Second month of the season comes to a close with a busy schedule

As teams reach the quarter pole of the Maritime Hockey League season, there’s a stark contrast in the two divisions heading into Thursday’s action. The Summerside Western Capitals (10-3-0-0) lead the way in the Eastlink North, but just two points separate second place from fifth, while the sixth place Grand Falls Rapids (4-6-1-0) are just six points back of the second spot. In the Eastlink South, the top four are starting to pull away. There’s a nine point gap between the first place Yarmouth Mariners (11-2-0-1) and fourth place South Shore (6-6-2-0), but the Lumberjacks have a seven point lead over fifth place Valley (2-8-3-0).

The games get underway Thursday on two fronts. The Pictou County Weeks Crushers (1-8-2-2) had another one-goal loss last week, this time to Amherst, and get set to host Miramichi (6-6-1-0), who got a late goal from Matthew Briggs to earn a victory over the Rapids last weekend. In Summerside, the Western Capitals and Aces (6-6-1-0) meet for the fourth time already this season. The teams split the first two games in St. Stephen, while the Caps picked up a 2-1 win at home last Thursday. The Aces play three games in four days this week.

Four games are on the docket for Friday. The Amherst Ramblers (10-3-0-0) hit the road for the first of back to back games this weekend as they face Valley. The Aces return to the Garcelon Civic Centre to take on the Mariners, who have won four of their last five games. Pictou County travel to Bridgewater to face the Lumberjacks. South Shore look to rebound from a loss to Valley after back to back wins over Truro. The Bearcats (8-3-1-1), meanwhile, head to New Brunswick and take on Campbellton (7-4-0-1). 

Saturday brings three games. Yarmouth make the trip to Amherst in a battle for the Eastlink South’s top spot. It’s the first time these teams have played each other this season and, based on both the standings and the Ramblers being Fred Page Cup hosts, should be games to watch every time they happen. Elsewhere, Truro plays in Miramichi, and Grand Falls head over the Confederation Bridge to take on Summerside. The Rapids will be looking to avenge a 7-4 loss to the Western Capitals in Grand Falls last weekend.

Then on Sunday afternoon, the action wraps up with two Eastlink North matchups. The Tigers and Rapids meet for the second time this season, again in Grand Falls. Campbellton earned a 6-5 overtime win on October 12th.  And finally, the Edmundston Blizzard (7-6-1-0) play their only game of the week as they travel to take on St. Stephen. The Blizzard are 4-3-0-1 in October and have a chance to start to climb back up the division standings with five of their next six games against North opponents.

All games will be broadcast on HockeyTV.

Date Visitor Home Venue Time
Thu, Oct 25 Miramichi Pictou County Pictou County Wellness Centre 7:00 PM
Thu, Oct 25 St. Stephen Summerside Credit Union Place 7:00 PM
Fri, Oct 26 Amherst Valley Kings Mutual Century Centre 7:00 PM
Fri, Oct 26 Yarmouth St. Stephen Garcelon Civic Centre 7:00 PM
Fri, Oct 26 Pictou County South Shore Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre 7:00 PM
Fri, Oct 26 Truro Campbellton Campbellton Memorial Civic Centre 7:30 PM
Sat, Oct 27 Yarmouth Amherst Amherst Stadium 7:00 PM
Sat, Oct 27 Grand Falls Summerside Credit Union Place 7:00 PM
Sat, Oct 27 Truro Miramichi Miramichi Civic Centre 7:30 PM
Sun, Oct 28 Edmundston St. Stephen Garcelon Civic Centre 3:00 PM
Sun, Oct 28 Campbellton Grand Falls E. & P. Sénéchal Centre 3:00 PM

Statistically Speaking

There are any number of ways to quantify a team’s success through the course of a season. As we prepare to flip the calendar to November, it’s interesting to look at the production teams are getting from their defencemen. Here’s a quick look at production that each team is getting from the blueline:

Team GP G A Points PP Points SH Points
Yarmouth 14 12 29 41 19 3
Summerside 13 9 32 41 14 0
South Shore 14 5 26 31 12 2
St. Stephen 13 6 22 28 10 2
Campbellton 12 7 19 26 10 0
Truro 13 6 19 25 10 3
Amherst 13 4 19 23 4 0
Grand Falls 11 4 19 23 12 0
Edmundston 14 2 19 21 7 0
Miramichi 13 3 17 20 1 0
Valley 13 0 16 16 6 2
Pictou County 13 3 12 15 5 0

It should come as no surprise that the two highest scoring teams also have the most points, goals, and powerplay points from their defencemen. Seven of twelve teams have double digit point production from that position. Also of note, over half of the Mariners blueline points are from special teams. Unsurprisingly, over 80% of points from that position in the league overall are assists.