All four of the goals the Cowichan Valley Capitals allowed over two games last weekend came in one period, and that made their two victories look very different on the scoreboard.
The Caps needed overtime to finish off a 5-4 bounce-back victory over the Powell River Kings on Saturday, then cruised to a 5-0 win over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on Sunday afternoon thanks to Ben Howard’s first B.C. Hockey League shutout.
“I thought overall we played five good periods [on the weekend],” Cowichan head coach Mike Vandekamp said. “The second period on Saturday wasn’t great. We had a good start against Powell River, but we got into a bit of penalty trouble in the second period. We sort of lost focus a little bit.”
The Caps struck first on Saturday when Primo Self set off the Teddy Bear Toss at the 8:24 mark. Brady Lynn added one, and Cowichan led 2-0 after the first period. The Kings got on the board 46 ticks into the second period, kicking off a string of four straight goals, including two on the powerplay. Zach Brooks got the Caps back within a goal with 1:14 left in the middle frame, and Nolan Barrett scored his first of the season early in the third to tie the game at 4-4, setting the stage for Will Arquiett’s overtime game-winner.
“Overall, we were deserving of the victory,” Vandekamp said. “We played a pretty good game. We knew we had to play better on Sunday.”
Self finished the game with a goal and two assists, Arquiett had one of each, and Johnny Howie had two helpers. Zach Borgiel started the game, but came out with an injury early in the third period after stopping 13 of 17 shots. Howard relieved him for the balance of the third and overtime, stopping all five shots that he faced, then made another 27 stops to blank the Silverbacks on Sunday.
“Ben played well from the time he came in Saturday until the end of Sunday,” Vandekamp said.
Lynn and Dimitri Mikrogiannakis each had a powerplay goal and two assists, and Luc Wilson recorded three helpers, while Matt Crasa and Tyrell Boucher also scored in the decisive win over the Silverbacks.
With the weekend wins, Cowichan remains second in the Island Division, and boasts the fourth-best record in the BCHL.
The Caps will play their last home games of 2019 this weekend when they host the Alberni Valley Bulldogs this Friday at 7 p.m. and the Merritt Centennials on Saturday at 6 p.m.
The Bulldogs sit fourth in the tight Island Division, and the Caps have two wins and three losses against Alberni this season.
“We’ve had a tight season series with them, as I think it will be with all the teams in our division,” Vandekamp said. “They play hard every game, they play structured, they’re mobile on defence, and their goaltending is solid. We’ll worry about Merritt when we get there.”