One more team has advanced to Round 2 while four others worked some overtime in three thrilling MHL playoff games last night.
In Summerside, the Western Capitals punched their ticket to the Eastlink North Division Final for the second consecutive year with a 2-1 win over the Campbellton Tigers. With the win, the Caps won their best of seven divisional semi-final series four games to one. The Tigers got on the board first with a powerplay tally from Francis Thibeault late in the first period. The Western Capitals tied the score midway through the second on goal by Kallum Muirhead. It would be a powerplay marker by the MHL’s regular season scoring leader, TJ Shea, with under 90 seconds to go in the second period that would prove to be the game winner. Alex Bishop was named first star of the contest thanks to his 36 save performance. Tristan Gray made 37 stops for the Tigers.
The Western Capitals now move on to face the Edmundston Blizzard in the Eastlink North Division Final. The schedule for this series will be released in the near future.
In Yarmouth, the Mariners moved to within one win of clinching a spot in the Eastlink South Division Final; it just took longer than expected to accomplish the feat.
Chris Goreham’s goal at the 2:37 mark of the third overtime would bring to an end a thrilling Game 5 of their divisional-semi final series with the Truro Bearcats. The 2-1 victory give the Mariners a 3-2 lead in the best of seven series. Kyle Bergh would get the Mariners on the board with his first goal of the postseason at the 3:26 mark of the opening period. The score would remain this way for just over 56 minutes until Riley Baggs found the back of the net for the Bearcats to tie the game at one. After first a scoreless 10 minute overtime then another scoreless 20 minute frame, Goreham’s marker early in triple OT would send the Mariners into Game 6 holding a 3-2 series lead over the Bearcats. As has been the case throughout this series, both goalies put on a clinic, with Leif Hetrz making 45 stops for Yarmouth and Kevin Resop turning aside 39 shots for Truro. Game 6 of this series takes place on Sunday night at the Rath Eastlink Community Center in Truro. Game time is 7PM.
The Amherst Ramblers staved off elimination in Bridgewater last night with a 4-3 overtime victory over the South Shore Lumberjacks. With the Amherst win, the Lumberjacks now lead this best of seven Eastlink South Division Semi-Final series 3 games to 2.
The Lumberjacks got off to a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Christian Tsukamoto and Adam Crowe. With just under four minutes remaining in the frame, Layton Parsons would cut the Ramblers’ deficit to 2-1 with his fifth goal of the postseason, tying South Shore’s Mateo Short for the league lead. Jake Barter tally at 1:28 of the second would tie the game up at 2 before Tsukamoto’s second goal of both the game and the series would send the Lumberjacks into the third period holding a 3-2 advantage. Caleb Rich would answer back for the Rams with his second goal of the postseason just over five minutes into the third period, sending the game into overtime in the process. Will Lafford would provide the heroics for Amherst with his first goal of the playoffs at the 2:04 mark of the first overtime period. Joel Goguen made 26 saves for the Ramblers while MacKenzie Janes stopped 36 of 40 shots for the Lumberjacks. Game 6 of this series will take place on Sunday at 7PM at Amherst Stadium.
Tune into mhl.hockeytv.com for live streaming of all games during the 2018 MHL playoffs.
Will MacLaren – themhl.ca