The Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals are one win away from advancing to the second round of the 2019 MHL (Maritime Junior Hockey League) playoffs.
The Capitals scored three unanswered third-period goals, including an empty-net marker, to turn a 3-2 deficit after 40 minutes into a 5-3 victory over the St. Stephen Aces on Thursday night. The Caps lead the best-of-seven Eastlink North Division semifinal series 3-0, and will go for the sweep in St. Stephen, N.B., on Saturday night.
Before 1,704 fans at Eastlink Arena, captain TJ Shea 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. Brodie MacArthur, who had a goal and two assists, sealed the win by scoring into an empty St. Stephen net with 12 seconds remaining.
Dylan Riley and Kallum Muirhead also scored for the Capitals. Jacob Arsenault (2), Sullivan Sparkes (2) and Noah Massie also assisted for the Caps.
Michael Johnson, Michael Waugh and Brandon Costa found the back of the net for the Aces. Everett Hicks (3), Ethan Stuckless (2) and Ryan O’Toole collected helpers.
The teams were tied 1-1 after the first period. The Caps felt they had scored to go up 2-1 as time expired in the first period, but after a discussion at the penalty box referees John MacDougall and Jeff Affleck ruled no goal.
Overall, the Caps outshot the Aces 39-29, including period advantages of 12-8, 15-11 and 12-10. Dominik Tmej earned his third win of the series, and Shawn Wiranta turned in a strong 34-save effort for the Aces. Wiranta was pressed into service after scheduled starter Joey May, who played the first two games of the series, broke a skate in the warm-up.
Both teams scored two goals on the power play as the Caps had four man advantages and the Aces had five.
The Caps were assessed six of the game’s 11 minor penalties.
The Aces had two Prince Edward Islanders in their lineup. Forward Connor McGregor of Charlottetown is in his rookie season, and Kensington Wild forward Ryan Richards was called up for the second time this series. Richards also played in Game 1.
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