The 20-year-old Chiasson took over the lead in the league’s scoring race while the Caps won three games in less than 72 hours to extend their winning streak to eight. The Caps downed the Miramichi Timberwolves 4-1 on Friday night, and then posted back-to-back 4-3 decisions to sweep a home-and-home series from the Amherst Ramblers on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon to improve to 42-7-2-0 (won-lost-overtime losses-shootout losses). The Ramblers fell to 32-13-4-2.
“The whole team has been playing good, and that’s been helping me a lot,” said Chiasson following Sunday’s game. “I’m getting a lot of ice time.”
Chiasson, who is on an 11-game point streak, recorded seven points in the three weekend games, including two goals and an assist in each game against Amherst. He scored once in Miramichi.
Chiasson has 84 points – 33 goals and 51 assists – which is two more than Kyle Morrison (33-49), whose Truro Bearcats played Yarmouth on Sunday night. The Caps have one regular-season game remaining and the Bearcats have two after Sunday’s game.
“Every player in my position would love to win it (league scoring race), but like I’ve said it’s always the team first,” said Chiasson. “This has been a big weekend and I’ve taken the scoring lead, but if I win it I win it and if I don’t I don’t.”
The Capitals, who had previously locked up the Roger Meek Division title, clinched first-place overall on Friday night, and then prevented Amherst from moving up in the Eastlink Division with the two-game sweep. Amherst will finish the regular season in third place.
“Clinching first overall is huge for us because it gives us home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs,” said Chiasson. “That was a big thing.”
Before 1,409 fans at Eastlink Arena on Sunday, Chiasson opened the scoring on a tip at 6:56 of the first period. The score remained 1-0 until 12:50 of the second period, when Chiasson was set up in front by linemate Mitch Maynard, who assisted on both of his goals.
“Every player in my position would love to win it (league scoring race), but like I’ve said it’s always the team first. This has been a big weekend and I’ve taken the scoring lead, but if I win it I win it and if I don’t I don’t.” - Summerside Western Capitals forward Danny Chiasson
“It was an unbelievable play by Maynard,” said Chiasson. “He attracted both D (defencemen), and I was alone in front of the net, he passed it, I deked the goalie and it went in.”
Kody Orr back-handed a rebound in for a power-play goal at 13:27 of the middle frame to get the Ramblers on the board, and the second period ended with the Caps in front 2-1.
Wes Herrett scored his second of the season off a rebound at 4:17 of the third period to make it 3-1, and JP Harvey’s power-play goal at 12:46 put the Caps in front 4-1.
Serge Boisvert (18:23) and Jacob Conrad (19:25) scored late goals for the Ramblers.
Riley solid in goal
Caps goaltender Jacob Riley was solid in stopping 25 of 28 shots in recording his 22nd victory of the season. Riley stopped a short-handed breakaway in the first period with the Caps up 1-0, and in the second period he stopped a partial breakaway and made a glove save off a point-blank shot from the slot.
Chase Marchand finished with 31 saves for the Ramblers.
Referees Paul Matte and Mike Annear called eight of the game’s 12 minors against the Capitals.
The game’s three stars were:
1. Danny Chiasson (Caps), 2. Jacob Riley (Caps), 3. Chase Marchand (Ramblers).
The Capitals will close out the regular season with a road game against the Campbellton Tigers on Friday night. The Caps will open the best-of-seven Roger Meek Division semifinal series against the Miramichi Timberwolves at Eastlink Arena on Sunday, March 17, at 2 p.m.