The Capitals will make their third straight appearance at the Bell Aliant Atlantic peewee AAA hockey championship. This year’s tournament gets underway in Corner Brook, N.L., on Thursday.
“We were telling the kids it’s a really special feeling,” said Capitals head coach Rodney MacArthur. “They are going to be treated really well. They will have our banners in the hotel lobby, and Bell Aliant puts on a great tournament.”
MacArthur is no stranger to this championship, as he will be attending his third straight. Capitals defenceman and team captain Noah Dobson, who played as an under-age player in Halifax in 2011, will be playing for his third straight Atlantic peewee AAA title.
The Capitals hosted last year’s Atlantic championship, and took home the silver medal after losing to the Bedford Blues in the final. Although this year’s team has only two returnees – Dobson and goaltender Caleb Coyle, the Capitals won four tournaments, including provincials, and finished first in the P.E.I. Peewee AAA Hockey League regular season.
“I think our overall record is 42-6-8 (won-lost-tied),” said MacArthur. “We have seven first-year players and seven second-year players and two goalies for 16 players.
“We’ve pretty much mirrored last year’s team. We won the Early Bird, we won the Pownal tournament, we won The Spud, which is a very tough one to win, and then we won provincials. . . It’s been a really special year with a great group of kids.”
What are some of the team’s attributes?
“We have a nice mix of scorers, workers, size and smaller guys,” answered MacArthur. “We have three or four guys who you’d consider good size, and a bunch of guys who are not so big but have great big hearts.
“I think our overall record is 42-6-8 (won-lost-tied). We have seven first-year players and seven second-year players and two goalies for 16 players. We’ve pretty much mirrored last year’s team. We won the Early Bird, we won the Pownal tournament, we won The Spud, which is a very tough one to win, and then we won provincials. . . It’s been a really special year with a great group of kids.” - Summerside head coach Rodney MacArthur
“All we can ask as coaches is that our players go to the wall for us, and they certainly do – they give their best every game. They are very competitive kids who don’t like to lose, and that helps as well.”
MacArthur acknowledged the Caps are familiar with two of the opponents they will face in Corner Brook – the Nova Scotia representative Truro Bearcats and New Brunswick’s East region team. The Caps defeated Truro in overtime on Blake Gallant’s goal to win The Spud tournament in Charlottetown.
“We know what we are getting there – a good team with a great goalie,” said MacArthur about the Bearcats. “New Brunswick East represented them last year, and they won the regional tournament again this year. It’s an all-star team from the eastern region of New Brunswick.
“They are our first game, and they are going to be a tough draw. They have no first-year players; they have 16 second-year skaters. They’ll certainly be a little bigger than us probably, maybe a little more skilled, but we’re hoping being a team all year we may be able to out-team them.”
When They Play
Summerside’s schedule at Atlantic peewee championship:
4:30 p.m. – vs. N.B. (East Region).
10 a.m. – vs. N.L. (Tri-Com Bulldogs).
4 p.m. – vs. N.S. (Truro Bearcats).
Noon – vs. Host (Western Wolves).