Cowichan Valley Capitals forward Kahlil Fontana tries to keep the puck away from Bulldogs’ forward Finn Brown during a game in the Port Alberni Pod earlier this season. (Elena Rardon/Black Press Media)

Cowichan Valley Capitals forward Kahlil Fontana tries to keep the puck away from Bulldogs’ forward Finn Brown during a game in the Port Alberni Pod earlier this season. (Elena Rardon/Black Press Media)

Cowichan Capitals bounce back with overtime games

Win and loss in extra time get Caps going again

After a string of seven straight regulation losses, the Cowichan Valley Capitals earned points in back-to-back games with an overtime win over the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Saturday and an overtime loss to the Victoria Grizzlies on Tuesday night.

The Caps remain last among the four teams in the B.C. Hockey League’s Port Alberni Pod, but the three points in their last two games have put them just two points back of the third-place Nanaimo Clippers.

Colby Feist scored his first two goals as a Capital to lead Cowichan to a 4-3 victory on Saturday, matching his total output from the 2019-20 season, when he scored twice in 34 contests with the Vernon Vipers.

Alec Scouras opened the scoring with his first of the season — also the first time the Caps had struck first all year — early in the opening period. Feist made it 2-0 with his second of the night, but the Bulldogs replied with three goals in the second period. Defenceman Tanner Komzak notched his second of the season to tie things up in the third, then set up Feist’s game-winner at 4:29 of overtime.

Lucas Pfeil stopped 34 of 37 shots in the Cowichan net, while former Kerry Park Islanders goalie Bailey Monteith stopped 19 of 23 for the ’Dogs.

The Caps again opened the scoring on Tuesday night, this time courtesy of local product Kahlil Fontana’s second of the season midway through the first period. The Grizzlies went up 2-1 before intermission, but after a scoreless second period, Max Bulawka notched his fourth to force overtime. The Caps had to be happy with the single point, however, as BCHL scoring leader Ellis Rickwood potted the winner just 93 seconds into the extra frame. Pfeil finished with 31 saves on 34 shots, while Victoria’s Dryden DeMelo had 28 saves on 30 shots.

Last Wednesday, the Caps lost 4-2 to the Clippers. Missing two of their top forwards and two of their top defencemen for the afternoon clash, the Caps trailed 2-1 after the first period and 3-1 after the second. Joey Moffatt scored a powerplay goal in the first and Tyler Leibl added his first BCHL marker in the third. Pfeil stopped 32 of 35 shots and Nanaimo’s Jordan Naylor made 31 saves.

On Friday, the Caps were defeated 5-1 by the Grizzlies. Victoria chased Cowichan’s starting goalie, Jayden Shull, by scoring three times on their first six shots, and led 4-0 at the end of the first period. The Grizzlies added another in the second before defenceman Cory Liu got the Caps on the board with his first BCHL goal in the third. Pfeil finished with 26 saves on 28 shots while Victoria’s Justin Easter had 29 saves.

Andrew Braun, son of former Cowichan Secondary School teacher and field hockey coach Gillian Braun, had three assists for the Grizzlies and was named the game’s first star.

The Caps have six games remaining in the 2020-21 season, which will not include playoffs. They face the Bulldogs this Friday and the Grizzlies on Saturday, then the Grizzlies again on Monday and the Bulldogs on Tuesday before wrapping it all up with back-to-back dates with the Clippers.

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