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Western Capitals back home

Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals forward and team captain Morgan MacDonald says the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) team is excited to return home.
Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals forward and team captain Morgan MacDonald says the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) team is excited to return home. - Jason Simmonds

Summerside junior A team plays first home game in over a month Saturday night

SUMMERSIDE – The Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals are returning to what may seem like unfamiliar territory.
Their home arena.
The Capitals will play their first game at Eastlink Arena in 34 days on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Pictou County Crushers will provide the opposition for what will be just the Caps’ second game in 20 days.
“You can almost compare it to a Christmas break,” said Capitals forward and team captain Morgan MacDonald. “We had that 11 days (off), and then had another nine days where we played only one game in between.”


The Capitals last hosted a game in the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) on Oct. 15, and are looking for a good crowd versus the Crushers.
“Hopefully, the fans haven’t forgotten about us,” joked Caps head coach Billy McGuigan, who is expecting “another good hockey game” between two “evenly-matched teams.”
The Capitals’ last played on Nov. 9 – a 5-2 road win over the Crushers in New Glasgow, N.S.
“We played really well,” assessed the 20-year-old MacDonald, who is from Little Pond. “We stuck to our structure, and that helped us a lot . . .
“We played physical right from the drop of the puck, and we stuck to what we wanted to do.”
McGuigan liked what he saw from his young team against the Crushers.
“We really had a solid game, and played real well in both ends of the rink,” said McGuigan. “(Rookie forward) Zach Thususka (of Summerside) got us on the scoreboard the first shift of the game, and we stayed with it for 60 minutes.”
Capitals forward TJ Shea has recorded 24 points during a 10-game point streak, including at least two points in all 10 contests. Going into Friday’s action, Shea was second in league scoring while Caps defenceman Jordan Spence, who has 16 points in 16 games, sat second in rookie points.
Summerside Western Capitals.


Regular schedule
Saturday will mark the first of four straight home games for the Caps over a 13-day period.
“It’s definitely going to be nice to get back on home ice, and play in front of home fans again,” added MacDonald.
McGuigan is “looking to get back to some sort of normality and normal schedule of playing games and practising.” However, the unusual lengthy break has allowed the Caps to get healthy as everyone but forward Kallum Muirhead will be available Saturday, noted McGuigan.
Forward Brodie MacArthur and defenceman Jesse Annear will be back with the Caps after playing for Team MHL at the 2017 Eastern Canada Cup Challenge in Ontario earlier this week.

McGuigan would not tip his hand on who will get the start in goal. The acquisition of Dominic Tmej earlier this week leaves the Caps with three goaltenders.
“It was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up,” said McGuigan in addressing the move. “(Tmej) comes highly recommended by a number of guys in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
“Most people feel he is going to be a really good junior A goalie. We are happy to get him. He fits our age group as a ’99, and could be good here for a couple of years.”

Game Day
Western Capitals vs. Pictou County Crushers:
Caps –
7-8-1-0 (won-lost-overtime losses-shootout losses) overall and 3-2-0-0 at home.
Crushers – 7-10-1-0 overall, and 3-6-0-1 on the road.
Caps –
TJ Shea, 30.
Crushers – Jacob Hickey, 18.
Caps –
TJ Shea, 12.
Crushers – Jacob Hickey, 8.
Caps – TJ Shea, 18.
Crushers – Jacob Hickey, Michael Dill, tied with 10.
Power-Play Goals
Caps – TJ Shea, 5.
Crushers – Jacob Hickey, 4.
Short-Handed Goals
Caps –
TJ Shea, 2.
Crushers – team has scored no short-handed goals this season.

Home Games
Western Capitals’ upcoming home games:
Saturday, Nov. 18
7 p.m. –
vs. Pictou County.
Thursday, Nov. 23
7 p.m. –
vs. Valley.
Saturday, Nov. 25
7 p.m. –
vs. Woodstock.
Thursday, Nov. 30
7 p.m. –
vs. St. Stephen.
Saturday, Dec. 2
7 p.m. –
vs. South Shore.
Thursday, Dec. 7
7 p.m. –
vs. Miramichi.


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