By Lexi Obrycki / 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)
The NCDC’s P.A.L. Jr Islanders have made history this year by advancing to the Dineen Cup Championship series for the first time in the team’s history. After a grueling 2-0 series against the Mercer Chiefs, which saw both games decided in overtime, the team is now gearing up to face the North Champioin South Shore Kings in what promises to be a tough matchup.
Speaking about the series against Mercer, Coach Mike Marcou highlighted the physicality of the games
and the difficulty of the matchup. He praised the opposing coach, Mercer’s Rob Broderick, and expressed his happiness at being on the winning side.
“We knew this was going to be a physical series and we were happy to be on the winning side of it. Those two games against Mercer were two of the best junior games I have seen and been a part of. Rob Broderick is a tremendous coach and did a great job with the team,” said Marcou.
The South Shore Kings are a formidable opponent, and Marcou recognized the strengths of their team, including their ability to score goals and play a hard game. Nevertheless, the P.A.L. Jr Islanders are ready for the challenge and are looking forward to the opportunity to compete at the highest level. When talking about the upcoming series with the Kings Coach Marcou talked about some things his team needs to do to be successful.
“We have to continue to stay the course. We put a lot of focus on the execution of our game plan,” said Marcou. “Being consistent with the way we play and bringing the same level of intensity every night is no easy task. We have to continue to buy-in to our culture and hold true to the standards we have here at P.A.L.”
The Jr. Islanders jumped out to a 6-0-0-2 start in the 2022-23 regular season, and defeated the Kings 6-2 in Game No. 4 of their season on Oct. 2 at the 2022 BJB Shootout in Marlboro, Mass. A month and a half later, the Kings were 6-4 victors over P.A.L. at the IHC Showcase in Tyngsboro, Mass. The Kings became even better after that meeting, adding NCDC veteran goalie Jacob Torgner a week after the IHC Showcase, and then adding one of the top defensemen in the league, Jack Barbro, in a deal with the Rockets Hockey Club.
“The South Shore Kings are a very good hockey team. Tyler Holske has done a great job with that team, building it. We know this is going to be the hardest series yet,” said Marcou. “The Kings bring a hard game with the ability to score a lot of goals.”
Marcou also spoke about the culture of the P.A.L. organization and how it has contributed to the success of the team. He emphasized the organization’s commitment to developing not only better hockey players but better people, and how this philosophy has helped build a strong foundation for the team’s success.
“P.A.L. is an organization who does the right things from top to bottom. We have proven to build an organization by providing our loyalty to the players that we will develop them to be better hockey
players and better people.”