It was a special year for forward Brodie MacArthur and goaltender Dominik Tmej of the Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals.
MacArthur ran away with the MHL’s (Maritime Junior Hockey League) scoring title while Tmej led the way in most goaltending categories, including breaking his own mark of six in recording a league-record seven shutouts, in leading the Caps to a first-place overall finish at 40-8-2 (won-lost-tied).
MacArthur was named the league’s player of the year on Monday afternoon while Tmej was recognized as the goaltender of the year. MacArthur and Tmej were both named first-team all-stars.
“It was a great team season,” said Tmej, who was born in the Czech Republic and moved to Florida when he was 13. “None of those accomplishments I could do by myself. We have a really good team, and I’m excited for playoffs.”
However, both 19-year-olds stress that while the individual success is nice, their No. 1 priority is helping the Caps win the Canadian Tire Cup, and earn the right to represent the MHL at the 2019 Fred Page Cup Eastern Canadian junior A hockey championship in Amherst, N.S., from May 1 to 5.
“Obviously, it’s pretty cool, especially with my linemate, TJ, winning it last year. I’ve been playing with a lot of good players, but honestly our goal is to win the whole thing. That’s what we are really focusing on.” - Brodie MacArthur
MacArthur finished the regular season with a league-best 43 goals and 67 assists for 110 points in 50 contests. That tied Darcy Tuplin’s franchise record for points in a season, which he established during the 2005-06 campaign.
“I’ve had the opportunity to play with a lot of great players this year,” said the son of Rodney and Kim MacArthur of Summerside. “It’s been a good year so far, and hopefully we can keep it going in the playoffs.”
MacArthur, who finished 34 points ahead of the Grand Falls Rapids’ Jean-Simon Belanger (36-40—76), is the second Western Capital to win the league’s scoring race in as many years after TJ Shea registered 43 goals and 62 assists for 105 points in 48 regular-season games in 2017-18.
“Obviously, it’s pretty cool, especially with my linemate, TJ, winning it last year,” said MacArthur, who has registered 276 points in 167 regular-season and playoff games in his three seasons with the Caps. “I’ve been playing with a lot of good players, but honestly our goal is to win the whole thing. That’s what we are really focusing on.”
- 2016-17 Regular Season: 50 points in 50 games – 15 goals, 50 assists.
- Playoffs: 6 points in 10 games – 1 goal, 5 assists.
- 2017-18 Regular Season: 89 points in 45 games – 29 goals, 60 assists.
- Playoffs: 21 points in 12 games – 4 goals, 17 assists.
- 2018-19 Regular Season: 110 points in 50 games – 43 goals, 67 assists.
- Quote: “Coming into the league as a new guy you are almost scared to make mistakes, and kind of affects your overall game. Now, in my third year in the league, you kind of know what’s going on, you know every rink and can just go out and play hockey.”
Along with the shutout record, Tmej led the MHL in wins (26), goals-against average (2.24) and save percentage (.929).
“Dominik is the hardest-working guy we have on our team,” said Caps head coach Billy McGuigan. “He’s in the gym every day, he’s the first guy at the rink every single day, he’s the last guy to leave and he’s always taking care of his body stretching after practice.
“He just wants to play. If I gave Dom 50 games he would play all 50. He loves to be in the net.
“His hard work in the net the last couple of years has certainly paid off for him. He’s a tremendous kid, is exactly what we want here in Summerside and has volunteered his time helping the Summerside peewee AAA team as strength coach, just giving back to the community. His season, overall, has been outstanding.”
Tmej and rookie Daniel Thompson of Riverview, N.B., teamed to win the Young/Knickle Trophy as the league’s top goaltending duo. They allowed just 120 goals in 50 regular-season games. In 19 games, Thompson went 14-4-0 while posting a 2.42 goals-against average and .921 save percentage.
- 2017-18 Regular Season: 21 games, 2.06 goals-against average (GAA), .940 save percentage, 6 shutouts.
- Playoffs: 7 games, 4.11 GAA, .890 save percentage.
- 2018-19 Regular Season: 34 games, 2.24 GAA, .929 save percentage, 7 shutouts.
- Quote: “I am just trying to get better with each year. When I look at it my numbers are pretty close to what they were last year. I’m happy with how we have played. We are first in the league, and that’s all that matters.”
Consistency has been a highlight of MacArthur’s season. He scored a league-leading 10 game-winning goals, averaged 2.20 points per game and had a 23-game point streak.
“He’s been an exceptional player for us,” said McGuigan. “He’s on a little bit of a mission this year, he’s hungry and can’t wait for the playoffs. He’s a tremendous kid.
“Every day he comes to the rink prepared to work, and there’s not a better player in the league who is as knacky with the puck as him. He’s a tremendous passer, and can also find the back of the net.
“He’s become a better two-way player the last couple of years as well. . . He’s as skilled as any player in the league and he’s probably the best passer in the league.”