UPDATE: Tigers win Game 1

Jason Simmonds
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Series resumes in Campbellton on Saturday

SUMMERSIDE – The Campbellton Tigers have struck first against the Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals.

The Tigers built period leads of 3-0 and 6-3 and then held on for a 6-5 victory in Game 1 of the best-of-seven Eastlink North Division semifinal series in the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League).

Game 2 is in Campbellton, N.B., on Saturday night, with Game 3 back in Summerside on Sunday at 7 p.m.

The story of the series opener, played before a good crowd at Eastlink Arena, was the offensive production by Campbellton’s top line of Eddie Banville (2-3), Malik Johnson (2-2) and Gregor MacLeod (0-4), which combined for 13 points.

Pierre-Luc Lurette and William Basque also scored for the Tigers.

Sam LeBlanc led the Caps with two goals while Evan Morrison (2) and Alex Peddle (1-1) also scored.

The Capitals pressed for the equalizer in the final minute and had a couple of close calls, but could not find the back of the net.

Overall, the Caps outshot the Tigers 37-32 Campbellton goaltender Rowan O’Brien was solid in the game. Matt Williams and Kyle Michalovsky both saw action in goal for the Caps.

The loss also snapped the Caps’ eight-game winning streak.

 

 

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SUMMERSIDE – There was no shortage of goals in the second period at Eastlink Arena.

The Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals and Campbellton Tigers each scored three times, and the visitors lead the opening game of the best-of-seven MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) playoff series 6-3 after 40 minutes.

The Tigers took a 3-0 lead into the middle frame, but the Caps struck for two goals 11 seconds apart. Alex Peddle scored off a one-timer 12 seconds into a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty at 1:11, and then Evan Morrison made it a 3-2 game 11 seconds later.

The Capitals thought they had tied the game with just over 13 minutes to go in the frame, but referee Thane Arsenault ruled Tigers goaltender Rowan O’Brien had covered the puck before it was knocked into the goal.

Eddie Banville made it 4-2 for the Tigers at 13:16, and the Caps’ Sam LeBlanc got the Caps back to within 4-3 at 14:08.

After striking for two goals 12 seconds apart in the first period, the Tigers scored twice 17 seconds apart late in the period to go up 6-3. Those goals came off the sticks of Pierre-Luc Lurette (15:42) and Malik Johnson (15:59).

The Capitals made their second goaltending change of the night following Campbellton’s sixth goal as Matt Williams, who started the game, relieved Kyle Michalovsky. Michalovsky gave up three goals on 11 shots since he entered the game in the first period.

Only two minor penalties were called in the second period – one to each team. The Tigers will have a 1:50 power play to start the third period.

 

Big line

A big storyline in the game is the production of Campbellton’s top line of Banville (2-3), Johnson (2-2) and Gregor MacLeod (0-4), which has combined for 13 points.

 

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SUMMERSIDE – It was not the start the Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals were looking for.

The Campbellton Tigers struck for two goals 12 seconds apart before the four-minute mark of the first period to open up a 2-0 lead in the opening game of the best-of-seven Eastlink North Division semifinal series in the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) on Thursday night.

The Tigers, who also hit a goal post, lead the contest 3-0 after a fast-paced and penalty-free first period.

 

Opens scoring

Former Capital Malik Johnson opened the scoring on a breakaway at 3:40, and Eddie Banville scored on a redirection at 3:52.

William Basque’s shot got through Caps goaltender Matt Williams to make it 3-0 at 15:10. That was the end of the night for Williams, who was relieved by Kyle Michalovsky after facing 11 shots.

The shots-on-goal in the first period were 14-13 in favour of the Tigers. Campbellton goaltender Rowan O’Brien was outstanding, making an outstanding save off a point-blank rebound by Riley Whittingham before the game was two minutes old, and he later denied Mitch Dempsey on a breakaway.

The game is being played before a good crowd at Eastlink Arena.

 

The Journal Pioneer will continue to have updates throughout the game.

 

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SUMMERSIDE – It’s playoff time for the Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals.

The Capitals will open the best-of-seven Eastlink North Division semifinal series against the Campbellton Tigers in the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) on Thursday. Puck drop at Eastlink Arena is set for 7 p.m.

The Capitals finished first overall in the regular season after posting a record of 34-12-1-1 (won-lost-overtime losses-shootout losses). The Tigers, who were fourth in the division, were 23-16-7-2.

 

Starting goaltenders

Rookie Matt Williams, who recorded 22 wins and had a 3.17 goals-against average and .900 save percentage in 35 regular-season games, gets the call in goal for the Caps. The Tigers will counter with Rowan O’Brien, who had seven wins in 15 regular-season games along with a 2.63 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.

Fourth-year Capitals left-winger Thomas Stavert, who was named the MHL’s player of the year earlier this week, led the league with 97 points – 41 goals and 56 assists.

Former Capital Malik Johnson had a team-leading 55 points – 24 goals and 31 assists – for the Tigers.

 

McIntyre out

Hunter McIntyre, who has been battling the flu this week, is not dressed for the Capitals, who won all six head-to-head meetings with the Tigers in the regular season and come into the playoffs on an eight-game winning streak.

Thane Arsenault and Mike Annear are the referees.

 

The Journal Pioneer will post updates on tonight’s game throughout the evening.

Organizations: Campbellton Tigers, Capitals, Maritime Junior Hockey League Journal Pioneer

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