Summerside midgets win battle of Capitals STEPHEN BRUN
SUMMERSIDE - The battle of the Caps came down to a thrilling final period Thursday night. The Summerside Hemphill GM Capitals won a 5-4 decision over the Fredericton A.L. Gullison Caps in Atlantic minor midget AAA hockey championship play at Credit Union Place.
The host team's captain, Brodie Gallant, broke a 4-4 tie with 2:21 to play, banging a loose puck past the Fredericton goaltender Matthew Bailey's short side. "You have to come to play 60 minutes,” said Summerside head coach Jason (Lefty) Gallant. “These teams can turn it on and off so quick, and even when they get down they just keep coming and coming. "You lean on your veterans and rely on them to get it done and, late in the game, they got it done."
Summerside jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead on first-period goals from Justin Clark, Tyler Doyle and Jordan Buchanan, despite being outshot 15-10. The host team's goaltender, Derek Arsenault, was solid throughout the first half of the second period, helping fend off two Fredericton power plays. Fredericton got back into the game with about seven minutes left in the second period as Jesse Cole capitalized on a Summerside giveaway with a short-handed goal. "We took a bit of momentum from that and took it into the third period, where we gave up one quick (goal), but found a way to fight back," said Fredericton head coach Dax MacLean. "It was definitely a momentum swinger for us, but we needed to find a way to get those two points tonight."
Despite a Summerside goal just 17 seconds into the third period from Tyson Phillips, Fredericton’s David Brewer answered back just over two minutes later, cutting the lead in half. Just minutes later, Aiden Hallihan slipped a shot from the point over the glove of Arsenault. With 4:49 left, Brewer was stopped on a penalty shot by Arsenault after being hauled down on a breakaway, but Fredericton tied it up 11 seconds later on a Matt Wright steal in front of the Summerside goal. The host team benefited from a late power play, leading to a flurry in front of Bailey that had Gallant force the puck past the Fredericton goalie's blocker for the winning goal.
Antigonish 3 St. John's 0
In a late-afternoon game, the Antigonish Bulldogs from Nova Scotia defeated the Newfoundland and Labrador representative from St. John’s 3-0. Liam Archibald’s goal at 14:31 of the second period was all the offence required for Antigonish goaltender Keagan Butler, who posted a 20-save shutout. Bryden Boudreau and Mitch Gammon added third-period goals for Antigonish.
Willis backstops Abbies in opener Defending champions trim Fredericton in Atlantic midget hockey
JASON SIMMONDS Transcontinental Media
SUMMERSIDE — The Charlottetown Abbies began defence of their Atlantic minor midget AAA hockey championship on a winning note Thursday afternoon. The Abbies jumped out to a 4-0 lead after one period, and never looked back en route to a convincing 5-1 decision over the New Brunswick champions, Fredericton Capitals. "That's exactly what we wanted," said Abbies head coach Mike White. "The first period could not have gone any better. "We pride ourselves on having a good start to games. Especially in a tournament like this, you have to come out in the first period and have your best and we did. "We caught them off guard a bit and that wasn't their best period, and they played much better in the second and third. That first period basically told the tale of the game."
At Credit Union Place, Conor McAleer scored twice for the Abbies, who received a solid 28-save effort from Kurt Willis. "Kurt is a first-year kid who has played well for us all year," said White. "He didn’t get a chance in the playoffs as we rode Kyle Craswell throughout the playoffs. "He's been good for us all year, he had three shutouts at the Monctonian and we expect big things for him at the Atlantics. "He goes out, makes close to 30 saves and gets player of the game. That's exactly what we expect from him." But with Craswell sidelined with a broken arm suffered in a snowmobile accident, Willis is now the Abbies' go-to guy. "It was an unfortunate accident for a third-year kid (Craswell) who was looking to win another Atlantic championship," said White. "It gives Kurt a chance to step up and take control of the situation, and he did that really well today."
Cody MacRae, Dan Dunn and Morgan MacLean also scored for the Abbies, who took a 5-1 lead into the second intermission. Jake McKenna (2), Rob MacMillan (2), Parker Diamond and Brandon Coady added assists. Fredericton's player-of-the-game Matt Wright, assisted by Justin McCarthy-Paul, spoiled Willis' shutout bid at 6:43 of the middle frame. Overall, Fredericton outshot Charlottetown 29-24. Joshua LeBrun was the losing goaltender. Referee Andrew Cutcliffe assessed eight of 15 minor penalties against the Abbies, who also picked up one checking-from-behind game misconduct.