The Cowichan Valley Capitals (20-21-3-2, 3rd Island) and Alberni Valley Bulldogs (14-23-6-2, 5th Island) will square off tonight for the fifth of eight meetings on the season series at the Weyerhauser Arena.
The Caps had a pair of wins and a tie in the first three meetings between these teams, but the Bulldogs earned a 5-1 win in Port Alberni in their most recent meeting on Jan 4. That night, the Bulldogs scored once in the first, twice in the second and twice in the third, and led 47-19 in shots. Jared Domin had the lone Caps goal that evening, the team’s first in the 2017 calendar year. Goalie Adam Marcoux battled making 42 saves in the Capitals crease. Brody Claeys earned the win for the ‘Dogs with 18 saves; offensively Cayden Kraus led the way with a pair of goals, while Alex MacDonald, Jake Witkowski and Tristan Bukovec also scored.
Both Cowichan and Alberni have struggled to pick up points in January. Since opening the New Year with back-to-back wins at home, the Bulldogs have one win in their past seven games (1-5-1-0), while the Caps have one win in eight games this month (1-6-1-0).
With 45 points, the Capitals sit 16 points back of second-place Powell River in the division and five points ahead of fourth-place Nanaimo. The Bulldogs are four points back of Nanaimo with one game in hand.
Tonight’s contest is the seventh game away from home for the Capitals in their past nine; for the Bulldogs it’s the third of a current four-game homestand. The Caps and Bulldogs will meet four times in the final 31 days of the regular season.
Puck drop is at 7:00 pm.
10-21-2016: Alberni 4, Cowichan 5 (2 OT)
11-23-2016: Alberni 3, Cowichan 3
12-14-2016: Albenri 0, Cowichan 2
01-04-2017: Alberni 5, Cowichan 1
01-27-2017: at Alberni, 7:00 pm
02-01-2017: at Cowichan, 7:00 pm
02-14-2017: at Alberni, 7:00 pm
02-24-2017: at Cowichan, 7:00 pm
Capitals: Leading-scorer Max Newton has points in three straight and in five of his past six games… Ayden MacDonald has five goals and eight points in his past six games…
Bulldogs: Defenseman Trevor Cosgrove, who leads the team in scoring, has nine goals and 23 points in his past 18 games; Cosgrove is third in points among BCHL defensemen (42) and first in points-per-game average (1.05)… Leading goal-scorer Jake Witkowski has four goals and seven points in his past four games…
Need to Know: Caps defenseman Ben Verrall returns to the lineup after missing the past 16 games with a lower-body injury; Verrall last played on Nov 26 at Powell River… Capitals captain Chris Harpur tonight will serve the fourth of a four-game suspension handed down on Jan 14…
Did You Know?: Caps forward Jared Domin tonight will play in his 100th BCHL game, all coming with the Capitals; Domin becomes the fourth player this season to hit the 100-game mark as a Capital (Verrall, Harpur, Owings)… In terms of minutes played among BCHL goalies, Bulldogs’ Brody Claeys (1875) and Capitals’ Lane Michasiw (1863) and third and fourth, respectively; in terms of saves, Michasiw is third in the league with 1012, while Claeys is fourth with 937… Among BCHL rookies, Trevor Cosgrove is fifth in points (40) and first in assists (29), while Jake Witkowski is 12th in points (30) and fourth in goals (21)… Alberni is one of only two BCHL teams that is perfect this season when leading after two periods (11-0-0-0); the other team being Chilliwack (26-0-0-0)… Head to head this season, the Bulldogs are 1-1-1-1 and the Capitals are 2-1-0-1 when these teams have met…
Game notes provided by Colton Davies of 89.7 Juice FM.