SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. – The Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals exploded for six second-period goals Tuesday in a 7-0 rout of the St. Stephen Aces in MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) action at Eastlink Arena.
Capitals head coach Billy McGuigan said his team discussed its performance during the first intermission with the game tied 0-0. The players then set an objective of 20 shots and four goals for the middle frame and ended up with six goals on 21 shots.
“We knew we needed to be better,” McGuigan said. “We just underestimated them.”
The lopsided victory came three days after Summerside thumped the Aces 7-1 in St. Stephen, N.B.
McGuigan was pleased with how his team responded after a bad start.
Thomas Harper struck 1:18 into the second, Cam Roberts scored three minutes later and the Caps didn’t stop.
Jesse Annear led the way with a goal, three assists and was a +5.
“He played a great game,” McGuigan said.
Dominik Tmej made 37 stops for the shutout, his league record-setting sixth of the season. It’s even more remarkable when considering he’s only played 15 games this season in the circuit after playing major junior with both the Acadie-Bathurst Titan and Quebec Remparts.
Tmej is 13-1 with a 1.80 goals-against average and a .950 save percentage with the Caps.
Affiliate player Clark Webster and Alex Hambly each had a goal and an assist while Alex Beaulieu and Hunter McTague also scored during the make-up game for a contest cancelled due to a winter storm on Jan. 4. Tuesday’s announced attendance was 407 during another winter storm.
Jordan Spence and Zach Thususka each contributed two assists while singles went to Sebastien Cormier, Morgan MacDonald, TJ Shea and Brodie MacArthur.
Zachary Leblanc allowed five goals on 18 shots in 34 minutes before Jack Grant stopped 15 of 17 shots in relief.
Summerside, which has now won 17 of its past 21 games, improved to 24-13-1-0 while St. Stephen dropped to 9-27-0-1.
The Capitals host the Miramichi Timberwolves Thursday at 7 p.m. before travelling to Campbellton, N.B., Friday for a 7:30 p.m. contest with the Tigers.
“Two big games for us,” McGuigan said. “Those are points we need.”