Cowichan Capitals get vital victories over Powell River

Cowichan Valley Capitals players Shane LaVelle (24) and James Bohn (6) battle members of the Powell River Kings for the puck late in the second period of the Caps’ 5-3 win at the Cowichan Arena last Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Cowichan Valley Capitals players Shane LaVelle (24) and James Bohn (6) battle members of the Powell River Kings for the puck late in the second period of the Caps’ 5-3 win at the Cowichan Arena last Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Valley Capitals defenceman Zach Brault carries the puck out of his team’s defensive zone during a 5-3 win over the Powell River Kings at the Cowichan Arena last Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Cowichan Valley Capitals defenceman Zach Brault carries the puck out of his team’s defensive zone during a 5-3 win over the Powell River Kings at the Cowichan Arena last Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Valley Capitals players celebrate the eventual game-winner by Zach Vaillancourt in a 5-3 win over the Powell River Kings at the Cowichan Arena last Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Cowichan Valley Capitals players celebrate the eventual game-winner by Zach Vaillancourt in a 5-3 win over the Powell River Kings at the Cowichan Arena last Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Zach Vaillancourt celebrates his first BCHL goal, the eventual game-winner in the Cowichan Valley Capitals’ 5-3 victory over the Powell River Kings at the Cowichan Arena last Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Zach Vaillancourt celebrates his first BCHL goal, the eventual game-winner in the Cowichan Valley Capitals’ 5-3 victory over the Powell River Kings at the Cowichan Arena last Sunday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

The Cowichan Valley Capitals did themselves a couple of big favours on the weekend with a pair of wins over the Powell River Kings, who they are battling for a spot in the B.C. Hockey League playoffs.

The Caps beat the Kings 4-3 on Saturday and 5-3 on Sunday, and were hoping to make it three in a row against the same club when the teams met in Powell River on Wednesday after the Citizen’s print deadline. Going into Wednesday’s game, the Caps held a two-point lead over the Kings in the standings, and were one point back of the seventh-place Coquitlam Express.

“We took care of the first part of it,” Cowichan coach Brian Passmore said. “We have to complete it on Wednesday.”

David Jacobs had a goal and an assist on Saturday, Massimo Sarantos Lombardi, Shane LaVelle and Zach Brault also scored, and Brett Funder had two assists. McCoy Bidewell made 40 saves as the Caps were outshot 43-36.

On Sunday, Sarantos Lombardi, Arjun Bawa, Matty Edwards and AP Zach Vaillancourt each had a goal and an assist, Griffin Wilson had the other goal, and Matteo Turrin recorded a pair of helpers. Bidewell made 32 saves as Cowichan outshot Powell River 37-35.

Passmore was pleased to see players like Bawa, Edwards and Vaillancourt get on the scoresheet.

“Spirits were high,” he said. “The guys battled hard. It was nice to see, especially in the second game, some other guys contributing.”

Last Friday, the Caps returned from a nine-day layoff to visit the Victoria Grizzlies at the Q Centre, where they lost 6-3. The Grizzlies built up a 5-0 lead before LaVelle, Luke Haymes and Jacobs replied for the Caps. An empty-netter sealed the win. Bidewell allowed five goals on 29 shots over the first two periods, and Matthew Hutchison stopped all 14 shots he faced in the third.

Following Wednesday’s rematch with the Kings, the Caps will have seven games left in the regular season, beginning when they play host to the Surrey Eagles this Friday and the Chilliwack Chiefs on Saturday. Both games start at 7 p.m.

BCHL