Birthday boys spark Caps

Jason Simmonds
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Tigers’ series lead cut to 2-1

SUMMERSIDE – The Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals’ birthday boys gave themselves an early present on Sunday.

Evan Morrison, who turns 21, and rookie Hunter McIntyre, who will be 18, both celebrate birthdays on Monday, one day after they each scored key goals to help the Capitals to a much-needed win in the MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) playoffs. The Caps’ 4-2 win cut the Campbellton Tigers’ lead in the best-of-seven Eastlink North Division semifinal series to 2-1.

Click here for Game 3 photos:

“It was a big bounce-back game for us,” said Morrison. “Down 2-0, it’s discouraging, but they’re a good team. We really put it together and battled through.

“The first couple of games we didn’t get the bounces we would have liked.”

Click here for the Journal Pioneer's in-game coverage of Sunday's contest:

The Tigers, who won 5-4 in double overtime on Saturday night, host Game 4 on Tuesday, and Game 5 is back in Summerside on Thursday at 7 p.m.

“Last night (Saturday) was a late night, we had some bus issues and I don’t think we got home until 5:30 today (Sunday), but they found a way to battle through,” said a pleased Caps head coach Billy McGuigan. “It’s all part of the process, and now we’re down 2-1 instead of 3-0. We have a little life, but we have a big game coming up.”

 

Opens scoring

After a scoreless first period, the Tigers opened the scoring on the power play at 1:38 as Matthew Gray knocked a rebound past Caps goaltender Matt Williams.

McIntyre, who was battling for position with Campbellton’s David Chevrier, drove to the goal and scored off a Mitch Dempsey pass from behind the goal-line to tie the game at 4:21.

“It was a nice play by Mitch Dempsey,” explained McIntyre. “He drove wide, beat the defenceman, shoveled one out front and I was lucky enough to get a stick on it and tip it in. . .

“It hit the toe of my stick, and I don’t know if it went off the defender because I didn’t feel I got enough on it to put it in the net. I will take it!”

“It was a big bounce-back game for us. Down 2-0, it’s discouraging, but they’re a good team. We really put it together and battled through. The first couple of games we didn’t get the bounces we would have liked.” Western Capitals forward Evan Morrison

 

Go-ahead goal

The Caps took a 2-1 lead at 13:24 as Evan Morrison banged a loose puck home after a nice rush by linemate Nathan Yetman.

Shortly after the Caps went ahead, Williams denied Malik Johnson from in close to preserve the lead.

The Caps made it 3-1 at 14:05 as a Riley Whittingham made no mistake converting a Thomas Stavert pass.

The Tigers closed to 3-2 3:45 into the third period on Eric Chipman’s goal, and the Caps, led by Yetman’s three blocked shots, killed off a two-man Campbellton power play for 31 seconds with the score 3-2.

Stavert (1-1) then restored the Caps’ two-goal lead at 12:28.

 

Colatarci suspended

Capitals defenceman Joey Colatarci was suspended for Game 3 for what MHL  president Dave Ritcey called “conduct unbecoming of the league.”

The incident happened following Saturday’s Game 2.

The Capitals appealed the suspension, but an appeals committee upheld Ritcey’s ruling.

 

Twitter.com/JpsportsJason

 

Superfan

The Superfan’s

assessment of Game 3:

 

Super player: Capitals goaltender Matt Williams.

 

Super play: Hunter McIntyre’s goal at 4:21 of the second period. The Tigers were leading 1-0 at the time.

 

Super predictions: Hoping Caps can come on strong and stay in series. Game 4 is in Campbellton, N.B., on Tuesday.

 

Series: 2-1 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: Capitals, Tigers, Maritime Junior Hockey League

Geographic location: Campbellton, Summerside

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