Caps drop opener

Jason Simmonds
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Quick goals by Tigers the difference

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 en route to a 6-5 victory in Game 1 of the best-of-seven MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) playoff series.

“We have a lot of positives to take out of this game,” said Capitals head coach Billy McGuigan. “We knew going in they are a good hockey club, and it’s going to be a tough series.

“We weren’t expecting to win it in four straight.”

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While happy to get the win, Tigers head coach Troy Ryan was not pleased with how his team played.

“The outcome was good, but that’s a terrible hockey game,” said Ryan. “I think we played probably the worst (we’ve played against Summerside), but I think that’s the worst they have played against us this year as well.

“We can’t get into those types of games running and gunning. It was sloppy in all ends. It is funny, we play with good structure generally and we lose to them and the night we don’t play with any structure we beat them, so we’ll take it.”

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

 

Hot line

The story of Game 1, played before 1,149 fans at Eastlink Arena, was Campbellton’s top line of Eddie Banville (2-3), Malik Johnson (2-2) and Gregor MacLeod (0-4) combining for 13 points.

“They’ve been good all year,” said Ryan. “Gregor MacLeod is a 17-year-old kid undrafted to major junior, and he just slows everything down, makes good plays and is creative.

“Malik, last year with us, was always looking to spring and take off. Playing with Gregor a lot he has learned to slow his game down and use his linemates better. He’s been unbelievable.

“Eddie has been with us for two years, and he’s a smart player. They are all very creative.”

“The outcome was good, but that’s a terrible hockey game. I think we played probably the worst (we’ve played against Summerside), but I think that’s the worst they have played against us this year as well. We can’t get into those types of games running and gunning. It was sloppy in all ends. It is funny, we play with good structure generally and we lose to them and the night we don’t play with any structure we beat them, so we’ll take it.” Tigers head coach Troy Ryan

Pierre-Luc Lurette and William Basque also scored for Campbellton (23-16-7-2).

Sam LeBlanc (2), Evan Morrison (2) and Alex Peddle (1-1) countered for Summerside (34-12-1-1), who had fans on the edge of their seats as they pressed for the equalizer in the final minute.

 

Quick goals

The Tigers scored 12 seconds apart to take a 2-0 lead in the opening frame, and then opened up a 6-3 advantage with two goals 17 seconds apart late in Period 2.

“We weren’t focused after a goal, and they come back and score again,” said McGuigan.

Overall, the Caps outshot the Tigers 37-32. Campbellton goaltender Rowan O’Brien made 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 first-period breakaway.

Rookie Matt Williams started for the Caps and was pulled in favour of Kyle Michalovsky after giving up three goals on 11 shots in the first 15:10 of the game. After Michalovsky was beaten for three goals on 11 shots, Williams re-entered the game.

 

Twitter.com/JpsportsJason

 

Superfan

The Superfan’s assessment of Game 1:

Super player: Sam LeBlanc.

Super play: Back-to-back goals by the Caps in the second period to cut Campbellton’s lead to 3-2 at the time.

Super predictions: Caps will come back with a strong game on the road to win in Campbellton.

Series: 1-0 Campbellton.

Tag: The Journal Pioneer has joined other TC Media properties with MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) teams involved in the 2015-16 playoffs in choosing a Superfan to help analyze each of their favourite team’s home games. Our choice is longtime Caps fan Mark Kanne of Summerside.

Organizations: Tigers, Maritime Junior Hockey League, Capitals

Geographic location: Campbellton, Summerside

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  • Gussy
    March 17, 2016 - 23:00

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ....it's the caps......zzzzzzzzz