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UPDATED: Wins more important than scoring race for Western Capitals veterans

Summerside-based junior A team's winning streak will be on the line against division foe Saturday


Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals teammates Brodie MacArthur and Kallum Muirhead are quick to make one thing clear.

Although the 20-year-old linemates, in their final year of eligibility, are the top two point-getters in the 12-team Maritime Junior Hockey League, both stress wins are more important than individual statistics.
“We don't talk about it,” said MacArthur, who has registered 23 goals and 20 assists for a league-leading 43 points in 22 games. “We are just happy for each other. That standings are way more important.”
Muirhead, who has 18 goals and 24 assists for 42 points, is one point back of MacArthur. Two members of the South Shore Lumberjacks – Bair Gendunov (18-17) and Logan O’Neil (9-26) – enter Friday’s play tied for third with 35 points.
“We don't pay attention to (the scoring race),” said Muirhead. “We just go out there and have fun.”
That is something MacArthur and Muirhead did on Thursday night as they combined for seven points in leading the Caps to their 11th straight victory – a 7-4 win over the Grand Falls Rapids in the Centennial Classic, played before 1,690 fans at Eastlink Arena.
“Brodie and I are pretty close,” said Muirhead, who scored a hat trick and added an assist for a four-point night while MacArthur assisted on all three goals as the Capitals improved their league-leading record to 19-3-0 (won-lost-overtime losses). “We have a good friendship and we like playing together.”
MacArthur, captain of the Caps, was quick to deflect praise to Muirhead, who is listed as six-foot-six and 240 pounds.
“He’s a big body and he loves to score,” said MacArthur, who is from Summerside. “Kallum, Cam Roberts and I have been clicking pretty well lately.
“Kallum creates a lot of room out there for sure and we are just trying to keep it going here.”
Muirhead credited strong team chemistry as a big part of the Caps’ success.
“It’s pretty awesome to have such a tight-knit group of guys and come together and produce some wins,” added the Charlottetown native.

Slow start
The Caps, who were ranked ninth in this week’s Canadian Junior Hockey League top-20 rankings, did not get off to a strong start against Grand Falls, which jumped out to a 3-1 first-period lead.
"We started a bit flat, but good teams find a way to win and that’s what happened,” said Muirhead. “We battled back and got the W.”
Caps head coach Billy McGuigan called a timeout after the Rapids took a two-goal lead. The Caps would go on to take control of the game by scoring six unanswered goals – one late in the first period, four in the middle frame and one in the third.
“Every time you let in a couple of goals early everybody knows they have to be better,” said MacArthur. “We just got together after that timeout that Billy called and everyone got going after that.”
Muirhead said the Caps weren’t playing their style of hockey before the timeout.
“We got the puck behind their D and we went to work. We were kind of soft in the first period and we got back to our regular play, where we are tough to play against.”

Next game
The Caps, who are also unbeaten in 11 home regular-season games, will look to continue that trend on Saturday against the Campbellton Tigers (10-8-1). Game time at Eastlink Arena is 7 p.m.
“It’s always a battle with Campbellton,” said Muirhead. “They are one of our biggest rivals. It’s going to be a fun game.”

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