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The Mariners celebrate Ethan Hoffe's empty net goal (Ken Chetwynd Photo)

Mariners embrace underdog role as playoff series against Caps looms

By Kevin Northup Mar 15, 2024 | 7:00 AM

It’s a different story for the Yarmouth Mariners as the MHL playoffs begin.

Last year’s team went undefeated in the postseason at 12-0, and became league champions.

This season, they go into their first round series against top-ranked Summerside as the underdogs.

The Capitals finished 27 points ahead of Yarmouth for top spot in the Eastlink South Division.

Mariners captain Will Chisholm says he’s feeling confident.

“I think we have a good group here, and we have what it takes to win. If you want to win it all, you have to go through the top teams anyway to get there. I think we’re fired up and ready to go,” said Chisholm, who led the team in goals with 24.

‘When we play our best, we can beat anyone in this league.’

The Mariners split the season series against the Capitals, each team won four times, with three games going to a shootout.

Head Coach Laurie Barron says they’ll take it one shift at a time.

“All the pressure is on them, they’re a team that’s built to win a national championship. They’re a well coached team and strong in all positions, but we played them tough all year. There’s zero pressure on us, we just have to go win each shift at a time, and see what happens,” said Barron.

Games 1 and 2 go Saturday and Sunday in Summerside.

The series shifts back to Mariners Centre for Games 3 and 4 on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23.

Barron hopes they won’t be coming home empty-handed.

“We’ve got the best fans in the league. We put on a good show here all year. We’d love to come back tied at 1 or up two. It’s a race to four wins.”