Cowichan’s Dan McIntyre jousts with Langley’s Ryley Lanthier during last Sunday’s game at the Island Savings Centre. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan Capitals beat Merritt Centennials for second win of 2018-19

Caps embark on Interior road trip this weekend

The Cowichan Valley Capitals collected their second win of the 2018-19 B.C. Hockey League season last Saturday, and followed that up with a close loss the following afternoon.

Paul Selleck scored a pair of powerplay goals in the first period on Saturday as the Caps doubled up on the Merritt Centennials 4-2. Merritt inched back with a second-period powerplay goal and an even-strength marker at 9:03 of the third, but recent addition Niko Esposito-Selivanov got the Caps back in front with a powerplay effort at 10:43, and Dan McIntyre added an insurance goal at 11:51.

Matt Waite stopped 32 of 34 shots in the Cowichan net, while the Caps scored on four of their 37 shots at the Merritt goal. The Caps went 3-for-6 on the powerplay, while holding the Cents to 1-for-7.

On Sunday, the Caps trailed the Langley Rivermen 2-0 in the first, but battled back to pull even in the second period, only to surrender the game-winner late in the third.

The Rivermen got on the board early with a shorthanded goal just 62 seconds after the opening faceoff, then added a second goal just over five minutes later. The Caps got on the board with 55 seconds left in the first when David Melaragni converted a powerplay opportunity. Cowichan’s next goal came even closer to the end of a period when Lucas Vanroboys notched his third of the season at 19:59 of the second. Former Cap Trevor Ayre scored the go-ahead goal with four and a half minutes left to play.

Waite made his second straight start in the Cowichan net, stopping 19 of 22 shots, while the Caps matched the Rivermen with 22 shots. The Caps went 1-for-8 on the powerplay, while the Rivermen scored twice on six chances.

The Caps paid a midweek visit to Powell River on the previous Wednesday, where the host Kings beat them 4-1.

Powell River scored the only goal of the first period, and Duncan product Ben Berard potted the eventual game-winner on the powerplay just 84 seconds into the middle frame. Esposito-Selivanov cut the lead to one with his first BCHL goal at 7:27 of the second, but the Kings restored the two-goal edge with another powerplay marker 70 seconds after that, then added further insurance in the third.

Jack Grant stopped 37 of 41 shots, and the Caps scored once on 24 shots at the Powell River net. Cowichan’s lone powerplay opportunity was fruitless, while the Kings had two goals on eight chances.

Defenceman Dimitri Mikrogiannakis assisted on three Cowichan goals against Merritt and one against Langley to become the Caps’ scoring leader with eight points in nine games, slipping past captain Vincent Millette, who had one assist against Merritt and one against Langley for seven points in 11 contests.

Esposito-Selivanov has registered a point in each of his first three games with the Caps, scoring on Wednesday and Saturday, and setting up Vanroboys’s goal on Sunday.

The Caps will embark this weekend on their first major road trip of the season, visiting the Trail Smoke Eaters on Friday, the Penticton Vees on Saturday and the Centennials on Sunday. They will be back home for a pair of games on Oct. 19 and 20.

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