It was not a good long weekend at home for the Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals
The South Shore Lumberjacks erupted for four unanswered third-period goals to turn a 4-3 deficit after 40 minutes into a 7-4 road win in the Caps’ annual Islander Day game on Monday afternoon. This contest followed a 5-0 loss at Eastlink Arena to the Campbellton Tigers on Saturday night.
It is only the second time all season the Caps have lost back-to-back games. The first was back in September.
The Caps, who were playing without high-scoring forwards TJ Shea (injury) and Cameron Roberts (suspension), failed to clinch the Eastlink North Division’s regular-season title in the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League). The Caps need one more win to clinch home-ice advantage through at least the first two rounds of the playoffs.
The Caps, who are 34-8-2 (won-lost-overtime losses), are now two points up on the Eastlink South Division-leading Yarmouth Mariners (32-8-4), who scored three third-period goals to defeat the Pictou County Crushers (19-17-7) on Monday evening. The Caps and Mariners each have six regular-season games remaining.
The Capitals’ next game is Thursday, when the Grand Falls Rapids (12-22-6) visit Summerside for a 7 p.m. start.
Before 1,128 fans at Eastlink Arena, the Capitals jumped out to a 2-0 lead after one period, and at one point held a 3-1 advantage in the middle frame. After the Lumberjacks, who are based in Bridgewater, N.S., tied the game 3-3, Dylan Riley picked the far stick side from the bottom of the right-wing faceoff circle to give the Caps a 4-3 lead at 17:06 of the second period.
The third period, though, would belong to the Lumberjacks, who outshot the Caps 16-9. Logan O’Neill’s short-handed goal at 7:32 tied the game, and McKullen Askill made no mistake firing the puck into the open net after Caps goaltender Daniel Thompson got caught in no-man’s land after breaking to race for a loose puck. Cody Grant fired the puck home up high on Dominik Tmej, who replaced Thompson after South Shore’s fifth goal, to make it 6-4 at 18:10, and Christian Tsukamoto added an empty-net goal at 18:59.
Nicholas Tardif (1-2), Bair Gendunov and Connor McCloskey also scored for the Lumberjacks (20-19-3).
Kallum Muirhead (1-1), Brodie MacArthur (1-1) and Marc Richard, with a highlight-reel goal, rounded out the Caps’ scoring. Richard picked up a hard pass out of the air at the South Shore blue-line, before breaking in alone and making no mistake deking goaltender Ty Grant and sliding the puck through the five-hole to give the Caps a 2-0 lead.
Conor MacEachern (2), Kyle Nichol (2), Jesse Annear and Sullivan Sparkes contributed assists for the Caps.
Overall, the Caps held a 41-38 shots-on-goal advantage.
The game’s three stars were:
1. Logan O’Neill (Lumberjacks), 2. Jacob Hickey (Caps), 3. McKullen Astill (Lumberjacks).