The Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals overcame a sluggish start to remain the hottest team in the Maritime Junior Hockey League.
The Capitals spotted the visiting Grand Falls Rapids a 3-1 lead before scoring six unanswered goals – one late in the first period, four in the middle frame and one in the third – en route to a 7-4 victory in the Centennial Classic game, played before 1,690 fans at Eastlink Arena on Thursday night.
Linemates Kallum Muirhead and team captain Brodie MacArthur combined for seven points in leading the Capitals to their 11th straight win. Muirhead scored a hat trick and added an assist for a four-point night while MacArthur assisted on all three goals as the Capitals improved their league-leading record to 19-3-0 (won-lost-overtime losses).
MacArthur leads the league scoring race with 43 points – 23 goals and 20 assists – and Muirhead has 42 points – 18 goals and 24 assists.
Jacob Arsenault (1-2), Bennett MacArthur (1-1), Gianluca Fuoco and Marc Richard also scored for the Capitals, who are a perfect 11-0 on home ice this season. Zach Biggar (2), Zach Thususka, Riley MacDougall and Marc-Andre LeCouffe added assists.
Bobby Labelle (1-2), Drew Toner (1-1), Matthew MacKay and Lucas Joly countered for the Rapids (7-11-3).
Grand Falls led 3-2 after the opening period and the Caps took a 6-3 advantage into the second intermission.
Overall, the Caps outshot the Rapids 39-30. Alec MacVicar was the winning goaltender. Tyriq Outen stopped 26 of 32 shots for Grand Falls in the first two periods and Nolan Boyd allowed one goal on seven shots in the final 20 minutes.
Referees Nolan Cornish and John MacDougall called four of six minor penalties against Summerside.
The game’s three stars were:
1. Kallum Muirhead (Caps), 2. Jacob Arsenault (Caps), 3. Theo Citrullo (Caps).
The Caps are back in action on Saturday against the Campbellton Tigers (10-8-1). Game time at Eastlink Arena is 7 p.m.
Check back later for updated story.