Duncan, BC – The Cowichan Capitals are finally back at home after a five game road swing, ready to host the Victoria Grizzlies for the second time this season tonight at the Island Savings Centre.
The Capitals opened the regular season against their division rivals to the south with a 3-2 win at the Big Stick, the start of a 3-0 start to the season. But a 1-2-1-1 record on the road since then has Cowichan hungry for some good home cooking.
At 4-2-1-1 overall, the Capitals sit in third place in the Island division, two points back of the Clippers and four behind the leading Powell River Kings, with a game in hand on both. While the Capitals did return from last weekend’s three game Mainland swing with a trio of points, there is a general dissatisfaction with the result among the team and an even greater desire to get some much needed points against division opponents this weekend.
The Grizzlies have had a struggle out of the gate this season having suffered a fourth straight loss last night at home to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. Now at 1-7-0-1, Victoria sits last in the division, three points back of fourth place Alberni, and in a tie with Surrey for the worst record in the BCHL. This despite some clear offensive talent, most notably from former Capital Brayden Gelsinger who leads the Grizzlies with 10 points.
The Capitals have had some impressive scoring depth show through early in the season. All four lines have been contributing while the Caps are one of just two teams in the BCHL to have every skater record at least a single point (Penticton being the other). Pat Geary has been tremendous, now working on a four game points streak. The 20 year-old veteran forward leads the team in goals with five and is tied with Ryan Burton for the team points lead with seven.
Storm Phaneuf is expected to get a fourth straight start in net entering tonight with a .940 save percentage, fourth best in the BCHL. With Lane Michasiw currently out of the lineup, Gabriola Island’s Michael Lenko will back up.
Tonight will also mark the Capitals debut for defenceman Carter Cochrane who was acquired two days ago from the Chilliwack Chiefs. Set to wear number 15, Cochrane will add some offensive jump to the back end while adding yet more grit to an already formidable blue line.
Puck drop at the Island Savings Centre is 7:00pm with pre-game on 89.7 Juice FM at 6:45.