Caps back in action Friday

Jeremy MacDonald
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Host Yarmouth in first of back-to-back games

SUMMERSIDE – Mother Nature has proven to be the biggest opponent for the Summerside Western Capitals of the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) lately.

A weekend doubleheader between the Capitals and Yarmouth Mariners, which was originally scheduled for Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at Eastlink Arena, was in question due to a forecasted storm in the region.

Capitals general manager Pat McIver was able to juggle the two games, guaranteeing lots of action on the ice before the Christmas break – weather permitting, of course.

“We had some talks with Yarmouth on Tuesday about moving the Sunday game to Friday night, and they were 100 per cent on board,” said McIver. “They have players flying home for the holidays on Monday, and the last thing they wanted to happen was have them storm-stayed on P.E.I. Sunday night.”

Game times are Friday at 8:15 p.m., and Saturday at 7 p.m. Friday’s game will have a guaranteed jackpot of $6,000 for the 50/50 draw.

Tough four weeks

It has been a tough four weeks for the Caps schedule-wise, with three out of the last four home games postponed due to weather.

Compiling a schedule for the new year is shaping up to be a daunting task.

“It is tough when you have to reschedule games because you lose out on your preferred dates, which, for us, is Sunday afternoons,” explained McIver. “You need to make sure ice is available and that the visiting team is available, and the games are starting to pile up.”

The Capitals also have user groups who come in during certain home games to raise money for various charities and organizations, and they end up missing out on the scheduled games, added McIver.

One such game was this past weekend. The second annual Teddy Bear Toss had been scheduled for Sunday. After the game’s postponement, team management sat down to figure out when it would be best for all involved to hold the fundraising event.

“You put a lot of effort into promoting the Teddy Bear Toss, working very hard at marketing the game, get some customized bears in to sell and have another charity come in to sell their bears, only to have the game postponed,” said Danny Perry, Caps vice-president of marketing. “It’s definitely frustrating, but, hey, welcome to the Maritimes, we are used to this.”

“We had some talks with Yarmouth on Tuesday about moving the Sunday game to Friday night, and they were 100 per cent on board. They have players flying home for the holidays on Monday, and the last thing they wanted to happen was have them storm-stayed on P.E.I. Sunday night.” Capitals general manager Pat McIver

New Year’s Eve

The Caps have since announced that the Teddy Bear Toss will be moved to their New Year’s Eve home game against the Miramichi Timberwolves. Game time is 7 p.m.

Game Notes

Western Capitals-Yarmouth Mariners’ game notes:

. . . Yarmouth sits third in the Eastlink Division with an 18-8-1-0 (won-loss-overtime losses-shootout losses) record. The Mariners have the MHL’s lowest power-play percentage in the league at 12.8 per cent. Meanwhile, Summerside has the Roger Meek Division lowest penalty-killing percentage of 71.4 per cent.

. . . Both Summerside and Yarmouth have five wins in their last 10 games.  

. . . The two teams have met once so far this season. Summerside, behind rookie goaltender Alex Kelly’s 29-save effort, won 4-3 in Yarmouth on Nov. 29.

. . . Summerside native Chase Gaudet should get at least one of the two starts in goal for Yarmouth this weekend . He has started 14 games this season, posting an 8-4-2 record.

. . . Western Capitals forward and Kensington native Thomas Stavert is sixth in the league with 14 goals in 25 games.

. . . This weekend will mark the return of defenceman Conner Dea, who the Caps dealt to Yarmouth in October. Dea, who played six games with the Caps, currently leads the league in penalty minutes with 114 in 23 games.

Organizations: Capitals, Mariners, Eastlink Division

Geographic location: Yarmouth, Summerside, Kensington

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