Slammers continue to lead way in MHL



The Woodstock Slammers are back to being the force everyone is used to seeing them be in the MHL. The Slammers, upon winning both games this week, have now won 12 of their last 13 games and sit comfortable atop the MHL standings. The Slammers also got a boost with the additions of Cameron Yarwood from the Victoriaville Tigers and Matthew Paul from the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Both players registered their first points with the club on Friday as the Slammers defeated the Amherst Ramblers 10-4. Jonny Erbs scored a hat trick with Antoine Landry stopping 25 shots in the win. Two days later, the Slammers would defeat the Miramichi Timberwolves 2-0 in Woodstock, with Erbs and Keaton Lubin scoring goals for the Slammers while Matt Jenkins turned aside all 37 shots faces.

The Timberwolves, meanwhile, have leaped into second place in the Roger Meek Division. The Timberwolves took two out of three games on the weekend. First, at home they defeated the St. Stephen County Aces 8-4 on Friday night. Brett Malone led the Timberwolves scoring six points, while Jordan Kennedy added four assists. The following night, the Timberwolves would defend home ice again as they shutout the Campbellton Tigers 6-0. Alex Collette stopped all 26 Tigers shots while Brett Malone again led the Timberwolves, this time with a hat trick. Miramichi would be stopped in their final game of the week, however, as they fell to the Slammers 2-0 in Woodstock, while Alex Collette doing everything he could stopping 42 of 43 shots in the loss.

The Dieppe Commandos fall to third place in the Meek. They dropped a pair of games to the Yarmouth Mariners over the past week, while defeating the Bridgewater Lumberjacks in between. On Wednesday, the Commandos would come up just short on home ice, losing to the Mariners 4-3 in a shootout. Two nights later, the Commandos would travel to Bridgewater and led by a four point effort from Cody Drover defeat the Lumberjacks 8-2. The following night, the Commandos went further south in Nova Scotia, in a return match with the Mariners, and after jumping out to a 2-1 lead after the first, the Commandos would fall to the Mariners by a count of 6-3. Drover, Lindon Beckwith and Francis Bernier scored goals for the Commandos.

The Summerside Western Capitals remain in fourth place, but have closed ground with the front running teams in the Meek Division by winning all four games they had this past week. They opened with a pair of early week home games, the first on Monday night against the Campbellton Tigers, defeating them 2-0. Brodie Barrick stopped all 24 shots while Mason Krueger and Thomas Stavert scored goals for the Capitals. The following night, the Capitals would defeat the Yarmouth Mariners 4-3 in a shootout. Stavert had a pair of points for the Caps while Alex Bradley was the lone skater to find the back of the net in the shootout. On Friday night, the Caps would travel to Campbellton for a return match with the Tigers, and would explode offensively, scoring five goals in the first period en route to an 11-2 victory. Stavert once again led the Caps, with four goals and an assist, with Bradley and Brad Power both having four point games. On Sunday afternoon, the Capitals returned home to cap off the busy week with a 4-0 shutout over the St. Stephen County Aces. Maxim Pitre led the Caps with a goal and an assist while Alex Kelly turned aside all 38 Aces shots.

The Campbellton Tigers have hid a little bit of a skid lately after getting off to a nice start. The Tigers lost three games over the week by a combined score of 19-2. The week opened with a rare Monday night game in Summerside, where the Capitals beat the Tigers 2-0. On Friday, the Tigers returned home to take on the same Summerside team, and would lose the game 11-2. Robert Pelletier would connect for both Tigers goals in the game. They would end the week with a game in Miramichi the following night, and the offense would not be there once again, as the Tigers lost to the Timberwolves 6-0.

The St. Stephen County Aces are still in search for win number two on the season. On Friday night, the Aces travelled to Miramichi and kept the game close most of the way, but lost to the Timberwolves 8-4. Brandon Barrett scored a pair of goals for the Aces, while Lucas McKay added three assists. The following night they would return home to battle the Amherst Ramblers, and despite a good offensive showing from Curtis Hastings with a goal and two assists, the Aces would fall 6-3. Sunday afternoon they would travel to Summerside, and could not find the back of the net as they lost the game 4-0.

In the Nova Scotia based Easlink Division. The Pictou County Weeks Crushers hold a slim margin on first place. The Crushers and Mariners are both tied with 25 points, however the Crushers have appeared in one fewer game. The Crushers would drop their only contest of the past week, losing on home ice to the Truro Bearcats 4-3 on Thursday. Ryan Caswell and Cole Murphy led the Crushers with a goal and an assist each.

The Mariners would appear in three games this week, taking five out of a possible six points. On Tuesday, the Mariners rallied in the third period to tie the game in Summerside before losing the game in a shootout. Connor Donaghey and Billy Hartley led the Mariners with a goal and an assist each. The Mariners would travel across the Confederation Bridge to take on the Dieppe Commandos the following night and manage to outlast the Commandos 4-3 in a shootout. Donaghey, Sean Fraser and Michael Guerrera scored for the Mariners, with Shawn Boudreau scoring the winning goal in the shootout. The two teams would meet again on Saturday night, this time in Yarmouth. The Mariners would score four goals in the third period to take control of the game and defeat the Commandos for the second time in a week, this time 6-3. Hartley led the Mariners with a goal and two assists while Boudreau, Donaghey, and Charles Poulin all scored a goal and an assist.

The Truro Bearcats had an impressive week, winning all three games they appeared in, as they pressure the top two teams in the Eastlink Division. The defending champs started the week by defeating the Amherst Ramblers 5-2 on Tuesday. Alex Soumakis led the Bearcats with a pair of goals and an assist, while Jordan McNaughton added three assists. Two nights later, the Bearcats travelled to Pictou County and defeated the Crushers 4-3. McNaughton again would chip in three assists while Soumakis scored a pair of goals. On Saturday night, the Bearcats would hold on to defeat the Valley Wildcats 5-4. McNaughton would led the Bearcats again with three points, while Daniel Perigo also had three. Mark Grametbauer stopped 33 shots in the win for Truro.

The Valley Wildcats maintain fourth spot in the Eastlink, despite dropping their only game of the week 5-4 in Truro. Jesse Hamer had a pair of goals and an assist for the Wildcats while Jeremy Butterworth and Adam Chapman had a goal and an assist each.

The Bridgewater Lumberjacks, now owned by the MHL, remain in fifth spot in the division. The Lumberjacks only appeared once in the past week, losing 8-2 on Friday night to the Dieppe Commandos. Matt Wright assisted on both Lumberjacks goals, scored by Alex Nauss and Josh Shatford.

The Amherst Ramblers continue to trail in the Eastlink, managing a win in three outings this past week. On Tuesday, the Ramblers hosted the Truro Bearcats and would drop the game 5-2. Lucas Batt and Zack MacEwen supplied the goals for the Ramblers. On Friday night, the team would travel to Woodstock, and despite jumping out to a 2-0 lead, the Ramblers would allow the Slammers to storm back and take the game 10-4. Lucas Batt had points on all the Ramblers goals in the game. The following night the Ramblers would manage to get their third win of the season, defeating the St. Stephen County Aces 6-3. Josh Pugsley led the Ramblers with two goals and an assist while Kyle Michalovsky stopped 34 shots in the win.

On Monday, the MHL announced its three stars for the past week. First star honours went to Thomas Stavert of the Summerside Western Capitals. Thomas scored seven goals and added two assists in four games this past week. Second star was Jordan McNaughton of the Truro Bearcats. Jordan had two goals and seven assists in three games for Truro. Third star of the week was Jonny Erbs of the Woodstock Slammers. Erbs scored four goals over two games this past week for Woodstock.

Also on Monday, the Canadian Junior Hockey League announced their Top 20 rankings. Three maritime teams find their way onto the list this week, the Dieppe Commandos sit in 19th place, the Miramichi Timberwolves at 16th and the Woodstock Slammers in 4th. The Portage Terriers of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League currently have the top spot.