For Western Capitals against Miramichi on Saturday
SUMMERSIDE – Simon-Pier Chamberland has provided the Summerside Western Capitals with a stabilizing presence all season, and that will have to continue in the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) playoffs.
© Nancy MacPhee/Journal Pioneer
Simon-Pier Chamberland takes a drink of water during a break in action during a recent MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) game at Eastlink Arena.
Chamberland will get the start in goal when the Capitals open the best-of-seven Roger Meek Division semifinal series on the road against the Miramichi Timberwolves on Saturday night. The teams return to Summerside for Game 2 on Monday at 7 p.m.
“He’s (Chamberland) the backbone of our team back there,” said Capitals head coach Tim Schurman. “Any time we turn the puck over or get hemmed in our zone, we feel comfortable Simon is going to be there for us.
“He’s a very competitive guy, this is his last kick at the can of junior hockey playoffs. He’s going to be ready and we hope we can give him all the support he needs, because we know he’s going to give us everything he has.”
The rebuilding Capitals, who finished in fourth place, go into the series as the underdog after finishing 26 points behind the division-winning and veteran-laden Timberwolves in the regular season. However, four of the seven head-to-head meetings between the Caps and Timberwolves required a shootout to determine a winner.
“We have a lot of confidence,” said Chamberland, 20. “We know who we have to look for on Miramichi.
“We know everything about them. We played them a lot this year, so we know what we have to do and what not to do. We know if we make mistakes, like turnovers, they will score on them.”
“He’s (Chamberland) the backbone of our team back there. Any time we turn the puck over or get hemmed in our zone, we feel comfortable Simon is going to be there for us. He’s a very competitive guy, this is his last kick at the can of junior hockey playoffs. He’s going to be ready and we hope we can give him all the support he needs, because we know he’s going to give us everything he has.” Capitals head coach Tim Schurman
The 20-year-old Chamberland, who is from Thetford Mines, Que., joined the Caps in October and had an immediate impact.
“Simon came in at a point where we needed to stabilize our goaltending,” said Schurman. “We felt we needed a veteran presence back there, so when we did make some mistakes, which is going to happen with a young team, we had a guy back there who was able to bail us out.
“He’s come in and given us that, he’s great in the room and we’re happy to have him.
“He’s been a good influence on (rookie goaltender) Alex Kelly as well.”
Chamberland appeared in 31 regular-season games with the Capitals, compiling a 3.21 goals-against average and .910 save percentage.
“It’s a good feeling and it’s nice to know the boys are relying on me and trust me,” said Chamberland. “I want to have fun in the playoffs, and try not to think it’s my last year.”