Bradley’s four points, Bridges’ late goal the difference vs. Woodstock
SUMMERSIDE – It hasn’t been an easy start to the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) regular season for the Summerside Western Capitals, but will Sunday afternoon prove to be a turning point?
The rebuilding Capitals were playing their third game in less than four days, and were coming off a pair of tough losses. The Caps lost 3-2 in overtime on the road against the Pictou County Weeks Crushers on Thursday, and the Dieppe Commandos scored with six seconds remaining in regulation time for a 3-2 win in Summerside on Saturday night.
The Caps took a 2-1 lead into the third period against the Woodstock Slammers. Jake Wright (11:26) and Brandon Cottrell (15:33) scored to put Woodstock in front 3-2. The Caps refused to quit as Alex Bradley, who was in on all four goals, evened the score at 16:45 and Blaize Bridges scored the winner off a deflection at 18:24.
“The goalie rimmed it around the boards to Cola (defenceman Joey Colatarci), and he took a shot right along the ice and I was lucky to get a stick on it and it went up under the cross bar,” explained Bridges.
Before an announced crowd of 614 fans at Eastlink Arena, Bradley had two goals and two assists while Brad Power netted the other Summerside goal. Colatarci (2), Thomas Stavert and Jordan Buchanan drew single helpers.
“It was a great game and my linemates (Power and Buchanan) were giving me the puck when I needed it,” said Bradley, whose MHL rights was acquired in a deal with the Dieppe Commandos last season. “My confidence was there today (Sunday), my legs felt good and the pucks started going in. It was a good game for me.”
There was no scoring in the first period, and Angus Johnston opened the scoring for the Slammers at 8:33 of Period 2. Power (9:23) and Bradley (19:29) answered for the Caps before the second intermission.
Overall, the Caps outshot Woodstock 35-32. Simon-Pier Chamberland earned the goaltending win over Will King.
Referee Mike Annear called five minors and two 10-minute misconducts against the Slammers. The Caps picked up three minors and one 10-minute misconduct.
The game’s three stars were:
1. Alex Bradley (Caps), 2. Blaize Bridges (Caps), 3. Brandon Cottrell (Slammers).
Before an announced gathering of 572 fans at Eastlink Arena, Thierry Comtois scored with six seconds remaining in regulation time to lift Dieppe to victory.
Buchanan (2:15) and Stavert (8:11) staked the Caps to an early 2-0 lead. Alex Snow got the Commandos on the board at 9:43 as the first period ended 2-1.
Mathieu Newcomb tied the game for Dieppe in the second period at 2:58.
Bradley, Power, Zen Hamil and Mitch Henneberry picked up assists for the Caps, who were outshot 41-31.
Connor Wilkinson was the winning goaltender while Chamberland took the loss.
Referee Tim Hamel called two minor penalties, one fighting major, one 10-minute misconduct and one game misconduct against the Capitals. The only penalties picked up by the Commandos were a fighting major at the 20-minute mark of the third period and the accompanying game misconduct for a fight in the last 10 minutes of a game.
A 7-3 win over Bridgewater on Sunday afternoon improved Dieppe’s Roger Meek Division-leading record to 10-4-1-0.
The Capitals’ next game is in Truro on Saturday, and the Campbellton Tigers visit Eastlink Arena on Sunday at 2 p.m.