In-state rivals Maine Moose and Maine Wild will meet again in two home-and-home tilts, and the Cape Cod Islanders will host the Syracuse Stampede for the first time this season in this weekend’s Northern States Junior Hockey League
But first, on Friday, the Maine Moose will travel to Salem, N.H. to face the Junior Mariners at Salem Icenter.
“We will be having a busy weekend with three games,” said Moose Interim Head Coach Bill Desmaris. “The Moose are heading into the weekend with top leading scorer Taylor Zion with 7 goals, and the most points by Captain Colt Steele with 3 goals and 13 assists. The Moose have to be ready for a very skilled Mariners team with lots of depth from the front end to the back end.”
The Mariners ran over the Moose in their last match up, 7-2, on Oct. 6.
Desmaris also warned his team that they will have a tough series against the Maine Wild on Saturday and Sunday.
“They are a hard-working team that can cause problems if you are not ready to play,” he said.
Maine Wild Head Coach Mike Tenney says his team is ready to do just that: play hard and notch their first win.
“They are a familiar opponent who we’ve played twice already, so the good news is we have tape and we will break that down and come up with a game plan based on what they do,” he said, “They beat us twice in their barn (on opening weekend) so we have to show up and focus.”
Tenney knows it will be a tough battle against the Moose on Saturday night in their barn, but hopes a hometown crowd on Sunday will give the Wild an edge.
“I think we are moving in the right direction,” said Tenney of his team, which is still without a win. “We got the lead (last weekend against Syracuse) so we know what it is like to play with the lead. Hopefully we can grab a lead and maybe finish it off. We are looking forward to the weekend, the guys are really starting to come together. I think we are ready to go, it’s a matter of getting the monkey off our backs.”
On Friday the Wilkes-Barre Miners will travel to Waterville Valley for a two-game series against the AHI Fighting Spirit, who are currently first place in the league.
“The Fighting Spirit is a fast team, just like us, so it will come down to who makes the least amount of mistakes,” said Miners Coach Martin Moucha. “We are expecting an even match throughout the weekend.”
The Syracuse Stampede will travel to Cape Cod this weekend for a two-game series against the Islanders. The Stampede is coming off a four-point weekend against the New England Stars and Maine Wild. Both games resulted in 4-2 wins.
“We have four huge points up for grabs this weekend in Cape Cod,” said Syracuse Stampede assistant coach James Muscatello. “We have worked a lot this week on execution of our systems, which we are looking to carry over to the games. We have all the pieces in place and now just need to execute, plain and simple.”
Muscatello said his team has prepared to play against a team firing on all cylinders.
“We have to match the intensity, being on the road,” he said.
Islanders Head Coach Dan Hodge knows his team needs to step up if they have a chance of registering wins against the Stampede. The Islanders fell 5-2 to the AHI Fighting Spirit and 3-1 to the Wilkes-Barre Miners at the NSHL showcase last weekend.
“We are expecting a tough weekend ahead with Syracuse coming here for two games,” Hodge said, “We have not played well the past two weeks and we need to find what made us successful in order to compete with those guys. I am anticipating that we will come ready to play and try to reverse our current trend.”
The New England Stars will host the Jersey Shore Wildcats this weekend, with contests on Saturday and Sunday at Skate 3. The Stars are coming off a disappointing weekend, with an 8-4 loss to the Moose in addition to their 4-2 loss against the Stampede.
Stars Head Coach Darryl Green is hoping his team can improve their consistency on the ice.
“We are expecting two hard-fought games this weekend,” said Green. “Much like last weekend, we have challenged ourselves to be consistent and pay very close attention to all the details that go with winning hockey games.”This weekend’s games:
Maine Moose @ Jr Mariners, 8:30 p.m., Salem Icenter, Salem N.H.
Wilkes-Barre Miners @ AHI Fighting Spirit, 8 p.m. Waterville Valley Ice Arena, Waterville Valley N.H.
Jersey Shore Wildcats @ New England Stars, 3:30 p.m., Skate 3, Tyngsboro, Mass.
Maine Wild @ Maine Moose, 5 p.m., The Icevault, Hallowell, Maine
Syracuse Stampede @ Cape Cod Islanders, 5:20 p.m., Tony Kent Arena, South Dennis, Mass.
Wilkes-Barre Miners @ AHI Fighting Spirit, 12 p.m., Waterville Valley Ice Arena, Waterville Valley N.H.
Jersy Shore Wildcats @ New England Stars, 10:40 a.m., Skate 3, Tyngsboro Mass.
Syracuse Stampede @ Cape Cod Islanders, 11 a.m., Tony Kent Arena, South Dennis, Mass.
Maine Moose @ Maine Wild, 11 a.m., Biddeford Ice Arena, Biddeford Maine
Connect with Northern States Junior Hockey League and its teams on social media:
@NSJHL on Twitter, Facebook
@CapeCodIslander on Twitter, Facebook
@WBMiners on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
@NEStarsHockey on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
@SYR_Stampede on Twitter, Facebook
@MaineWildHockey on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook