The Capitals built period leads of 3-0 and 5-1 en route to a 6-4 victory over the Truro Bearcats in a game that was not as close as the final score would indicate.
“I’m really proud of the way the boys played today (Sunday), minus a bit at the end of the third period as we kind of let down,” said Capitals forward Mitch Maynard following a two-goal, one-assist performance. “We were definitely ready to go.
“We had a good break over Christmas, and had this date circled on the calendar. We were excited to go.”
The Capitals, who are the host team for the 2013 RBC Cup Canadian junior A hockey championship tournament from May 11 to 19, improved their league-leading record to 26-6-2-0 (won-lost-overtime losses-shootout losses). The Bearcats, who are hosting the Fred Page Cup Eastern Canadian junior A hockey championship the first week of May, fell to 21-6-0-3.
The win also gives the Caps a three-point lead over the Eastlink Division-leading Yarmouth Mariners (25-5-1-0) atop the league’s overall standings.
“We kept it simple, we were getting pucks deep and we were holding them up in the neutral zone,” assessed Capitals head coach Billy McGuigan. “We didn’t let their transition game get going, and we scored on our chances.”
Strong first period
Before 1,317 fans at Eastlink Arena, the Capitals opened the scoring 2:27 into the first period on a power-play goal by Chris Caissy, who one-timed Jason Seed’s cross-ice pass from the top of the left-wing faceoff circle over the left shoulder of Bearcats goaltender Shayne Campbell.
“That first one (goal) that Caissy scored, he would have scored that on any goalie in the country,” said McGuigan. “It was a bullet shot and found the back of the net. It was early in the game, and gave us momentum.”
Justin Rasmussen, who was sent in on a clear-cut breakaway from the Truro blue-line on a perfect pass from defenceman Dale Deon, beat Campbell cleanly to make it 2-0 at 15:04.
Rasmussen then set up Maynard’s highlight-reel goal at 18:45 to send the Caps into the first intermission in front 3-0. Rasmussen, who was positioned behind the goal-line to Campbell’s left, made a perfect pass out front to Maynard, who had the wide open net to score in.
"I’m really proud of the way the boys played today (Sunday), minus a bit at the end of the third period as we kind of let down. We were definitely ready to go. We had a good break over Christmas, and had this date circled on the calendar. We were excited to go.” - Capitals forward Mitch Maynard
“Recently, we’ve been letting teams hang around on us and that was a huge start for us to get up 3-0,” said Maynard.
Spencer MacDonald’s shot from the bottom of the right-wing faceoff circle made its way through heavy traffic in front past Campbell to give the Caps a 4-0 lead at 7:30 of the second period.
Then 12 seconds later, the Bearcats’ Jeff Hanes and Caps’ Zach Beaton dropped the gloves in an old-fashioned toe-to-toe battle.
The Bearcats responded by making it 4-1 on a David Mosher point shot at 8:14, but the Caps countered with a Colton Parsons’ goal at 9:55 for a 5-1 advantage. Parsons cut to the goal off the right wing, used a linemate in front as a decoy and backhanded the puck over the left shoulder of Campbell on the short side.
Maynard, with his second of the afternoon at 5:39 of the third period, gave the Caps a 6-1 lead, but Truro refused to quit and answered back with goals by Tyler Morrison (10:06), Kyle Morrison (11:17) and Phillip Fife (19:32).
“We have to be better at finishing off games, and play strong in the third period,” said Maynard.
Overall, the Bearcats outshot the Caps 39-36. Jacob Riley earned the goaltending win.
Jonathan Aubertin (2), Seed, Deon, Justin Thomas and Patrick Volpe added assists for the Capitals. Fife, Mosher, Zack Evans-Renaud of St. Peter’s Bay, Adam Guy, Travis Fernley, Cal Gloade and Grant West picked up helpers for Truro.
Referee Tim Hamel called five minors, one fighting major, two 10-minute misconducts and one game misconduct against the Bearcats. The Caps picked up four minors, one fighting major and one game checking-from-behind game misconduct.
The game’s three stars were:
1. Mitch Maynard (Caps), 2. Justin Rasmussen (Caps), 3. Tyler Morrison (Bearcats).
The Caps visit the Campbellton Tigers on Friday night, and host the Dartmouth-based Metro Marauders in a rare Saturday night home game at 7 p.m.