The 2022-23 edition of the Portage Islanders now holds a place in the team record books.
The squad is currently in the midst of the longest winning streak in franchise history, as they have started off the season with 14 consecutive wins. Assistant coach Adam Blight says they also clinched home-ice advantage for the playoffs with their last victory.
"We were in Altona on Saturday. They actually were short on guys and wanted to reschedule it but we wanted to get the game over with knowing that we had the chance to clinch first place," Blight explains. "I believe the final score was 10-2. It was a closer game but in the third period, we added a couple more late tallies. It's the best start we've had in franchise history."
The Islanders have four more games left in the regular season and are looking to become the first undefeated team in the SEMHL in over 15 years. Blight outlines the team's primary focus for their last few games.
"We haven't really battled too much adversity other than some injury trouble. So, I think the best thing is to hopefully stay away from the injury bug the best as we can and get healthy," says Blight. "We have one game this week, and the last week there, we have three games in five days. That's going to be tricky. Hopefully, we can have full lineups for that last week and have guys rested up."
Portage finished last season in first place in the regular season, as well, but the extra home game didn't give them the advantage they hoped for, losing their first-round series.
"Last year, we had home-ice advantage in the first round but we never ended up winning any of those games that mattered at home. So, hopefully, we can rebound and take care of the home-ice advantage we've earned. If we stick to our game and help out our goalie, hopefully, we can keep this winning streak alive into the playoffs."
Blight notes they're going to be working on their team chemistry heading into the postseason.
"Since we've only had one game a week for the last couple of weeks, we'll try to get some line combinations going and build some chemistry between everybody," Blight continues. "Hopefully, that chemistry will help us out in the playoffs."
The Islanders have just two home games left to play this season, with the next one coming on Sunday against the Ile Des Chenes Northstars.