The Capitals, playing their first game in 10 days, outshot the Miramichi Timberwolves 59-10 en route to a lopsided 7-1 win in the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) contest played before an announced crowd of 1,219 fans at Eastlink Arena.
“We knew Miramichi was going to be missing some players from suspensions, and it looks right now we are going to be playing Miramichi (in the opening round of the playoffs),” said Capitals assistant coach Thomas Waugh. “We wanted to go out there and send the message we are going to be a tough team to play in the playoffs.”
The win improved the Capitals’ league-leading record to 36-7-2-0 (won-lost-overtime losses-shootout losses) while the Timberwolves, who are in fourth place in the Roger Meek Division, fell to 21-21-1-1.
The Capitals dominated the first period, outshooting the Timberwolves 20-4, but took just a 1-0 lead into the first intermission thanks to some strong goaltending by Miramichi’s Julien Daigle.
The Caps extended their lead to 4-0 following 40 minutes after holding an 18-4 shots-on-goal advantage in the middle frame. The Caps continued to pour it on in the third period by registering 20 shots on Daigle while the Timberwolves could muster just two on Caps goaltender Jacob Riley.
One of those shots, a breakaway by Justin O’Reilly, accounted for Miramichi’s lone goal.
Jon Aubertin scored twice and assisted on two others to lead the Capitals’ attack. J.P. Harvey (2), Chris Caissy (1-2), Danny Chiasson (1-1) and Jason Seed netted the other goals for the Capitals. Assists went to Scott Trask (2), Patrick Volpe (2), Mitchell Maynard, MacKenzie Braid and Spencer MacDonald.
“We knew Miramichi was going to be missing some players from suspensions, and it looks right now we are going to be playing Miramichi (in the opening round of the playoffs). We wanted to go out there and send the message we are going to be a tough team to play in the playoffs.” - Capitals assistant coach Thomas Waugh
Chiasson moved back into sole possession of top spot in the league’s scoring race, two points ahead of the Truro Bearcats’ Kyle Morrison. Chiasson has 25 goals and 47 assists for 72 points while Morrison checks in with 29 goals and 41 helpers for 70 points. Each player has played 41 games.
The Capitals went 1-for-3 on the power play and killed off all four Miramichi power plays.
“I thought we controlled the play most of the night and didn’t give them a lot of chances,” assessed Waugh. “Our penalty killing was good, our power play still needs a little work and it’s all a process.”
The game’s three stars were:
1. Jon Aubertin (Caps), 2. J.P. Harvey (Caps), 3. Julien Daigle (Timberwolves).
The Capitals are back in action on Wednesday in Campbellton, N.B., against the Tigers. The Caps will then have another long break before hosting the Woodstock Slammers on Saturday, Feb. 23.
“It (break) will be good because we hope to be on a long playoff run,” said Waugh. “It will give the guys a good chance to take a couple of days for themselves, do a few team activities and be ready to go for Woodstock.”