With six more preseason exhibition games left to play, the Cowichan Valley Capitals are closing in on the roster they will open the 2021-22 B.C. Hockey League season with.
“We’re getting close to the 24-man roster,” head coach Brian Passmore said on Wednesday morning. “There are still a lot of decisions to be made.”
As of Wednesday, the Caps still had 28 skaters and three goalies in camp.
“We’re looking at getting a few different guys in games this weekend that didn’t dress on Tuesday,” Passmore said.
Tuesday saw the Caps lose 4-1 to the Powell River Kings in a rare weekday matinee so the Kings could catch their ferry home. All five goals were scored on special teams as Powell River had three powerplay goals and one shorthanded marker before the Caps got on the board with a powerplay effort of their own from David Jacobs at 13:12 of the third period. Jayden Shull made 38 saves in the Cowichan net.
“I thought we were a little sloppy,” Passmore admitted. “I was pleased with the way we came out, but we didn’t shoot the puck when we had opportunities. Guys were getting too fancy, too cute. Overall, I thought the effort was great, but the last half of the game they outplayed us.”
The Caps split into two sides on Sunday night for the Bill Dellebuur Memorial Game that saw Red defeat White 6-2. Colten Thompson and Luke Haymes each scored twice for Red, and Taylor Webb and Colby Feist had singles. Massimo Sarantos Lombardi and Roc Truman replied for White.
The intrasquad game closed out with a fight between veteran Caps Brett Fudger and Ronan Walsh.
“They’re competitive and they wanted to win,” Passmore commented. “Obviously they’re friends, but it was a competitive thing.”
Last week saw the Caps trade 20-year-old forward Max Bulawka to the Langley Rivermen for future considerations, while they added 19-year-old forward Ethan Anstey from the Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
Bulawka had four goals and nine points for the Caps in the 20-game pod season this past spring, and posted 35 points in 55 games for West Kelowna and Vernon the year before. Anstey had one goal and three points in nine games for Fort Mac last season. He previously played four seasons at Shawnigan Lake School, finishing fourth in scoring on the U18 prep team in 2019-20 with 38 points in 36 games.
The Caps play a home-and-home series with the Victoria Grizzlies this weekend, in Duncan on Friday at 7 p.m. and at the Q Centre on Saturday. That will be followed by another home-and-home with the Nanaimo Clippers, in Duncan on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and at the Frank Crane Arena the following night.