2019 Playoffs Kick-Off Tonight for Isles and Eagles
68 games of gruelling, intense regular season hockey have all led to this. The 2019 Playoffs begin tonight for the Charlottetown Islanders, as they take on the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles in Game 1 tonight at the Eastlink Centre.
The Islanders earned home ice advantage in the final game of the regular season, defeating the Halifax Mooseheads 3-2 in the shootout in a fantastic come-from-behind victory. That victory was one of eight in the final ten games for Charlottetown, solidifying themselves as one of the hottest teams down the stretch.
Not to be outdone, the Screaming Eagles finished the season winners of three straight games and seven out of their final ten games. Two of their three losses came against Charlottetown in a back-to-back series at Centre 200 back on March 8th and 9th, in what ultimately turned out to be the difference in the standings.
These two teams have been neck-and-neck all year long. The Islanders won the season series with a record 5-3-0-1, but the total goals column read an even number, 26 apiece. Matthew Welsh was exceptional in goal throughout the nine-game series, starting all nine games and recording a .911 save percentage over the course of the season.
One player who shone above the rest for Cape Breton this season was Mitchell Balmas. The former Islander recorded career highs with 43 goals, 39 assists, and 82 points. The over-age forward has a dearth of playoff experience, having gone all the way last year to win a President's Cup and Memorial Cup with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
For the Islanders to be successful, the team says it needs to do what it's done all season long.
"We just need to stick to our game plan, like we've done all season." said forward Thomas Casey. "There's going to be bumps in the road; whether it's Game 1 or Game 7, every game has it's bumps. We just have to stick to our system of simple hockey and I think everything will fall in to place."
"We know our identity, and we know how we have to play if we want to win these games." said Isles defender and former Screaming Eagle Noah Laaouan. "The coaches have done a really good job of preparing us with the notes, the game plan, and the video that we need and will help us succeed."
Tickets are still available for all of the exciting action tonight! Head to the Eastlink Centre box office, by phone at 902-629-6625, or online at https://boxoffice.eastlinkcentrepei.com to snag your seats! Don't forget to wear white to the game, as we attempt to White-Out the Eastlink Centre!
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Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Stories from March 22, 2019
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- 2019 Playoffs Kick-Off Tonight for Isles and Eagles - Charlottetown Islanders
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