Caps back on top

Jason Simmonds
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Snap three-game losing streak with win over Yarmouth

SUMMERSIDE – The Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals are back on top of the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League).

The Capitals, who improved to 19-7-1-0 (won-lost-overtime losses-shootout losses), defeated the Yarmouth Mariners 7-2 on Thursday night to move two points ahead of the idle Dieppe Commandos (18-7-1-0).

“We just tried to do what we’ve been doing in practice,” said third-year Capitals defenceman Joey Colatarci, who recorded a career-high five assists. “We just focused on getting that first pass out of the zone during the rush, and play defence first.”

Click here for game photos:

The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Capitals, who before that had won 15 of 17 games.

“We became complacent and we were losing, and tonight (Thursday) we just outworked them and got the two points,” assessed Colatarci, who is from Fort Myers, Fla.

 

Four points

At Eastlink Arena, Thomas Stavert scored his 24th and 25th goals of the season and drew two assists to increase his league-leading point total to 59. Mitch Dempsey had a goal and two assists while Josh Pugsley (1-1), Hunter McIntyre (1-1), Jonathan Larter and Nathan Yetman also scored for the Capitals, who built period leads of 2-0 and 4-1.

Aaron Maillet brought the Mariners to within 4-2 at 3:59 of the third period, but the Caps scored three times in the final 6:37.

“We played a good 60 minutes,” assessed Caps head coach Billy McGuigan. “It was a tight game.

“Yarmouth is playing well lately, and we broke it open late in the third. That is something we have been able to do this season, and we’re just glad we did here tonight (Thursday).”

Chad Cullen also scored for the Mariners (5-18-0-0).

 

35 shots

Overall, the Caps held a 35-22 shots-on-goal advantage. Daryl MacCallum earned the goaltending win over Leif Hertz.

“We all bought into the systems pretty well,” said Dempsey. “It just goes to show when we are all sticking together and buying into the systems that we can generate a lot of offence through 60 minutes.”

Dempsey displayed a major-league shot on his power-play goal.

“I got my hands back,” said Dempsey. “I hadn’t played hockey for a little bit (before joining the Caps). Everyone was contributing well.”

Dempsey, a draft choice of the Boston Bruins, joined the Capitals in late November just before the three-game slide.

“My first game we won in OT (on Nov. 26), and it’s such a better environment when you are winning games,” said Dempsey, who’s hometown is Cambridge, Ont. “We are excited to see what’s coming up in the next few games before the (Christmas) break.”

The game’s three stars were:

1. Mitch Dempsey (Caps), 2. Thomas Stavert (Caps), 3. Aaron Maillet (Mariners).

 

Twitter.com/JpsportsJason

 

 

Notebook

 

Summerside Western

Capitals notebook:

 

The Capitals are right back in action on Friday night, when the Truro Bearcats visit Eastlink Arena for a 7 p.m. start. Truro brings a 12-6-3-1 (won-lost-overtime losses-shootout losses) record into the game.

 

Summerside native and Rogers Sportsnet hockey analyst Doug MacLean, along with Tara Slone from Rogers Hometown Hockey, will attend Friday’s game and will drop the puck for the opening faceoff. Slone will also sing O’Canada. Rogers Hometown Hockey is in Summerside this weekend.

 

The Caps have announced that admission for any minor hockey players wearing their jersey to Friday’s game will be just a toonie.

 

After Friday’s game, the Capitals have only one home game remaining before the Christmas break. That will be against the Woodstock Slammers (16-5-3-0) on Thursday.

 

 

Geographic location: Yarmouth

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