Host Crushers in Kensington
KENSINGTON – There will be lots at stake for some players hoping to crack the Summerside Western Capitals’ roster on Sunday afternoon.
© Jason Simmonds/Journal Pioneer
Blaize Bridges of the Summerside Western Capitals hustles during a skating drill at the end of Thursday’s practice at Community Gardens in Kensington.
That’s when the Caps will host the Pictou County Weeks Crushers in their final pre-season game at Community Gardens in Kensington. The opening faceoff is set for 2 p.m.
“We have a lot of guys who are still fighting to make this team,” said Capitals head coach Tim Schurman following Thursday’s on-ice session at the Gardens. “We are going to be looking for those guys to show us how hungry they are, and how bad do they want to be here.”
The Capitals, who currently have 23 players and three goaltenders still in camp, are not expecting to make any cuts before Sunday’s game. Schurman expects to have a season-opening roster finalized early next week.
“We are going to get a couple of more practices under our belt, go over our depth charts and see where guys fit,” said Schurman. “We want to make sure we have a spot where they can be successful.”
Sunday will mark the second meeting in less than a week between the Caps and Crushers. The Crushers prevailed 5-2 in New Glasgow, N.S., on Thursday night.
“I thought we had an OK game the other night when we were skating and moving our feet,” assessed Schurman. “We skated with them for the second period over there, we got in on the forecheck, banged some bodies and were really good.
“We have a lot of guys who are still fighting to make this team. We are going to be looking for those guys to show us how hungry they are, and how bad do they want to be here.” Capitals head coach Tim Schurman
“Then when we got away from that is when we got in a little bit of trouble. Those are things we will work on throughout the year.”
Schurman said the Crushers feature a veteran-laden and skilled team.
“They had some really good players play the other night, but they were also sitting five or six really good players,” said Schurman. “They are obviously an early-season favourite on paper.
“They are an older group and we were an older group last year and had a target on our back the whole season. I’m expecting it to be the same for them this season. It’s a good measuring stick to see where you are at.
“We will be a little younger this year and have guys with not as much experience, but it’s good see how they battle against those guys. It can be tough, but as long as the battle is there we will be happy.”
The Capitals will also host the Crushers in their regular-season home opener at Eastlink Arena on Sunday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m.