Home opener Sunday afternoon
SUMMERSIDE – The Summerside Western Capitals will finally get to play some meaningful games in the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League).
© Jason Simmonds/Journal Pioneer
Mike Crocock in action for the Summerside Western Capitals during a recent MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) pre-season game Community Gardens in Kensington.
The Capitals, who are the last of the 11 teams to open the regular season, will travel to Kentville, N.S., to face the Valley Wildcats (formerly Metro Marauders) on Saturday night, and then host the Miramichi Timberwolves at Eastlink Arena on Sunday. Game time is 2 p.m.
“Everybody is a little anxious to get going, especially when the league kicked off last week and teams are playing,” said Capitals head coach Tim Schurman. “At the same time, it gave us an extra week to work on a few things, and an extra week for the guys to be around each other and see what we’re about as an organization and what their teammates are all about.
“Hopefully, we can turn that into a lot of energy on Saturday and Sunday.”
The Capitals come into the season with two new goaltenders, Grant Grady of Freetown and Alex Kelly of Kensington; two returning defencemen, co-captain Mike Crocock of Brantford, Ont., and Harrison Wood of Stratford, and three forwards – co-captain JP Harvey of Cole Harbour, N.S., Thomas Stavert of Kensington and Jordan Buchanan of Summerside – who finished last season with the team.
Forwards Blaize Bridges and Tyler Doyle, both of Summerside, have previous experience playing with the Caps. Bruce Hornbrook, who was acquired in a trade with the Pictou County Weeks Crushers, also has played in the MHL and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).
Overall, the Capitals have 14 newcomers after last year’s veteran-laden squad won the MHL’s Kent Cup and advanced to the final game of the RBC Cup national junior A hockey championship in Summerside.
“I would expect we’ll be a hard-working team,” said Schurman. “We don’t have quite the skill level we had last year. I think we have 11 or 13 guys who have no junior A experience.
“I would expect we’ll be a hard-working team. We don’t have quite the skill level we had last year. I think we have 11 or 13 guys who have no junior A experience. We are going to be young, hopefully those guys are hungry and want to play and are ready to do all those little things we are preaching to them every day in practice. I’m expecting we’ll be a hard team to play against when it’s all said and done.” Capitals head coach Tim Schurman
“We are going to be young, hopefully those guys are hungry and want to play and are ready to do all those little things we are preaching to them every day in practice. I’m expecting we’ll be a hard team to play against when it’s all said and done.”
Summerside Western Capitals’ season-opening roster:
1. Grant Grady
30. Alex Kelly
4. Chad Jones
5. Cavan Fitzgerald
6. Harrison Wood
14. Wade Kropp
19. Mike Crocock
29. Connor Dea
8. Brad Power
9. Brock Richard
11. Peter Kavanagh
12. Isaac Jay
15. Zen Hamil
16. Thomas Stavert
18. JP Harvey
22. Drew Wilcox
24. Jordan Buchanan
27. Bruce Hornbrook
28. Blaize Bridges
79. Tyler Doyle
81. Alex Bradley
General manager – Pat McIver.
Head coach – Tim Schurman.
Associate coach – Thomas Waugh.
Assistant coach – Nathan DesRoches.
Goaltending coach – Jared Kelly.
Head trainer – Lawrence MacKinnon.
Assistant trainer – Rodney Shea.
Equipment manager – Dallas Salwonchuk.
Assistant equipment manager – Ben Thibeau.
Chiropractor – Dr. Chris McCarthy.
Hockey administration – Mikeal Thomas.