SUMMERSIDE, PEI – It’s time for the Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals.

The Capitals open the regular 2021-22 season of the Maritime Junior Hockey League (MHL) on the go with consecutive games this weekend. The Caps visit the Grand Fall Rapids on October 1st and the Edmundston Blizzard on October 2nd. The Caps complete a season opening stretch of three games in a row against the Fredericton Red Wings on October 8, before they beat the Pictou County Crushers in their home opener at the Island Petroleum Energy Center (formerly Eastlink Arena) on October 9 at 7 p.m.

“For the past few years at Summerside, we’ve started on the streets,” said Caps head coach Billy McGuigan. “It’s planned a bit like that now.”

McGuigan said playing the early street games allows everyone to get to know each other better, which provides an opportunity to build a culture, team culture, and chemistry.

After Losing 1-3 (win-lose) preseason, McGuigan and the Caps look forward to playing real games.

“Unless you start playing meaningful games, you don’t know what you have,” said McGuigan. “I’m looking forward to seeing our boys live, where the points count and Grand Falls and Edmundston are tough spots.

It will be a really good test for our squad and we’ll see what we have as a team and what we have as a character. “

Summerside D. Alex MacDonald Ford Western Capitals goalkeeper Jacob LeBlanc prepares for a practice session at the Island Petroleum Energy Center on September 29. LeBlanc is the expected starter at the Caps’ regular season opener against the Grand Falls Rapids on October 1st.The Caps open the regular season of the Maritime Junior Hockey League with three consecutive street games before hosting their home game against the Pictou County Crushers on October 9th – Jason Simmonds • The Guardian

The Caps recently welcomed goalkeeper Jacob LeBlanc from the Charlottetown Islanders training camp of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

LeBlanc, the expected starter in Grand Falls, went 2-2 in five games with the Capitals last season, scoring 3.11 goals against the average and a savings rate of 0.898.

“Jacob is a really good goalkeeper and hasn’t had the chance to play a lot in the last few years,” said McGuigan. “He was injured last year and before that he was third in the Quebec League.

“The big thing for Jacob is that he has to start playing and get a few games off the ground. It will take some time to get him into a groove, but I think he will be good for us. “

“I’m looking forward to seeing our guys live where the points count and Grand Falls and Edmundston are tough spots. It’s going to be a really good test for our team and we’ll see.” what we have as a team and what we have as a character. “

Billy McGuigan

New striker

The Caps announced earlier this week that they were taking over striker Mathieu Belanger from the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s La Ronge Ice Wolves.

Belanger practiced with the caps this week. With Max-Antoine Melancon out due to injury, McGuigan said Belanger will play on the left flank on a line with Thomas Lacombe and Colby MacArthur this week.

“I was contacted by his advisor a few days ago, and right now we’re up a few bodies and we’ve agreed to take a look at him,” said Capitals managing director Pat McIver. “He will get a chance out of the gate and looks pretty good in practice so far.”

Summerside Western capitals.  - Jason Simmonds
Summerside Western capitals. – Jason Simmonds

When asked if the recently announced COVID-19 protocols will affect the Capitals, McIver said the only change currently is testing every time the team returns from off-island games. These tests will take place as soon as the team returns on days 4 and 8.

“We’re like everyone else,” said McIver. “We are wearing masks and will take all precautions we can.

“As far as participation goes, people have to be double vaccinated to go to Caps games, and that is required by the province. We’re still keeping our fingers crossed that nothing drastic will come. “

McIver said the capacity for Caps’ games at the start of the season is 2,600, as 26 cohorts of 100 people are allowed at the Island Petroleum Energy Center.

“It’s great and hopefully it will allow us to go back to normal and reasonably normal,” said McIver.

[email protected]

Twitter.com/JpsportsJason