STRONG PLAYOFF RUNS
The Charlottetown Forum 1931-1990
TURK, MIKE & NOAH
The Caps made it a year to remember in 2017-18 led by the Maritime Jr. Hockey League's top two scorers in T.J. Shea (43 G 105 Pts) & Brodie MacArthur (29 G 89 Pts) and forced the eventual league champion Edmundston Blizzard to seven games in the North Division finals.
What is about Summerside, PEI?
Nothing but tales of success have come out of the Island’s western capital for years.
Go back to 1989 and the town was on the verge of economic collapse when the Canadian Forces base closed. New Mayor Basil Stewart had a vision of opportunity that resulted in the Slemon Park Corporation taking over the former air force base and turning it into gold. PEI’s aspiring aerospace industry took over near the runway and the rest as they say is history.
Maybe the word itself “opportunity” is what makes Summerside the success it is today. And many a hockey career has begun by grasping on to an opportune moment and through hard work and desire turning it into something that would blossom into stardom.
From Errol Thompson being “discovered” playing senior hockey with Halifax by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the early 70’s to Gerard Gallant and Mike Kelly guiding the expansion Las Vegas Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup final in 2018, the stories are well worth revisiting.
Three NHL coaches got their start with the Western Capitals Jr. A team from Doug MacLean to Dave Cameron and now Turk Gallant.
Gallant was an all-star left wing with the Detroit Red Wings in the 80’s who went on to coach of a Royal Bank Cup championship in 1997 in his first coaching stint and joined forces with Shamrock, PEI native Mike Kelly to win the Memorial Cup in 2011 with the Saint John Sea Dogs. Opportunity came to coach the fledging Golden Knights in 2017 and Turk took the job and added Mike as one of his assistants. The expansion draft brought Las Vegas some proven pros like goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and forwards James Neal and David Perron who were among the most familiar names available. It was a very good draft which is quite obvious by the success of the first year team (51-24-7). It’s been said the Golden Knights didn’t really have a first or fourth line but more like second and third liners with a chip on their shoulder as cast-offs from other NHL teams and with something to prove. Under coaches Gallant and Kelly they have thrived to become a Stanley Cup finalist and setting all kinds of records and milestones for a first year team in any sport.
Winning the regular season is one thing but going 12-3 in the major grind called the NHL playoffs is another. Gerard says one of the keys has been playing in relatively short series compared to opponents like Winnipeg and now Washington that are not as well rested. The Knights swept Los Angeles, took San Jose in six games and won the West in a five game effort over the favoured (and last great Canadian hope for this season) Winnipeg Jets. Fleury has been amazing in the nets and is into his third straight Stanley Cup final.
Turk says the former Pittsburgh Penguin netminder has been just great and cool as a cucumber even in the playoffs. “He’s had a lot of fun and plays that way every game” according to the coach. “He’s enjoying himself making save after save while I’m a nervous wreck, sweating on the bench.”
In Summerside and surrounding communities a lot of signs of support have gone up for Turk and Mike with the finals approaching. Just to think that both were “kicked to to the curb” by the Florida Panthers in November, 2016.
DOBSON TO THE MEM CUP FINAL
Another golden opportunity for a Summerside native has struck.
18-year old Noah Dobson and the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in the Memorial Cup final in Regina. Dobson is NHL draft eligible this summer and has already won MVP honours with his team helping them to the President’s Cup QMJHL championship in six games over the favoured Blaineville-Boisbriand Armada. Dobson scored the game winner in Games 2 and 5 in the Q finals. The Game 2 winner came in the second period as the Titan blanked the Armada, 4-0. He scored the Game 5 deciding goal in the third period in 5-3 Bathurst victory that put the Titan ahead 3-2 in the series. They clinched it 2-1 in Game 6 on home ice.
Charlottetown Islanders 2017-18
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Summerside WesternCapitals 2017-18
Prince Edward Island has a long and storied hockey history that dates back to 1890's. The game has grown from a winter pass time into a passion that is woven into the fabric of Canada's smallest province. These are the stories of rising stars, hockey heroes and the pursuit of excellence with humble beginnings on Island Ice.
The Islanders had a strong run in the Q playoffs in 2018 but came up just one game short in the semi-finals as they went out in seven exciting games to the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. All three games in Charlottetown went to overtime and were won the Islanders in front of packed houses at the Eastlink Centre .
Brodie McCarthy 2000-2018
Kings County Kings Midget AAA
Tragedy struck on May 11, 2018 when 18-year old student-athlete Brodie McCarthy from Cambridge, PEI suffered a freak head injury while playing for Montague Regional High School in the 22nd David Voye Memorial Rugby Tournament at Three Oaks Regional High School in Summerside. Brodie was taken to Vikings bench but later collapsed and was rushed to Prince County Hospital and then transfered to Moncton City Hospital where he under went brain surgery that was unsuccessful. His family removed him off life support on Mother's Day. His funeral was held Monday, May 21 in Montague. As was his wish his organs were donated to others in need of transplants.
Brodie was a member of the Kings County Kings in PEI Miidget AAA hockey. He turned 18 in February and would have graduated in June.