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Shea steps up to spark Western Capitals' third-period rally vs. Aces


Summerside has opportunity to sweep MHL playoff series in St. Stephen on Saturday

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. —

Big-game players step up when their team needs them the most.

Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals forward and captain TJ Shea did just that against the St. Stephen Aces on Thursday night.
The 20-year-old Anglo Tignish native scored the tying goal at 1:24 of the third period, and set up Josh MacDonald’s game-winning goal while short-handed at 6:13, as the Caps turned a 3-2 deficit after 40 minutes into 5-3 win, which was capped by Brodie MacArthur’s empty-net goal with 12 seconds remaining.

Summerside Western Capitals forward and captain TJ Shea and St. Stephen Aces defenceman Michael Waugh battle for a loose puck in front of Aces goaltender Shawn Wiranata during the first period of Thursday night’s MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) game at Eastlink Arena. Also hustling to get back in the play are the Aces' Evan White, 6, and the Caps' Sullivan Sparkes, 8. Shea had a goal and an assist in the third period to spark the Caps to a 5-3 come-from-behind win, and a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastlink North Division semifinal series.
Summerside Western Capitals forward and captain TJ Shea and St. Stephen Aces defenceman Michael Waugh battle for a loose puck in front of Aces goaltender Shawn Wiranata during the first period of Thursday night’s MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) game at Eastlink Arena. Also hustling to get back in the play are the Aces' Evan White, 6, and the Caps' Sullivan Sparkes, 8. Shea had a goal and an assist in the third period to spark the Caps to a 5-3 come-from-behind win, and a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastlink North Division semifinal series.

“TJ put them on his back in the third period,” said Caps head coach Billy McGuigan. “He was out for seven, eight weeks (with an injury), and now he’s starting to find his groove.
“I thought we were sloppy in the first and second periods. He took charge of the dressing room (in the second intermission), and he took charge in the third period. We played a lot better in the third period.”

Click here for feature story, video on Western Capitals head coach Billy McGuigan:

The Caps lead the best-of-seven MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) playoff series 3-0, and will go for the sweep in St. Stephen, N.B., on Saturday.
“We are going to have to be better for three periods, and play a good 60-minute game to wrap it up,” said McGuigan. “They are going to be desperate; they are going to be hungry and obviously they don’t want to go home and end their season.
“We want to get it done and move on.”

Click here for story on Game 2 between Caps and Aces:

Before 1,704 fans at Eastlink Arena, Shea won possession of a bouncing puck at the Caps’ blue-line, and raced down the left wing.
“I was trying to go wide and put my hand out to separate myself from (an Aces defender), saw there was an opening, took it to the forehand and wrapped it around the goalie,” explained Shea in describing the tying goal.

Summerside Western Capitals forward Josh MacDonald is all alone in front St. Stephen Aces goaltender Shawn Wiranta while Ethan Stuckless attempts to thwart this third-period scoring chance during Thursday night’s MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) playoff game at Eastlink Arena in Summerside. MacDonald would score what proved to be the game-winning goal on this play. MacDonald’s short-handed tally at 6:13 of the third period gave the Caps a 4-3 lead. The Capitals would add an empty-net goal for a 5-3 win, and a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Summerside Western Capitals forward Josh MacDonald is all alone in front St. Stephen Aces goaltender Shawn Wiranta while Ethan Stuckless attempts to thwart this third-period scoring chance during Thursday night’s MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) playoff game at Eastlink Arena in Summerside. MacDonald would score what proved to be the game-winning goal on this play. MacDonald’s short-handed tally at 6:13 of the third period gave the Caps a 4-3 lead. The Capitals would add an empty-net goal for a 5-3 win, and a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

On the game-winning goal, Shea was controlling the puck deep in the St. Stephen end.
“I saw Josh come in from the bench and he had a step on their guy,” offered Shea, who won two faceoffs deep in the Caps’ end with 1:31 and 59.6 seconds remaining in the third period and the Caps protecting a one-goal lead. “I passed to Josh (in the slot), and he made a nice move.”

Click here for Game 2 preview story for Caps and Aces:

Unexpected start
Shawn Wiranta received an unexpected start in goal for the Aces after scheduled starter Joey May suffered a broken skate in the warm-up. Wiranta made 34 saves.
“It was one of those things we have been trying to get him into a game for a long time,” said Aces head coach Emery Olauson. “He has done well against Summerside, and he’s beaten them (during the regular season).
“We feel he’s quite capable, but obviously when you have a 20-year-old goalie you run him until he can’t go anymore. It took a broken skate, and now we have a decision to make for Saturday because Shawn did really well.”

Click here for story on Game 1 between Caps and Aces:

Summerside Western Capitals goaltender Dominik Tmej makes a highlight-reel glove save during Thursday night’s MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) game against the St. Stephen Aces. Tmej made 26 saves in earning his third win of the series.

Disallowed goal
With the teams tied 1-1, the Caps felt they scored a go-ahead goal as time expired in the first period. After a discussion, referees John MacDougall and Jeff Affleck ruled no goal.
The Capitals went ahead 2-1 early in the second period, but two goals in the final eight minutes gave St. Stephen its second lead of the night.
“But, as Summerside has shown all year, they do well in the third period,” said Olauson. “They pounce on chances. It seems when teams get tired and they make mental mistakes, TJ Shea makes you pay. . .
“Give Summerside a lot of credit. They did what they needed to do, and now we have a steep mountain to climb.”

Click here for series preview for Caps and Aces:

Jason.simmonds@journalpioneer.com
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