The Capitals (23-28-3-2, 3rd Island) will look to gain momentum before playoffs in the final weekend of the BCHL regular season, beginning Friday night when they host the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (16-31-7-2, 5th Island) at the Island Savings Centre.
The Capitals were most recently in action on Wednesday night against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, when they dropped a 3-1 score at home. Cowichan led 31-18 in shots on the night and their lone goal came from Ayden MacDonald, who scored his fifth goal in his past four games. Salmon Arm had opened the scoring with a first-period goal from Nathan Iannone, and the eventual game-winner came early in the third period off the stick of former Capital Trevor Ayre. His 10th goal of the year was setup by another former Capital and local product Ryan Hogg. The Silverbacks would add an empty-netter in the final minute, as their leading goal-scorer Elijiah Barriga hit the open cage for his 27th tally. Cowichan was 0-3 on the powerplay on the night, and one of those opportunities came with 14 seconds remaining in regulation, and they went 0-0 on the penalty kill. It was the first time all season the Caps’ have had zero penalty minutes in a game.
Lane Michasiw was tagged for the loss in the Capitals crease, but on the night he surpassed 5,000 minutes played in his BCHL career. He’s just the second Caps’ goalie to reach that milestone since 2003-04 (when the BCHL began tracking stats online). Michael Montambault also returned to the lineup after having missed the past six games with an upper-body injury.
Friday’s game is the eighth and final meeting between the Caps and the Bulldogs; both teams have three wins through seven games and they’ve tied once. The Caps are 3-3-0-1 in the season meetings, while the Bulldogs have earned one extra point at 3-2-1-1.
10/21/16: at Alberni 4, Cowichan 5 (2OT)
11/23/16: vs. Alberni 3, Cowichan 3
12/14/16: vs. Alberni 0, Cowichan 2
01/04/17: at Alberni 5, Cowichan 1
01/27/17: at Alberni 5, Cowichan 2
02/01/17: vs. Alberni 6, Cowichan 2
02/14/17: at Alberni 1, Cowichan 5
02/24/17: vs. Alberni, Island Savings Centre, 7 pm
Following Friday’s game, both teams will conclude their regular season against the Powell River Kings. The Bulldogs host the Kings on Saturday night at the Weyerhauser Arena, while the Caps will welcome the Kings to the Big Stick on Sunday afternoon. That game will likely feel like a playoff game between Cowichan and Powell River; if the season ended today, those two teams would be matched up to face each other in round 1 of the playoffs beginning next weekend. The Kings will be in 2nd in the Island Division regardless, but the Capitals could still end up in fourth. The Nanaimo Clippers trail Cowichan by one point in the standings, as both the Caps and Clippers have two games remaining.
The Capitals could secure third-place in the division should they win tonight vs. Alberni Valley AND should the Clippers earn one point or less vs. Victoria. The Clippers regular season ends with a home-and-home against the Grizzlies, who will win the Island Division.
Puck drop at the Island Savings Centre is at 7:00 pm.
To Cap Things Off: Capitals forward Ayden MacDonald now has points in 11 of his past 13 games; he’s one of three Caps who have scored in four-straight games this season (Mitch Skapski, Rhett Kingston)… Mi. Skapski’s assist on Wednesday gives him points in six of his past seven… MacDonald’s goal on Wednesday was his 24th, tying Max Newton for the team lead; both could be the first Caps players to score at least 25 goals since 2010-11… Bulldogs d-man Trevor Cosgrove, who has 48 points, could be just the second defenseman in team history to reach 50 points in a season… In terms of saves among BCHL goalies, Bulldogs’ Brody Claeys (1,236) and Capitals’ Lane Michasiw (1,208) rank first and second, respectively… Bulldogs’ Cayden Kraus is tied for the BCHL lead with four shorthanded goals; of his 14 goals this year, five of Kraus’ goals have come against Cowichan…
Game notes provided by Colton Davies of 89.7 Juice FM.
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TONIGHT IS OUR FAITH NIGHT MAKE UP GAME – Due to our cancelled Faith Night on Feb. 10th, all Faith Night tickets will be honoured at tonight’s game. Please stop by the office prior to game time to pick up your tickets.