Young Caps fea­ture strong P.E.I. pres­ence

Journal Pioneer - - SPORTS - BY JA­SON SIM­MONDS

The games now count in the stand­ings for the Sum­mer­side D. Alex Mac­Don­ald Ford West­ern Cap­i­tals. The Cap­i­tals open the 2018-19 MHL (Mar­itime Ju­nior Hockey League) reg­u­lar sea­son on the road in Nova Sco­tia this week­end. The Caps visit the South Shore Lum­ber­jacks in Bridge­wa­ter tonight, and take on the Yar­mouth Mariners on Satur­day evening. “We are look­ing to have a good sea­son,” said Caps for­ward and cap­tain TJ Shea of An­glo Tig­nish. “We are go­ing to try and be a con­tender right from the get-go.” The Cap­i­tals fol­lowed up a sur­pris­ing 33-16-1-0 (won-lost-over­time losses-shootout losses) reg­u­lar-sea­son cam­paign by push­ing the even­tual league-cham­pion Ed­mund­ston Bliz­zard to seven games in the Eastlink North Divi­sion fi­nal. “No team is go­ing to take us lightly any­more,” said Shea, 20. “It’s up to us to match their com­pete level, and up the com­pete level. “Who­ever wants to win in ju­nior A ev­ery night is usu­ally go­ing to win that game. That’s the way it usu­ally ends up.”

Ros­ter

The Caps will start the sea­son with a strong Prince Ed­ward Is­land pres­ence. “We have 16 na­tive Prince Ed­ward Is­land kids, six from the Sum­mer­side area alone, five 17-year-olds, two 16-year-olds and we are prob­a­bly one of the youngest teams in the league again this sea­son with the way it all un­folded,” said Cap­i­tals head coach Billy McGuigan. “The way it worked out is our team is im­proved from last sea­son as far as depth goes, but we did get a lit­tle younger again while we main­tained our top guys, which typ­i­cally does not hap­pen. We are re­ally happy and op­ti­mistic to get the sea­son go­ing.” The Cap­i­tals re­turn last year’s top line of Shea, Brodie MacArthur and Cameron Roberts. Other re­turn­ing for­wards are Austin Tay­lor, Ri­ley Smith, Kal­lum Muir­head, Zach Thususka and Josh Mac­Don­ald. New­com­ers up front are Kay­den Peck, Ben­nett MacArthur, Colby MacArthur, Cal­lum MacPher­son, Chan­dler Wood and Marc Richard. McGuigan noted for­ward and for­mer Char­lot­te­town Is­lan­der Sam Meisen­heimer is ex­pected to start the sea­son in the On­tario Hockey League. Vet­eran Brodie MacMil­lan and Noah Massie, who pre­vi­ously played with the Char­lot­te­town Is­landers of the Que­bec Ma­jor Ju­nior Hockey League, will be looked upon to an­chor the de­fence. Jesse An­n­ear re­turns for his fourth year, but his start to the sea­son has been de­layed by off-sea­son surgery. The Caps’ de­fence will fea­ture three midgetaged play­ers — Hunter Bradley, Ed McNeill and Colin Camp­bell — while Kyle Ni­chol is in his first year of ju­nior el­i­gi­bil­ity. Re­turnee Do­minik Tmej and new­comer Daniel Thompson form the goal­tend­ing tan­dem.

Ja­son.sim­monds@jour­nal­pi­oneer.com Twitter.com/Jp­sport­sJa­son https://www.face­book.com/

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