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Game Day: Capitals Open 2017 in Matchup with Bulldogs

The Caps will begin their calendar year tonight against a familiar opponent, as they face the Alberni Valley Bulldogs for the fourth time this season.

The Capitals (19-15-2-2, 3rd Island) are coming off a tight 3-1 loss to the Victoria Grizzlies on Dec 30, in their first game back following the Christmas break. The Grizzlies got on the board late in the first to open the scoring in that game, and would go up 2-0 early in the second period. Max Newton provided the Caps lone goal, scoring his team-leading 19th marker just under five minutes into the third period. The Capitals would continue to buzz with chances, but that would be as close as they would come on the scoreboard, as Victoria added an empty netter with eight seconds remaining in the game. Lane Michasiw stopped 24 of 26 shots in the Caps crease. Cowichan was 0-5 on the powerplay and 2-2 on the penalty kill, and outshot Victoria 33-27 on the night.

The Bulldogs (11-18-5-2, 5th Island) have had the longest holiday break of all BCHL teams; they were the only team in the league that didn’t play between Christmas and New Year’s, and have been off since Dec 16. Their most recent game was a 4-4 tie with the Victoria Grizzlies in Port Alberni. In that game, Victoria scored in the opening minute of the first, but the Bulldogs would storm back with four straight goals to go up 4-1 midway through the second. But the Grizzlies clawed back, scoring two of their own in the final two minutes of the second period, and scoring again midway through the third. That would be the end result after two overtime periods solved nothing. Alberni led 44-40 in shots on the night; the Bulldogs were 2-3 on the powerplay while the Grizzlies were 1-2.

The Caps will look to build on their 2-0-0-1 record against the Bulldogs this season. While the ‘Dogs are winless against the Capitals to date this year, they’ve only been outscored 10-7 in those three games. Following tonight’s contest, these teams will meet next on Jan 27, once again at the Weyerhauser Arena.

Puck drop tonight is at 7:00 pm.

Who’s Hot:

Capitals: Goalie Adam Marcoux has won his past four starts for the Caps, while Lane Michasiw has allowed just three goals combined in his past three starts… Leading-scorer Max Newton has goals in two of his past three games… Captain Chris Harpur has points in five of his past six games; Harpur is fourth among all BCHL defensemen with 29 points…

Bulldogs: Leading-scorer Trevor Cosgrove had a pair of goals in the team’s final game before the Christmas break and has points in eight of his past nine games; Cosgrove’s point total puts him third among all BCHL defensemen and fourth among BCHL rookies…

Need to Know: Capitals defenseman Nii Noi Tetteh will return to the lineup tonight; Tetteh had missed the past 12 games with an upper body injury… Ayden MacDonald tonight will serve the third of a four-game suspension that he received the last time these teams played on Dec 14…

Did You Know?: The Capitals had 11 shots in all three periods against Victoria on Dec 30, marking the second time they’ve had 10+ shots in all three periods of a game this season… The Caps on Dec 30 were perfect on the penalty kill for the third time in their past four games; the team is 13-14 (92.9%) in that span… Cowichan’s last loss against Alberni Valley came Jan 16, 2016, which was the eighth and final meeting between the two teams last year… Max Newton scored his eighth third period goal of the season on Dec 30, the most among all Caps players…

Game notes provided by Colton Davies of 89.7 Juice FM.