Three weeks to go, a lot left to be decided

(Photo via Percy Picard)

There are now just three weeks left in the Maritime Junior Hockey League season and a lot is left to be decided. Adding to that are the games which have had to be rescheduled due to weather and road conditions, compacting the schedule even further. It’s an exciting and nervous time to be a fan, with so many key divisional games to go. One point is all that separates second from fifth place in the Eastlink South. Amherst (24-19-1-0) and Truro (21-16-3-4) are tied with 49 points, while South Shore (22-18-3-1) and Pictou County (23-18-2-0) are tied with 48. The Crushers do have a game in hand on the other three.

In the Eastlink North, Fredericton (25-18-3-0) beat Campbellton (23-16-3-2) last weekend to take possession of third place, which would mean avoiding Summerside (38-6-0-2) in the first round of the Canadian Tire Cup Playoffs. The Western Capitals have a key game against Edmundston (30-9-1-6) on Thursday. Securing one point would clinch not just the division, but the regular season crown and home ice advantage throughout the post-season. On the Brodie MacArthur watch, the Summerside forward is three points from tying the MHL’s all-time scoring record.

The action kicks off with three games on Wednesday, two of which are rescheduled matchups. We’ll start in Truro, where the Bearcats are looking to rebound from a loss to Summerside on Sunday as they host Pictou County. The loss snapped Truro’s six-game winning streak. The Crushers have won three straight, posting victories last week over Grand Falls (13-28-2-3), Yarmouth (27-13-2-2), and Valley (10-32-3-0). Truro beat Pictou County 3-2 on February 9th. Staying in the Eastlink South, the Mariners make a trip to Amherst. The teams will play two more times after tonight, making this a key head to head battle as Yarmouth looks to clinch the division and the Ramblers are in that four-team battle for three playoff spots. Amherst has lost all five meetings this season. Finally, Miramichi (12-28-3-1) heads to Grand Falls. Each team has won three games in the head to head battle. The Timberwolves are coming off a win over Fredericton as they celebrated their 20th season before losing in Amherst on Monday. Grand Falls dropped road games to Pictou County, Truro, and Edmundston last week.

A pair of games are scheduled for Saturday. The aforementioned tilt between the Western Capitals and Blizzard takes place on P.E.I., with Edmundston looking to delay Summerside’s celebrations. The Blizzard are 1-4-0-2 against Summerside this season, which essentially makes up the gap between them in the standings. A victory could be a big confidence boost for Edmundston. This is the MHL Game of the Week, which is free to watch on HockeyTV. Elsewhere, the Crushers hit the road to face South Shore. The Lumberjacks had just one game last week, picking up a 6-2 win over Valley. The teams have three games remaining against each other. In the five matchups thus far, the Lumberjacks have won three. However, four games were decided by one goal and the other was a two-goal difference.

It’s a busy Friday with five games on tap. Amherst hit the road to New Brunswick, starting with a game in Campbellton. The Tigers dropped three straight games last week, with two losses to Summerside and another to the Red Wings. Amherst picked up a 5-4 overtime win over the Tigers back in November. Edmundston continues their road trip with a stop in Fredericton. The Blizzard are 4-2 against the Red Wings this season. Fredericton snapped a four-game slide with the win over Campbellton on Monday. Summerside heads to Grand Falls, looking for their sixth win in seven tries over the Rapids. The teams will play again next weekend. Back in the South, Yarmouth heads to Valley, while South Shore continues their homestand with a big game against the Bearcats. Truro has a 4-2-0-1 record against the Lumberjacks this season.

Three games Saturday. Amherst heads to Miramichi for a meeting with the Timberwolves. Pictou County heads to Berwick for a game against Valley. And Truro is on the road against Yarmouth, a place where they’ve had a lot of difficulty playing in recent seasons.

The week wraps up Sunday with a pair of games in the North as Fredericton and Grand Falls square off at the E. & P. Sénéchal Centre, while Campbellton is home to Miramichi.

All games can be viewed on HockeyTV.

Date Visitor Home Venue Time
Wed, Feb 19 Yarmouth Amherst Amherst Stadium 7:00 pm AST
Wed, Feb 19 Pictou County Truro Rath Eastlink Community Centre 7:00 pm AST
Wed, Feb 19 Miramichi Grand Falls E. & P. Sénéchal Centre 7:30 pm AST
Thu, Feb 20 Edmundston Summerside Credit Union Place 7:00 pm AST
Thu, Feb 20 Pictou County South Shore Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre 7:00 pm AST
Fri, Feb 21 Amherst Campbellton Campbellton Memorial Civic Centre 7:00 pm AST
Fri, Feb 21 Edmundston Fredericton Grant Harvey Centre 7:00 pm AST
Fri, Feb 21 Yarmouth Valley Kings Mutual Century Centre 7:00 pm AST
Fri, Feb 21 Truro South Shore Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre 7:00 pm AST
Fri, Feb 21 Summerside Grand Falls E. & P. Sénéchal Centre 7:30 pm AST
Sat, Feb 22 Amherst Miramichi Miramichi Civic Centre 7:00 pm AST
Sat, Feb 22 Pictou County Valley Kings Mutual Century Centre 7:00 pm AST
Sat, Feb 22 Truro Yarmouth Mariners Centre 7:30 pm AST
Sun, Feb 23 Fredericton Grand Falls E. & P. Sénéchal Centre 3:00 pm AST
Sun, Feb 23 Miramichi Campbellton Campbellton Memorial Civic Centre 7:00 pm AST