Gaudet turns in 32-save effort in helping Mariners earn split
SUMMERSIDE – It was a successful homecoming for Yarmouth Mariners goaltender Chase Gaudet on Saturday night.
© Jason Simmonds/Journal Pioneer
Yarmouth Mariners goaltender and Summerside native Chase Gaudet makes a right-pad save during Saturday night’s MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) game against the Summerside Western Capitals at Eastlink Arena. Yarmouth defenceman Connor Rogers and Capitals forward Malik Johnson look for a rebound.
The 19-year-old Gaudet of Summerside stopped 32 of 35 shots directed his way in a 7-3 victory over the Summerside Western Capitals.
“It’s definitely a good feeling,” said Gaudet, who had a large contingent of family members in attendance, including his parents Marc and Nicky Gaudet of Summerside. “I’ve won and lost a lot of games in this building (Eastlink Arena).
“It’s definitely nice to be back and see my family and friends at the game.”
The win was an important one for the Mariners, who salvaged a split in a two-game weekend series after the Caps won 5-2 on Friday night. The game marked the final pre-Christmas game for both teams.
“We needed a bounce-back game,” said Gaudet. “We played really well tonight (Saturday), and it’s good to get the W (win) right before Christmas.”
The Caps go into the Christmas break at 10-15-1-1 (won-lost-overtime losses-shootout losses) and fourth in the Roger Meek Division. The Mariners (19-8-0-2) are third in the very tight Eastlink Division, one point ahead of fourth-place Amherst (18-10-0-1) and one point back of second-place Truro (19-8-0-2).
“It’s been up and down,” said Gaudet in assessing the Mariners’ first half. “We’ve had our bumps in the road, but we are expecting big things after Christmas.
“We are definitely hoping to get all the way to the finals, and go all the way. We have the team to do it.”
Before an announced crowd of 583 fans, the Mariners jumped out to an early 2-0 lead and never trailed in the game. Danny Wicks, who led the Mariners with two goals and an assist, opened the scoring 1:32 into the game. Brandon Syms made it 2-0 at 3:02, and the Caps’ Joey Colatarci cut the lead in half before the first intermission.
A key point in the game came in the last half of the second period. The Mariners struck for back-to-back power-play goals by Josh Desmond (12:52) and Wicks (13:22) to take a 5-2 lead.
“It’s definitely a good feeling. I’ve won and lost a lot of games in this building. It’s definitely nice to be back and see my family and friends at the game.” Yarmouth Mariners goaltender and Summerside native Chase Gaudet
Cavan Fitzgerald brought the Caps to within 5-3 at 18:04 of the second period. The Caps had a glorious opportunity to further close the gap as they were given a five-minute power play in the final minute of the middle frame.
Gaudet’s best save of the night came early in the third period on that power play, as he sprawled to his left to take away what looked like a sure goal and keep it a two-goal game.
“It was a definitely big for momentum to make that save and keep the lead at two,” said Gaudet, who calmly turned away all 16 shots sent his way in the final 20 minutes.
Kyle Campbell (16:12) and Colin Campbell (19:18) added late third-period goals to put the game out of reach.
Mark Creaser also scored for Yarmouth, and Blaize Bridges netted the second Capitals’ goal.
The Mariners, finished with 40 shots on Caps goaltender Simon-Pier Chamberland, went 3-for-6 on the power play while the Caps had a 3-for-7 summary.
“There were a lot of power plays and our guys did really good PKing (penalty killing) whenever I made a rebound save,” explained Gaudet. “It was a pretty easy game for me. I have to give the D and forwards a lot of credit.”
The game’s three stars were:
1. Danny Wicks (Mariners), 2. Chase Gaudet (Mariners), 3. Joey Coltarci (Capitals).
The Capitals’ next home game at Eastlink Arena is New Year’s Eve against the Miramichi Timberwolves (18-6-0-3). Game time is 7 p.m.