Caps Win Entertaining MHL Contest in Overtime
That was as entertaining a game as you’ll find.
No, it didn’t go the home team’s way, but the contest was a dandy, the visiting Summerside Western Capitals pulling out an exciting 4-3 overtime win over the Fredericton Red Wings.
The Maritime Hockey League contest came on a night when the Red Wings retired the late Danny Grant’s No. 21 to the Grant*Harvey Centre rafters.
The Red Wings scored late in the third with goaltender Jack Grant on the bench for an extra attacker, but it was the Capitals who earned the extra point on a brilliant individual effort from Josh MacDonald.
MacDonald gathered the puck just inside his own blueline and barrelled into Fredericton territory, making a power move on Red Wing rearguard Olle Akermark and making a beauty backhand forehand deke on Grant, tucking home the winner during the three-on-three extra session.
The unassisted effort was MacDonald’s second goal of the night, 11th of the season.
Carson MacKinnon and Zach Biggar also scored for the Capitals, backing goaltender Dominik Tmej.
Ethan Stuckless popped a pair for the Red Wings. Nathan Kelly had the other.
It was Stuckless scoring his 14th of the year with 39 seconds left in regulation that pushed the game into overtime.
Summerside had taken a dramatic 3-2 lead when Biggar converted a rebound past Grant with only 2:28 to play, setting the stage for Stuckless’ tying tally.
The teams were tied 1-1 going into the third before Stuckless scored only 40 ticks into the frame on a rocket wristshot. MacKinnon tied it again just under six minutes later.
Fredericton would open the scoring when Kelly reached the 12-goal mark on the season on a nifty play with Logan Carruthers.
On the powerplay, Carruthers took a cross-ice pass from Akermark and cruised into the high slot area off the point. He spied Kelly positioned in the slot with his stick on the ice. The hard pass from Carruthers was re-directed over Tmej’s left shoulder for the 1-0 lead.
The edge didn’t last long as Summerside’s vaunted powerplay went to work.
It culminated when MacDonald stuck with a rebound scramble and pushed the puck past a sprawled Grant.
The powerplay goal came at 15:30, just 2:13 after Kelly’s tally.
The teams skated through a scoreless first period and Fredericton was more than content to play a bit of a rope-a-dope style to keep the high-flying Capitals in check.
Fredericton is on the road Saturday, visiting Miramichi Timberwolves before returning home Sunday to meet the Campbellton Tigers.
Game time is 2 p.m,