To the best of his knowledge, there has never been a team to reel off an unbeaten season in the Penney Kia St. John’s Junior Hockey League, and David Hutchens certainly doesn’t want to breach the subject now.
But let’s just say Hutchens feels pretty good about his Avalon Roebothan, McKay, Marshall Capitals after they made it 12 straight wins without a loss Sunday with a 9-3 thumping of the I.J. Smith Trinity-Placentia Junior Flyers.
“I think what it comes down to is we have a talented team, and they want to win this year after last year’s final,” Hutchens said.
The bruised and banged up Capitals reached the league’s final round last spring, but were promptly swept in four games by the St. John’s Caps.
Twelve players have returned from last year’s club, including top scorer Mike Cole, and Avalon has eight rookies on the roster, including Ben Cleary and Zack Tucker, who are both averaging over a point per game.
Sunday, Cole had a goal and an assist, and scored twice Saturday night in a 5-2 win over BK Services Celtics.
Cole is flirting with the league’s scoring lead.
“The thing is,” Hutchens said, “Mike hasn’t done too much to impress. And he’s still averaging two points a game.
“If he is impressing, he’s getting five points a game.”
Next weekend, the Capitals reach the half-way point of the 2013-14 campaign with games against C.B.N. Friday night and St. John’s Saturday night. Each team in the junior league plays a 28-game regular season.
St. John’s is Avalon’s nearest competition, sitting in second place. Last Saturday, Avalon got the better of St. John’s by a 7-3 count at Twin Rinks.
“We’re really getting scoring from all four lines,” Hutchens said. “And it doesn’t hurt that Alex Powell is leading all defenceman in scoring (21 points in 11 games).”
At the Trinity-Placentia Stadium in Whitbourne Sunday, Jungle Jim’s player of the game Andrew Marshall led the Capitals with a pair of goals. Cleary and Kristian Husk also had a goal and an assist each. Others scoring for Avalon were Nick Harte, Noel Morgan, Ben Marshall and Matthew Barrett.
Replying for the Flyers were Adam Green, his team’s player of the game, with two goals and an assist, and Cody Barrett.
Zack Mitchell made 23 saves for the Capitals. Coady Hann was tested 36 times in the Flyers’ net.
C.B.N. 4, Celtics 3 SO (Sunday)
At the Jack Byrne Arena in Torbay, the Moorfrost Junior Stars picked up the extra point in the shootout, thanks to Zack Laing’s lone shootout goal.
Goalscorers for the Stars in regulation time were Andrew Smith, Bradley Budden and Allen Dawe. Scoring for the Celtics were Curtis Kavanagh, Tyler Arsenault and Chris Blackwood.
Smith and Blackwood were the players of the game.
Mitchell Dobbin faced 31 shots in the Stars’ net, while Billy Dawe turned aside 35 drives for the Celtics.
Mount Pearl 7, C.B.R. 0
At The Glacier in Mount Pearl, Dylan Burry earned player of the game honours with a shutout performance and Kyle Aucoin scored twice for the Mark’s Dakota Wild.
Also scoring for Mount Pearl were Ian McIntyre, Bradyn Brown, Steven Barrett, Mike Morris and Damian Ryan.
Alex Tulk was the Assante Wealth Management Renegades’ player of the game.
Burry stopped all 37 shots he faced. Mitchell Puddister made 48 saves.
Mount Pearl 6, St. John’s 3 (Saturday)
At Twin Rinks, Chad Thompson led the Wild with two goals, and Ian McIntyre and Kyle Aucoin both had a goal and two assists. Steven Barrett and Tyler Power also scored for the winners. Jesse Parrell, Alex Doyle and Jimmy Clarke replied for the Hickman Automotive Group Caps.
Jordan Ryan got the decision over Zach Hill amongst goalies.
Players of the game were McIntyre and Hill.
Avalon 5, Celtics 2 (Saturday)
At the Goulds Arena, in a battle of player of the game winners, both of whom were between the pipes, Doug Pippy out-dueled Alex Riggs to stake the Capitals over Celtics.
Cole netted pair of power play goals for Avalon, and Bobby Squires, Barrett and Cleary each scored once for the Capitals. Replying for Celtics were Elgin Applin and Blackwood.
C.B.R. 3, Trinity-Placentia 1 (Saturday)
At the Robert French Memorial Stadium in Kelligrews, Trevor Forward, Brandon O’Neill and Kyle Brown scored for the winners. Justin Pinkson replied.
Players of the game were Alex Tulk of C.B.R. and Flyers’ goaltender Evan Buckle. Mitchell Puddister recorded the win in goal for the Renegades.
Southern Shore 4, C.B.N. 2 (Friday)
At the Bay Arena in Bay Roberts, Peter Kavanagh netted a goal and an assist to lead the C&W Offshore Breakers. Also scoring for the visitors were Mitchell Martin, Justin David and Daniel Chafe. Replying for C.B.N. were Zach Quinlan and Cody Batten.
Josh Carey got the win over Connor Thompson, and players of the game were Kavanagh and Jonathan Tozer.