SUMMERSIDE, PEI — Head Coach Billy McGuigan is looking for Summerside Western Capitals D. Alex MacDonald Ford to up their intensity level.
The Capitals visit the Truro Bearcats in Game 2 of the Maritime Junior Hockey League (MHL) Canadian Tire Cup Championship Series on April 26. The puck drop in Truro, Nova Scotia will take place at 7 p.m.
“We’re going to have to be hungrier to play, hungrier to get on the puck,” McGuigan told SaltWire Network in an interview after the Caps’ 4-0 win in front of more than 1,800 fans in Summerside on April 23. “There’s a bit of complacency when you win all those games and end up playing in the other division that you don’t see a lot.
“It’s a feeling of almost too much calm here. We have to put fire in our bellies and get ready to leave on Tuesday.
“It’s a feeling of almost too much calm here. We have to put fire in our bellies and get ready to leave on Tuesday. –Billy McGuigan
The Capitals have won eight straight games and nine of 10 postseason games. Summerside heads to Truro with a 4-0 road record (win-lose) in the playoffs.
With the Caps and Bearcats in different divisions, they only met twice in the regular season. The series opener marked their first meeting since Nov. 26.
With so much misunderstanding between the teams, McGuigan said there was a feeling process going into Game 1.
“I felt the other series (against division rivals Edmundston and Fredericton) – we knew the teams, we played them a lot more, (there was) a lot more emotion, a lot more animosity towards them and a different sense of the game,” says McGuigan. “(Game 1) was almost a flat feel.
“Our team, we were prepared, but we haven’t generated that hatred or that passion to win yet. It’s going to be a series, it’s going to be a battle, and as you go along you’ll see more emotion.
After directing 30 shots, including 16 in the second period, on Caps goalie Felix-Anthony Ethier in Game 1, the Bearcats are looking to find a way to generate offense at home.
“You have to score to win and when you don’t get any you won’t win,” Bearcats head coach Shawn Evans said. “I thought their keeper played well when they needed him (in Game 1).
“We have our hands full. We know the opponent is very, very good.
“There is a certain way we have to play. We’re going to have to play in, out, in and out and that’s it.
Game 3 returns to Summerside on April 28 at 7 p.m.
In one look
The MHL Final Series at a Glance:
Truro Bearcats vs. Summerside Western Capitals
Best of seven
- Game 1 – April 23: Truro 0 at Summerside 4.
- Game 2 – April 26: Summerside at Truro, 7 p.m.
- Match 3 – April 28: Truro at Summerside, 7 p.m.
- Thurs 4 – 30 April: Summerside at Truro, 7 p.m.
- Match 5, if necessary – May 2: Truro at Summerside, 7 p.m.
- Game 6, if necessary – May 4: Summerside at Truro, 7 p.m.
- Game 7, if necessary – May 7: Truro at Summerside, 7 p.m.
Jason Simmonds is a sportswriter at the SaltWire Network in Prince Edward Island. @JpsportsJason