Capitals defenceman David Melaragni carries the puck during a recent game at the Island Savings Centre. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Coach feels Cowichan Capitals deserve better than single point in Powell River

Caps take Kings to OT one night, shut out the next

Cowichan Valley Capitals head coach Mike Vandekamp felt his team warranted better from their two-game weekend road trip to Powell River.

The Caps came home with a single point from their 6-5 overtime loss on Friday, the other game ending in a 3-0 shutout loss.

“We were pretty deserving of maybe another point,” Vandekamp said. “We played pretty good in six periods.”

The Caps could have won Friday’s game in overtime as they had the first real scoring opportunity. Instead, the Kings turned around and scored the winner just 44 seconds into the extra session. It marked the fifth time this season that the Caps have gone beyond 60 minutes, and the fifth time the team has lost either in overtime or a shootout.

The Caps came back and tied the game twice in the third period, first when Olivier Gauthier made it 4-4 and again when Paul Selleck made it 5-5, just 46 seconds after the Kings had gone up 5-4.

The Caps led 1-0 after the first period on defenceman Doug Scott’s second goal of the season. Timber Lewis and Luc Wilson scored for Cowichan in the second period, which the teams finished tied at 3-3. Lewis’s goal was his first in the B.C. Hockey League.

The Caps were outshot 40-25. Blake Wood made 34 saves in the Cowichan net, while Matteo Paler-Chow stopped 20 pucks for Powell River. The Kings scored three times on four powerplay opportunities, while the Caps went 1-for-5.

The BCHL website credited Powell River goalie Mitch Adamyk with 32 saves in the shutout on Saturday, while the Caps own count had him making 38 stops. Jack Grant was solid in the Cowichan net despite the loss, facing 29 shots by the BCHL’s count and 22 on the Caps’ count.

“Their goalie was pretty good,” Vandekamp said. “We didn’t bury our chances.”

The Caps went 0-for-6 on the powerplay to finish the weekend at 1-for-11, while the Kings went 2-for-8 to finish the weekend at 5-for-12.

“There weren’t really a lot of penalties, per se,” Vandekamp said. “But they capitalized on their chances and we didn’t.”

Between suspensions to Lucas Vanroboys and Brady Lynn and injuries to Jordan Robert and Vincent Millette, the Caps were without four top-six forwards on the weekend. Vanroboys has three games left to sit out and Lynn has eight remaining. Robert is expected to be back in action this Wednesday, while Millette should be out until after Christmas. Vandekamp is optimistic that things will pick up for the team once they all return.

“There’s lots of hockey still to play,” he said. “The next game is the exact halfway point of the season. We’ve been through a lot in the first half, different types of adversity, but the work ethic is good and the spirit is good. When we add those guys back, they’re only going to make us better.”

The Caps (6-17-4-1) host the Island Division-leading Victoria Grizzlies (18-8-0-1) at the Island Savings Centre on Wednesday starting at 7 p.m. The Grizzlies won 5-0 in their last visit to the Cowichan Valley, scoring four times in a five-minute span in the second period.

“We have to play a tight, structured, disciplined game,” Vandekamp said. “At this time, we’re not prepared to play a trading-chances type game with them. We might be later in the season, but not at this time.”

Prior to the games in Powell River, the Caps acquired defenceman Spencer Hora from the Alberni Valley Bulldogs for forward Ryan Moon in a swap of 19-year-old Kelowna products. A full-time BCHLer since 2016, Hora has played 131 games, collecting three goals, 27 assists and 161 penalty minutes, including five assists and 42 penalty minutes in 26 games with the Bulldogs this year. Hora played both games for the Caps on the weekend, earning two penalty minutes. Moon had three goals, four assists and 15 penalty minutes in 13 appearances with Cowichan before sitting out several games with an injury.

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