SUMMERSIDE – It was a big week for the Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals.
The Caps earned a 7-5 decision over the Eastlink South Division-leading Yarmouth Mariners at Eastlink Arena on Sunday to sweep a stretch of three games in four days after trimming the Valley Wildcats 8-1 on Thursday and the St. Stephen Aces 6-1 on Saturday.
“It’s a real successful week coming up with some big points,” said a pleased Caps head coach Billy McGuigan in a post-game interview with the Journal Pioneer. “I thought we played pretty solid throughout the weekend.”
When asked what it means for a young Caps’ squad to win against one of the MHL’s top teams, McGuigan replied: “At this point of the year it’s another win, but it feels good obviously that we can compete with the better teams in the league. We are getting there, and we are happy with the way things are going.”
The Capitals, who have won four in a row and six of their last seven games, sit second in the Eastlink North Division of the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) at 20-12-1-0 (won-lost-overtime losses-shootout losses), five points up on both the Campbellton Tigers (17-13-2-0) and Miramichi Timberwolves (16-10-2-2), who visit the Caps on Thursday at 7 p.m.
The line of TJ Shea, Brodie MacArthur and Cameron Roberts combined for 10 points to lead the Caps versus Yarmouth.
Shea, who leads the league with 78 points – 31 goals and 47 assists – in 33 games, recorded one goal and four helpers for a five-point game in extending his point streak to 27 games.
MacArthur, who had two goals and an assist, now has a 19-game point streak while Roberts drew a pair of assists.
However, despite his offensive production, Shea was more focused on discussing the team’s accomplishments following Sunday’s game.
“I thought it was a pretty good weekend,” said the native of Anglo/Tignish. “The boys worked hard and got the two wins – that’s all that matters to me.”
Chris Chaddock (1-2), Kallum Muirhead (1-1), Jordan Spence (1-1) and Alex Beaulieau also scored for the Capitals. Jesse Annear and Sebastian Cormier added single helpers. Spence’s power-play goal at 12:27 of the first period sent the Caps into the intermission up 1-0.
“We moved the puck well, and Jordan Spence got open for a one-timer and he buried that,” said Shea. “That got us rolling.”
The Caps opened up a 4-0 lead in the middle frame, and took a 5-2 advantage into the second intermission. Summerside made it 6-2 early in the third period, but the Mariners refused to quit and kept battling back.
Overall, the Mariners outshot the Caps 44-30, including period advantages of 13-11, 18-12 and 13-7. However, the Caps received numerous timely saves from winning goaltender Dominik Tmej throughout the game.
“They have a great hockey club, no question,” said Mariners head coach Laurie Baron. “I liked parts of our game. I thought we dominated the first period, and it was unfortunate we were down 1-0.
“It was one of those nights, every time we made a mistake it found the back of the net. A little disappointed in our effort honestly from the centre line back. We score five goals, we have to win. They won way more loose pucks, 50/50 pucks, and they were just hungrier than we were.”
Five different players – Patrick Daly, Matt Barron, Brent Broaders, Brendan Young and Derick Johnson – scored for the Mariners.
The game’s three stars were:
1. TJ Shea (Capitals), 2. Chris Chaddock (Capitals), 3. Brodie MacArthur (Capitals).