landed and we're here,” Getson said Wednesday afternoon from Rouyn-Noranda, Que.
“There’s going to be a lot of emotions, and it’s going to be really motivating, but I’m really excited.”
Getson was a third-round pick of the Charlottetown Islanders in the 2014 draft. The Bridgewater, N.S., native played four and a half seasons in Charlottetown before a December deal sent him back to his home province with a chance to play for the Memorial Cup host squad.
Getson was a key contributor to Islanders teams that made it to the semifinals the past two seasons, including last year’s squad that lost Game 7 in Boisbriand, Que. The pain of that defeat helped fuel Getson all year.
“To actually be in the finals and have an opportunity to win a title, it’s unbelievable,” Getson said.
The Huskies were the regular season champs and added a couple of top players at the trade deadline in Acadie-Bathurst defenceman Noah Dobson, a Summerside native, and Blainville-Boisbriand forward Joel Teasdale.
“They have a really strong team, so we have to play a good fundamental game and stick to our system,” Getson said. “If we keep playing as a team, like I know we will, I think the sky’s the limit.”
The Mooseheads and Huskies have both already qualified for the Memorial Cup, which Halifax is hosting May 17-26. The Mooseheads were in a unique situation, knowing they were going to be playing in the Canadian Hockey League championship the whole season.
“Since I got traded to Halifax, we really haven’t talked that much about the Memorial Cup, it’s all been focusing on the President Cup,” Getson said.
The centre has had some of his best nights of this post-season in elimination games.
He had a goal and an assist in the Game 7 victory over Quebec in Round 1, a goal and an assist as Halifax swept Moncton in the second round before drawing an assist on Xavier Parent’s overtime winner in Game 6 of the semifinal with Drummondville on Sunday.
“We saw it the last two years in our playoff runs,” Islanders head coach Jim Hulton said. “It just seems that he thrives in the spotlight and the pressure of the playoffs . . .
“We all in Charlottetown knew what they were getting, but I think the rest of the league is starting to get an appreciation for just how good this guy is.”
He said it was a brutal decision to have to move Getson during the trade period. Getson had become a fan-favourite and was well-liked by team personnel, his billets and in the community.
“It lessens the pain a little bit when you’re sending a guy home and guaranteeing him (the opportunity to play in) the Memorial Cup. And, if anybody in our organization deserves it, it’s Keith.”
Getson said his time in Charlottetown enabled him to be a coveted player during his overage season. He said he learned a lot during his time in the organization and by playing with leaders like Ryan MacKinnon, Oliver Cooper, Ross Johnston and Kameron Kielly.
“They got me prepared for this,” he said.
Need to know
Who – A Halifax Mooseheads forward who started his major junior hockey career with the Charlottetown Islanders.
Personal – Getson is a 21-year-old Bridgewater, N.S., native. He is five-foot-11 and 195 pounds.
GP G A Pts.
68 29 27 56
17 6 6 12