SUMMERSIDE - The Summerside Western Capitals scored midway though the final frame to make it close Monday, but it wasn’t enough to earn Alex Bishop his first win between the pipes in his MHL debut.
Bishop’s acquisition was announced by the Capitals just prior to the New Year’s Day matinee 4-3 loss to the visiting Amherst Ramblers.
The goalie was acquired from the Markham Majors in Ontario, but had previously played three seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey with the Saint John Sea Dogs and more recently brief stints last year with the Quebec Remparts and Val d’Or Foreurs.
This year the 6’4” native of Richmond Hill, Ont. played 13 games with the Majors sporting a 3.49 GAA and a .902 save percentage.
On Monday, Bishop and the Capitals traded first period goals with the Ramblers to end the frame notched at 2-2, but the Ramblers added two more in the second to hang on for the 4-3 win.
“I thought early parts of the game were sloppy and I thought we were flat,” said Capitals head coach Billy McGuigan. “But coming on the later stages of the game we got better but couldn’t battle back all the way.”
The Ramblers opened the scoring at 4:06 of the first on a goal by Layton Parsons.
The Caps responded just over a minute later at 5:51 when Cam Roberts, assisted by Brodie MacArthur and TJ Shea, scored on the powerplay.
The Ramblers regained the lead at 7:59, when Will Bower beat Bishop, but the tie was restored at 15:39, again on the powerplay, when Jordan Spence, assisted by Shea and Jesse Annear, beat Amherst netminder Joel Goguen.
In the second Brady Griffin-Hefford on the powerplay at 12:13 and Will Lafford at 13:46 scored for Amherst.
Spence scored his second of the game, again from Annear and Shea, at 12:50 of the final frame but that would be as close as the Capitals would get in front of the Summerside crowd.
Bishop turned away 18 of the 22 shots he faced while Goguen allowed three goals on 18 shots.
“Some of those (goals) we’d like to have back,” said McGuigan. “But at the end of the day (Bishop) played pretty well for his first game.”
On Saturday, Chris Chaddock made an immediate impact for the Summerside Capitals.
The former forward with the Charlottetown Islanders of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League had a goal and an assist in his Caps’ debut – a 4-2 victory over the Campbellton Tigers.
It was an important win for the Caps, giving them sole possession of second place in the Eastlink North Division of the MHL. Before 1,185 fans at Eastlink Arena, Caps forward Brodie MacArthur also had a goal and an assist to extend his point streak to 14 games. Josh MacDonald and TJ Shea, who now has a 22-game point streak, also lit the lamp for the Caps. Brodie MacMillan (2), Kallum Muirhead, Thomas Harper and Jordan Spence were credited with helpers in a game that was not decided until the final minute.
The Caps held period leads of 1-0 and 3-1, but the Tigers closed to with 3-2 just past the halfway mark of the third period. It remained a one-goal game until MacArthur sealed the win with an empty-net goal with just 11 seconds left.
Drew Toner and Luc Arsenault countered for the Tigers. Pierre-Luc Lurette, Jonathan Coffee and Nick Deagle of Souris set up the Campbellton goals.
Rett Rook earned the goaltending win over Tristan Gray.
The Caps now sit at 16-12-1-0 (won-lost-overtime losses-shootout losses), and moved one point clear of the Tigers and Miramichi Timberwolves.
Summerside’s next game is Thursday at Credit Union Place when they play host to the St. Stephen Aces.