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Islanders-Sea Dogs battle it out as top two teams in QMJHL
Charlottetown, Islanders

Tonight at Harbour Station, the Charlottetown Islanders and Saint John Sea Dogs will attempt to show everyone who is the top team in the league.

Currently by points, they are number on and two in the league.

The Sea Dogs have 94 points and the Islanders have 91 points. This is the first of a final two meetings between the teams.

Here is all you need to know before puck drop:

Seasons series: The Islanders are 2-5 so far this season against the Sea Dogs. Saint John is 5-1-1.

First seven meetings:

Sept. 23: Islanders win 6-2 in Charlottetown

Oct. 26: Sea Dogs win 5-2 in Saint John

Nov. 6: Islanders win 3-2 in Saint John

Nov. 11: Sea Dogs win 7-3 in Charlottetown

Dec. 17: Sea Dogs win 8-2 in Saint John

Jan. 29: Sea Dogs win 5-2 in Charlottetown

Feb. 14: Sea Dogs win 2-1 in Charlottetown

March 10 @ Saint John ??

March 17 @ Charlottetown ??

Current streaks: The Islanders bring a nine-game winning streak into Friday’s game. They have won 15 of their last 16 games. Their only loss was in a hard fought 2-1 game to the Sea Dogs at home.

The Sea Dogs haven’t lost in regulation in 11 games. They are 9-0-2-0 in that stretch.

Leading scorers: Francois Beauchemin has taken a strong hold of the team lead in points after a six-point performance this week against the Moncton Wildcats. He has 43 goals and 50 assists for 93 points in 64 games.

Matthew Highmore has 33 goals and 54 assists for 87 points in 61 games for the Sea Dogs this season.

Goaltenders: For the Islanders, the goaltending situation has been interesting. Mark Grametbauer has been excellent since coming to Charlottetown, winning 11 of 14 starts. He has a .918 save percentage, and 2.13 goals against average. Grametbauer was excellent when he started last game against the Sea Dogs, stopping 22 of 24 in a 2-1 loss.

Just when Grametbauer seemed to have an advantage though, Matthew Welsh has turned it on. Welsh was last week’s first star of the week. On the entire season, he is 24-10-2. He has won his last seven games, with two of them being shutouts. On the season, Welsh has a .902 save percentage and a 3.13 goals against average.

For Saint John, Callum Booth has seen most of the action since arriving in Saint John. He has won 14 of his last 17 and is 16-6-1 with the Sea Dogs. He has posted a .909 save percentage and a 2.68 goals against average in his 45 games on the entire season.

CHL Rankings: Both teams have been climbing the CHL Rankings all season. The Islanders last week jumped to 6th in the entire country, while the Sea Dogs are now 1st in the country.

The fallout: A win for the Islanders may not catapult them past the Sea Dogs, but it would place them much closer. A win would give them 93 points, with the Sea Dogs currently holding 94.

The team’s play again on the 17th of March. If the Islanders win both, that could be the difference between fourth and first.

However, if the Islanders lose, the Sea Dogs would be a full five points ahead of the Islanders with just four games left for each team.

No matter what, tonight is bound to be a heavyweight battle with huge repercussions for both teams. The Islanders have four busloads of fans heading to Harbour Station to support their team.

If you can’t make it over, listen live to George Matthews and Darcy Cudmore at islesradio.com.

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