PORT HOOD: It was an effort that saw the Cape Breton West Islanders force the Dartmouth Major Midgets to a rubber match last Monday night. However, Dartmouth will advance to Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League championship.
This marks the end of the road for the Cape Breton West Islanders in terms of the 2017-18 season. The Islanders, coming off a 2016-17 season that saw them win not only the Nova Scotia provincial banner but also the Atlantic championship and Telus Cup, had a great regular season.
The guys finished the season at 26-6-1-3, good for third place in the league. Dartmouth took second place (beating out the Islanders by three points) and Halifax finished first (topping the Islanders by four).
The Islanders also had a season highlight when they won the East Coast Ice Jam banner.
In game five, Matthew Raike (from Malcolm MacEachern and Dell Welton) scored the lone Islander goal in a 4-1 final. Islander goalie Ewan MacDonald faced 30 shots. As a result, Dartmouth won the series 3-2.
Last weekend, the Islanders hosted Dartmouth for games three and four. On Saturday, the Islanders pulled a big 4-1 win. On Sunday, Dartmouth was in the driver’s seat with a 5-3 final.
On Saturday, Stephen Fox scored the game winner at 7:51 of the second period. Fox also had an assist before all was said and done.
Also having a big game for the Islanders were Sean Stewart, with a goal and an assist; Draper MacLean, two helpers; MacEachern and Chase Ellis, a goal each; and Darren Waterman, Fearghus MacDonald, Sam Grant, and Luke Hadley, all of whom had assists.
The second period saw Dartmouth’s Isaac Chapman take advantage of a man-advantage to beat Islander goalie MacDonald. It was the only goal MacDonald allowed all game, as he faced 34 shots and managed a very impressing .971 save percentage.
On Sunday, the bulk of the action took place in the second period, after Dartmouth managed a 1-0 lead at the end of 20 minutes. The visitors managed three goals in the second and the Islanders put the puck in the net twice, leading to a 4-2 score going into the third.
Both teams added a third period goal, resulting in a 5-3 final.
Fox (from Stewart and Jack Morris) and MacEachern (from Welton and Grant) had the second period goals. In the third, Fearghus MacDonald (from Morris and Calum MacPherson) scored for the Islanders.
All Islander goals were on a power play, and three of Dartmouth’s five came from special teams – twice on power plays and once shorthanded.
MacDonald was in net for the Islanders once again. The Islanders outshot Dartmouth 42-40.