SUMMERSIDE – The Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals started quick, and never looked back.
The Capitals scored just over a minute into the game, and built a 3-0 lead before the 10-minute mark of the first period en route to an 8-1 victory over the Valley Wildcats on Thursday night. The Caps, who held period leads of 4-0 and 6-1, outshot the Berwick, N.S.-based Wildcats 49-29 in the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) contest.
“We came ready to play, and I thought we were good throughout the whole game,” assessed Capitals head coach Billy McGuigan.
The game marked the debut of forward Alex Beaulieu and defenceman Hunter McTague with the Caps. Both were acquired before Wednesday’s 10 p.m. trading and roster deadline.
“Even with the additions and guys playing together for the first time, I felt we all clicked well,” said Caps forward Zach Thususka, who scored a goal and added an assist.
Thususka was happy to contribute offensively.
“It’s nice to get a couple of points, and it feels pretty good,” added the 18-year-old Summerside native.
Thususka, who has four goals and five assists for nine points in 31 games, said he is taking a simple approach to his rookie season.
“I just want to do the little things right, finish checks, get hard on pucks and do my job,” said Thususka, who admitted the adjustment period to junior A is now over.
“I feel pretty comfortable now, and want to play the best I can,” he added.
The Capitals, who are second in the Eastlink North Division, improved to 18-12-1-0 (won-lost-overtime losses-shootout losses), and widened their lead over the Campbellton Tigers (16-13-2-0) and Miramichi Timberwolves (15-10-2-2) to three points.
“We knew coming in two points were really important,” said Capitals forward Chris Chaddock, who also contributed a goal and an assist. “We came here focused.”
Chaddock played on a line with Kallum Muirhead and Beaulieau.
“Kallum has a lot of skill and Beaulieau, I just met him today (Thursday), but it is a lot of fun playing on a line with those fellas,” said Chaddock.
Tmej in goal
At Eastlink Arena, Dominik Tmej made his first start since he was assigned to the Capitals from the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Tmej, who had four shutouts, a 1.71 goals-against average and .950 save percentage before heading to Quebec City, finished with 28 saves against Valley, including a couple of highlight-reel stops.
Capitals forward TJ Shea scored once and set up two others to extend his point streak to 25 games. Brodie MacArthur contributed a pair of assists, and now has at least a point in 17 straight games.
Morgan MacDonald (1-1), Riley Smith (1-1), Kallum Muirhead, Josh MacDonald and Cam Roberts also lit the lamp for the Capitals. Also collecting assists were Beaulieau (2), Alex Hambly (2), McTague, Tmej, Sebastien Cormier and Thomas Harper as 15 different players contributed at least a point for the Caps.
The game’s three stars were:
1. Chris Chaddock (Caps), 2. TJ Shea (Caps), 3. Alex Beaulieau (Caps).
The Capitals continue a stretch of three games in four days on Saturday, when they visit the St. Stephen Aces (7-21-0-1). The Caps return home to host the Eastlink South Division-leading Yarmouth Mariners (22-7-1-0) on Sunday at 4 p.m.