The Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals will open the 2019 Canadian Tire Cup playoffs in the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) on Saturday.
The Caps will host the St. Stephen Aces in Game 1 of the best-of-seven Eastlink North Division semifinal series at Eastlink Arena in Summerside. The opening faceoff is set for 7 p.m.
The Caps finished the 2018-19 regular season first overall in the 12-team league at 40-8-2 (won-lost-overtime losses) in the 50-game schedule. The Aces, who clinched the playoff berth on the final day of the regular season when the Miramichi Timberwolves (19-28-3) lost 5-1 to the Edmundston Blizzard, were 20-27-3.
The series will follow a home-and-home format, with Game 2 in St. Stephen, N.B., on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The teams return to Summerside for Game 3 on Thursday, March 21, also at 7 p.m.
This year will mark the first-ever playoff series between the Capitals and Aces.
The other North Division semifinal will feature the second-place Campbellton Tigers (31-13-6) meeting Edmundston (26-17-7).
In the Eastlink South Division, the first-place Yarmouth Mariners (36-9-5) will face the fourth-place Truro Bearcats (24-21-5) while the second-place Amherst Ramblers (26-11-3) will be opposed by the South Shore Lumberjacks (27-20-3).
Following is the complete schedule for the Caps and Aces’ series:
(All games start at 7 p.m.)
Saturday, March 16 – St. Stephen at Summerside.
Tuesday, March 19 – Summerside at St. Stephen.
Thursday, March 21 – St. Stephen at Summerside.
Saturday, March 23 – Summerside at St. Stephen.
Game 5, if necessary
Monday, March 25 – St. Stephen at Summerside.
Game 6, if necessary
Tuesday, March 26 – Summerside at St. Stephen.
Game 7, if necessary
Thursday, March 28 – St. Stephen at Summerside.