Brodie MacArthur is the Maritime Junior Hockey League’s all-time scoring leader.
The Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals’ captain set the new standard of 353 points Thursday on home ice against the Grand Falls Rapids. He tied Duane Saulnier’s 30-year-old record of 352 points on Feb. 21 against the Rapids in Grand Falls, N.B.
“It’s pretty cool,” MacArthur said of the record. “There’s been a lot of talk the last couple of weeks about it, so I’m happy that it’s over with now and we can move on to playoffs.”
The 20-year-old Summerside native didn’t have long to wait to write his name in the record books.
Kallum Muirhead beat Tyriq Outen 25 seconds into the game for the milestone point in a 5-1 victory at Credit Union Place in the Caps’ final home game of the regular season. MacArthur picked up an assist on the play.
“You couldn’t have written it up any better,” head coach Billy McGuigan said. “Those two have been clicking for four years here.”
The play started in the Caps’ zone when defenceman Jacob Arsenault put the puck off the glass. MacArthur got it at centre ice and chipped it in past the defenceman. Muirhead walked in and fired his shot high glove side for the record-breaker.
“I’m not going to lie, I was looking (to pass to) him for a goal, but he wasn’t open,” Muirhead explained, “so I shot it and luckily it went in.”
The Caps on the ice gathered around MacArthur behind Grand Falls’ net. Seconds later, Tina Turner’s Simply The Best rang through the arena as the Summerside bench emptied and MacArthur’s teammates went to congratulate the captain.
A LITTLE HELP FROM HIS FRIENDS
Muirhead grew up playing against MacArthur in minor hockey. They were teammates on provincial teams, including the 2015 Canada Games squad in Prince George, B.C.
They joined the Caps as 17-year-olds, becoming teammates, linemates and friends.
“Playing with him for (four) years now and watching him surpass the record is pretty cool,” Muirhead said. “He’s incredible. He sees the ice well and he’s got the great hockey IQ, so it’s awesome to play with him.”
Off the ice, he said, MacArthur is an awesome friend who is always there to support his buddies.
Several former teammates, including T.J. Shea and Jesse Annear, were on hand Thursday to support him and watch their friend make history despite freezing rain and snow hitting the province.
MacArthur said he has been fortunate to have great teammates during his four-year career.
“I think back to where it all started,” he said. “I came here at 17 and our captain, Nathan Yetman, a great leader, kind of showed us the way.”
He said he’s played with talented linemates, but mostly Shea, Muirhead, Cam Roberts and childhood friend Carson MacKinnon, who joined the Caps for the second half of this season.
. @Bmacarthur13 says he has been fortunate to play with great teammates during his time with @SsideCapitals . He’s grateful for the scoring record and is looking forward to a deep playoff run as they chase a @THEMHL title. pic.twitter.com/Ste3WSkNUq— Guardian Sports (@SportsGuardian) February 28, 2020
MacArthur said he was thankful for his supportive family, including his parents Rodney and Kim as well as sister Brooke and brother Colby.
“They’ve done everything for me,” he said. “That’s where I got my love for the game – from my father.”
Colby is in his first year with the Capitals and it is the first season the brothers have played together.
Rodney played junior hockey in Charlottetown before the Maritime league existed and some people, who have seen both Rodney and Brodie play, see similarities in their games.
Rodney, a finalist for the 1989 Canadian junior A player of the year, played on the Island while Saulnier was playing in Nova Scotia.
In 1988, Rodney and his Abbies teammates lost to the Capitals in the Island final. Summerside played Saulnier’s Halifax team in the Atlantic final and Rodney went to watch.
“He was a fantastic player,” Rodney recalled. “He was really a scoring machine with Halifax teams back then. For my son to surpass him is something that we’re very happy and proud of him for.”
Rodney coached Brodie in minor hockey.
“Right from the time he was four and five years old, he’s enjoyed making the pass as opposed to scoring the goal,” he recalled. “He’s a pass-first guy, it’s just kind of his personality. ... The biggest compliment for him is that, I think, players have always liked playing with him.”
Those early teams were stacked with some of the province’s top players. It included MacKinnon, Jeremy McKenna and Noah Dobson.
“They really fed off one another, all those players. They were all competitive,” Rodney recalled.
“They always really pushed one another, but yet they were best pals then and best pals now.”
He said they were driven to get better and succeed.
“Even if it was 6:30 in the morning practice, they’d be there at 5:30 – as soon as the building opened,” he said. “They’d play two-on-two or three-on-three in one end for the whole time before practice would start.”
There are many fond memories from their childhood teams, including winning the Spud in dominating fashion and the Quebec international peewee tournament in 2012.
MacArthur played for the Kensington Monaghan Farms Wild major midgets before being selected 10th overall by his hometown Caps at the 2015 junior A draft in Campbellton, N.B.
It took him 14 minutes and 52 seconds into his very first game to find the scoresheet. MacArthur scored on the opening night of the 2016-17 season (Sept. 8, 2016) in Dieppe, N.B., against the Commandos.
He’s continued to register points during the next four years.
McGuigan, who has coached in the league for about 15 years, said it’s harder to score today than before.
“The kids at our level have gotten better. The game and the pace of the game have improved tremendously,” he said. “You really have to fight for your space. To see him do it in this day and age, and the consistency he’s shown over the last number of years, has been outstanding. It’s a special thing to watch.”
MacArthur, who leads the league in scoring for the second year in a row, isn’t driven by personal statistics. The one thing he has aimed for since joining the Caps – the league title – has alluded him so far.
“It’s not an easy league to win. There’s 12 hungry teams every year all looking to (achieve) the same goal,” he said. “We’ve been fortunate enough the last couple of years to have a legitimate shot at it. This is the last shot for a few of us, so we’re going to try and make it count.”
What they said
A collection of what some people had to say after Summerside Western Capitals’ captain Brodie MacArthur broke the Maritime Junior Hockey League scoring record on Thursday.
“This couldn’t happen to a better person. Brodie worked hard throughout his junior career and progressively improved from year to year. He truly loves being a Western Capital and I’m proud he has achieved such a great accomplishment with Summerside.”
Pat McIver, Capitals’ general manager
“It’s an unbelievable feat. … To (break) a record that’s 30 years old … and to do it on his first shift in his last home game is something special.”
Billy McGuigan, Capitals’ head coach
“Our family, we’re all very proud of him.”
Rodney MacArthur, father
“This is a record which had stood for three decades and the new mark will be tough to beat. His skill and determination on and off the ice is to be commended and celebrated.”
Steve Dykeman, league president
A look at the Maritime Junior Hockey League’s top all-time point getters.
Player Seasons Pts.
Brodie MacArthur 2016-17 to 2019-20 353
Duane Saulnier 1986-87 to 1989-90 352
Jordan Knox 2004-05 to 2007-08 342
By the numbers
A look at Brodie MacArthur’s scoring statistics during his Maritime Junior Hockey League career.
Season GP G A Pts.
2016-17 50 15 35 50
2017-18 45 29 60 89
2018-19 50 43 67 110
2019-20 49 43 61 104
Career 194 130 222 353
Summerside at Valley
Friday, March 6
Summerside at Campbellton
Saturday, March 7
Summerside at Miramichi