SUMMERSIDE – It was a tough weekend for the Summerside Western Capitals and some of the team’s hopefuls.
The Pictou County Weeks Crushers swept a home-and-home exhibition series from the Capitals, who cut nine players over the weekend.
Following a 6-5 overtime loss on Saturday, the Capitals released Spencer Sherren, Austin Taylor and Chasse Gallant.
Six more players – defencemen Mitchell Robinson, Dawson Grenier and Corey Chaplin along with forwards Jonathon Larter, Hunter MacIntyre and Jonathan Arsenault – were all reassigned following a 4-1 loss on Sunday afternoon.
All of the players except Chaplin, who will return to the Arnprior Packers of the Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League, will return to their major midget teams.
The latest rounds of cuts leave the Caps with 21 players – two goaltenders, six defencemen and 13 forwards.
The Capitals will close out the pre-season with a home-and-home series against the Amherst Ramblers this weekend. The teams meet in Amherst, N.S., on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and return to Eastlink Arena on Sunday at 7 p.m.
Crushers 4 Capitals 1
Before 296 fans at the Pictou County Wellness Centre, the teams played a scoreless first period and the Crushers took a 2-0 lead into the second intermission.
Luc Poirier’s power-play goal opened the scoring at 7:07, and Declan Smith’s unassisted marker at 16:01 proved to be the game-winner.
Daniel Walsh (9:54) and Stephen MacInnis (14:13) staked the Crushers to a 4-0 lead in the third period.
Thomas Stavert spoiled the shutout bid of Crushers goaltender Devan Tremblay at 14:26. Chaplin and Curtis McGregor earned assists.
Overall, the Crushers outshot the Caps 31-28. Tremblay went the distance to earn the win while Alex Kelly and Brodie Barrick each gave up two goals for the Capitals. Kelly faced 18 shots while Barrick was tested 13 times.
Crushers 6 Caps 5 (OT)
Before 300 fans at Eastlink Arena, Daniel Walsh scored his third goal of the game in overtime to lift the Crushers to victory after the Capitals battled back from 3-0 and 5-3 deficits.
“We had a younger team in the lineup,” said Capitals general manager Pat McIver. “I thought the guys who played gave it a good effort.”
Rory Graham (2-1) and Stephen MacInnis also scored for the Crushers, who are coached by former Capitals defenceman, team captain and assistant coach Jason Malone.
Brad Power (2-1), Alex Bradley (1-2), Arsenault and Jordan Buchanan replied for the Caps. Brock Richard (2), McIntyre, Grenier, Chaplin and Joey Colatarci drew assists.
Winning goaltender stopped 12 of 17 shots. Barrick and Bradley Shea split the game for the Caps. Barrick gave up three goals on 19 shots while Shea turned aside six of eight shots.