SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. – JP Harvey scored a pair of goals to pace the offence as the Summerside Western Capitals clinched a semifinal spot at the 2013 RBC Cup with a 3-1 victory over the Brooks Bandits on Tuesday night.
The Summerside win means Saturday’s four semifinalists are now confirmed. The Western Capitals will be joined by the Bandits, Surrey Eagles and Minnesota Wilderness, with the Truro Bearcats on the outside looking in.
Danny Chiasson had the other goal for Summerside (2-1), scoring the eventual game-winner late in the first period. The Western Capitals won despite being outshot 28-16; they had only four shots at the game’s midway point.
Chiasson also added an assist, and joined Harvey as the lone players on either side to record more than one point.
Anthony Paskaruk scored the lone goal for Brooks (2-1), which lost in regulation for only the ninth time in 86 regular season and playoff games this season. The Bandits were unlucky early, hitting three posts in the first period, and undisciplined late, taking seven minor penalties in the third.
Brooks stormed out of the gates with the game’s first seven shots, six coming on one man advantage that was capped by Paskaruk’s opening goal just as the high-sticking minor to Wes Herrett expired at 8:24.
It took just over three minutes for Summerside to reply, with Harvey poking home a loose puck after it squeezed through Bandits netminder Michael Fredrick, and Chiasson gave the home side the lead for good at 14:52, tucking his third of the tournament around a sprawling Fredrick.
Brooks started to get into penalty trouble midway through the second period, taking three minors in a six-and-a-half-minute span, and Harvey made the Bandits pay just seconds after one of those man advantages expired, wiring a shot under the crossbar for the insurance marker in the final minute of the second period.
The teams traded chances in the final 20 minutes, but Fredrick and Summerside counterpart Kevin Bailie stood tall, keeping the third period scoreless.
Neither team could capitalize on special teams – Brooks was 0-for-4 on the power play, while Summerside was 0-for-11 – although both scored goals within seconds of power plays ending.
Brooks and Summerside will both enjoy off days before returning to the ice at CUP on Thursday to conclude the preliminary round against familiar opponents. The Bandits will face the Surrey Eagles, who beat them in the Western Canada Cup final, in the early game (3 p.m. AT), while the Western Capitals will meet the Truro Bearcats, their opponents in the MHL final and Fred Page Cup championship game, in the round robin finale (7:30 p.m. AT).
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)