Hurricanes prepare to defend AFL championship

The Holland College Hurricanes football team is in the final stages of preparation for the defense of their Atlantic Football League title in this Saturday’s Moosehead Cup Championship game against the Saint John Seawolves, said head coach Andrew Hickey, and there is not let up on the part of either coaches or players.

“Yes, we are 7-0 in league play, but without a win on Saturday, we will not be satisfied. There is one game left to win and it is the most important one of the year," he said.

The first-place Hurricanes defeated the Seawolves 36-13 and 40-17 in their previous two match-ups this season. The Seawolves finished the season in third place, beating the second-place Dalhousie Tigers in last weekend’s playoff game to advance to the championship game.

The same two teams also met up in last year’s championship game, when the Hurricanes, who finished the regular season in last place, upset the Seawolves 20-12. If the Hurricanes prevail again, they will land their third championship title in the last four years. They would also become the first three-time champion in league's six-year history.

“We have been reminding the players about what happened in last year's title game when we went in as the underdog; the situation is reversed for us this year,” said Hickey. “Both teams are certainly hungry for the win and I am expecting a battle.”

The 'Canes will have all their players in uniform for Saturday's final game, although not all will see action because of some lingering injuries. The team's depth has proven to be the difference maker this year, said second-year defensive back Arrien MacDonald.

"It seems that someone different steps up every week to fill the gap, and that's what has defined this team. We know we can count on each other," he said.

The game starts at 1 p.m. at the UPEI Alumni Canada Games Place. Admission is free for children and students, and $5 for adults.