Caps beat Grizzlies for first shootout win

Cowichan plays host to Wenatchee on Friday

One game after they earned their first overtime win of the 2018-19 B.C. Hockey League season, the Cowichan Valley Capitals picked up their first shootout victory of the campaign on Thursday night.

The Caps were winless this year in games that went beyond regulation until they defeated the Nanaimo Clippers 4-3 in overtime at the Cowichan Arena last Saturday. Thursday’s game against the Victoria Grizzlies went even longer than that, but the Caps prevailed 5-4 in the shootout.

Paul Selleck and Niko Esposito-Selivanov scored on Cowichan’s first two shots of the shootout, and goalie Pierce Diamond stopped both of the Grizzlies’ scoring attempts to earn the win. Diamond is now 5-3 since joining the Caps at the junior hockey trade deadline.

Another deadline acquisition, forward Cruz Cote, forced overtime by scoring the tying goal with 13 seconds left in regulation. Cote now has three goals and three assists in 10 games with Cowichan, including two goals and three helpers in his last four contests.

Preston Brodziak scored twice and David Melaragni had the Caps’ other goal. Diamond stopped 33 of 37 shots in regulation and overtime, while the Caps fired 46 shots at Victoria netminder Zachary Rose, who made 42 saves.

The Caps are still chasing the Alberni Valley Bulldogs for fourth place in the Island Division. Alberni has 39 points to Cowichan’s 37, and the Bulldogs have a game in hand. The Caps have a 13-point edge over Surrey Eagles in the battle for the last playoff in the league.

Cowichan will play at home on Friday night, hosting the Wenatchee Wild at 7 p.m.

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