Nick Reeves made something out of nothing.
What looked like a broken play one minute suddenly turned into the game-winning goal.
“I didn’t see a play when I crossed the blue-line, so I thought I would drive it wide,” explained Reeves, who was captain of the Charlottetown Pride (now Knights) major midget team last season. “I looked over and saw some of the boys driving to the net so I threw it to the middle, it hit a skate, a stick and (the goalie’s) pad, I think, before going in, so I’ll take it.”
Reeves’s fifth goal of the season broke a 2-2 tie at 11:58 of the third period and sent the Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals to a 3-2 win over the Grand Falls Rapids in the Maritime Junior Hockey League on Thursday night.
“We started off a bit slow, but we didn’t stop working hard,” said Capitals forward Marc-Andre LeCouffe, who tied the game on the power play at 3:44 of the third period. “We got pucks to the net, kept putting pressure on their D and good teams find a way to win.
“A big goal by Nick Reeves won it for us and we did not give up.”
The Capitals, who sport a league-leading record of 21-3-0 (won-lost-overtime losses), have now won 13 games in a row. However, Thursday’s victory was certainly not one of their prettiest wins of the season.
“It was a pretty flat game from our side,” assessed Caps head coach Billy McGuigan. “I thought they played a heavy game early and we weren’t really responding.
“We stuck with it and got a power-play goal on a great play by Brodie MacArthur off a (Zach) Biggar shot off a tip off the goalie’s pad and LeCouffe finished it off. That got us rolling a bit and we took over the last 10 minutes of the third period.
“We were really good there and Nick finished it off with a big goal.”
The message in the second intermission was clear – the Caps needed to be better.
“We definitely were not executing well the first two periods,” said Reeves, a Summerside native who has five goals and eight points in 24 regular-season games. “We weren’t playing the game we wanted to play, but coming into the third Billy gave us a good speech and we knew we had to go out and earn it.
“We always say, ‘Good teams find a way to win’ and that’s what we did. We started chipping pucks in, getting behind their D and got an early goal on a nice play on the power play.”
“Our power play got us going and our stars have gotten us going a lot this year and they did that again (Thursday).”
McGuigan said the third period “showed the character” the Caps possess and agreed the Caps played with more urgency after entering the final 20 minutes trailing 2-1.
“We did good things in the first two periods, but in the third period we went a little harder,” added LeCouffe. “We gave them less time with the puck. I don’t think we did anything special.”
- Recap of Thursday’s Maritime Junior Hockey League game in Summerside:
- Final score – Western Capitals 3, Grand Falls Rapids 2.
- Scoring – Capitals: Marc-Andre LeCouffe (1-1), Ed McNeill, Nick Reeves; Rapids: Lucas Joly, Nash Smith.
- Assists – Capitals: Zach Biggar, Jacob Arsenault, Bennett MacArthur, Brodie MacArthur; Rapids: Shon-Olivier Roy, Miguel Pare, Ronan Rheaume, Dawson Wood.
- Period scores – 1-1 and 2-1 Rapids.
- Shots on goal – 35-24 Capitals.
- Goaltenders – Capitals: Alec MacVicar; Rapids: Tyriq Outen.
- Three stars – 1. Marc-Andre LeCouffe (Caps), 2. Lucas Joly (Rapids), 3. Nick Reeves (Caps).
- Click here for feature story on Western Capitals forward Bennett MacArthur:
- Click here for story on where Western Capitals are in latest Canadian Junior Hockey League rankings:
- Click here for story on Western Capitals' home game vs. Campbellton Tigers Nov. 23: