In win over Capitals on Sunday afternoon
SUMMERSIDE – The Summerside Western Capitals may be young and rebuilding, but they proved they can play with two of the top teams in the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) over the weekend.
The Capitals, behind a 37-save performance from goaltender Simon-Pier Chamberland, defeated the league-leading Pictou County Crushers 3-0 on Saturday night, and dropped a 2-1 decision to the Amherst Ramblers in a Sunday afternoon game that came right down to the final seconds.
“We played very well, we competed all day, we had a lot of chances and that was a good hockey team we played again,” assessed Caps head coach Tim Schurman after Sunday’s game. “It was a great game.”
The Caps are now 11-18-2-1 (won-lost-overtime losses-shootout losses) while the Ramblers, who are fourth in the Eastlink Division at 22-10-2-0, moved to within five points of the Crushers.
“Guys are working hard and doing whatever they can to try and get some points on the board,” said Schurman. “We are happy with the effort this weekend.”
Before an announced crowd of 824 fans at Eastlink Arena, former Summerside Western Capital Brock Morrison and goaltender Billy Clarke led the Ramblers.
Morrison scored both Amherst goals, including the game-winner on a short-handed breakaway at 14:10 of the third period to break a 1-1 tie. Morrison cut to the centre of the ice from the right wing just inside the Caps’ blue-line, and made no mistake finding the back of the net to the right of Caps goaltender Alex Kelly.
The Caps, though, refused to quit and had a couple of close calls in the final 30 seconds of the third period, but Clarke was able to shut the door.
“We had a couple of (late) chances and their goalie came up with a couple of big saves,” said Schurman. “He (Clarke) made a couple of big saves at the end of the game and during the game, and our guy made some great saves, too.”
Morrison opened the game’s scoring with a power-play goal at 12:17 of the second period.
Brad Power, who connected with the man advantage, tied the game for the Caps in the last minute of the second period. Malik Johnson and Alex Bradley assisted.
Overall, the Caps outshot the Ramblers 45-28. Clarke turned in a strong effort in goal for the Ramblers while Kelly was solid for the Caps.
Referee Thane Arsenault called three of five minor penalties against the Capitals, who also picked up one checking-from-behind game misconduct.
The game’s three stars were:
1. Billy Clarke (Ramblers), 2. Alex Kelly (Caps), 3. Brock Morrison (Ramblers).
The Capitals open a four-game road trip against the Miramichi Timberwolves on Wednesday night. The Caps’ next home game is against the Woodstock Slammers on Sunday, Jan. 26, at 2 p.m.