With the preseason schedule more than half over, the Cowichan Valley Capitals are getting ever closer to sorting out the roster they will begin the 2021-22 B.C. Hockey League campaign with.
“We’ll be getting down to the final stages the next couple days and making some announcements later in the week,” head coach and general manger Brian Passmore said on Wednesday morning. “I think we have a good foundation of guys. It’s just a matter of sorting out the roles they’re going to be in.”
The Caps appear to be set in goal, where Jayden Shull returns from last season to tandem with Evan May, a Nanaimo product on loan from the Western Hockey League’s Everett Silvertips. It was a different goalie, however, who backstopped the Caps to their first exhibition win on Tuesday night. Matthew Hutchinson, who won’t turn 15 until next week and won’t be eligible to play in the BCHL this year, made 32 saves as the Caps downed the Nanaimo Clippers 4-2 at the Cowichan Arena.
Nick Marciano, Roc Truman, Griffin Wilson and Luke Haymes scored for the Caps, Truman on the powerplay and Haymes shorthanded. The Island rivals reconvened in Nanaimo on Wednesday night.
“We played hard, settled down,” Passmore said. “I thought the boys worked hard and deserved to win. Winning in this league is really hard. The boys did the little things right, and playing right is what we want to do. You learn from the losses, but getting a win is important.”
The Caps lost both ends of a home-and-home series with the Victoria Grizzlies on the weekend, falling 8-5 in Duncan on Friday and 4-2 in Colwood on Saturday.
Friday’s game was a back-and-forth affair, with both teams holding what appeared to be substantial leads at times. Haymes, Truman, Massimo Sarantos Lombardi, Aidan Cobb and Sam Schofield scored for the Caps, and Ronan Walsh had two assists.
The Caps surrendered three first-period goals to the Grizzlies on Saturday and were unable to come back. Haymes and Cobb scored second-period goals, both assisted by defenceman Colin Campbell. Shull stopped 43 of 47 shots.
Following Wednesday’s game in Nanaimo, the Caps will play another home-and-home against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, facing off in Duncan on Friday at 7 p.m. and in Port Alberni on Saturday. The Caps will also host the Bulldogs for their regular-season opener on Saturday, Oct. 9.