The Summerside Western Capitals gave the Roger Meek Division-leading Miramichi Timberwolves all they could handle on Wednesday night.
The Capitals overcame 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to tie the game 3-3, before dropping a 4-3 decision in a shootout in Miramichi, N.B.
The Timberwolves improved to 23-7-0-3 (won-lost-overtime losses-shootout losses) to maintain a one-point lead over the Dieppe Commandos (21-7-2-1), who did the Caps a favour by beating the Campbellton Tigers 5-1 on Wednesday night.
The single point the Caps earned for the shootout loss increases their lead to six points over the Tigers for the final playoff berth in the Roger Meek Division. The Caps are 11-18-2-2 while Campbellton is 9-24-1-1.
Before 684 fans at the Miramichi Civic Centre, Rankyn Campbell and Bryce Milson scored in the shootout for the Timberwolves while Cavan Fitzgerald was the lone Caps’ scorer.
Milson (1-1), Campbell and Tyler Brown scored regulation-time goals for the Timberwolves. Alex Scully, Trey Lewis, Tyrone Sock, Cole MacDonald and Eric Walker chipped in with assists.
For the Capitals, Malik Johnson (1-1), Brad Power and Fitzgerald, who tied the game 3-3 with 7:01 remaining in regulation time, found the back of the net.
Alex Collett earned the goaltending win. Alex Kelly was the goaltender of record for the Capitals in relief of starter Simon-Pier Chamberland, who was injured just 4:20 into the first period. Overall, the Timberwolves outshot the Caps 34-23 through regulation time and overtime.
Referee Josh McCormack called four minors and one 10-minute misconduct against the Capitals. The Timberwolves were assessed five minors and one 10-minute misconduct.
The Capitals are on the road this weekend with games against the Bridgewater Lumberjacks (2-29-3-2) on Friday and the Yarmouth Mariners (22-10-2-0) on Saturday.
The Caps’ next home game is against the Woodstock Slammers on Sunday, Jan. 26, at 2 p.m.