ESTEVAN, Sask. – The Summerside Western Capitals (MHL) rode the strength of three-man advantage markers to send them on their way to a 4-1 triumph over the Soo Thunderbirds Friday in Day 2 play at the Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons.
Picking up an early four-minute power play, the Thunderbirds had a quality opportunity to gain the early edge, however the Summerside defensive corps handled that without much difficulty.
On a second man advantage for themselves, the Western Capitals capitalized as Josh MacDonald fed Sid MacNeill between the circles where he quickly whipped a one-timer into the top right-hand corner on Soo starter Noah Zeppa at 12:09.
Collecting the equalizer with 1:16 left in the first period, the Thunderbirds’ Youssef Chaouachi swiped the puck off a Summerside defender, then kicked it up with his skate, before snapping one over the blocker of Felix-Anthony Ethier.
However, the Maritime Hockey League title holders came right back to restore their lead before the intermission as Mark Richard jammed one in from off his own rebound from the top of the crease.
Up a skater to begin the second stanza, the Western Capitals made it 3-1 when Trentyn Crane set-up Jacob Stewart in close where he buried his opportunity to extend their lead.
Penalty trouble continued to haunt the Soo and saw MacDonald wire one upstairs before the period was three minutes in.
From there, there would be no further scoring the rest of the contest, as it was tight-checking throughout the remainder of play that saw Summerside come away victorious in their first match-up of the 10-team event.
Picking up player of the game recognition for the Soo was Zeppa, who made 40 saves in defeat.
The 0-2 Thunderbirds return to the ice Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET as they look to hit the win column when they take on the Ottawa Jr. A Senators (CCHL).
Visit hockeycanada.ca/centennialcup for games summaries as well as schedule information and live streaming broadcast links.
Photos: Hockey Canada Images