PORT HAWKESBURY: It was an emotional win for the Islanders.
The Cape Breton West Islanders downed the UPS South Shore Mustangs 6-5 on Sunday afternoon on the road. Head coach Nick MacNeil said the win was the first for his team in seven games.
“The team never gave up,” said the coach. “We talked before the game that [former Cape Breton West Islander player] Declan Smith’s mom passed away from cancer. We thought we’d dedicate that game to him and his family so it was definitely a big team win we’re glad to do it for him in those tough times.”
On Sunday, Islander Neil MacLean scored in the first two minutes to give his team the lead. The Mustangs scored two more before the period ended and added another in the second, before MacLean cut the lead to one goal. The Mustangs replied but Darren Waterman scored with less than two minutes left in the second period.
Matthew Raike was the first player on the board in the third, followed by Sam Grant, who gave the Islanders their first lead of the game. The Mustangs tied it up but Raike’s second goal of the game with 18 seconds to play was the eventual winner.
On Saturday, Lewis Taylor was the lone Islander goal scorer in a 2-1 loss.
Looking ahead, MacNeil said his team plans to keep moving forward.
“The guys have been in the dumps a little bit, especially after today,” he said. “We’ve lost a lot of one-goal games. Next week, we’re going to have a good practice and you’ve just got to keep being positive.
“We found a way to win today and it certinaly wasn’t easy at all,” he added. “But I think good teams know how to win those games and hopefully, we’re going to be one of those teams going forward.”
The Islanders take on the Weeks Major Midgets in Port Hood on Saturday before an away game in Pictou the next day. Puck drop on Saturday is 6 p.m.