Surging Ramblers visit Caps on Wednesday

Jason Simmonds
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Amherst has won eight of last 10 games

SUMMERSIDE – The Summerside Western Capitals will try again to play a game in the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) on Wednesday night.

Rookie Alex Bradley leads the Summerside Western Capitals with 22 points, including 11 goals, in 25 regular-season games in the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League).

The Capitals are scheduled to host the Amherst Ramblers at Eastlink Arena in a 7:30 start, although the weather forecast, once again, does not look favourable. The Capitals have had four games postponed since Nov. 20 due to either traffic restrictions on Confederation Bridge or storms.

However, there has been one silver lining for the Capitals, explained head coach Tim Schurman.

“We’ve had a lot of practice time,” said Schurman. “It’s (postponed games) kind of coincided with moving a lot of guys out and bringing in a lot of guys.

“It’s been almost like starting over, touching on our systems and making sure everybody is on the same page.”

Newcomers to the Caps are defencemen Brett Doiron and Phillipe Richard, along with forwards Blake Millman and Maxim Pitre. Pitre, Doiron and Millman made their home debuts against Campbellton on Dec. 8.

The Capitals traded co-captains JP Harvey and Michael Crocock to the Pictou County Weeks Crushers on Nov. 27, and on the same day moved veteran Bruce Hornbrook to Amherst in a separate deal.

Records

The Capitals will be looking to end a modest two-game losing streak against the Ramblers, who have won eight of their last 10 games. The Caps, who are fourth in the Roger Meek Division, are 9-14-1-1 (won-lost-overtime losses-shootout losses). Meanwhile, Amherst is 17-10-0-1.

“Amherst is a veteran hockey club,” said Schurman. “They have a solid hockey team over there, and are looking to make some noise this year.

“We’ve had a lot of practice time. It’s (postponed games) kind of coincided with moving a lot of guys out and bringing in a lot of guys. It’s been almost like starting over, touching on our systems and making sure everybody is on the same page.” Capitals head coach Tim Schurman

“We are going to have to be at our best to give them everything they can handle. Hopefully, everybody is on the same page and comes to work.”

The Ramblers won the only head-to-head meeting this season against the Caps by a 7-4 score at the Amherst Stadium on Sept. 28.

Weekend games

The Capitals will close out their pre-Christmas schedule by hosting the Yarmouth Mariners in back-to-back weekend games. The teams are now scheduled to meet at Eastlink Arena on Friday at 8:15 p.m., and Saturday at 7 p.m.

The Mariners are 18-8-1-0 and hold a two-point lead over the Ramblers in the Eastlink Division.

“They (Mariners) are right in the mix in the other division,” said Schurman. “Again, they are a veteran-laden team that has a lot of experience in this league.

“Historically, they work very hard. We’ve played them once up there (a 4-3 win in Yarmouth on Nov. 29), and they have some skilled guys.

“All three games this week are going to be a battle. We have to come ready to play.

“I’m expecting both teams (Ramblers and Mariners) to come in here and try to use their age factor and experience, and maybe try to play a physical game against us. Our guys will be up for the challenge.”

Twitter.com/JpsportsJason

Organizations: Capitals, Mariners, Eastlink Division

Geographic location: Campbellton, Pictou County, Amherst Stadium Yarmouth

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