Play strong defensive game
SUMMERSIDE – The Summerside Western Capitals may have scored the most goals in the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) regular season, but they proved on Sunday afternoon that they can also win with defence.
© Jason Simmonds/Journal Pioneer
Chris Caissy carries the puck into the Woodstock Slammers’ end during Sunday afternoon’s MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) game at Eastlink Arena. Caissy’s teammate JP Harvey looks to move into position for a pass.
The Capitals made it 15 straight wins with a 4-1 decision over the Woodstock Slammers.
“It was a hard-fought battle and Woodstock is not a team to be taken lightly,” said forward Chris Caissy, who scored a pair of goals.
The Capitals improved their league-leading record to 34-6-2-0 (won-lost-overtime losses-shootout losses) while the Slammers fell to 23-14-2-0.
Before 1,443 fans at Eastlink Arena, the Capitals limited the Slammers to just 10 shots on goal – five in each period – through the first 40 minutes. Woodstock recorded 15 shots in the final 20 minutes to finish with 25 shots.
“We were doing a great job blocking shots right to the end, and that helps a lot,” said Capitals goaltender Jacob Riley.
Two of Riley’s best saves came early in the third period, with the Slammers on the power play and the Capitals nursing a 1-0 lead. Riley made a pad save off a point shot from Steve Gillard, and he displayed cat-like reflexes kicking out his left pad to deny EJ Faust’s rebound from point-blank range.
Scott Trask opened the scoring for the Caps at 16:16 of the first period. He pulled a rebound to his right and slid the puck into the open side of the net to the left of Woodstock goaltender Simon-Pier Chamberland.
The second period was scoreless, and Caissy’s highlight-reel goal at 9:13 of the third period made it 2-0. Caissy carried the puck into the Slammers’ zone on the right wing, turned a Woodstock defenceman inside out as he cut to the centre of the ice and then made no mistake beating Chamberland.
“It was a hard-fought battle and Woodstock is not a team to be taken lightly.” Capitals forward Chris Caissy
“That was nice and a great a move,” admired Riley. “I don’t know how he (Caissy) does it, that guy could dangle in a phone booth.”
Defenceman Jason Seed, who also added two assists for a three-point game, made it 3-0 at 12:15.
Carlos Amestrov’s power-play goal at 17:34 spoiled Riley’s shutout bid, but Caissy answered right back with an empty-net goal to close out the scoring at 18:02.
Spencer MacDonald (2), Luke Warner, Danny Chiasson and Michael Crocock added assists for the Caps, who held a 29-25 shots-on-goal advantage.
Referee Mike Annear called five minors, four 10-minute misconducts, one fighting major and one game misconduct against the Slammers. The Caps picked up eight minors, one fighting major, three 10-minute misconducts and one game misconduct.
There was also some pushing, shoving and a lot of talking at centre ice between the two teams during the warmup, but cooler heads prevailed and there were no penalties assessed.
The Capitals pay a return visit to Woodstock on Friday night, and then host the Dieppe Commandos on Saturday at 7 p.m.