The Campbellton Tigers made sure the Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals have to wait a little bit longer to clinch the Eastlink North Division regular-season title in the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League).
Tristan Gray picked up a 29-save shutout in backstopping the Tigers to a 5-0 road decision over the Capitals on Saturday night. The win improved the Tigers’ record to 26-12-5 (won-lost-overtime losses), and the Caps fell to 34-7-2.
It was the Caps’ first regulation-time loss since Dec. 21, and they went into Saturday’s game with 15 wins and two losses in extra time in their last 17 games.
The Caps currently have 70 points while the Tigers sit at 57. Each team has seven regular-season games remaining, so if the Tigers were to win all of them the most they can finish with is 71 points.
One more Caps’ win will clinch the division. The next opportunity comes up on Monday as the South Shore Lumberjacks (19-19-3) travel to Summerside for the Caps' annual Islander Day home game at 2 p.m.
The Caps remain four points up on the Eastlink South Division-leading Yarmouth Mariners (31-8-4) in the overall standings. Each team has played 43 games.
Before 1,187 fans at Eastlink Arena, Dylan Coffey, Pier-Olivier Michaud and Charles-William Gagne all had a goal and an assist to pace the Tigers’ attack. Single goals came off the sticks of Dawson Stairs and Pascal Valcourt while assists were credited to Brendan Bornstein (2), Joel Walker, Matt Warner and Hunter Martin.
Caps forward Brodie MacArthur’s point streak ended at 23 games. The Summerside native, who leads the MHL in scoring with 93 points in 43 games, registered 59 points during the point streak that started on Nov. 22.
After a scoreless first period, the Tigers struck for three second-period goals and added on two insurance tallies in the final 20 minutes.
Dominik Tmej faced 28 shots between the pipes for the Caps.
The game's three stars were:
1. Pier-Olivier Michaud (Tigers), 2. Dylan Coffey (Tigers), 3. Charles-William Gagne (Tigers).