SUMMERSIDE - The Summerside Western Capitals will face the Miramichi Timberwolves in MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) Meek division semifinal action beginning Sunday.
Western Capitals head coach Gordie Dwyer says fans can look forward to an entertaining series between the rival teams.
"It's going to be an exciting series. Miramichi is a top team in this league and it's going to be a battle right from Game 1," said Dwyer.
Summerside finished the 2010-11 regular season in second place with 76 points - 36 wins and 12 losses. Miramichi was not far behind finishing up with 64 points - 29 wins and 17 losses.
"We have to be prepared and we have to be ready to play 60-minute hockey. Expect a tough, long series," said Dwyer. "We're a tight group of hardworking players and we had some success this year from keeping things simple and playing hard and we have to continue that in the playoffs."
The Capitals-Timberwolves rivalry is nothing new. The two teams faced off in the semifinal series last season and Summerside claimed the series in the seventh game by a score of 5-2.
Miramichi Timberwolves head coach Billy McGuigan, formerly of Charlottetown, said his team is busy preparing for the upcoming series.
"It's going to be a tall task; they have a great hockey team there," said McGuigan. "They have the top three in scoring all on the same line and they loaded up their back end around the deadline. I think the general manager did a fantastic job putting the pieces in play."
With that being said, McGuigan added, "We would like to win and we believe we can."
The top line causing concern for the Timberwolves is made up of assistant captain Trevor Carmichael, who had 104 points in regular season play, assistant captain Nathan DesRoches with 93 points, and captain Harrison McIver who had an 89-point season.
Odds do seem to be in the Capitals' favour. The Timberwolves have only beaten Summerside in two out of their eight matchups this season. The Capitals have scored 44 goals against Miramichi and allowed only 27.
The Timberwolves did rank higher with their penalty kill success holding an 82 PK percentage over the Capitals' 79 per cent.
The semifinal series between the Summerside Western Capitals and the Miramichi Timberwolves kicks off at Credit Union Place on Sunday at 2 p.m.