CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The Charlottetown Islanders will make history today.
After months of planning and anticipation, the first-ever school day game in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League history goes down this morning when the Islanders host the rival Moncton Wildcats. Game time is 10 a.m. at Eastlink Centre.
"We're extremely excited that everything has come together seamlessly to this point,” said Isles president of operations Craig Foster. “It's going to be a fun event for everyone involved, from the staff pulling it off right down to the players and coaches on both sides.”
Thousands of elementary and junior high students from across Prince Edward Island will descend upon the rink for a matchup between two of the top teams in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL). The Wildcats (22-9-2-0) have been consistently ranked in CHL top 10 since October, while the Islanders (19-8-2-1) recently cracked the honourable mentions list this past week.
The Wildcats include Summerside sniper Jeremy McKenna, who is tied for second in league scoring with 54 points in 33 games in his third season in Moncton, and Cornwall’s Jordan Spence, who has 27 points in 33 games in his rookie season in the league.
Vice-president of sales and marketing Jason Maclean said today will be an opportunity for some young fans to witness their first-ever Islanders game.
“Some fans coming to this game may have never seen a hockey game before, let alone live hockey action,” he said. “What better way to introduce them to the sport than with fast-paced action in a unique setting.”
Islanders defenceman Hunter Drew said anticipation is building in the locker room.
“It's really exciting,” said the Anaheim Ducks draft pick. “I've never played in one before, I don't think most of the guys in the room have. It's going to be really loud, and we can't wait.”
Foster said the event wouldn’t have happened without sponsorship from the Delta Prince Edward, the City of Charlottetown, That Fun Place, ADL and the Charlottetown Mall.
“We'd also like to thank all of our season ticket holders that have graciously offered up their season tickets for that day,” he said. “You've all given children across the Island a chance at a fun morning of Charlottetown Islanders hockey.”