The Islanders have been a gritty side in local roller hockey. So far the squad is atop the pack at Kings Sports Centre.
Heading into week four of the Logic Adult Roller Hockey League, the orange warriors are in first place. The team boasts a 2-1 record, the most goals scored (24) and the least goals allowed (14).
Personnel-wise the squad enjoyed stellar outings from the likes of goalie Scott Hughes (a league-best .774 save percentage) and Pete Holowchuk (the league’s leading scorer with 10 points). Defenceman Brendon Malice states the early success is due to hustle.
“We show a lot of hustle out there,” Malice said. “It’s a sign of things to come.”
Offence has been a strong suit for the Islanders, with three players in the top six in scoring. In addition to Holowchuk, there is teenage sensation Jean-Louis Beaudet (six goals, three assists and nine points) and second year player Rob Rintoul (four goals, three assists, seven points).
All were major factors in the Islanders’ signature victory, a 10-4 thrashing of the MEPCO High Rollers. Holowchuk had three assists and a goal, Beaudet had two assists and a goal and Rintoul had four goals.
Malice, who had three assists and a goal of his own, states the match was more about the rookie players stepping up.
“It was one of the best games we’ve ever played. Everyone chipped in. We came out and played hard. Brad Kirby is one of our new guys and he gave great effort. Scott, our goalie did well to give up only two goals.”
The Islanders have quite a few newcomers. Kirby has been an impact player so far with four goals while Ken Ritchie has chipped in two assists. All will be needed to maintain a two-game win streak against the Legendz Longhorns, currently bottom of the table at 1-2. The two teams face off at 9pm on Tuesday, 18 October.
Legendz have had their issues. The side has scored a league-low 12 goals while allowing a league-high 22 goals. Stats-wise goalie Jeremy Olynik has been OK with a .628 save percentage and versatile skater Jason Windsor has started well (four goals, six points). The biggest stumbling block might be the slow start from top scorer and team captain Brad Galbraith (one assist).
Nevertheless the Longhorns will look to repeat recent history as the side beat the Islanders 7-6 in the season opener.