Caps get back to work
Summerside juniors play first game of 2016 at home tonight
Divisional play during the next 10 weeks will determine where the Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals finish in the Maritime Junior Hockey League standings.
The Caps will play 15 of their final 18 regular-season games against Roger Meek Division opponents.
The stretch, which includes 10 at home and eight on the road, starts tonight as the Caps take a 21-8-1-0 record into their first game of 2016.
The Miramichi Timberwolves (16-9-0-2) will provide the opposition in the 7 p.m. start at Eastlink Arena.
The Capitals, who were ranked No. 18 in this week’s Canadian Junior Hockey League rankings, sit atop the league’s standings with 43 points, but they are just two in front of division rivals Dieppe Commandos (20-8-1-0) and Woodstock Slammers (19-6-3-0).
The Timberwolves, who are fourth in the Meek Division, are also quietly having a strong season.
Miramichi is seven points behind Woodstock and Dieppe, and three in front of the fifthplace Campbellton Tigers (13-94-1).
The Capitals, who are 11-2-10 at Eastlink Arena and 10-6-0-0 on the road, will start the new year with a three-game homestand, before closing out January with four of five away from home.
January could be a tone-setter for the rest of the season as the Caps play six divisional games, and four of their five opponents sport better than .500 records.
The Caps and Timberwolves will be seeing lots of each other in the next two months.
They will meet five times – three in Summerside and two in Miramichi – and four of those games are scheduled for January.
In the lone regular-season meeting between the two teams, the Timberwolves skated away with a 5-2 home-ice win on Oct. 15.
The Caps have been idle from game action since a 5-3 win against the South Shore Lumberjacks (14-13-1-1) in Bridgewater, N.S., on Dec. 20.
After winning 11 of 12 games from Oct. 16 to Nov. 26, the Caps dropped five of their last eight games before the Christmas break and scored three or fewer goals in five of those contests, despite having scored a leaguehigh 123 goals.