Charlottetown Islanders hockey team on a hot streak

·3 min read
The Islanders currently sit at the top of the QMJHL. The team has 151 goals this season — also making them the top scoring team in the league. (Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit)
The Islanders currently sit at the top of the QMJHL. The team has 151 goals this season — also making them the top scoring team in the league. (Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit)

The Charlottetown Islanders are on a 12-game winning streak, and have 27 wins and just four losses this season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

The Islanders currently sit at the top of the QMJHL. The team has 151 goals this season, also making them the top scoring team in the league.

"To go on a run like that, every player on the team has been contributing. We've been having some good practices. It's good to see success," says Lukas Cormier, who plays defence with the team and sits at 42 points in 30 games played.

"I think any time you're 27-4 it feels pretty damn good. Those of us that have been through rebuilds and different things, you take it as it is," said Jim Hulton, head coach and general manager for the team.

Since November the Islanders have been limited to playing just Cape Breton and Halifax, over and over.
Since November the Islanders have been limited to playing just Cape Breton and Halifax, over and over.(Steve Bruce/CBC)

"We can't control what the schedule is, we can't control who we're playing, we can only control our individual performance," Hulton said.

"That's been a big focal point of this group, and they've done a great job. I wouldn't want to see anything take away from what this group has done."

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All the success comes with a caveat, though.

With travel to Quebec off limits in the pandemic, the Islanders have faced off against only Maritime teams all season.

There's not a lot of normal about anything right now. — Jim Hulton, Islanders coach

The teams the Islanders could play were further limited in November, when New Brunswick was hit with a COVID-19 outbreak. Since then the Islanders have been limited to playing just Cape Breton and Halifax — over and over.

"We're doing the best under the parameters that we were given, and I think hopefully we get into a full playoff and that we can continue to play well and and get that opportunity to go head to head against those teams," Hulton said.

"I'd certainly like to challenge yourselves against the best of the league has to offer. But what we've all found out is this ... there's not a lot of normal about anything right now."

'Big sacrifice' to play hockey

The league's aim is to get all Maritime teams playing one other soon and to eventually have a full playoffs that will include games against Quebec teams, Hulton said.

The Islanders next game is at home, at the Eastlink Centre, against Halifax on Saturday — but seating is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The Islanders next game is at home, at the Eastlink Centre, against Halifax on Saturday — but seating is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.(Steve Bruce/CBC)

His other hope for the Islanders is that with the Atlantic bubble set to open back up in a few weeks they'll be able to travel for games, without having to work-isolate — spending all their time at home or the rink.

The Islanders are the only team in the league facing those restrictions.

"I think we're at day 53 now. So it's a fair share of time to be in isolation. But it's what we've got to do to play the game we love," said Thomas Casey, left winger for the team, who's racked up 60 points in 31 games.

Hulton said isolating and having to deal with COVID-19 restrictions all just makes his team's performance this season more impressive — but he hopes isolation requirements end soon.

"It's very difficult on the players and as the weather warms up, it's getting even harder. It's a lot to ask. It's a big, big sacrifice in order to play hockey," he said.

The Islanders next game is at home at the Eastlink Centre against Halifax on Saturday — with seating limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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