Sports

Jung setting the example for Caps' teammates to follow

Lonely feeling comes over the Caps
Lonely feeling comes over the Caps' Steen Cooper as he finds an opening toward the loose puck in front of Alberni Valley goalie Jay Deo Friday night at Cowichan Arena.
— image credit: Andrew Leong

It's no coincidence the Cowichan Valley Capitals enjoy success when Mikael Jung's at his best.

The Caps' veteran forward has kicked his offensive game into high gear the last two weeks, leading the team to back-to-back B.C. Hockey League victories for the first time this season.

Jung scored the winning goal in dramatic fashion the previous week on an overtime penalty shot against Langley. He was at it again Friday night at Cowichan Arena with two goals, as the Caps upended the Alberni Valley Bulldogs 6-2 for their most lopsided win since an 8-1 trouncing of Trail on the opening night of the season.

Jung has been a stellar penalty killer for the Caps all season but is now finding his form as a constant offensive threat and currently leads the team in goals with 11.

Jung credits head coach Jim Ingram for his goal-scoring resurgence.

"Jim has really given me a good opportunity to take more of an offensive role,'' Jung said.

"I think the chemistry is finally starting to click now. We're now a third of the way through the season.''

Jung is also quick to heap some of the praise heading his way on Matt Grant, who is now the team leader in scoring with 21 points, and Grant Nicholson. Jung is the general on the Grant line.

"The linemates I've been playing with have been really phenomenal as well,'' said Jung.

But his own work ethic is clearly making a difference.

"I put the effort in every day in practice,'' he said.

It would have been easily for the Caps to crumble after losing leading scorer Ryan Hanes and defenceman Alex Theriau, who was only back in town for a short stint, to the Western Hockey League. Instead, the Caps have come out of it stronger so far.

"Our team really held together and we stuck to the program Jim's been preaching all year,'' said Jung.

"When stuff like this happens, it opens up opportunities for everyone else.''

The Caps trailed Alberni Valley 2-1 when goals by Steen Cooper, Keyler Bruce and Tyler Mueller late in the second period put them ahead to stay. Jung's second of the game and Kyle Horsman's power-play marker in the last minute of play put the finishing touches on a fine victory.

The Caps' light schedule of the last two weeks is about to end. They have a return engagement with the Bulldogs in Port Alberni Friday and then host coach Bill Bestwick's Victoria Grizzlies Saturday at 7 p.m. at Cowichan Arena.

"You can see the development of the team coming,'' said Jung. "We've got a lot of young guys. It's fun mentoring them a bit.''

 

 

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