SUMMERSIDE – A four-goal second period helped send the Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals to a big two points on Thursday night.
The Capitals registered a 5-3 win over the Miramichi Timberwolves as the race continues for second place in the Eastlink North Division of the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League).
The Capitals, who improved to 21-12-1-0 (won-lost-overtime losses-shootout losses), maintained a five-point lead over the Campbellton Tigers (17-13-2-0) and are seven up on the Timberwolves (16-11-2-2), who have played three fewer games than Summerside. The Tigers, who received an assist from Coleton Perry of North Bedeque and have one game-in-hand on the Caps, edged the Woodstock Slammers 4-3 in overtime on Thursday night.
“They (Timberwolves) have a few games-in-hand on us, so obviously we know we have to get as far ahead of them as we can,” said Caps forward and Summerside native Brodie MacArthur, who recorded a game-high three points.
Before 977 fans at Eastlink Arena, the Caps and Timberwolves went into the first intermission tied 1-1, but the Caps outscored their visitors 4-1 in the middle frame for a 5-2 advantage after 40 minutes.
“We didn’t have the best first period, but in the second period we wanted to come out and play our game, and I thought we did that,” said the 17-year-old Cameron Roberts, who scored the Caps’ first two goals.
Overall, the Timberwolves outshot the Capitals 40-26, including period advantages of 12-8, 12-11 and 16-7. Dominik Tmej was solid in earning the goaltending win.
“They pushed the last 10 minutes (of the third period), but we stood our ground and got the W,” added Roberts.
The Caps have now won five games in a row, and seven of their last eight.
Second of night
Roberts, with his second of the night, gave the Caps a 2-1 lead at 5:18, and MacArthur fired the puck past Miramichi starting goaltender Tanner Somers high on the glove side at 8:53 to make it 3-1.
“Chaddy (Chris Chaddock) gave me a nice pass, and I finally put one in on a breakaway,” said the 18-year-old MacArthur, who extended his point-scoring streak to 20 games.
Riley Scott brought the Timberwolves to within 3-2 at 11:12, but Chaddock got his stick on a Kallum Muirhead shot to give the Caps a 4-2 lead at 12:15. Rookie Jordan Spence, who was set up by MacArthur, scored the Caps’ fifth goal with 0.4 seconds remaining in the middle frame.
“That goal by Jordan Spence was a big goal for us,” noted Roberts, who is from Kensington.
Scott scored Miramichi’s third goal at 16:42 of the third period. Colby Tower’s power-play goal at 18:22 of the first period lifted Miramichi into a 1-1 tie.
MacArthur (2), TJ Shea (2), Chaddock, Spence, Muirhead and Jesse Annear earned assists for the Caps. Shea has now recorded at least a point in 28 consecutive games.
Somers allowed four goals on 16 shots in 32:15 of action. Raphael Blais stopped nine of 10 shots the rest of the way.
The game also featured a rare fight as Muirhead and the Timberwolves’ Justin Guitard engaged in a spirited bout late in the second period.
The game’s three stars were:
1. Jordan Spence (Capitals), 2. Cameron Roberts (Capitals), 3. Brodie MacArthur (Capitals).
The Caps visit the Truro Bearcats (15-16-0-1) on Friday night. Summerside’s next home game is on Thursday, Jan. 25, against the league-leading Edmundston Blizzard (25-6-3-0) at 7 p.m.