Kensington connection leads way in road win Saturday
SUMMERSIDE – The Miramichi Timberwolves spoiled the Summerside Western Capitals’ home opener in the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) on Sunday afternoon.
© Jason Simmonds/Journal Pioneer
Summerside Western Capitals forward Bruce Hornbrook, 27, looks to slow down the Miramichi Timberwolves’ Tyrone Sock as he carries the puck through the neutral zone. The action took place during the Caps’ home opener in the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) on Sunday afternoon.
The Capitals, playing their first home game of the regular season under its recently-announced new ownership group, dropped a 7-4 decision to the Timberwolves.
The teams were tied 3-3 through 40 minutes, but the Timberwolves outscored the Caps 4-1 in the final 20 minutes to improve to 3-1-0-0 (won-lost-overtime losses-shootout losses) on the season. The visiting Caps, who doubled the Valley Wildcats on Saturday night, fell to 1-1-0-0.
Before an announced crowd of 1,635 fans at Eastlink Arena, Justin O’Reilly’s hat trick led the way for the Timberwolves. Rankyn Campbell (1-2) and Danny Wicks, who had three assists, also had three-point afternoons.
Cole MacDonald (2) and Eric Chipman rounded out Miramichi’s scoring while assists were credited to Billy Gaston (2), Mitch McMullin, Tyrone Sock, Brett Malone and Lee Dower.
Co-captain Michael Crocock was the Caps’ top point-getter with three assists while Malik Johnson (1-1), Brad Power, Harrison Wood and Alex Bradley netted goals. Single helpers were earned by JP Harvey, Jordan Buchanan and Isaac Jay.
The Timberwolves outshot the Capitals 42-26, including period advantages of 14-5, 13-10 and 15-11. Alex Collette picked up the goaltending win, and Grant Grady, who had a much busier afternoon, tended the Caps’ goal.
Caps 4 Wildcats 2
The Capitals’ Kensington connection of sophomore forward Thomas Stavert and rookie goaltender Alex Kelly led the way in the team’s regular-season opener before 750 fans in Kentville, N.S.
Thomas Stavert had a goal and an assist while Kelly turned in a 35-save effort in dropping the Wildcats’ record to 2-1-0-0.
Harvey (1-1), Johnson and Zen Hamil scored the other Caps’ goals. Buchanan, Wood, Bruce Hornbrook, Blaize Bridges, Cavan Fitzgerald and Chad Jones chipped in with single assists.
Brandon Weir of Stratford and former Capital Justin Thomas countered with power-play goals for the Wildcats.
The Caps jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one period, and took a 4-1 advantage into the second intermission.
The final shots-on-goal totals were 39-37.
The win also marked the first victory for the Capitals’ Tim Schurman as a head coach in the MHL. After working as an assistant coach the last two seasons, Schurman was recently promoted to head coach to replace Billy McGuigan, who accepted the position of assistant coach with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League.
The Capitals return to action on Saturday, Sept. 28, when they visit the Amherst Ramblers at 7 p.m. The Caps’ next home game is against the Dieppe Commandos on Sunday, Sept. 29, at 2 p.m.