Head coach: Caps’ have future bright

Jason Simmonds
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Schurman reflects on 2013-14 season

SUMMERSIDE – Summerside Western Capitals head coach Tim Schurman prefers to look at Sunday’s season-ending loss to the Miramichi Timberwolves as a step towards the future.

Summerside Western Capitals

The Capitals dropped a 3-2 road decision that gave the Timberwolves the best-of-seven MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) playoff series in five games.

“You are disappointed the season is over, but I think in a few days, when everyone has a few minutes to reflect back on the season and see the growth we’ve had over the last few months, for the most part people are going to be pretty happy with their season,” said Schurman.

The rebuilding Capitals, who had 11 rookies see the ice in the post-season, gained valuable experience against the veteran-laden Timberwolves, says Schurman, which will help the team in future years. Despite finishing 26 points behind the Timberwolves in the regular season, four of the five playoff games were decided by only one goal.

“It’s nice to experience and see what it takes to win big games in the playoffs,” said Schurman. “They (Timberwolves) were led by example by some guys – Rankyn Campbell, Bryce Milson and Tyrone Sock blocked about six shots today (Sunday). They gave 100-per-cent sacrifice for the benefit of the team.

“Our guys learned a lot about that through the course of the season. I would imagine the guys who end up back here next year will be itching to get at it again.”

Regular season

After winning just four of their first 11 regular-season games in September and October, the Caps finished with a very respectable 24-23-2-3 (won-lost-overtime losses-shootout losses) record, including a 10-4 record in February and March to close out the regular season.

“Our team came a heck of a long way over six or seven months from September. There was a lot of teaching and learning that had to go on to get us up to this point. That’s why it was so important for us to have a committed group who was willing to do whatever was asked of them, and also guys that enjoyed being around each other and committed to playing for each other. It makes it a lot easier when guys do like each other, and really want to go to the wall for each other.” Caps head coach Tim Schurman

“We laid a good solid foundation this year,” said Schurman. “We probably have some guys who are going to get some looks at other levels (next year), and we will be excited to have whoever ends up back with us. We will be active looking for players to hopefully make our team stronger.”

The Caps finished the season with only two players – forwards Jordan Buchanan and Thomas Stavert – off last year’s team that advanced to the RBC Cup championship game in Summerside.

“Our team came a heck of a long way over six or seven months from September,” said Schurman. “There was a lot of teaching and learning that had to go on to get us up to this point.

“That’s why it was so important for us to have a committed group who was willing to do whatever was asked of them, and also guys that enjoyed being around each other and committed to playing for each other.

“It makes it a lot easier when guys do like each other, and really want to go to the wall for each other.”

Schurman also had a message for Caps’ fans: “We’re certainly not going to sleep. We are going to go to work and keep on trying to build another championship team for Summerside.”

Twitter.com/JpsportsJason

 

Organizations: Timberwolves, Maritime Junior Hockey League, RBC

Geographic location: Summerside

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