Eight different players score; Tmej earns another shutout
Tuesday night’s MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) game in Summerside was over almost as soon as it started.
The Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals scored three goals in the first 3:19 of the contest, and never looked back en route to an 8-0 whitewashing of the Grand Falls Rapids. The Caps, who sport a league-best 32-5-1 (won-lost-overtime losses) record, have won four games in a row and are 13-0-1 in their last 14 games.
Summerside, which holds a 14-point lead over the second-place Campbellton Tigers (23-11-5) in the Eastlink North Division, is five points up on the Eastlink South Division-leading Yarmouth Mariners (28-7-4) atop the 12-team league’s overall standings in the race for home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. The Caps, who were ranked third in this week’s Canadian Junior Hockey League’s top-20 rankings, have 12 regular-season games remaining while the Mariners and Tigers each have 11.
Before 818 fans at Eastlink Arena, the Capitals, who held comfortable period leads of 5-0 and 7-0, received goals from eight different players – Kallum Muirhead (1-1), Zach Thususka (1-1), Ryan MacDonald (1-1), Cam Roberts (1-1), Sullivan Sparkes (1-1), Brodie MacMillan, Kayden Peck and Jacob Hickey. The Caps have scored a league-leading 197 goals, including 27 in their last four games.
Brodie MacArthur, who leads the MHL in scoring with 83 points in 38 regular-season games, earned two assists to extend his point streak to 19 games. MacArthur has registered 49 points during this stretch. Conor MacEachern (2), Jesse Annear, Dylan Riley and Will Proud, a call-up from the Kensington Wild major midget team, also contributed assists.
Dominik Tmej turned aside all 29 shots directed his way to earn his league-leading sixth shutout of the campaign. Tmej, who was coming off a 41-save shutout in a 4-0 road win over Campbellton on Friday night, took over the MHL lead in wins (20) while lowering his league-leading goals-against average to 1.96 and increasing his league-best save percentage to .939. The Capitals registered 41 shots on goal as Grand Falls fell to 10-21-6.
The game’s three stars were:
1. Zach Thususka (Caps), 2. Sullivan Sparkes (Caps), 3. Kayden Peck (Caps).
The Caps begin a stretch of three games on the road in less than 72 hours on Friday night in Grand Falls. The Caps then play back-to-back games against the Edmundston Blizzard (20-14-4) on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. The Caps’ next home game is against Campbellton on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m.