By Grace Mello / USPHLNCDC.com
P.A.L. Jr. Islanders (#2 South) vs. South Shore Kings (#2 North)
All Games To Be Played At Northwell Health Ice Center, all times EST
Game 1: Friday, March 31, 5 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, April 1, 4 p.m.
Game 3: Sunday, April 2, 4 p.m. (if necessary)
After finding their way through a 2-0 series over the Twin City Thunder and grinding through double OT in Game 2, the North Champion, South Shore Kings will face the South’s P.A.L. Jr Islanders in the Dineen Cup Championship.
Head Coach of the Kings Tyler Holske raises his cap to Twin City’s Dan Hodge and his team after the series, which was clinched with the double-OT goal by Aiden Lindley.
“Overall, it was a hard series from start to finish. Twin City certainly made it challenging and they played well,” said Holske.
Advancing to the final for the first time in franchise history, Holske shares with us some of the work his team has put in all season to reach where they are.
“Every single guy has bought into the way we want to play. They all take pride in defending, which at this time of the year is everything. They play for each other,” he said.
Having one of the youngest teams in the league, the South Shore Kings only have six kids that played junior hockey last season.
“I think the adversity we went through early on in the season as a group has really helped us these last few weeks,” added Holske, who is also the league’s youngest head coach. ”It’s hard to win in any league. We needed to learn how to win and the young guys have really come a long way.”
There is no doubt that this series is going to be a tough matchup. After splitting the regular season series with P.A.L. one game apiece, Holske tells us that both teams are completely different now.
“They have one of the top goalies in the entire league. Coach Mike Marcou does a really good job getting his players to play a smart brand of hockey,” Holske said. “They have a really good power play, so we will need to stay disciplined.”
Holske then told us about what they can do to be successful in the Final.
“I think we really need to focus in on the details of our game. I thought at times in Game 2 of the Twin City series, we got away from doing the little things. Against P.A.L., it will be important we manage the blue lines,” added Holske.
Preparation is crucial for this team. They have spent the week getting rest and making sure their legs are fresh for Game 1.
“Rounds 1 and 2 were a battle for us. We did a lot of video work throughout the week and spent some time working on special teams.”