Six days are all that remain in the 2018-19 regular season. While five teams have qualified for the Canadian Tire Cup Playoffs, five more are still competing for the final three spots. It’s hard to shake the feeling this will come down to the wire.
We’ll start off in the Eastlink North, where the picture is a little clearer. The only matchup we know for sure is Campbellton (#2 seed) will face Edmundston (#3 seed). With that in mind, here’s their Eastlink North Division Semifinal schedule for the Canadian Tire Cup Playoffs which starts on March 15th:
|Fri, Mar 15||Edmundston||Campbellton||Campbellton Memorial Civic Centre||7:00 PM|
|Sun, Mar 17||Campbellton||Edmundston||Centre Jean-Daigle||7:30 PM|
|Tues, Mar 19||Edmundston||Campbellton||Campbellton Memorial Civic Centre||7:00 PM|
|Thurs, Mar 21||Campbellton||Edmundston||Centre Jean-Daigle||7:30 PM|
|Sat, Mar 23*||Edmundston||Campbellton||Campbellton Memorial Civic Centre||7:00 PM|
|Mon, Mar 25*||Campbellton||Edmundston||Centre Jean-Daigle||7:30 PM|
|Wed, Mar 27*||Edmundston||Campbellton||Campbellton Memorial Civic Centre||7:00 PM|
Summerside clinched first overall in the MHL last week as well as home-ice advantage throughout the post-season. They’ll face either Miramichi or St. Stephen in the first round. The Timberwolves currently hold down the fourth and final playoff spot in the North due to having a game in hand. They host Campbellton (2-5-0-0 vs Tigers) on Tuesday, then head to Summerside (1-5-0-0 vs Western Capitals) on Thursday, and wrap up their schedule on Sunday in Edmundston (2-4-0-0 vs Blizzard) in a game which was rescheduled last month due to poor weather conditions. The Aces are on the road in Campbellton (2-3-1-0 vs Tigers) on Friday before hosting Grand Falls (2-2-2-0 vs Rapids) on Saturday.
Miramichi and St. Stephen each have 19 wins to this point. Overall wins are the first tiebreaker, should it come to that. The second is the head to head series, where Miramichi won 4 of 7. Goal differential is the third tiebreaker, which won’t come into play here.
So now we come to the Eastlink South. Yarmouth and Amherst are currently tied with 73 points, but the Mariners have two games left to Amherst’s one. The Mariners wrap things up with a home and home against Valley, while the Rambers get Truro on Saturday. With a victory in Truro, Amherst would set a new franchise record for regular season wins. Last week’s win over Truro equalled the record of 35 in the 2006-07 season. The Ramblers are the hottest team in the league right now, with a 9-0-0-1 mark in their past ten games. The game at the RECC will also be available to watch on Eastlink Community TV, channels 10/610.
Pictou County and South Shore finish the season with a home and home on Thursday in New Glasgow and Friday in Bridgewater. The Lumberjacks are 3-1-1-0 against the Crushers this season, but all have been decided by a single goal. Further to that, two have needed overtime and two more ended in the shootout. Truro just has the aforementioned home game against Amherst (2-4-0-0 vs Ramblers), so they’ll know what they have to do to make the playoffs for their 22nd season in a row before they hit the ice. The Ramblers have shutout Truro in two of their last three meetings, outscoring the Bearcats 13-1 in those games.
There are a lot of ways you can break this down but let’s keep it as simple as possible with a couple of scenarios, since three-point games muddy the water a bit. A Truro win on Saturday gets them into the playoffs, regardless of what happens between the other two teams.
The Crushers have the toughest road in. A regulation win by South Shore in either game will eliminate Pictou County, giving the Lumberjacks the #3 seed and the Bearcats the #4 seed (with Saturday’s game meaning nothing for Truro’s playoff position). This is due to the first tiebreaker being overall wins, where the Crushers wouldn’t be able to equal Truro if they lose a game and Truro can’t equal South Shore’s win total. To get into the Canadian Tire Cup Playoffs, the Crushers need at least three points in those two games and a Bearcats loss on Saturday.
Are you excited? It’s going to be a wild final week! All games can be viewed on HockeyTV.
|Tue, Mar 5||Campbellton||Miramichi||Miramichi Civic Centre||7:30 pm|
|Wed, Mar 6||Grand Falls||Edmundston||Centre Jean Daigle||7:30 pm|
|Thu, Mar 7||South Shore||Pictou County||Pictou County Wellness Centre||7:00 pm|
|Thu, Mar 7||Miramichi||Summerside||Credit Union Place||7:00 pm|
|Fri, Mar 8||Pictou County||South Shore||Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre||7:00 pm|
|Fri, Mar 8||Edmundston||Grand Falls||E. & P. Sénéchal Centre||7:30 pm|
|Fri, Mar 8||Valley||Yarmouth||Mariners Centre||7:30 pm|
|Fri, Mar 8||St. Stephen||Campbellton||Campbellton Memorial Civic Centre||7:30 pm|
|Sat, Mar 9||Amherst||Truro||Rath Eastlink Community Centre||7:00 pm|
|Sat, Mar 9||Yarmouth||Valley||Kings Mutual Century Centre||7:00 pm|
|Sat, Mar 9||Campbellton||Summerside||Credit Union Place||7:00 pm|
|Sat, Mar 9||Grand Falls||St. Stephen||Garcelon Civic Centre||7:00 pm|
|Sun, Mar 10||Miramichi||Edmundston||Centre Jean Daigle||3:00 pm|