MONTAGUE – It’s been quite a 72-hour period for the Prince County Warriors.
The O’Leary-based team staved off elimination on back-to-back nights, and then – playing their third game in as many days and fifth in six days – opened the best-of-five P.E.I. Major Bantam AAA Hockey League final series with a 5-1 road victory over the Central Attack on Wednesday evening. The date for Game 2 has not yet been announced.
The Warriors trailed the Eastern Express 2-1 in the best-of-five semifinal series, but staved off elimination with a 3-0 win in Game 4 in O’Leary on Monday night. Prince County then scored a 4-2 victory in Montague in the deciding fifth game on Tuesday night, and showed no signs of a letdown in a solid win over the first-place Attack, who swept the Mid-Isle Matrix in the other semifinal series.
Warriors 5 Attack 1
At Simmons Sports Centre in Charlottetown, Donovan Arsenault netted a hat trick and added an assist for a four-point night in Game 1. Sam Hackett contributed a goal and an assist while Mike McRae chipped in with a single goal. Ethan Reilly, Garrett Culleton, Frederick Morency, Will Smith and winning goaltender Aiden Williams, who has allowed just three goals in the Warriors’ last three games, contributed assists.
Matt McQuaid, assisted by Lukas Skinner and John MacKinnon, netted the lone marker for the Attack.
Special teams played a big role as the Warriors connected for three power-play goals. Overall, Prince County was assessed just one minor penalty while the Attack received two minor penalties and one double minor for head contact.
There was no scoring in the first period, and the Warriors took a 3-1 lead into the final frame.
AJ Cooper tended goal for the Attack.
Warriors 4 Express 2
At the Cavendish Farms Wellness Centre, Reilly scored two goals while Arsenault and Liam Greenan each added singles to account for the Warriors’ scoring in Game 5. Culleton, Max Chisholm and Cody McCormack chipped in with single assists.
Jack Campbell (1-1), on a penalty shot, and Gabe Hartlen countered for the Express. Seth MacLeod added an assist.
The Warriors led 2-1 after the opening period, and extended that margin to 4-1 heading into the final frame.
Williams, who recorded the shutout in a 3-0 win in Game 4 on Monday night, earned the goaltending win while Drew Chapman tended goal for the Express.
Each team was assessed three minor penalties and one double minor for head contact.
P.E.I. Major Bantam AAA Hockey League Semifinals:
Prince County Warriors vs. Eastern Express
Tuesday, Feb. 27
Game 1: Warriors 4 at Express 2.
Friday, March 3
Game 2: Express 6 at Warriors 5.
Saturday, March 4
Game 3: Warriors 1 at Express 5.
Monday, March 6
Game 4: Express 0 at Warriors 3.
Tuesday, March 7
Game 5: Warriors 4 at Express 2.
Central Attack vs. Mid-Isle Matrix
Wednesday, Feb. 28
Game 1: Matrix 1 at Attack 3.
Thursday, March 1
Game 2: Attack 5 at Matrix 4 (OT).
Saturday, March 4
Game 3: Matrix 0 at Attack 6.