Halifax proves tough in Islander home barn

Daniel Gillis presses hard at the net for the Islander cause.

  PORT HOOD: The Halifax McDonalds proved a little too much for the Cape Breton West Islanders last weekend, but Islander coach Nick MacNeil says he’s generally pleased with how his Major Midgets are shaping up.

  “Halifax was certainly a big test for everyone, but I’ve got 10 guys who are rookies on the team this year, and I like the way we’re competing,” he said. “We’re 2-4, but we’ve played some good teams.

  “Saturday’s effort was a little too undisciplined,” the coach said. “They’ll learn what playing like that costs the team. On Sunday, it was a little closer, and I was a little more impressed with that. The boys now know what the top level of the league looks like.”

  The Islanders were on home ice, but that didn’t stop Halifax from garnering two wins. Saturday night’s game was 7-3, and Sunday’s outing was 5-1.

  On Saturday, Brant Timmons, Cadyn Power, and Calvin Denny all scored for the Islanders in the final frame, with Power’s goal being on a man-advantage. However, catching McDonald’s was impossible. And to MacNeil’s point about dicipline, four of Halifax’s goals were on a man-advantage.

  Islander Kenzie MacPhail faced 46 shots, and Hali’s Sebastian Lever contended with only 28. Managing helpers for the Islanders were Luke Hadley, Dylan Chisholm, James Beaton, Dave Matthews, and Lowell MacDonald.

  On Sunday, Hadley (from Matthews and Beaton) had the only Islander goal, giving his crew a ray of light in the second period, following three Halifax goals. This time around, shots were even at 41-41 each, and the Isles had Adam Tkacz in net.

  “We got a lot of good kids on the team this year, and when we’re doing something, they’re listening,” the coach said. “They want to learn and get better, and I love that in a player. We like our team, and their attitudes have been great.

  “Positivity goes a long way.”

  Next weekend, the Cole Harbour Wolfpack (5-1-1) will be in Port Hood for a pair of games, Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at noon.