The Yarmouth Mariners will open their Canadian Tire Cup league final best-of-seven game series against the Campbellton Tigers on Saturday, April 13, at the Mariners Centre.
Given the travel distance between the two teams – the MHL puts it at 866 kilometres – this will be a 2-3-2 series format.
Because Yarmouth finished higher than Campbellton in the regular MHL season – Yarmouth finished its division in first place and second overall in the league – it has home-ice advantage for the series. Yarmouth’s regular season league record was 36-9-3-2. Campbellton finished fourth overall in the league with a record of 31-13-2-4.
The league final series schedule is as follows:
Game 1 – Saturday, April 13, 7:30 PM – Mariners Centre
Game 2 – Sunday, April 14, 7:00 PM – Mariners Centre
Game 3 – Thursday, April 18, 7:00 PM – Campbellton Memorial Civic Centre
Game 4 – Friday, April 19, 7:00 PM – Campbellton Memorial Civic Centre
Game 5 – Sunday, April 21, 2:00 PM – Campbellton Memorial Civic Centre*
Game 6 – Thursday, April 25, 7:00 PM – Mariners Centre*
Game 7 – Friday, April 26, 7:30 PM – Mariners Centre*
Yarmouth advanced to the league final after sweeping the Truro Bearcats in four games in the semi-final and defeating the South Shore Lumberjacks in six games in the Eastlink South Division final.
This marks a back-to-back appearance for Yarmouth to the league final. Last year the Mariners lost to Edmundston Blizzard in Game 6.
Prior to this the Mariners’ had played in the league final in 2012 when they lost in triple overtime in Game 7 against the Woodstock Slammers. In 2008 the Mariners had won the league title in a series with the Slammers, winning the series in six games.
Campbellton advanced the league final after a Game 5 victory over Edmundston in the semifinal series and a series victory over the Summerside Capitals – who had finished in first place in the league during the regular season – in Game 6 of the Eastlink North Division final. This marks the Tigers’ first return to the league final since 2005.
This league final is not the first time Yarmouth and Campbellton have faced off for the league’s top prize – the last time was during the 2003-04 MHL season. Campbellton won the league final in five games.
During the regular 2018-2019 MHL season the teams met twice in the earlier part of the season, with Yarmouth winning both of those games: 3-2 on Sept. 14 and 5-3 on Nov. 30.
MHL CAPSULE NOTES ABOUT THIS SERIES:
• The teams opened the season against each other in Yarmouth, with the Mariners outshooting the Tigers 34-17 and picking up a 3-2 victory. In the second meeting, this time in Campbellton, Yarmouth scored twice in the final three minutes enroute to a 5-3 win.
• Tigers goalie Tristan Gray posted three shutouts in their division final against the high-powered Summerside offence, giving him what’s believed to be a league record five shutouts in these playoffs.
• Through 10 games, 10 Mariners have at least seven points, with seven players in double digits. Six Mariners have at least five goals each. Andrew Martell found the back of the net five times against South Shore and is now tied for the second-most goals in the playoffs with eight.
• Each team’s defensemen combined for 141 points. In the playoffs, Chris Goreham and Noah McMullin for Yarmouth have the same amount of points from the back as all of Campbellton’s defensemen (15).
• Yarmouth has the best powerplay percentage at 38.1%, while Campbellton has the best penalty-killing percentage at 88.6%. The Mariners are 8 for 21 on the powerplay both at home and on the road. The Tigers powerplay sits at just 12.0% in the postseason, which is nearly half of the 23.7% they had in the regular season.
• Campbellton has outscored their opposition 9-1 in the 1st period of the playoffs and are 8-2 when scoring first. But Yarmouth is also strong out of the gate, outscoring Truro and South Shore 18-7 in the opening frame with a 7-1 record when they get on the board first.
The winner of this series will advance to the Fred Page Cup to represent the MHL, along with the host Amherst Ramblers, from May 1st to 5th.