Timberwolves visit S’side for New Year’s Eve contest

Jason Simmonds
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SUMMERSIDE – The Summerside Western Capitals will look to go into 2014 on a winning note.

Summerside Western Capitals forward Thomas Stavert, 16, of Kensington looks to get around the Campbellton Tigers’ Patrick Bourgault, 95, while Francis Theriault, 10, back checks on the play. The action took place during MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) action at Eastlink Arena in November.

The Capitals will host the Miramichi Timberwolves in a clash of two Roger Meek Division teams in the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) on New Year’s Eve. The opening faceoff at Eastlink Arena is set for 7 p.m.

“Miramichi is one of the elite teams in the league this year,” said Capitals head coach Tim Schurman. “This is the year they have been building for, and they have a tough squad.

“The first game after the Christmas break can go one of two ways; guys can be extremely excited to be back at it, or they can have a little Christmas hangover.”

The Capitals take a 10-15-1-1 (won-lost-overtime losses-shootout losses) record into a New Year’s Eve home contest against the Miramichi Timberwolves (18-6-0-3).

It’s a big game for both teams as the fourth-place Caps are just two points ahead of the Campbellton Tigers (9-21-1-1) for the Meek Division’s final playoff berth. However, the Caps do hold five games-in-hand.

Meanwhile, the Timberwolves are one point behind the Dieppe Commandos (19-6-2-0) for top spot in the Roger Meek Division

Schurman said the Caps just have to focus on playing their game versus the Timberwolves.

“They (Timberwolves) have a lot of offensive weapons and they are an experienced team, they are carrying 10 20-year-olds,” said Schurman. “They have guys who have come back from major junior, and the last thing we want to do is run and gun with them.

“Miramichi is one of the elite teams in the league this year. This is the year they have been building for, and they have a tough squad. The first game after the Christmas break can go one of two ways; guys can be extremely excited to be back at it, or they can have a little Christmas hangover.” Capitals head coach Tim Schurman

“We have to make sure we are the team that is outworking them, play our game and hope to get a break or two along the way.”

The Capitals’ Prince Edward Island players skated a couple of times over the weekend, and all players were expected back for a full team practice on Monday night.

Fitzgerald back

Defenceman Cavan Fitzgerald, who played two weekend games with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and scored the winning goal in Saturday’s contest, was travelling back to P.E.I. on Monday, and will be in the lineup on New Year’s Eve.

“We feel he is probably the best 17-year-old defenceman in the league,” said Schurman. “He has taken some big strides in a short amount of time and we expect him to only get better.

“For him to go in there on Saturday night in front of a packed house (at the Halifax Metro Centre) and score a game-winning goal, it says a lot about him.”

Capitals general manager Pat McIver announced the signing of free-agent forward David Sweet, 19. The American attended the Moncton Wildcats’ training camp this summer. McIver expects Sweet to make his Caps’ debut against Miramichi.

Twitter.com/JpsportsJason

Organizations: Capitals, Timberwolves, Maritime Junior Hockey League Campbellton Tigers Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Halifax Metro Centre

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Moncton

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