The Gananoque Islanders are trying to make the Provincial Junior C hockey playoffs for the first time in three years.
At the halfway point of the 2019-20 season, Brian Begbie’s club is in good shape.
They’re currently in second place in the Tod Division standings with 30 points. The Amherstview Jets are right behind with 29, followed by the Port Hope Panthers with 26.
The Picton Pirates are in fifth place with 18 points. The top four teams qualify for the post season.
The Napanee Raiders, the defending Ontario Schmaltz Cup champions, lead the way with 42.
“We’ve been consistent all season, and playing together as a team,” said Islanders defenceman Tim Morton.
The 20-year-old defenceman from Kingston joined the club in October from the Westport Rideaus, who play in the Ottawa-District Junior B league.
“We’re playing well and hope to continue our winning ways,” continued Morton.
“When we have a full roster we can beat anyone. We proved that last week when we upset Napanee 2-1 at the Strathcona Paper Centre, handing them their first loss of the season. The Raiders are a very good team. Beating them on their home ice certainly gave us a boost of confidence.
“Our goal is to make the playoffs and see what happens from there.”
Aiden Johnson is in his second season with the Islanders. The 18-year-old forward from Kingston says they can’t let up in their bid to qualify for the post season.
“Every game, every point is a big one,” said Johnson, a graduate of the Kingston Canadians AA minor hockey program.
“We lost to Campbellford last year and missed the playoffs by one point,” continued Johnson, who scored the winning goal last week against Napanee.
“We won’t let that happen again. I believe we have one of the best rosters in the league when everyone shows up. In fairness, we have a lot of players at Queen’s University and school comes first. We know that.
“We’ve also had some injuries, but despite that, we’ve still been able to hold on to second place in a very tough division.”
Some valuable points are at stake this weekend at the Lou Jeffries Arena in Gananoque. On Friday, the Islanders host the Amherstview Jets. Game time is 8.15 p.m.
On Sunday, the Napanee Raiders come to town for the first time this season. That game will start at 7 p.m.