‘Ev­ery point counts’

Wil­liams turns 39-save per­for­mance as Cap­i­tals de­feat Tim­ber­wolves

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS -

Matt Wil­liams was look­ing to bounce back, and he de­liv­ered in a big way.

The rookie goal­tender stopped 39 of 41 shots to back­stop the Sum­mer­side D. Alex MacDon­ald Ford Western Cap­i­tals to a much-needed 3-2 vic­tory over the Mi­ramichi Tim­ber­wolves on Thurs­day.

“I thought I played bet­ter than I have been lately,” said the 17year-old Wil­liams, who gave up six goals on 38 shots in a 7-4 loss at Dieppe on Sun­day. “I came in bet­ter men­tally pre­pared than I have been, know­ing that ev­ery point is huge now and I have to make ev­ery save I can.”

The vic­tory snapped a three­game los­ing streak for the Cap­i­tals, who are 23-11-1-0 in the Mar­itime Ju­nior Hockey League. The Caps are two points back of league-lead­ing Wood­stock (236-3-0) and two in front of Dieppe (22-9-1-0) in the Roger Meek Divi­sion. Fourth-place Mi­ramichi fell to 18-12-0-2.

“Our divi­sion is so close and right now ev­ery point counts, es­pe­cially within our divi­sion,” said Wil­liams, who earned his 16th win of the reg­u­lar sea­son.

The Cap­i­tals make a re­turn visit to Mi­ramichi, N.B., tonight, and will visit the Amherst Ram­blers (12-19-0-1) on Satur­day.

Wil­liams was sharp through­out the game, mak­ing an out­stand­ing left-pad save off a point-blank re­bound in the first pe­riod, a high­light-reel glove grab on a se­cond-pe­riod break­away and a tricky right-pad save as time ex­pired as the Tim­ber­wolves got a quick shot right off a face­off to his left.

It didn’t take the Cap­i­tals long to open the scor­ing be­fore an es­ti­mated 1,000 fans at Eastlink Arena as Blaize Bridges made no mis­take con­vert­ing a Thomas Stavert pass on a two-on-none just 1:40 into the game.

Jon Larter gave the Caps a 2-0 ad­van­tage on a wrap-around goal at 14:09, but the Tim­ber­wolves’ Neil Aird was left all alone in the slot and made no mis­take in mak­ing it 2-1 with 52 sec­onds to go in the first pe­riod.

Olivier Gen­dron’s shot squeaked through Wil­liams’s pads to tie the game on the power play at 11:56 of the se­cond pe­riod. The Caps an­swered back with a power-play goal at the 14-minute mark as Sam LeBlanc went top shelf over the right shoul­der of Tim­ber­wolves goal­tender Bobby Dugan III, who faced 33 shots.

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