Caps get back to work

Summerside ju­niors play first game of 2016 at home tonight

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS -

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.

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